The first SBI Under-21 Ranking Event of the season took place on Sunday 6th November at the Snooker and Billiards Ireland Academy of Excellence in Carlow where nine players participated. At the end of a long day’s play Alex Currid from the Liam Mellows Club in Wexford took the spoils playing exciting snooker and showing the Irish snooker scene that he will be a serious contender for the national title in this grade towards the business end of the season.
The day started off at 10am with one preliminary quarter final game and three quarter finals, the preliminary game saw Ronan McGuirk win a close game against Ben du Bois that lasted nearly three hours. In the same session the three quarter finals saw straight 3 nil wins in each of them with Wexford’s Alex Currid the highlight of the round producing the highest break of the day with 83 as well as adding a 45 beating Dungarvan’s Fionn Nagle.
The remaining quarter final outing witnessed a thrilling encounter that Ronan McGuirk won in a deciding frame against current Under-18 No.1 James O’Connell. The semi finals produced tactical snooker and Lewis Casserly gave eventual winner Alex Currid a torrid time on the green baize and was in the game with a shout at 1 frame each, the third frame was keen and close but Alex potted the important balls to reclaim the lead and gradually Alex got into his rhythm and secured victory despite struggling to find the form he produced in his quarter final success early in the day.
The other semi final was a family affair when Ronan McGuirk beat his brother Ryan by 3 frames to 1 with Ronan winning a one sided first frame including a solid 70 break for good measure. Tactical snooker gradually crept into the game and Ryan claimed a frame but Ronan seemed to have a bit more in his locker and was a lot more sharper when taking his chances as Ryan missed important pots to make a game of it but eventually Ronan slowly claimed a 60 point lead and Ryan conceded soon thereafter that confirmed Ronan would meet Alex in the final at 6pm.
The final itself saw Alex come out of the traps and produce a 23 and 32 break in two visits to draw first blood in the best of 5 frames final by 64-19. Alex quickly won the second frame as Ronan had little opportunities to get any momentum on Alex who took pinks and blacks along with reds in several visits to the table before wrapping up the frame 58-11. In the third frame Alex potted a the first red but missed the black to allow Ronan hit a 30 plus break and then added a 20 break to leave Alex needing snookers but conceded very soon to get mentally ready for the fourth frame.
Just as Ronan looked to be back with a shout all of a sudden Alex found a second wind and turned on the style as he hit a crucial 49 break that produced seven reds and six blacks inside three minutes that ultimately saw him get over the line and he moved 62 points ahead before Ronan potted a red but then soon conceded victory after missing a black ball pot which finished 67-6 and give Alex the first ranking event win of the season and top spot in the Under-21 Ranking table.
Thanks to John Kehoe as Tournament Director and Snooker Billiards Ireland Academy of Excellence as host venue for this junior event. The next Under-21 ranking event of the season will take place again at the Snooker and Billiards Ireland Academy of Excellence in Carlow on the 4th December.
- Ben du Bois 2-3 Ronan McGuirk
- Aaron Smith 0-3 Lewis Casserly
- Alex Currid 3-0 Fionn Nagle
- Dylan Troy 0-3 Ryan McGuirk
- Ronan McGuirk 3-2 James O’ Connell
- Lewis Casserly 1-3 Alex Currid
- Ryan McGuirk 1-3 Ronan McGuirk
- Alex Currid 3-1 Ronan McGuirk
- Alex Currid 45, 83, 49
- Ronan McGuirk 39, 55, 70