Shooters are Orme Shield Champions. – By Derek Kiely | Pics: YOL
SHOOTERS are back with a bang with a huge win in what many snooker aficionados in Cork consider to be the most important tournament of the year the ‘Orme Shield’.
The Blackpool Club have just re-opened their doors and one of the newest items to be put on show will be the highly prized Orme Shield after a simply scintillating weekend of top class snooker in the most atmospheric club in the land at the ‘Market House’ the home of Youghal CYMS.
The brilliantly run event began last Thursday night and finished last Sunday evening when the Shooters ‘A’ side defeated the Youghal CYMS ‘B’ side in a nail biting final.
The three person team event has been around for over half a century or more and in all its different formats down through the years in recent decades the three person team event has taken an even higher place in the hearts of all who play the game in Cork.
Shooters will host the ‘Shooters Cork Open’ on Saturday the 28th of April and with the likes of Irish number one Rodney Goggins from Wexford who is just one of many top players in the country ready to make the trip to Leeside it will definitely be one of the top snooker events on the Irish snooker calendar and one man playing out of the Blackpool venue is definitely the man to beat at the moment.
Gary Bracken is already the ‘Cork Close’ champion and had a 133 clearance in the Orme Shield final last Sunday and he along with many other talented rebel cue men will certainly have a say in the outcome of the first Cork Open snooker championship since the 1980′s.
The weekend in Youghal will again prove the point that this is the only venue where the Orme Shield can be played. The condition of the tables, complimented by all who played over the four days, the large crowds of spectators that filled the room for all the matches along with that very special atmosphere that brings out the very best in all who play at the venue.
The very best certainly can be attributed to the runners up of this years Orme Shield the Youghal team of Derek Aherne, Ger Kelly and Christopher Cooney who sensationally saw off last years winners the Crucible in some style to make it through to the final on Sunday.
This was a significant scalp and goes to show you that The standard of play in Cork is high and nobody should ever take anyone else for granted ever!
The semi finals were certainly different, Youghal breezed past the Crucible, but the other semi final between Youghal CYMS ‘A’ and Shooters ‘A’ was extremely tense. Youghal looked all but out when Brendan Cooney fought his way back to force a re-spotted black in the deciding frame, David Forde of Shooters was to pot the black denying the host club to have an all Youghal final.
The final was fascinating with Derek Aherne up against Tomas Grainey, David Forde playing Ger Kelly and Gary Bracken up against Christopher Cooney.
Aherne v Grainey: Frame 1, Solid performance from the Youghal man as Aherne leaves Grainey needing snookers on the colours. Frame two, was another fine performance from Aherne who closed the frame out to need just one more frame with a great pot on the brown. Frame 3, Aherne finished off his match after a series of strange snooker escapes towards the end, Youghal were one match up and Aherne never looked in any danger at all.
Cooney v Bracken: Frame 1, after Bracken knocks in a 52 break, Christopher Cooney shows maturity beyond his years and comes back to win the opener. Frame 2, saw something really special from the Cork Close champion as he knocks in a wonderful top competition clearance of 133 to a standing ovation. Frame 3, was a great frame, Cooney rattles the pink into the jaws of the green pocket, but Bracken clears to take the frame. Frame 3, Bracken is comfortable in this frame and Cooney concedes the frame and the match is tied at one all.
Kelly v Forde: Frame 1, Excellent first frame for the Youghal man as Forde concedes at the green ball. Frame 2, Forde comes back strong with impressive play leaving Kelly in need of snookers so the Youghal man concedes the frame. Frame 3, Forde is on fire and knocks in a century break to take the lead. Frame 4, Kelly shows tremendous courage and wins the frame with at the Brown ball. Frame 5, Forde is off to a great start with a significant early lead, but Kelly is still in with a chance, but Forde pots the crucial balls to win the match and the Orme Shield for the Shooters ‘A’ side.
Shooters owner John Paul Crowley said afterwards “I am thrilled with the win, it really is great to be back and doing so well. I know the significance of winning this trophy and it will hang proudly on our wall at ‘Shooters’. We are proud to have won such a prestigious event and I want to compliment Brendan Cooney and everyone at the Youghal CYMS for hosting and outstanding Orme Shield championships”.
Finally for this week in Billiards, congratulations to Lloyd Myers of the AOH club who last Sunday received his Republic of Ireland International waist coat for the RIBSA Senior Billiards team to play Northern Ireland this month and also congratulations to Derek O’Neill of Douglas who made it to the last eight in the ‘National Billiards Championships’ in Carlow last Sunday.
