The Plough end 50-year wait for bar billiards championship

The Plough�s successful team of Dave Vizor, Brian Marten, Steve Vizor, Keith Potter, Mark Webber. Absent is Geoff Parsons
The Plough�s successful team of Dave Vizor, Brian Marten, Steve Vizor, Keith Potter, Mark Webber. Absent is Geoff Parsons

The Plough have potted their first Horsham & District Bar Billiards championship title for the first time in 50 years.

They were undefeated in the first half of the season and, although they eased their foot off the gas towards the end of the campaign, they were still crowned champions for the first time since 1968.

From their 14 games, they won 11 and lost just three to rack up an impressive 44-point total.

The team is made up of Geoff Parsons, Keith Potter, Mark Webber, Dave Vizor, Brian Marten and Steve Vizor.

A team spokesman said: “We were all playing in the last century, but all for different teams. We have played using the current squad for four years without a great deal of success – apart from landing the Team Cup in 2010/11 - but this season everything suddenly gelled.

”Playing at a good pub with a good landlord who looks after us certainly helps.”

Parsons, a previous landlord of The Plough and The Fox, in Bucks Green, joined in 1996/97 when asked to form a team with John Slee who passed on quite a few playing tips. Potter: joined the team in 2002/03 having previously played for Horse & Groom, Hurst Arms, Bell, Cherry Tree, Foresters and Tanners, and is now playing in his 54th season in the league.

Webber, The Plough’s licensee from 2003 to the present, previously played at the Cherry Tree, Faygate and Started Plough B team in lower division in 2003/04.

Dave Vizor, a former winner of the under-23s in 1988-89 at a local and national level and former player at Roffey SSC and Horsham YMCA, joined The Plough in 2011/12 after a lengthy break from the game.

Marten, whose previous teams include Tanners, Six Bells, Hornbrook, Queens Head, Coot, Roffey SSC and Rising Sun - where the championship was won four times between 1995 and 2004, joined the Plough in 2014/15 after a similar break to Dave and succumbing to some gentle persuasion.

Steve Vizor is a mainly non-playing captain, but a member of the successful Plough team which participated in the Wednesday-night Mid Sussex League from 2002 to 2011, being Premier Division runners-up on four occasions.

The Plough’s hopes of a treble of league champions and success in the Team Cup and Charity Cup were extinguished last Tuesday as they lost in the semi-final of the Charity Cup.

They were beat 3-2 by The Limeburners to set up a final clash with Roffey CC, who beat The Stout House 3-2.

The league champions, however, can still achieve a delightful double, having made it through to the Team Cup final, which will take place on finals night.

To do that, they finished top of Group A with 13 points and will face Group B winners Windmill GG. In the Plate final, Roffey H will place Roffey CC.

The Limburners took victory in the Charity Cup final at the Windmill on Tuesday night.

They completed a 4-1 victory over Roffey CC - a bit of revenge from the equivalent match a fortnight ago in the Team Cup when the Roffey CC needed to win 5-0 - and did.

Graham Sparksman won Roffey’s only game with a 720-670 success over Ding Johnson, but from there the Limeburners took control.

Steve Holden beat John Lear 6310-1140, Tony Temple overcame Ian Giffen 4260-2510, Mick Johnson triumphed over Paul Jobbins 6150-3250 and Chip Sawyer recorded a success over Ros Appleby 3320-3290.