Reardon's pool tournament
- 1 Mission 8 8 Oslo
- 2 Mission 9 9 Amsterdam
- 3 Mission 10 10 Zürich
- 4 Mission 11 11 Gdańsk
- 5 Mission 12 12 Helsinki
- 6 Mission 13 13 25 Reykjavík
- 7 Mission 14 14 Hanover
- 8 Mission 15 15 Geneva
- 9 Mission 16 16 Athens
- 10 Mission 17 17 Porto
- 11 Mission 18 18 Berlin
- 12 Mission 19 19 Valletta, Mission 20 20 Bruges, Mission 21 21 Budapest
- 13 Mission 22 22 Lisbon
Mission 8 8 Oslo
The inaugural Reardon's pool tournament was held at Rupert's office in Kentish Town.
Amal and Mike took on David and Rupert in the first match. They won the first rack, but the second went against them and, after a tense final rack in which Amal and Mike held the advantage, Mike miscued an attempted fine cut on his final ball and succeeded in potting the black. First blood to Rupert and David.
Rupert and David then took on Chris and Dave. Chris was not playing at his best and only an unlucky shot which succeeded in the black going in out of turn resulted in a deciding rack. Again, it was tense, but again David and Rupert prevailed. There was no need for the final game—David and Rupert had already done enough to claim their place in the final. Jon Gair turned up during the game and spent the time devouring Rupert's office food and watching the action.
At 2−0 up in a best of five, it seemed like David was coasting, but at this point he seemed to take his foot off the throttle. Luck was not with him and it was soon 2−2 and a deciding rack was required. Amal was somewhat over-exuberant with his support of Rupert, which seemed to fluster David. In the deciding rack, Rupert rode his luck and a brilliant pot on the black gave him victory. David took it somewhat badly, because he felt Amal's support for Rupert had been slightly over the top.
Rupert's reward was an extra destination in the draw, on behalf of Reardon, which he revealed as 13 25 Reykjavík.
Mission 9 9 Amsterdam
Reardon's pool tournament was again held at Rupert's office, after a comedy game of Micro Machines where the Colonel's men were introduced to what they call flame trail (and which Rupert won.)
In the draw for doubles pairings, Chris was drawn to partner David, Mike was drawn with Dave and Rupert was drawn with Steve (represented by Amal.) The doubles matches were played to three racks.
In the first match, Mike and Dave played Chris and David. In the first rack, a fluke on the black by Dave put him and Mike 1-0 up. In the second rack, a couple of missed opportunities on the black gave Dave and Mike another victory to wrap up the match 2-0.
In match two, Rupert and Amal took on Chris and David. Chris and David began to play much better and were soon victorious, with a 2-0 score.
Dave and Mike then took on Amal and Rupert, and won 2-0, to put them through to the final.
The final was best of five racks. After a relatively speedy first two racks put Mike 2-0 up, a long drawn out third rack was finally won by Mike with only the black ball on the table to give him victory over Dave.
Mission 10 10 Zürich
Reardon's tournament was this year held in Shades snooker club in Leamington Spa and would this time take the form of snooker. It was held on Saturday 29th October when the regiment came to see Mike in the stage play "Gasping", in which he was playing a character who bore a distinct resemblance to Alan Partridge.
The morning before the show, the members of the regiment attending the mission, Amal, Chris, Dave, David, Mike and Rupert, visited the snooker club for the tournament. The first round involved everyone playing snooker simultaneously, with the first four players to 20 points going through to the next round (fouls counting negative to the player who fouled). However, owing to a time constraint of a 1.30p.m. lunch appointment with Mike and David's parents and the Nolans, the rules had to be revised somewhat. Amal was eliminated first, slumping to -10 points. Mike then suffered a rather unfortunate elimination at the end of the second frame, owing to a revised rule that whoever was in last place at the end of that frame would be eliminated (Dave succeeded in snookering him several times which caused his previously healthy points tally to slump drastically).
