Aidan Murray wins inaugural National Billiards Championship, 150 format.
Aidan Murray, 4 times Billiards champion and current No 1 in the Billiard rankings, won a tense and protracted battle for honours in the inaugural 150s Billiards championships against current Billiards champion, Rodney Goggins.
Aidan, who plays in the Ivy Rooms Club, claimed his place in the Final with an impressive Semi final win over Borris-in-Ossory player Joe Doheny. His opponent in the Final, Wexford’s Rodney Goggins, made equally impressive progress to the Final with a fine win against Billiards’ youngest contender, Dun Laoghaire’s Wayne Doyle.
In the Final, to be played in best of 7 150up format, Aidan was first to show, taking the first set 150-86. The second set also went Aidan’s way, but not without serious threat from a determined Rodney, the margin this time being a mere 25 points. Rodney’s determination continued into the third set, which he took convincingly by 150-21. Reacting to this rallying comeback by Rodney, Aidan stepped up a gear to take the fourth set decisively by 150-54. In the fifth set, Aidan now leading 3-1 in sets and needing one more for the match, piled on the pressure and, while leading 132-11, looked set to claim the title. Rodney, however, had other ideas and in dogged and determined play, making good use of his renowned snooker skills, fought back with a combination of good potting and good safety play, to take the set 150-135. With the scores now standing at 3-2, it was showdown time. In the most prolonged set of the match, with neither player scoring significantly when at the table and neither taking any chances in attempting to establish a lead, it was a relieved Aidan who struggled across the line to take the championship title by 4 sets to 2.
At the presentation of the title, Aidan complimented Rodney on his play during the Final. He also called into question whether two championships, a 150up format and a points format, were really the right way forward in the game. In his view, a divided Billiards title, as could be the case in any one year, would have the result of one detracting somewhat from the value of the other rather than having a single identifiable Billiards champion.
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 (150 format):
Pre-Quarters, best of 5 150 up, no time limit
Derek O’Neill 0 – 3 Brendan Devlin
Anthony O’Flaherty 3 – 0 Aonghus McAnally
Kevin Christie 0 – 3 Joe Doheny
Wayne Doyle 3 – 0 John Kehoe
Robert McCrum 1 – 3 Victor O’Gorman
Liam O’Brien 0 – 3 Ross Doyle
Rodney Goggins 3 – 1 Larry Drennan
Quarters, best of 5 150 up, no time limit
Aidan Murray 3 – 0 Brendan Devlin
Anthony O’Flaherty 0 – 3 Joe Doheny
Wayne Doyle 3 – 0 Victor O’Gorman
Ross Doyle 1 – 3 Rodney Goggins
Semi finals, best of 5 150 up, no time limit
Aidan Murray 3 – 0 Joe Doheny
Wayne Doyle 0 – 3 Rodney Goggins
Final, best of 7 150 up, no time limit
Aidan Murray 4 – 2 Rodney Goggins