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Alloa's - A potted history

The All’oas have been around for a long time now and considering what I wrote about winning the Interleague now seems a good time throw the spotlight on one of the teams that are part of the fabric of the Interleague. We have chosen to have a look at the All’oas but it could just as easily been Ollerton or Sun Valley. We asked the man who has done for the team that anyone else as far as we can tell, although Kevin O’halloran may have a few words to say about that statement as the All’oas captain he is in charge of team selection once in Yarmouth. All the work to get them there is done by Mick “Timmo” Timmins so that’s who we asked to give us a brief history about how the team arrived at its present level. Like all good teams they have to start some where.

Tom Fahy
Tournament Director

THE TEAM - photo album from the Interleague Knockout Cup 2003

What follows is what he said

In the early 1990's I started to gather some of the best players from in and around the Chorley area to try and get an Interleague team together because I had heard that this was where some the best players in the land were playing. I didn’t know how good we were going to be but if the best players were there that’s where I wanted our local players to be. Like all teams that come here we needed some time to bed in and start to be able to compete. We had some moderate campaigns in the early days like reaching the Qtr Final of the Interleague. We left Great Yarmouth on a high and we realised that we were starting to gel and become a team that could compete rather than go there just for the beer. But we needed to strengthen our team if we were to compete on a regular basis with the then big boys.

As in any local team things are fluid and change all the time, players for one reason or other are unavailable for matches. People change and lose interest in Pool or find other things to do, like getting married and having kids So by 1995 I started to look further north then I had previously in my search to strengthen the team and to keep the team’s progress on track, really it was a easy decision to make because all the players I wanted were, at the time, playing in the Preston pool league, everyone lived within a 5 mile radius of each other, so we took the decision to merge two good sides together and make one strong one.

And that was when the All’oas was born we had teamed up our best players with some from the Preston pool league to make one team that we were happy with and that I felt would grow over time.

In 1996 we won the Knock out cup Final in Yarmouth and from that moment on the All’oas were recognised as a team that could mix it with anyone.

In 1998 I selected two teams from our large squad for the Champion of Champions because we had so many players that wanted to play in it and to be honest, for me it was the easy way out. One team had all the best players in it with the intention of winning the event but a big shock occurred when the “main” team consisting of Lee Clough, Dave Chalmers, Jason Hill, Graham Myers & Andy Croasdale where beaten in the last 16, my team made up from the best of the rest went on to win the Coveted title and prove that our K.O. Cup success was no fluke.

After that the Rules changed and this caused mayhem in our team at the time, none of us had ever played World Rules we thought that this was the end of the road for the All'oas, we did not play the rules and we saw no way of our pool leagues locally ever adopting the new rules. The team, to a degree disbanded

We lost some of our better known players like Lee Clough, Dave Chalmers, Jason Hill & Andy Croasdale when they decided their future was to play using B.A.P.T.O. rules and I agreed with them I was thinking of doing the same but with being the Captain and Manager of the All’oas I found it hard to just to walk away from the All’oas after all the work that had gone in to making the All’oas what they had become. I had a foot in both camps and qualified for the E.U.K.P.F England Team and went on to win World championship the A team.

Then I was warned that we would all be have our EPA cards withdrawn if we continued to flout the rules laid down by the EPA. In late 1999, I gathered all the players together and we had a team meeting to decide what we were going to do. I decided to stay with the EPA but not everyone in the team wanted to do that and preferred to chose for themselves what code they would play.

I was forced to introduce a few more players into the squad; with the game now being more of an attacking affair I needed big potters rather tactically sound players so we decided that the All'oas ream with its old and new players would not leave the EPA. We wanted to be part of it and play in the events at Yarmouth. That decision, for us as a team, it was a massive commitment to drop the players who to us were part of the All’oas success story but did not want to play world rules.

In came the names of Nathan Bridges, Andy Sudworth, Matt Morris, Russell McGrady, Ian Harle, Adrian Alty, Steve Foster & Carl Bromley. We then started training these guys with the world rules the team you see today is part of that commitment to learn World Rules and become proficient at them. We as a team are still haunted by the destruction that the change over to World Rules caused us some of the players who left have subsequently returned and now can play World rules with the best of them.

