On Saturday the 7th of April in the Nenagh Snooker & Social Club in county Tipperary, Mark Gleeson from Nenagh won the SBI Intermediate Event 4 of the season. In the final Mark beat Donal Foran from Galway in a final frame decider in a very good match 3-2.
Mark already had good wins in the tournament against his brother, Noel and against fellow Institute player, Patsy Farrell (who had a 64 break in the tournament). In the semi-final Mark came up against an in-form Benny O’Brien. In his quarter final against Paul Keighery, Benny knocked in an outstanding century of 116 – the high break of the tournament.
Benny got off to a great start in the semi with a half century, only for Mark to respond with one of his own. Mark then cleared from brown to pink to seize the first frame. He extended that to two frames before Benny won the third. But Mark made sure of a final place by winning the fourth frame.
In the other half, Alan O’Connor was looking sharp after good final frame wins over Sean King and Paul McGrane. His opponent Donal Foran had already knocked out the No.1 seed, Jonathan Grant in the quarters. Alan outscored Donal to convincingly take the first frame. The second however was closer, with Donal forcing a respotted black, which he won. A 58 break in the next then gave Donal the lead, before Alan forced a decider. However, Donal took control for a place in the final.
The final began with Donal dominating play as he won the opening frame. Mark then showed great form to take the second convincingly. The third however was a cagey affair going down to the final colours. Donal potted the frame ball blue, only to go in-off. There was still some safety play left but Mark managed to snatch the frame on the black. Donal responded well to bring the match to a final frame decider. Mark however, showed his form with breaks of 40 and 39 to win the tournament.
Congratulations to Mark, for whom this home win meant a lot. He spoke afterwards, ‘Absolutely delighted to win my first SBI tournament in my home club, the tables and conditions were great on the day. Unlucky to Donal – it was a very close final, and thanks to Steven for being the TD/ref on the day.’
Everything was indeed excellent at the host club, New Institute in Nenagh. The excellence of the conditions was only matched with the genuine welcome from everyone at the club.