Rodney Goggins became the 2012 Senior Billiards Champion yesterday, 20th May, at the Ivy Rooms when he beat the No. 1 Aidan Murray by a very conviencing margin.
Wexford’s Rodney Goggins, no stranger to championship snooker and current No 1 in the Snooker Rankings, has added the 2012 National Billiards Championship to his impressive list of achievements. The semi final and final of the championships, which were held in the Ivy Rooms, Carlow ahead of the RIBSA championships weekend, were contended by three previous champions, 8 times champion Eugene Hughes, 6 times champion Larry Drennan and 4 times champion Aidan Murray.
On Sunday 6th May, Rodney Goggins (Wexford) met Eugene Hughes (Carlow) in the first semi final and although Eugene was perhaps the slight favourite, he had trouble attaining his usual high standard of play. Rodney, however, had no such difficulties, scoring freely when at the table, amassing breaks in the 60s and 70s in the process, which he used to great effect, steadily drawing clear of Eugene, eventually taking the game by more than double scores.
In the other semi final, held on Sunday 13th May between Aidan Murray (Wicklow) and current champion Larry Drennan (Kilkenny), it was a similar story, Aidan being the first to show, scoring the better of the two when at the table and enjoying the balance of leaves when coming to the table. At his first decent opportunity to redress the situation, Larry, attempting a very fine in-off red, fouled when he missed the ball completely. From the ensuing re-spot, Aidan made a 95 break. To add further to Larry’s difficulties, a run of no-score visits while Aidan seemed to make every visit count left Larry struggling to make any headway, finding himself almost 200 points behind when time ran out.
In the final, held on Sunday 20th May, both players had difficulty finding their form, closely matching each other in scores, all in low scoring visits, only occasionally making breaks over twenty. Rodney was first to get his game together, bringing his score to 130 with a 60 break. Aidan, now trailing by 70 points, looked to be responding, but, when his break got to 33 he missed a red ball swinger from hand, a shot he would normally get every time. Apparently rattled by this, he seemed to lose confidence when at the table, leaving Rodney to draw more and more ahead. With no effective answer from Aidan, Rodney continued to score the better of the two, deservedly claiming this season’s championship title.
Congratulations to Rodney on his first Billiards Championship win. As a quarter finalist in the forthcoming Snooker Championships, Rodney has now placed himself in contention to become champion in both Billiards and Snooker, a double which has not been accomplished since Eugene Hughes magnificent achievement in 1978. With opponents such as Robert Murphy, Colm Gilcreest and Martin McCrudden in his half of the draw and Vincent Muldoon, Robert Redmond, Johnny Williams and Brendan O’Donoghue in the other half, it will certainly be a formidable challenge, and we will be intrigued to see the outcome.
As always, our thanks to Jim and Marian Leacy and the staff at the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club for their help during the Championships and indeed throughout the season.
Full Championship Results:
Pre-Quarters, 500 up, 2 hour time limit
Brendan Devlin 397 – 322 Robert McCrum
Lloyd Myers 274 – 500 Joe Doheny
Rodney Goggins 437 – 231 Aonghus McAnally
Victor O’Gorman 328 – 397 Timmy Murphy
Quarters, 500 up, 2 hour time limit
Aidan Murray (Brk: 68, 113) 500 – 199 Brendan Devlin
Joe Doheny 416 – 428 Larry Drennan
Wayne Doyle 295 – 341 Rodney Goggins
Timmy Murphy 283 – 500 Eugene Hughes (Brk: 89)
Semi finals, 600 up, 2½ hour time limit
Aidan Murray (Brk: 95, 66, 74) 520 – 312 Larry Drennan
Rodney Goggins (Brk: 66, 52, 72, 63, 74) 600 – 249 Eugene Hughes (Brk: 62, 52)
Final, 650 up, 3 hour time limit
Aidan Murray 315 – 578 Rodney Goggins (Brk: 60, 50, 52, 53)