ST KEVIN’S cueist Kevin Murray has ended his season in excellent fashion by claiming both the Doubles Championship and the Second Tier League Final. Although the individual excellence of Murray was significant in both achievements he will be grateful for the contribution made from his team mates in both competitions.
Hayes Fuels - Doubles Final
Defending doubles champion Sean Doyle teamed up with Kevin Murray in this years event following the draw at the start of the competition. Doyle appears to be something of an expert in the doubles format as he is yet to suffer defeat and in this years final the Murray and Doyle pairing started off as firm favorites against Martin O’Hagan and Martin McLarnon. The opening frame was a tactical affair and really could have gone either way but it was Murray that potted the vital balls to take the frame. Doyle was proving hard to contain and he dominated the second frame to leave the score 2-0.
With a mountain to climb the two Martin’s battled gamely in the third frame but it wasn’t to be as Doyle knocked in an excellent break of 68 and with Murray playing a mean tactical game they duo claimed the title with a well deserved 3-0 victory.
Hayes Fuels - Second Tier League
With Johnny’s withdrawing from the event fifth place St Kevin’s were awarded a bye into the final were they would face the winners of St Pat’s C and Longfield.
St Pat’s C and Longfield played out a marathon match in Magherafelt that went down to the final frame. Brian Milne Snr as always was Mr Reliable for the Magherafelt side as he took both frames from Seamus Kane. Noel McAllister negated this in the next frame as he recorded a 2-0 victory over ‘the bullet’ Gilmore.
As a result the match hinged on the outcome of Seamus Wright and Philip O’ Hagan, it looked certain that Wright would take the opening frame as he was well in control but somehow managed to lose the frame on the black ball. The second frame followed a similar path with O’Hagan again claiming the last frame on the black and therefore booking a place for his team in the final.
The final was always going to be close as these two teams are evenly matched and so it proved. Philip O’Hagan and Dessie Murray shared frames as did Seamus Kane and Paddy Murray to leave the final being decided between outgoing individual champion Noel McAllister and man of the moment Kevin Murray.
McAllister is a superb match player and he was well involved in both frames but Murray has found his old form in recent weeks and he claimed both frames to ensure that his side defended the title they won last season.
Hayes Fuels - 6 Red Final
The 6 red competition has once again proved to be a major success this season with the players enjoying the short format that allows for some explosive snooker. The so called ‘big guns’ of Mid Ulster Snooker all bit the dust early on in the competition as Jordan Shivers and Mark Doherty reached their first major individual final in the Mid Ulster Snooker circuit. The match was of an excellent standard and the attacking ability of both players ensured that safety would not be high on the agenda.
Mark Doherty took an early lead in the match as he raced into a 3-0 lead but the Justin Bieber wannabe battled back into the match to lead 4-3 but as the finishing line closed in the tension was clearly getting to both players.
Doherty took frame eight to ensure that it would all be decided on the last frame. Both players had chances but Dohertys experience proved significant and he edged out a nervy last frame to claim the title.
Shivers will be disappointed with the final outcome but it is often said that you have to lose one before you can win one and with age on his side there is no doubt that if the Castledawson cueist pursues his snooker career he will have his name on the title in the near future.
High Break Table
Sean Doyle 104, 86, 76 & 68
Brian Milne 85, 71, 69, 68, 64, 55, 53 & 53
Paul McGuckin 85 & 57
Colin Reid 60
Mickey Quinn 59, 58, 53 & 52
Peter Reilly 58 & 50
Darren Gribben 55