TWO Rebel cue-men Ryan Cronin and David Cassidy will fly the Irish flag in China this week as they take part in the 2012 ‘World under 21 amateur snooker championships’ in Wuxi, Jiangsu.
Cronin and Cassidy are members of the Crucible snooker club and are prominent Republic of Ireland internationals at this stage and when they break off in their matches in the group stages the whole of Cork will be glued to the IBSF website or Facebook to see how they progress.
Cronin had a sensational season this year, finishing top of the rankings at under 19 level and second in the National under 21 rankings. David Cassidy is also a regular International and has prepared very well for the World championship with another solid season here in Ireland and the pair were members of the ‘Cork Billiards and Snooker Association’ Cork league team representing the Crucible to an undefeated and championship winning season.
Ryan Cronin told Evening Echo Sport “I have been practicing three to four hours a day over the last five weeks and even though I have been practicing hard I am looking forward to match snooker”.
Cronin made a maximum 147 in practice this week, so there is no doubt, but his cueing fine ahead of the championships and after reaching the last 32 of the European snooker championships along with Cassidy in Sofia in Bulgaria last March, both players will be brimming with confidence.
The championships themselves break off on this coming Saturday the 14th and continue through to the 22nd of July, with 64 top class international amateurs broken up into eight groups of eight players with four to qualify for the last 32 knockout stages. Wuxi, Jiangsu was the venue for the recent China Open snooker championships which was won by Ricky Walden and with the profile of snooker in China reaching incredible levels, this event will be a huge high profile turnament for all the players and in particular for our two Cork players who will want to turn a few heads on the way.
Cronin added “We are going out to win these championships there is nobody going out there with any other intention and with the backing of our families and friends we will give it everything we have. Obviously it is a long way away, but with David and our other international Karl Fitzpatrick from Carlow with us we will support each other all the way”.
The players will leave from Dublin to Amsterdam on Thursday morning and then connect to a flight direct to Shanghai, then travel two further hours by coach to Wuxi, Jiangsu to complete a sixteen hour journey.
David Cassidy said “It’s very expensive to get there and to stay and play, but we received brilliant support from our families and friends and last Sunday night we had a great fundraiser at the Anglers Sports Lounge on Shandon Street and we want to thank everyone who came along to help us”.
Cronin and Cassidy’s group opponents:
Ali Gharahgozlou (IRI)
Nathanaël Beckrich (FRA)
Mostafa Gebaly (EGY)
Kurt Dunham (AUS)
Dominik Scherübl (AUT)
Noppon Saengkham (THA)
David Cassidy (IRL)
Lu Haotian (CHN)
Wan Nansen Sin Man (HKG)
Zhou Yuelong (CHN)
Ryan Thomerson (AUS)
Walid Salem (EGY)
Nicolas Mortreux (FRA)
Ross Muir (SCT)
Siyavosh Mozayani (IRI)
Ali Elnaili (LBA)
Ryan Cronin (IRL)