Munster Snooker Club Championship Draw Monday Night
WITH just 58 days to go to the Gleneagle Hotel ‘Munster Snooker Club Championships’ next Monday’s meeting at the Silver Springs Hotel where the representatives of the 32 teams involved in the event which starts on the 15th of January will meet at 7pm for a pre-championship meeting, will be an opportunity for clubs to have the chance to tie up any loose ends before the draw which will follow.
The trip to Killarney is certainly a huge highlight in the snooker calendar, especially for Cork sides that make up half the field in this spectacular six province event.
Previous winners of this most prestigious team tile The Crucible and Youghal CYMS will be amongst the main contenders along with the AOH club who have shown that they have the team that can really challenge.
Managing Director of the ‘Gleneagle Hotel Group’ Patrick O’Donoghue was on site this week to meet up with ‘Tournament Director’ Con O’Sullivan and ‘Gleneagle Hotel Events Co-ordinator Andrew Spillane’ to star work in preparation for the 2016 Munster snooker showcase event which comes a week earlier than normal due to Hotel commitments, but everything will be on time and will be ready to get underway on the arrival of the teams to Kerry.
O’Donoghue told Rebel Snooker “We are already looking ahead to the logistics involved to stage these championships and everything is going well. We love January in the Gleneagle Hotel, its snooker time and there will be a terrific atmosphere around as always. I personally love floating around the different venues watching games and meeting people back in Killarney once more. Some people have been coming to us for decades to watch the snooker and enjoy the weekend in Kerry and it is great to catch up with those players and their families and friends again, so with Christmas almost upon us, the Munster and All Ireland snooker championships won’t be long coming and we are certainly looking forward to it”.
Last year at the ‘Munster Championships’ saw the second duel event with sixteen teams competing for the premier prize and sixteen teams battling for the championship prize and it certainly seems to be a resounding success, because the top four teams in each section, plus the host club ‘Killarney Cue Club’ qualify to return to Kerry a week later for the ‘All Ireland Snooker Club Championships’, which has seen some fine Cork performances over the years.
With sixteen Cork teams entered last year, nobody knows more than Con O’Sullivan the importance of the ‘Rebel Cue-men’ to the event, he said “Cork snooker is so strong at moment with regular leagues, top class tournaments at all age levels and so many young talented Irish internationals involved, so naturally there will be much more teams from Cork and I try to accommodate them all and as a tournament we are very grateful to them. With sixteen sides from Cork last year involved in both sections gave the tournament a really fantastic atmosphere and hopefully next Monday night at the Silver Springs we get the same enthusiasm coming out of the Cork snooker league. I am looking forward to the draw on Monday night, it is always exciting and then teams will know who they face in Killarney come the 15th of January”.
The competition will be tough and Cork clubs with the exception of Youghal in 2000 and the Crucible thirteen years later no other current ‘Cork Billiards and Snooker Association’ (CBSA) club have tasted success in Killarney which is something that the Cork teams will want to put right this year. Youghal’s young guns did win the ‘Championship’ section in its innuagural year in 2014 and with some exceptionally talented young players coming through the Cork snooker system hopes are high for another success in this event.
Andrew Spillane is one of the main co-ordinators of the event and does of lot of work behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly at the event, he said “Things are coming along well, we are ready to host the 2016 events, with 15 top class tables from McEvoy Snooker and Pool, the venues are sorted and we recently released our accommodation rates for both weekends and as ever the interest is very strong. We expect the hotel and the riverside apartments plus the ‘Brehon’ to be ready and able to deliver a fantastic weekend and as there is always a very strong social side to the Munster championships and we will be providing entertainment throughout”. For more details check out www.gleneaglehotel.com
Meanwhile Greg Casey and David Cassidy continue to fly the Irish flag in ‘Hurghada City’ in Egypt at the ‘IBSF World Amateur Snooker Championships’.
Five of the original RIBSA Republic of Ireland squad travelled to the troubled area in their pursuit of World glory and of course to represent their communities and their families and despite getting two very difficult groups, bot Cassidy and Casey lived up to the billing with great snooker, which just goes to show the standard of snooker there is at the moment on Leeside.
Followers of snooker events either on the RIBSA or IBSF websites will be able to keep up to date, ‘pot by pot’ in the excellent live scoring section, plus follow the lads in their play schedule and group sections.
Other Irish players are going well too with the excellent Rodney Goggins from Wexford and near neighbour Tom O’Driscoll from Waterford who goes well in the ‘Masters’ section.
Ireland really make a fantastic statement of intent last season with a ‘Men’s European Title’ win in Malta where Robbie Murphy and Michael Judge defeated Tony Drago and Alex Borg in the final and this victory certainly has spurred a huge interest in international snooker from the younger players in the game and there is no doubt that there will be further European and maybe even World titles returning back to these shores.
Already both Adam Fitzgerald and 14 year old Ross Bulman from Youghal CYMS have qualified for the European U21 and U18 championships in Poland in February 2016 and with one more qualifying event at ‘Northwest’ snooker club in Letterkenny on this coming Sunday the 21st of November where there will be the remaining two spots up for grabs in the U18 European championships should tempt some young Cork players to make the long trip North.
Cork snooker will be coming to a fairly intense couple of weeks towards the end of November and the first two weeks in December where there will be two individual events, plus the great ‘Orme Shield’ which will see the Crucible go for five in a row, which is an amazing record in the event.
Next week in Cork Snooker we will have the draw for the 2016 Munster snooker club championship.