The National Billiards Championships, preliminary rounds down to the last two, took place at Celbridge Snooker Club on Sunday, 26th March 2017. A total of 10 players contested the event, which meant that the top four seeded players were awarded byes into the quarter finals.
First round Eliminations were Brendan Devlin (Celbridge), after a tough match that went the full distance, John Kehoe (Enniscorthy) coming back from 2-0 down to take the game 3-2 and Joe Doheny (Borris-in-Ossory), bowing out 3-1 to a quick scoring Phil Martin (Celbridge).
In the quarter finals the top two seeds, Wayne Doyle (Q-Club Wicklow) and Aidan Murray (Ivy Rooms) had convincing wins over Robert McCrum (Portmarnock) and John Kehoe (Enniscorthy) respectively. By contrast, the other two quarter finals were closely contested tussles, each resulting in 3-1 wins by Larry Drennan (Kilkenny) and Eugene Hughes (Baltinglass) over Aonghus McAnally (Portmarnock) and Phil Martin (Celbridge) respectively.
In the first of the semi finals, Kilkenny Veteran Larry Drennan took out the top seed Wayne Doyle in a match that went all the distance, Larry quickly taking the first two games by sizeable margins only to have Wayne respond, taking the next two in more closely scored games. In the deciding game, for a place in the final to be played at the RIBSA National Championships in May, Larry built up a slender 30 point lead, which he maintained to the finish. In the other semi final, between the No 2 and No 3 seeds Aidan Murray and Eugene Hughes, the first two games were shared without significant margins in scores. In the next two games however, Aidan quickly established the upper hand, finishing both games with unfinished 50 plus breaks.
Congratulations and best of luck to Larry and Aidan who won through to their places in the Final to be played as part of the RIBSA Finals weekend in May.
As always, our thanks to Phil Martin and the staff at Celbridge Snooker Club for the excellent playing conditions and for their help on the day.
Report by Brendan Devlin
Pre-Quarters, best of five 150up
Phil Martin (Brk: 87, 59, 68) 106, 150,150, 150 -v- 150, 106, 65, 85 Joe Doheny
John Kehoe 108, 98, 150, 150, 150 -v- 150, 150, 139, 92, 101 Brendan Devlin
Quarters, best of five 150up
Wayne Doyle (Brk: 62, 61) 150, 150, 150 -v- 49, 96, 87 Robert McCrum
Aonghus McAnally 150, 110, 35, 105 -v- 100, 150, 150, 150 Larry Drennan (Brk: 54, 58)
Eugene Hughes (Brk: 56) 150, 80, 150, 150 -v- 140, 150, 90, 146 Phil Martin
John Kehoe 91, 84, 53 -v- 150, 150, 150 Aidan Murray (Brk: 50Unf, 72Unf, 62)
Semi-Finals, best of five 150up
Wayne Doyle 39, 78, 150, 150, 116 -v- 150, 150, 135, 116, 150 Larry Drennan
Eugene Hughes (Brk: 52, 53) 125, 150, 79, 44 -v- 150, 109, 150, 150 Aidan Murray (Brk: 74, 54Unf, 52Unf)
Final, best of seven 150up, 7th May 2017
Larry Drennan -v- Aidan Murray