In the last four, David got into his rhythm and got through on 20 points relatively quickly. Chris and Dave also started to play reasonably well and Rupert soon found himself trailing. He was eventually eliminated at the end of the second frame and Chris managed to pot the final black to set up a respotted black situation between himself and Dave. After a lengthy encounter, Dave went in off to put Chris through to the final.
At this point, it was time for lunch, so the final was delayed until the following day. Over drinks in the afternoon, both finalists named their potential destinations should they win (owing to the possibility that they could both get a destination in the draw with the "bum the mascots round"). Chris selected 12 Helsinki as his choice and David immediately followed suit, selecting 12 Helsinki also.
The final was played on the Sunday afternoon and after a fairly long one frame shoot out, David emerged victorious as the third winner of Reardon's tournament. 12 Helsinki would thus enter the draw as Reardon's choice for mission 11.
Mission 11 11 Gdańsk
On Saturday 25th February, 2006, Reardon's tournament for mission 11 was again played in Leamington Spa at Shades snooker club. Unfortunately, Jon, Amal and Steve would be unable to attend, so it was decided that the tournament would be played with the remaining 5 members of the Colonel's Regiment. After a relaxing morning in which Mike opened his birthday presents with Chris, Rupert and David, they left Kenilworth and drove to Leamington Spa, had a quick coffee in Starbucks and then wandered over to the snooker club to acquire a table.
Dave turned up about half an hour later and the tournament commenced. With no paper or draw tiles, the order in which everyone would play was decided by randomly selecting one of 5 different denomination coins. Chris was given the break in the first elimination frame (which would be a race to 10 points), followed by David, Dave, Mike and then Rupert. Mike got through early with a break of 15, before David and then Chris got through. After a lengthy battle, Rupert eliminated Dave to conclude the first round.
In round two, Rupert got the break, followed by Mike, David and then Chris. This time, Chris did the early running and got through first. Mike suffered and went into negative territory early on, but dug in and eventually David and Mike acquired the 15 points they needed to put Rupert out of the tournament.
In round three, Mike took the break, followed by David and then Chris. At this point, Chris started to play reasonably well, potting several tricky balls with the impossimede, whilst Mike and David lost some form. Mike ended up in negative territory again, whilst Chris rapidly raced up to 18 points. It was a race to 20, so David, unwilling to be facing Mike in a one-on-one situation for a single place in the final, began to snooker Chris. He managed to get him down to 9 points again, but at the end of the frame he potted blue and pink whilst Chris potted the black, leaving himself on 14 points and Chris handily placed on 16 points. Mike was on -4 at this point. As the next frame commenced, David got through very quickly, leaving Mike with an uphill battle against Chris. However, Chris fouled immediately, was put back in and fouled again, leaving himself on 8 points and Mike with a chance. He potted a red but went in off, putting his score down to -8. However, he dug in and played a very defensive game, giving Chris no easy chances. Eventually, the tables were turned and Mike got through to the final with 20 points, leaving Chris in negative territory on -4.
Once the tournament had been concluded, the five members of the Colonel's regiment went to the Wetherspoons pub on the parade and David and Mike revealed their potential choices. David selected 18 Berlin whilst Mike selected Riga.
The following day, Mike and David returned to the snooker club along with Rupert and Chris, to play the final of Reardon's tournament. It would be a one frame shoot out. Mike got a healthy 20 point lead early on, but the tables were turned as David grafted his way back into the match. With the colours to go, the scores were almost level again. David potted brown, blue and pink, putting himself 7 up with 7 on the table. However, after a brief safety battle, Mike sank the black to put the final through to a respotted black situation. Mike won the toss and put David in. A safety battle took place again and eventually David left Mike with a long shot. He took it on, but missed it and left David a chance to the green pocket, which he duly took to win Reardon's tournament for the second time. 18 Berlin would therefore be selected as Reardon's choice for mission 12.
