The third tournament of the Senior Billiards series was played at the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club, Carlow on Sunday, 18th of December 2016, the format being 90 minutes timed (all rounds). Reigning billiards double champion, and newly appointed All-Ireland billiards champion, Wayne Doyle, by winning the final by the closest margin we’ve seen for a long time, regained his position at the top of the season’s rankings.
The semi finalists in the top half of the draw were Joe Doheny (Borris-in-Ossory) and Aidan Murray (Ivy Rooms), Joe having had a good win in a closely contested quarter final against ex snooker and billiards double champion Eugene Hughes (Baltinglass), while Aidan had a solid win in his quarter final, turning the tables on John Kehoe (Enniscorthy) who had knocked him out in the opening stages of the October event.
The semi finalists in the bottom half of the draw were Larry Drennan (Kilkenny Shed) and Wayne Doyle (Q Club, Wicklow), Wayne having had a convincing win in his quarter final against Brendan Devlin (Celbridge), scoring a very useful 120 break in the process while Larry had an equally good quarter final win against Robert McCrum (Portmarnock), also scoring a century break during his match.
The final got off to a slow start, neither player reaching 100 points on the board until well over thirty minutes into the game, each matching the other in scores with never more than 20 points between them. At about the half way point on the clock, Wayne got the balls to the top and with the break at 112, lost top of the table position. In the bout of open play that ensued, the drop cannon he was playing for looked a bit thin. Opting to play a forcer in the hope of gaining better drop position, an unfortunate (and perhaps all too familiar) mid-table collision left him facing a double baulk, ending a very promising break at 120. The 110 point buffer he had thus amassed was short lived, however, when Aidan responded with a 78, bringing the game back within striking distance. In the closing stages, with just over four minutes on the clock and 48 points behind, Aidan settled in to a sequence of red ball and open play. When the break stood at 44 and with the balls awkwardly placed, he pulled off a beautifully played two cushion cannon, leaving himself in position for a further scoring stroke. However, even before he could walk round to take his next shot, the bell went, leaving him still 2 points behind at the finish. It was a much relieved Wayne who gladly became the tournament winner on the day.
The next Senior Billiards round of the season takes place at Celbridge Snooker Club on Sunday, 8th January 2017. The format will be open draw 3 x 150. Entries will be accepted before 10.30am on the morning of the event.
As always, our thanks are due to Marian Leacy for the excellent playing facilities and to all at the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club for their help on the day.
To Billiards players everywhere, and indeed to all supporters and readers, on behalf of RIBSA Billiards players, we wish one and all a Very Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year.
Results (all matches 90 minutes timed):
Eugene Hughes 301 -v- 314 Joe Doheny
Aidan Murray (Brk: 63, 65) 315 -v- 182 John Kehoe
Robert McCrum 226 -v- 419 Larry Drennan (Brk: 102, 54)
Brendan Devlin 249 -v- 425 Wayne Doyle (Brk: 120, 58)
Joe Doheny 174 -v- 406 Aidan Murray (Brk: 96)
Larry Drennan 226 -v- 527 Wayne Doyle (Brk: 94)
Aidan Murray (Brk: 78, 46unf) 339 -v- 341 Wayne Doyle (Brk: 120)