Annette Newman represented Ireland and RILSA at the recent Austrian Open World Billiards Championship in Vienna recently.

This was a fantastic event in Vienna where some of the World’s top male players were in action.  After the round robin stage of the event on the Saturday followed on the Sunday with the last 16 in the main event and Challenge Cup.

We saw some great billiards played over the two day event.  Our only representative from the Republic of Ireland, Annette played well and gained great experience from the event while scoring well against some of the top players in the group.  It was going to be a difficult group with Ryan Mears World number 7 and Terry Azor, Peter Johnston and Austrian top player Werner Rieschi, all looking for a place in the top 16.

Annette was drawn into a tough group but was looking forward to her matches against some of the Worlds best male players where the objective for her was to learn and gain experience on the world stage.  This experience will stand her well in the future as our female players are trying to improve their standard and put themselves in the lime light to encourage more females into the sport of billiards.  We are looking towards a new beginning for female billiard players and events in the future and this is where it all starts.  As they say if you can’t see it you can’t be it when it comes to female billiards.  Our girls and the girls around the World who are now making themselves shown to the sport will encourage more females into the sport.  The male players are very supportive of the girls and show great respect for their standard of play along with encouragement, they give great tips on certain shots and take time out to support them which is greatly appreciated.

Annette started well against Peter Johnston, going 20 up in this 60 minute match but Peter came back strong with a number of small breaks to go into the lead however Annette played well and kept close for the most part but Peters experience took him through winning 154 -84 as the clock timed out.

In her match against World number 7, Ryan Mears, Annette knew she had to make the most of any chances she got in the 60 minutes to get close to Ryan.  Ryan went ahead with a 61 break with Annette responding to gain 22 points with a few visits to the table however Ryan got another break of 59 followed with a number of small breaks to finish well to take the match with Annette just making over the 50+ on the clock.

Again it was going to be difficult against Terry Azor who started with a number of 40+ breaks to steam ahead.  Annette had a few chances during the match but was unfortunate not to capitalize but she made some good scores to finish with 60 points overall against such a great player as Terry and she will certainly take some positives from these matches as she is learning all the while.

Annette’s last match against the Austrian, Werner Reinschi was going to be yet another difficult one to win but after settling in Annette started to play much better billiards and kept within a few points of Werner all the way to the last 15 minutes where he got in with a number of small breaks to storm ahead towards the end winning 263 to 108.

Annette can now analyse her game going forward with a positive outlook as she knew beforehand that it was going to be difficult to win but winning at events such as these with the standard so high is going to be very difficult indeed.  The experience and help from all the players in Vienna will certainly make a difference in her game as she progresses in the sport.

It was great to see two more female players taking part in Vienna, Gaye Jones from the UK and Stephanie Dolezal from Austria, they, like Annette really enjoyed the event and played great billiards also.

Congratulations to Rob Hall on winning the main event and to Christian Kirk on his fine performance in the final and throughout the event.  The organisers, Martin Schmidt, Christian, the Tournament Director, referees and staff of Heeres Snooker Club Vienna along with Andreas Kronlachner for fantastic work on the media and live streaming, well done and thanks for a fantastic weekend of great billiards and friendship.

Best of luck to all those heading out to Melbourne for the World Billiards Championships