A superb evening entertainment was had by all that attended a Snooker exhibition hosted by Chard Conservative Club last Tuesday. South West Snooker Professional, Sam Baird, from Halberton, put on a show of his snookering skills against some of the best youth snooker players in the region, as well as local players from the Seaton League. The event was promoted and sponsored by the committee of the Seaton & District Snooker League. After outlining the programme for the evening, Master of Ceremonies, West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Head of Coaching, Steve Canniford, introduced Sam Baird giving a potted history of his progress from a nine year old prodigy, to a current Professional playing on the elite professional circuit. Baird’s first four challengers travelled from as far as Plymouth and Taunton to provide onlookers with an insight to the abilities of dedicated, tutored young players. A fantastic evening ensued from the off with Baird quickly potting his way to a 99 break against England International Youth Billiards player, Chris Coumbe. Coumbe fought back in the second frame to score 34 points but found Baird’s consistent potting too good, as Baird ran out with a couple of modest breaks to win. Second up was International Youth Snooker and County Senior Pool player Haydon Pinhey. Baird lagged behind as Pinhey posted a classy 38 break to which Baird responded to with a couple of twenty breaks separated with tight safety play. Pinhey came close to beating Baird but a missed pot on the colours sealed his fate, Baird 3, challengers 0. Again Pinhey started with a nice twenty break to lead. However, Baird had clearly had enough of close calls and finished with a well crafted 72 break to go 4-0 in front. Bairds next opponent International youth Billiards player Dan Legassick is renown for his fearless potting style and had recently made a match best break of 104 in a senior tournament. However, Baird wasted little time making a couple of small breaks before finishing with an 81 break to make the score 6-0 to Baird. At this point in the evening proceedings were called to a halt to take refreshments and sign autographs, take photographs and mingle with onlookers.
On returning to the green baize Baird was to face the final youth International snooker player of the evening, Michael Rogers from Taunton. Baird soon compiled a rapid 88 break to win the first frame and followed this with a expertly crafted 106 break after Rogers had started the frame with a 20. Baird 8, challengers 0. The next three opponents are established league players, all capable of making a 100 break. Ben Pike from Honiton started well with a 35 break before Baird replied with 56 & 35 breaks to win from behind by a comfortable margin. Next up was Graham Ward from Sidmouth, one time a 300 plus billiards player from Middlesbrough. The final score indicates a comfortable win for Baird. However, onlookers were treated to an excellent bout of intricate safety play and tactics from both players. In the final frame of the evening local man Steve Hill threatened to put up some resistance with a couple of good early shots but Baird was seeing the pockets big and made a couple of quick fire 40 breaks to win the match by the score of 11 frames to 0.
Steve Canniford closed the exhibition giving thanks to EASB Referee Greg Jones, from Seaton, who kept an expert eye on the matches, and all those that hosted, organised and sponsored the exhibition, Sam Baird is available for exhibitions or challenge matches and can be contacted via his email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting his web site www.sambaird147.co.uk
Report by Steve Canniford
|Sam Baird||124||99||V||Chris Coumbe||7|
|Sam Baird||64||24,27||V||Chris Coumbe||34|
|Sam Baird||69||29,25||V||Haydon Pinhey||47||38|
|Sam Baird||72||72||V||Haydon Pinhey||24||24|
|Sam Baird||91||33,20||V||Dan Legassick||21|
|Sam Baird||83||81||V||Dan Legassick||14|
|Sam Baird||88||88||V||Michael Rogers||4|
|Sam Baird||106||106||V||Michael Rogers||20||20|
|Sam Baird||95||56,35||V||Ben Pike||39||35|
|Sam Baird||71||27||V||Graham Ward||22|
|Sam Baird||88||47,41||V||Steve Hill||7|