By Derek Kiely
INTERNATIONAL Snooker is on its way to Youghal this coming weekend as the ‘International Challenge Cup 2013’(IIC Cup) will be played over Friday the 27th and Saturday the 28th of September in the ‘Market House’ the home of Youghal CYMS.
The tournament which is just in its second year will feature the holders the Republic of Ireland, France and Northern Ireland and over the two days there will be a minimum of 80 matches played including ‘Men’s Senior’ ‘Juniors’ and ‘Masters’ (Over 40) on four pristine tables in a venue that is dripping with history and tradition for the game of snooker.
The Republic of Ireland travelled to Lille in France last year to lift the very first ICC Cup when they defeated France in the final and the boys in green will not give this one up easily and with a big Cork contingent involved in the Republic of Ireland team, this will be a huge event for the Cork players playing over the weekend.
President of Youghal CYMS Brendan Cooney said “Play begins at 12.45pm this Friday where eight players will take to the tables. There is a point awarded for each frame won and the country with the most accumulated points will win the cup. We are extremely proud to host the event and we will welcome everyone to the CYMS this weekend with open arms and it will be great to see this event in Ireland for the very first time played in our club and our town. The members have been great as always and I hope that the younger lads at the club will enjoy this unique occasion and may the best country win”.
The East Cork seaside town certainly is buzzing ahead of the tournament and the Mayor of Youghal Town Council Mr Sammy Revins said “Events like this are very important to our town, it brings in top class international people to Youghal and the CYMS are an excellent organisation that do great work with the young people all year around and in the current climate it is great to see events like the International Challenge Cup here in Youghal. Youghal is fighting back in my opinion and when you have international sporting events coming here, that is great for the town. Youghal CYMS must take tremendous credit and it is yet another step in the right direction for Youghal CYMS club and the sport”.
The Republic of Irelands biggest threat this weekend could come from the boys from Northern Ireland who are sending down a very strong side including the likes of former professional Patrick Wallace, but with the World Team and World ‘6 Red’s’ starting one day after the ICC Cup in Carlow both France and Northern Ireland will have strong players throughout their squads.
There will be top class experienced referees in place too during the event and the tables at Youghal CYMS are now newly covered and will be in mint condition for play.
The current President of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) is Carlow based Jim Lacey who also happens to be the Chairman of the national governing body for the sport RIBSA. Jim said “The IBSF, RIBSA and the European Billiards and Snooker Association (EBSA) are absolutely delighted to be associated with this tournament, it is great for the game and having an international tournament in Ireland is always a very important occasion for our sport and we congratulate everyone involved in taking the initiative to bring an event here to Ireland and we welcome anyone from anywhere in the country to show such initiatives as brining international snooker to our shores and we would be delighted to hear more ideas for further international matches. Congratulation to everyone involved, especially Brendan Cooney and his colleagues at Youghal CYMS”.
Also present in Youghal at the weekend will be the current EBSA Chairman Maxime Cassis and the assistant tournament director Eddie Ingle.
Play gets underway at 12.45pm on Friday the 27th of September and matches will use the roll-on, roll-off system to the close of play on Friday evening.
Play will resume on Saturday morning until the close of play when the presentations will be made and then the Youghal CYMS Club Sponsors, the Quays Bar will host a social evening including Traditional Irish Music to conclude the tournament.
There will be reports and constant updated throughout the weekend on www.ribsa.ieor on the International Challenge Cup Facebook page throughout the two days.
The Republic of Ireland Team for the ICC Cup:
Michael Judge, Monkstown (Dublin)
Rodney Goggins, CYMS Wexford
Robert Murphy, Monkstown (Dublin)
Greg Casey, The Crucible (Cork)
Masters (Over 40)
Frank Sarsfield, Cue Club Killarney (Kerry)
Stephen Merrigan, Roadstone (Dublin)
Brendan Thomas (Dublin)
Brendan Cooney, Youghal CYMS (Cork)
Aaron Tobin, Youghal CYMS (Cork)
Christopher Cooney, Youghal CYMS (Cork)
Lee Walsh, Youghal CYMS (Cork)
Kenny Wight, Youghal CYMS (Cork)