Snooker came to Youghal Co. Cork last weekend as the town hosted the 2013 International Challenge Cup (ICC).
It is the first time that a tournament of this nature had been held in the South of Ireland and the venue at Youghal CYMS received overwhelming praise from all three Nation’s, the Republic of Ireland, France and Northern Ireland and there was a fantastic local element to proceedings as five Youghal men were part of the Republic of Ireland team and there performances were excellent over the two days of this unique tournament.
Play got underway in the 2013 ICC at two o’clock last Friday afternoon in Youghal and in the first matches the Republic of Ireland took to the tables against France, with local man Brendan Cooney, the Crucibles Greg Casey, Wexford’s Rodney Goggins and Dublin’s Stephen Merrigan.
Following these opening matches all play continued through the evening on a roll on roll off system and play continued throughout Friday and Saturday until its conclusion at 8pm on Saturday evening when the Republic of Ireland were significantly ahead by 6pm and could not be caught.
Present at the tournament was the President of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) Jim Lacey and Chairman of the European Billiards and Snooker Association (EBSA) Maxime Cassis.
Mr Cassis said “Youghal CYMS is a wonderful venue and the people have been exceptional and on behalf of the European Billiards and Snooker Association I want to congratulate Brendan Cooney and his fellow organisers for providing a fantastic tournament and also congratulate the Republic of Ireland team who were deserved winners of this year’s tournament”.
There were some standout performances from the Irish team. Youghal’s Aaron Tobin Won the high break prize for his 131 clearance on Friday and the more established Men’s Senior stars such as Michael Judge, Rodney Goggins and Robert Murphy put in sparkling performances over the two day event.
The ICC will now stay in Ireland for another 12 months and it looks likely that the tournament may head to Wales next year.
President of Youghal CYMS Brendan Cooney said “It has been a huge honour for our Society to host this event. It is great that Patrick Wallace and the Northern Ireland side came to our town this weekend and that Maxime (Cassis) and the French Federation of Billiards and Snooker have competed in our rooms and I can assure everyone that if this tournament comes to Ireland again we fully intend to bid to hold it again. I want to thank everyone involved in particular everyone who helped out over the many weeks leading up to the ICC and those who helped out over the course of the tournament”.
This week see’s the IBSF World team and ‘6 Reds’ Championships in the Ivy Rooms in Carlow where many of the Republic of Ireland team who competed in the ICC are competing in Carlow for their Country and with the ICC victory under their belt, the boys in green should be in great shape going into the World Championships.