The first tournament of the Senior Billiards series was played at The Ivy Rooms Snooker Club, Carlow on Sunday, 18th of September 2016, the format being best of three games of 150up. Eugene Hughes (Baltinglass) opened his season in emphatic style, taking successive victories over the No3, No2 and No1 players in the current rankings.
Early round eliminations were last seasons No3 ranked player John Kehoe (Enniscorthy) and Dun Laoghaire brothers Ross and Gavin Doyle.
The semi finalists in the top half of the draw were Wayne Doyle (Q Club, Wicklow) and Robert McCrum (Portmarnock), Wayne having had a solid 2-0 win in the quarter finals over Joe Doheny (Borris-in-Ossory) while Robert had an equally impressive 2-0 win over Celbridge player and regular practice partner Brendan Devlin. In the semi final, Wayne found the form that brought him to so many victories last season, finishing his match in record time scoring breaks of 60 and the day’s highest of 101 in the process.
The semi finalists in the bottom half of the draw were Larry Drennan (Ivy Rooms) and Eugene Hughes (Baltinglass), Larry having a relatively unchallenged 2-0 quarter final win over Gavin Farrell (Dun Laoghaire) while Eugene emerged the winner of a close tussle in his quarter final against Aidan Murray (Wicklow). In the semi final, Larry was first to show, taking the first game by almost double scores. As though jolted into action by his first game defeat, Eugene reacted by finishing out the second game before Larry got a chance to get going and keeping up this momentum was able to take the deciding game relatively unchallenged by a tiring Larry.
The final turned out to be quite a dogged tussle, neither Wayne nor Eugene finding anything like top form, each breaking down surprisingly on simple (but key) shots. When Wayne took the first game by 150-100, and then led the second game for most of the way, it looked likely that we could have another 2-0 result. Showing the sort of resolve which brought him so much success in his professional days, Eugene snatched the second as Wayne failed in several attempts to score the 9 points he needed for game and match. Perhaps encouraged by rescuing himself from defeat, Eugene played the better of the two in the deciding game to take victory in the opening event of the new season.
To support the European Week of Sport, RIBSA gave free entry into the tournament. The billiard players appreciated the gesture and thanked RIBSA for providing a prize fund commensurate with the number of entries.
The next Senior Billiards round of the season takes place at Celbridge Snooker Club, on Sunday, 2nd October 2016. The format will be seeded draw 400up, 90 minute time limit. Entries will be accepted before 10.30am on the morning of the event.
As always, our thanks are due to Marian Leacy for the excellent playing facilities and to all at the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club for their help on the day.
Results (all matches best of 3 x 150up):
Ross Doyle 150, 75, 82 -v- 127, 150, 150 Robert McCrum
John Kehoe 94, 74 -v- 150, 150 Eugene Hughes
Aidan Murray 150, 150 -v- 46, 99 Gavin Doyle
Wayne Doyle (Brk: 60) 150, 150 -v- 39, 140 Joe Doheny
Brendan Devlin 118, 144 -v- 150, 150 Robert McCrum
Gavin Farrell 95, 105 -v- 150, 150 Larry Drennan
Eugene Hughes (Brk: 98) 150, 150 -v- 139, 136 Aidan Murray
Wayne Doyle (Brk: 60, 101) 150, 150 -v- 33, 41 Robert McCrum
Larry Drennan 150, 38, 95 -v- 87, 150, 150 Eugene Hughes
Wayne Doyle 150, 141, 91 -v- 100, 150, 150 Eugene Hughes
Report by Brendan Devlin