THE CRUCIBLE SNOOKER CLUB wiped away the disappointment of losing the Cork Snooker League final by winning the prestigious Orme Shield last weekend ( March 26th/27th 2011) in their first outright team victory which was well overdue.
The last major Cork snooker event of the year was played at Youghal CYMS last weekend where the famous Orme Shield was played out for the first time in over a decade.
Youghal CYMS the holders of the Orme Shield which they won in the 147 Club in Blackpool have held the famous trophy on their wall ever since, due to the fact that it hadn’t been played for since.
The re-introduction of the tournament coincides with the new found appetite for the game in Cork City and County on the year the Cork Snooker League resumed, so the standard was high, the facilities and the atmosphere superb it was a feast of great snooker in this three person team event.
The action started last Saturday morning where Douglas 1 beat Youghal 4, the AOH 1 side beat their club mates the AOH 2, Youghal 1 beat Douglas 3, Shooters 1 beat Crucible 3, Youghal 3 beat Youghal 5 and Crucible 1 beat Youghal 2, Shooters 2 and Douglas 2 got walkovers from Crucible 2 and Fermoy into the quarter finals.
The quarter finals were played Saturday morning and victories for AOH 1, Youghal 1, Shooters 1 and the Crucible 1, meant that the top four sides in Cork would meet in the semi finals.
Youghal CYMS played the AOH at 1pm last Sunday and it was a game that went on for quite a bit, eventually the home side came out on top, with wins for Adrian Landers and Derek Aherne over Timmy Murphy and Llyod Myers respectively, with Brendan Cooney of Youghal and Shane O’Mahony locked at one frame each.
The Crucible saw off Shooters in the other semi final extracting some revenge for the league defeat to the Blackpool based club in the Cork Snooker League final a few weeks ago, setting up a mouth watering final.
The final was to prove to be a classic as the Crucibles David Cassidy sunk the black ball to defeat Adrian Landers 3-2, Ryan Cronin won his match 3-1 against Youghal’s Derek Aherne and Greg Casey was 2- 1 up against Brendan Cooney.
Greg Casey told Evening Echo Sport “This is a huge win for us and it’s the first team event we have won and believe you me not many sides could come to Youghal CYMS and beat them in their own club, because they are a very good and experienced team and we are thrilled to win the Orme Shield. The facilities here in Youghal are first class, the tables were excellent and it’s not even like leaving home, because you are treated so well and looked after brilliantly. It’s great to see snooker back in Cork and the re-introduction of the Cork Snooker League, because it has everyone playing competitive snooker all the time which is great for the game and when you add in Killarney along with the Cork Close, snooker is buzzing in Cork and it will only get better”
Casey along with David Cassidy will be travelling to Malta this coming Friday to compete in the first ever ‘European under 21 Snooker Championships’ and with players like Vincent Muldoon from Galway and Jason Devaney from Ballina in Co. Mayo the Republic of Ireland snooker team looks very healthy indeed.
The senior and masters international teams flew out from Dublin Airport at 7am this morning to Malta as their competitions in the European Championships begin tomorrow morning.
The compliments were flying around the rooms of the Youghal CYMS last weekend and rightly so as everything was in perfect order throughout and there is no better venue for a tournament like the Orme Shield than Youghal CYMS, it has a special atmosphere that just reeks of snooker and all of which is good in the game.
Youghal CYMS President Brendan Cooney said “It was a great weekend and I want to thank everyone that came and played or watched over the two days, I would like to thank the Cork Billiards and Snooker Association to let us in Youghal CYMS host the event and I want to pay a special thanks to the referee’s over the weekend and of course I want to congratulate the Crucible Snooker Club on their victory, they are a super bunch of lads and well done to them”.
In Billiards news there is talk that there will be a Cork Billiards tournament organised soon. Billiards is a fantastic game, especially for snooker players,it’s a game of extreme skill and crucial positional play, so it will be good to see the plain and spot on the green baize in Cork again soon.
Orme Shield Results
Saturday the 26th of March
Douglas 1 bt Youghal CYMS 4
AOH 1 bt AOH 2
Youghal CYMS 1 bt Douglas 3
Shooters 1 bt Crucible 3
Youghal CYMS 3 bt Youghal CYMS 5
Crucible 1 bt Youghal CYMS 2
Shooters 2 and Douglas 2 were awarded walkovers.
AOH 1 bt Douglas 1
Youghal CYMS 1 bt Shooters 2
Shooters 1 bt Douglas 2
Crucible 1 bt Youghal CYMS 3
Sunday the 27th of March
Youghal CYMS 1 bt AOH 1
Crucible 1 bt Shooters 1
The Crucible bt Youghal CYMS 1