Mission 12 12 Helsinki
It had been decided to play Reardon's pool tournament for the 12 Helsinki break on Saturday 25th November, two weeks before the start of the break. Chris and David came to Mike's house the night before, whilst Rupert arrived on the Saturday morning. They went over to Shades snooker club and acquired a table.
The first elimination was a race to 20 points. Mike went into an early lead, but David caught up and managed to go through in first place. After a while, Mike secured his place in the next round. Rupert and Chris had a lengthy dogfight for the final place in the next round, before Chris eventually potted the winning ball, thus eliminating Rupert.
In the next round, which was a race to 25 points, David and Mike both went to pieces, whilst Chris started playing some excellent snooker. Mike got into a lead and soon found himself on 19 points, but couldn't manage to pot the winning ball, mainly through playing some terrible shots, having been gifted several chances. Chris somehow got through in first place, with David joining him soon afterwards, thus eliminating Mike, much to his disappointment.
In the final, David still wasn't playing his best, but managed to hold his nerve as the match went down to the final black, which David duly potted to win the 5th Reardon's tournament and get his third victory in a row. After a trip to the swimming pool that afternoon, the Regiment went to the tea shop in Kenilworth and David revealed 13 25 Reykjavík as Reardon's choice for the draw, whilst Chris revealed 21 Budapest as Gløgg's Reardon Helpimede.
Mission 13 13 25 Reykjavík
Reardon's tournament for mission 13 of the Colonel's weekend breaks was held on Saturday March 3rd, 2007 at Shades snooker club in Leamington Spa. Chris, David, Rupert and Mike were all eligible to play in the tournament, as they were the only four who would be present for mission 13. Early in the morning, the four of them headed over to the snooker club and began the first frame, which would be an elimination event, in which the last one to 20 points would be knocked out.
Mike got off to a good start, making a solid break of 16 and soon put himself into the next round. There then followed a lengthy battle between the other three with a succession of missed opportunities. Rupert and Chris ended up negative, before David fouled and went negative himself. Eventually David prevailed at the start of the second frame, leaving Chris and Rupert to battle it out for the final spot. They scrapped for the whole of the second frame, before Chris eventually won it on the black to eliminate Rupert.
A race to 25 then took place with the final three competitors. David and Mike got into the balls early, with Mike racing into an early lead, before David made a good break to get himself through to the final. Mike gradually pulled away from Chris before potting the pink to eliminate him and get through to the final.
In the final, David played really well whilst Mike played quite badly and had a poor run of the balls. David prevailed quite comfortably to win Reardon's pool tournament yet again. Steve arrived towards the end of the match and the five Colonel's men went to the Queen and Castle pub in the afternoon to reveal their destinations. David chose 18 Berlin as Reardon's choice, whilst Mike chose Vienna as Gløgg's Reardon Helpimede.
Mission 14 14 Hanover
Reardon's tournament for mission 14 of the Colonel's weekend breaks was held on Sunday November 18th, 2007 at the Shades snooker club in Leamington Spa. Rupert, David, Dave and Mike all took part in the tournament. In the first round, Mike got through early on, followed by David. Dave and Rupert had a lengthy battle before Dave finally made it through.
In the second round, Mike fell behind early, with David going into the lead. David soon got through, whilst Dave eventually ground his way into another final.
In the final, David gradually pulled away to win his 5th tournament in a row. After the tournament, the Regiment went to the Wetherspoons pub for burgers. David revealed 17 Porto as Reardon's choice for mission 15. Dave revealed 20 Bruges as Gløgg's Reardon Helpimede.
Mission 15 15 Geneva
Reardon's tournament for mission 15 took place on Sunday 2nd March, 2008 at Shades snooker club. Chris, David, Dave, Rupert and Mike all took part in the tournament. The first round was a race to 15. Mike got through very early, with David soon finding himself in negative territory. The first frame finished with Chris holding a slender lead over Dave and Rupert. The second frame was a lengthy affair. Chris finally got through second, with Rupert joining him some time afterwards. David had gradually clawed his way back into the frame whilst Dave found himself going backwards and becoming negative. David finally got through with Dave being eliminated.