I have long since hung up my “Yarmouth” cue but I must mention Dave Robinson and Dave Birchall who have been in the All’oas team from day one they are still able to compete at the highest level and show no signs of slipping in to the background.

Our latest recruit Nick “chief” Whitelaw was not part of our team originally but was a close friend of Nathan Bridges. He went south with his job as a teacher and fell on his feet as he moved to East Herts and captained their side for a while. When they had enough of him and sent him back to us we got a rounded World rules player and we are grateful to them for that. One of the side effects of Nick Moving to East Herts is that we as a team have formed strong links with the East Herts team members and providing we don’t meet them will always want them to do well.

In 2000 I decided to make myself a non playing Manager so that when I had done the job of getting the All'oas to Yarmouth by taking care of all the bookings and paperwork involved and of course all the hassles that running the All’oas brings, I could then relax at Yarmouth and be a spectator only. This has been possible because of Kevin O’Halloran taking charge of team selection once we are at Vauxhall’s and I have to say that Kevin is the Best Captain that the All’oas have ever had. He loves the arena and thrives on the pressure so much so that we all think he must have been a gladiator in his former life. Kevin brings the players together and he is respected and just as well liked in his role of team captain and a friend.

That year we went to Yarmouth to play at the Champion of Champions and it was our first event playing World Rules as a Team. Unfortunately we lost in the Final to Sun Valley. We were to coin a phrase gutted. We felt that we should have won. The reason we fell we did not, was down to lack of potting ability, all our local leagues we were still playing the Fudging Rules. Damien Milnes is one of our players who has suffered most from the rule changes, being from a Fudging background he had to work hard and practice long hours to achieve the level that he is now at, and in 2001 he was rewarded, by playing brilliantly to qualify for the World Championships.

Now, most of the team are playing County Pool in addition our local leagues are slowly adopting World Rules we are all more confident with the rules.

I feel the All'oas name is now infamous within the Pool World and as each year goes by we start to lose players but get better players wanting to join the team. Myself and our Captain, get telephone calls asking when are we running trials for the All'oas ????? It’s as though they think we do it like the county teams

like all captains I hate to see players leave, as we all see us as a family team rather than a pool team of individuals all the lads get on and we all socalise outside pool with each other.

Each Year before the World Championships I get an E-mail from The Manager of the Australian National Team and we organise a social evening at Rileys in Blackpool, where the All'oas play against the men’s team from OZ, this has been going on now for the last 3 years and we ads a team are extremely proud to be picked to play against the Australian national side, and I would like to point out that the All'oas Team are currently 2 - 1 up against them, we play 11 against 11 on a county pool basis, 44 frames.

You might wonder just what motivated us as a team to keep coming back year on year after being beaten in the early days, that’s easy, if you are not inspired by being part of the Interleague then you shouldn’t be here. What an honor it is to be able watch and sometimes play against teams like Trent Trophies with Lee Kendall and Gareth Potts and Morley International with Darren Appleton, Chris Melling & Mick Hill. When we started the big boys was Sheffield with Daz Ward and Terry Hunt and of course Barking Elite with Mark Hewittson, Rob Hill, Darren Collison and Steve Saunders. Wolverhampton Wednesday with Shaun Eaton Lees and Rob Chilton all the teams mentioned here were here to win and their consistency has made them truly great teams by what ever measure you use. They were and are determined to stride for even greater success.

We now are slowly becoming part of this rich Interleague history. But we struggle to believe that people mention our team in the same breath as those teams above, of course, we as a team and individually are all proud to be mentioned in the same breath. We hope that we, in our own small way can inspire your team, if you are new to this event to be work at it and aim to be the best one day and have the beating of us and in turn inspire the next generation of Interleague teams.

Each Year the All'oas go to Yarmouth with a great team spirit and a self confidence that leads us to believe that there are no teams that we can’t beat on our day. We are there to win every match we play in. and if that is not possible we will make it as tough as we can for any team that wants to get the better of us (on the pool table) but we only have one aim when we arrive in Yarmouth and that is to WIN.

Mick Timmins


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