DENISE COLEMAN | Local News | Contact

The John Oxley Pool Hall in West Betoota attracts the brightest lights in the amateur pool circuit that’s grown slowly in the wider Diamantina community for generations.

Not many are brighter than Preston Haggard, manager of a popular one-stop music shop on Betoota’s Latin Quarter.

Yesterday evening around 8 o’clock, the 29-year-old confidently strode into the Oxley Pool Hall and begun screwing his artisan Meucci cue together before limbering up as if he was about to face the English pace attack late on day four at Trent Bridge.

Haggard revealed to The Advocate over a macchiato this morning at the Old City cafe and local institution, Le Pisse Dans Ma Poche, that he selects his victims carefully and often plays coy with them about his obvious pooling prowess – like pool sharks typically do.

“My first set last night against some out-of-towner, he didn’t even get a shot in. I broke and sunk the table off it,” he said, looking up into the sun smiling to himself.

“Easy as that. No money changed hands, though. I play for the love of the sport, not cash. The next one was a bit of a challenge, he obviously knew a thing or two about playing the game. He was cheeky, cocky, young. Just a child really. I got him in the end,”

“I always do.” he said.

However, The Advocate can reveal that reality quickly departed Haggard’s account of last night’s events around the time that second game concluded.

Myles Borryce has picked up glasses at the John Oxley for close to fifteen years now while he studies Japanese at the nearby West Betoota TAFE College and he confided in The Advocate about just how good Haggard really is at pool.

“It was one fluke after another,” said the 41-year-old.

“During his third game, he had to ask the bloke if he was bigs or smalls like three times. He’s full of shit and he always puts shit on me for still being at TAFE,”

“Japanese is hard, man. I can’t help it. But at least I don’t bring my own cue to the pub. Preston is such a gimp.”

More to come.


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