In the second round, a race to 20, David found some form and soon secured his place in the semi-final. Mike kept up his steady play and was the second one through. Rupert slumped to -16 points, whilst Chris kept fouling in the teens to keep Rupert in the game. Rupert clawed his way back and soon found himself on 13 points with Chris on 18. Eventually Chris potted the brown and made it through to the next round.
In the third round, Chris got into an early lead, but several fouls saw him fall away. Mike secured his place in the final with David soon following him.
In the final, Mike took an early lead, but David soon fought back and took the lead himself. Mike got back into it and was one point behind on the colours. Mike potted the yellow, but David potted green and brown. Mike then potted the blue to leave himself one point behind with pink and black remaining. David played the pink, but left it hanging over the corner pocket. Mike potted it, but left the white almost on the cushion with the black in the middle of the table. Mike got down and potted the black, only to see the white go around two cushions and go into the corner pocket. So David won Reardon's tournament by two points.
Mission 16 16 Athens
In a break from the norm, Reardon's tournament for mission 16 was played over several different days. The first meet up occurred on Monday 22nd December. Mike and Dave met up at the Edinburgh Christmas market for a gluhwein. After a chat with a comedy German who provided them with a destination for Pete Gibbon's round, they wandered along to Diane's pool hall to play their fixture. They went upstairs and were allocated a pool table. The game would be a race to 5 racks, each for the bargain price of 20p. Mike won the first rack, but Dave claimed the next two to go into a 2-1 lead. In the next, Dave succeeded in potting the black early on, thus surrendering the rack. Mike won the next to make it 3-2, before Dave again potted the black accidentally to fall 4-2 behind. The next rack went to the wire before Mike finally potted the black to win 5-2. Dave and Mike then returned to the Christmas market for another hot beverage before Dave caught the train back down South.
On Friday January 2nd, 2009, Rupert, David and Mike also went to Diane's pool hall in Edinburgh to play their fixtures. Mike played Rupert first. He won the first rack, before Rupert potted a spectacular black on the second only to go in off. After some time, Mike won the next three racks to claim a 5-0 victory. David then played Mike next. The standard was high to begin with, with Mike edging a tight first rack. The second rack was not so great, with both players missing chances. Mike finally won it on the black, before David took the third rack to trail 2-1. The next two racks could have gone either way, but Mike won one to make it 3-1 before David made it 3-2. David then won the next comfortably to tie it at 3-3 before Mike edged ahead in a rack that could also have gone either way, to make it 4-3. In the final rack, Mike potted a cut back black to prevail 5-3. David and Rupert then began their match but only had time for one rack, which David won to lead 1-0. After the matches, David, Rupert and Mike went to the Edinburgh Christmas market to relax with a crepe and a hot chocolate.
The final phase of the tournament took place in London on Saturday 10th January. With Mike having already wrapped up Reardon's tournament, only the Gløgg's Reardon Helpimede was still up for grabs. The first task was to complete the match already begun, so David and Rupert resumed, with the score 1-0 to David. The first rack of the day was a scrappy affair that Rupert won to tie the match up at 1-1. The next two were extremely close and should have gone to Rupert, but he missed the black in both racks and David eventually took them to lead 3-1. At this point there was a slight break in the match as Dave arrived and drinks were obtained. Resuming, David won the next rack to lead 4-1. In the sixth, both players again had chances and it looked as though it would be 4-2, but David held on to win the match 5-1. David then played Dave with the Reardon Helpimede at stake. A win for David and it would be his; if Dave won then it would all depend on rack difference between David and Dave. Again, it was a slightly scrappy start, but David took the lead 1-0. In the next, Dave took the break, leaving David a chance. David made the pot and then proceeded to run out the rack, going into a 2-0 lead. In the third, Dave started to come back and was in the middle of taking command of the rack when he potted one of his own balls and then accidentally knocked the black in. It was 3-0 to David. In the next, both players lost focus and it was eventually David who made slightly fewer mistakes and fell across the line; 4-0. The fifth rack was of a better standard, but by then Dave seemed to have given up hope and David won to wrap up the match 5-0. With Reardon's tournament and the Helpimede now sewn up, Dave and Rupert elected not to play their final match.
