By Derek Kiely
WHAT an exciting weekend it was at the Gleneagle Hotel – Ladbrokes sponsored Munster Snooker Club Championships, that had its share of shocks along the way and as always the tension surrounding the event had its bearing on several players throughout the three days of play.
There were 24 sides at the very first break off on Friday morning last and immediately the top seeded sides began well securing early wins, but when Saturday came, the changes rang out especially for the Cork sides who definitely began to bed themselves in to contention and by the end of play on Saturday evening no less than six Cork sides were in the knock out stages.
The defending champions the New Institute from Nenagh Co. Tipperary were in awesome form, as were the previous six time winners the Victoria from Limerick.
The story of the knock out stages had to be Fermoy CYMS who had a great championships and made it through to the quarter final after defeating Douglas A. The win was remarkable in so many ways, because this was the first competitive outing for Fermoy this year as a team and considering that the North Cork club were not participants this year in the Cork snooker league it was a great effort and hopefully this will re-ignite some interest in re-forming a side for next years league in Cork.
Youghal CYMS had both their A and B sides in the knock out stages and the A side breezed past Carrick-on-Suir to the quarter finals, meanwhile the Youghal B side were a black ball away from victory against Ennis, but the Clare men progressed through to meet New Institute.
The Crucible were excellent against Thurles and set up a match against against Fermoy and were equally impressive to make it through to the semi finals.
Waterford A pulled off the result of the quarter finals defeating the Victoria A from Limerick, meaning for the very first time there would be no Limerick representation at the ‘All Ireland Snooker Club championships for the very first time.
Youghal CYMS also booker their place into the semi finals and All Ireland qualification after a very impressive win over New Institute B.
The semi finals were tense as always and the New Institute A side prove just a little better than Youghal CYMS on the day winning their semi final match and they stood just one match away from retaining their title.
The other semi final was a much closer affair with the Crucible from Cork coming out against Waterford A, but it took some Greg Casey Magic to secure the victory in the deciding frame.
The final is always tense, but it was a very difficult match to call with both sides draped in International players.
Leading Senior number one ranked player Brendan O’Donoghue won his match impressively for New Institute to take a one nil lead in the best of five match format, but the Crucibles Ryan Cronin was quick to restore balance with a very strong win in his game.
The next match went to New Institute who now had the narrow advantage, but despite a Greg Casey victory which included a 101 break it wasn’t enough because Tommy Gleeson potted the winning balls to secure a Tipperary victory.
The Draw for the 2012 Gleneagle Hotel – Ladbrokes sponsored All Ireland Snooker Club Championships.
Two teams to qualify from each group, the group winners progress and the best runners up.
1 QE1 (Ulster)
2 The Crucible
3 Navan (Leinster)
4 Darcy McGees A (Dublin League)
5 Ballina (West)
1 Darcy McGees B (Dublin League)
2 Waterford A
3 Drumaness (Ulster)
4 St Pats (Ulster)
5 Q Club Wicklow (Leinster)
1 CYMS Letterkenny (N West)
2 Roadstone A (Dublin League)
3 Kilkenny Snooker Club (Leinster)
4 Cue Club Killarney (Munster)
5 St Matthews (Ulster)
1 New Institute
2 Maynooth (Leinster)
3 St Pats (Ulster)
4 Twin Towns (N West)
5 Terry Rodgers (Dublin League)
1 Celbridge (Leinster)
2 Minnesota (Ulster)
3 Youghal CYMS
4 Roadstone B (Dublin League)
5 Tuam (N West)
Play starts in the Gleneagle Hotel Killarney at 10am on Friday the 27th of January.
Order of play in the first 5 sessions on Friday the 27th of January. (Times and Fixtures are subject to change)
The Crucible v Darcy McGees A
Darcy McGees B v Q Club Wicklow
CYMS Letterkenny v St Matthews
St Pats v Terry Rodgers
Youghal CYMS v Tuam
QE1 v Navan
Waterford v St Pats
Roadstone A v Q Club Kilkenny
Celbridge v Roadstone B
Twin Towns v Maynooth
Minnesota v Youghal CYMS
The Crucible v Ballina
Waterford v Drumaness
Q Club Kilkenny v Cue Club Killarney