The inaugural Under 18 County Championship was held in the Eglinton Snooker Club on Sunday Jan 8th. We had 10 entrants and these were split into 2 groups of 5. All players then had 4 one frame matches to play in a mini round robin. The top 2 in each group would then progress to,the semi-finals and finals (these were to be best of 3 matches)
Group A proved to be a very tight group. Max Kennedy topped the group with 3 wins from 4 and then there was a 3 way tie in second place between Conor Bidwell, Gavin Fallon and Will Shannon who all recorded 2 wins. After head-to-head results were taken into account, Gavin progressed from the group into the semi-finals.
In group B, Ben du Bois was in fine form and he won all of his matches to top the group and he also had a fine run of 40 against Ryan Dowling which was to be the highest break of the day. It was clear he was putting in a lot of work on the practice table. Lorcan O’Curraoin finished in second place winning 3 matches out of 4 and also looks to be a very promising prospect – boasting an impressive highest break of 79.
In the first semi-final, Max was to play Lorcan. Lorcan won the first frame only for Max to turn the match around to win the next 2 frames to progress to the final. In the other half of the draw, Ben beat Gavin 2-0 and it was a fine effort from Gavin who was more familiar with the smaller pool tables.
It was apt really that the 2 juniors who have been regulars with Galway snooker the last couple of seasons were to meet in the final. Max won the first frame only for Ben to step up his game to win the next 2 frames to capture the new junior county title and the perpetual trophy (along with the high break prize).
I would like to thank the sponsors of this event and all the juniors who took part. Hopefully, everyone enjoyed the day and it was great to see a good buzz in the club with all the matches being keenly support by the parents and siblings. The standard of play was great and this will only get better if we give the juniors more opportunities like this. Thanks to Heather also who helped out with the running of the competition. It was much appreciated.