Mission 17 17 Porto
Reardon's tournament for mission 17 was played on Saturday July 14th in Thatcham snooker club. There were four entrants - Dave, Mike, David and Rupert were present. Steve was unable to attend owing to being in the USA. Chris was ineligible as he hadn't committed to going to 17 Porto.
The first round was a race to 20 points. Mike took the break, and then on his second go, got a break of 19, which left him on the brink of going through. He soon got the required point and took his place in the next round. Dave built up several points, but succeeding in fouling on the final black to reduce his score from 16 to 9. In the next frame, David gradually increased his points tally and soon got the points he required to join Mike. Dave and Rupert engaged in a lengthy battle before Dave finally prevailed to take his place in round 2.
The second round took on a similar pattern to the first. Mike went into an early lead, whilst David and Dave both went into negative territory. David gradually increased his tally, whilst Dave went deeper negative. Mike got through first, leaving Dave and David to battle it out for the other place in the final. David eventually got through, with Dave somewhat distant.
At this point, Rupert and Dave decided to leave the room and play some pool in the room next door. David and Mike began the final. David was not playing as well as usual and Mike went into an early lead. However, David dug in and got back into it. Mike eventually left David needing snookers on the colours and with only pink and black remaining, David conceded to give Mike his first victory in a snooker tournament and his third victory overall. David, with six victories and three runners up positions, was still the leading player in Reardon's tournament.
Mission 18 18 Berlin
Reardon's tournament for mission 18 was played on Friday October 30th in Broxburn snooker club. Rupert was unable to attend at the last minute, so the final was played by David and Mike, by default. It would be a race to 4 frames.
David broke off and Mike went into an early 1-0 lead with some consistent scoring in the first frame. The second frame was a closer affair, but Mike finally took that as well to lead 2-0. In the third frame, Mike continued his run of form and soon found himself 3-0 in front. David began to find some form and upped his scoring rate in frame four. He took the frame, reducing his deficit to 3-1. The fifth was a close affair, with David finally prevailing on the colours to make the score 3-2. In frame, David went into the lead, but Mike clawed his way back into it. Eventually it became a black ball game and after David missed a difficult cut to the middle, Mike finally sunk the black to win the tournament 4-2.
Owing to busy schedules during 2010-2011, it proved impossible to play Reardon's tournament. Therefore, Reardon did not have a destination in the mission 19, 20 and 21 draws.
Mission 22 22 Lisbon
The tournament, played on 5th May 2012, was a race to 147 points or 2 hours play, whichever came first, between David, Mike and Rupert at Riley's snooker club, Coventry. After each frame, the order of play swapped around. The lead between David and Mike see-sawed throughout the contest. At the end of the first frame, Mike led by 15 points. At the end of the second frame, David led by 5 points. At the end of the third frame, Mike led by five points. In the fourth frame, Mike was 15 points ahead with 2 reds left. David reduced the lead to 3 points, then Mike fouled on the yellow and David potted it, giving him a 3 point lead. Mike then potted the green, making it all square, before Rupert potted the brown. A safety battle ensued. David played a good safety, leaving Mike a tricky blue, but he potted it and got a fortunate cannon on the pink, allowing him to pot it. David potted the black to trail by 4 points. The next frame was started but after two shots the lights went out signalling the end of the tournament. Final score, Mike: 101, David: 97, Rupert:13. Later in the day, during a walk in Tile Hill Wood, Mike announced Vienna as Reardon's destination for mission 22. David announced Vienna as Gløgg's Reardon Helpimede.