Celbridge Snooker Club was the venue for the fourth SBI Billiards Ranking Event of the season took place on Sunday 19th February and the format was the best of 3x150s that saw top seed Aidan Murray win his third ranking event of four this season against Jason Dowling. Six of the seven players took part as Larry Drennan gave Joe Doheny a walkover in the quarter finals.
Aidan had a bye into the semi-finals so there was only two quarter final matches to be played. John Kehoe and Jason Dowling had convincing wins over Robert McCrum and Brendan Devlin respectively to meet each other in the semi final.
Both players played really well but it was Jason who had more clear cut chances and took them to press home his advantage whereas John didn’t the run of the balls despite playing good billiards at certain spells of the game. Jason however ultimately booked his place for another showdown with Aidan Murray as they previously encountered one another in the last ranking event in the AOH club in Cork last November that Aidan won. Aidan himself won his semi final against Joe Doheny in a long and closely fought contest which Aidan edged the first game and kicked on to take his victory and meet Jason in the final scheduled for 3pm
The game started slow as both players looked to deliver the first crucial blow, both men were neck and neck for the first 25 minutes in the first game but true to form Aidan compiled a critical 67 break before taking the first game a few minutes later to grow in confidence and eager to finish the final with Jason on the back foot, but Jason kept fighting and established a 30 point lead just 10 minutes into the second game to give himself a glimmer of hope but as always Aidan didn’t panic and delivered an important break of 56 to make it virtually impossible for Jason to turn things around and a few visits later to the table Aidan wrapped up the win and firmly maintain his position at the top of the SBI billiards rankings.
Hard luck to Jason who has now appeared in two ranking event finals in a row and is improving in each tournament and will be a serious contender for honours in the future. Aidan will be looking to retain his National Senior Billiards Long-up Championship crown in April and as reigning champion will play in the All Ireland final against new Northern Ireland champion Christian Kirk on the 21st April that takes place in Celbridge Snooker Club. Snooker and Billiards Ireland wishes Aidan the very best of luck in his quest to become All Ireland champion.
Thanks to Celbridge Snooker Club and John Kehoe as Tournament Director on another great tournament. The next billiards event is the National Billiards Short Format Championship that will take place in the Snooker and Billiards Ireland Academy of Excellence in Carlow on Sunday 5th March.