H2 Engineering East Tyrone Snooker League
It may be only the second week of the newly-sponsored H2 Engineering East Tyrone Snooker League season, but already the fight is on for places in the final of the League Cup competition, which this season is exclusive to first division teams. Just three rounds of matches remain in the curtain-raiser and results indicate that it’s fiercely competitive!
Pot Black, the new name of the St.Patricks A side who were runners-up last season but are defending league champions, are top of the table with five points from eight after a 3-1 win over Gervins A, with McKees A in the basement position with three points safely banked.
The big story was the first appearance in the league of twice Northern Ireland champion Joe Meara – and the Banbridge player experienced a baptism of fire on his debut, the gritty Philip Gervin basking in the receipt of 21 points and producing a fine display of potting in both frames to record a comfortable win.
Ciaran Kelly and Mickey Quinn, Gervins team-mates for many years, found themselves in direct opposition at Burn Road. Kelly won the first on the third last red, thanks mainly to a 36 break but he conceded the second when he missed a difficult final pink and left it hanging. Quinn nursed his early lead in the decider and clinched victory by potting a good long last red.
Paul McGuckin cleared green to pink to win a lengthy tactical opener and added a similar second on the blue for a 2-0 win over Iggy Cullen.
Patrick Wallace made an early 36 break before Darren Gribben snatched the first with an excellent yellow to pink clearance. The Gervins man might well have won 2-0 after he fluked the yellow out of a self-inflicted snooker to go 27 in front on the green. Alas his luck changed again as he went in-off it in escaping a snooker and Wallace cleared up. A similar pattern unfolded in the decider, a yellow to pink scrape-over-the-line Wallace win.
Mitchell A’s Stevie Campbell has arguably been the most polished performer at this early stage of the season, following up his superb 2-0 win over Paul Currie with a highly impressive display and straight frames result against Stevie McParland. Campbell made a 43 in the opening frame in Gortgonis.
Ronan Fay bounced back to outpoint Mark Nugent, the pool star amassing a 65-21 win in the shoot-out frame after sharing two close frames with the Max Keady cueman.
And there was victory for another pool player, Sean Hoey making a winning debut for Keady A as he compiled a 35 on the way to defeating John Hagan in two frames, and Barry Hughes got the other point for the south Armagh visitors when he overcame Colm Kelly in an amazingly lowscoring deciding frame, 36-10, after losing the opener by forty points and winning the second by 43.
Twelve year old Fergal Quinn must rank as the youngest ever winner of a first division match in this league after he assertively clipped the considerable wings of Philip Tener and fired a break of 32 when McVeighs A hosted Mitchells A. But Fergal’s father, Seamus, was unable to complete a family double as he was beaten by Paul Currie, who had breaks of 35 and 31 in a 2-1 success.
Conor Gillespie emerged confidently from a black ball opening frame win over Feargal Keenan and proceeded to win the second by double-scores for the third Killyman point in the home team’s 3-1 triumph, after Jerome McVeigh resumed where he left off last season with his winning form proving costly for Davy McClements, who took the first on the blue but then lost on the black and the brown.
MAX TOP AND TAILS
Two of the best teams in Division Two have had starkly contrasting starts to the league campaign, with Max Keady B sitting proudly atop the table with just one point dropped thus far – whilst their stablemates, Max Keady C, propping up the rest with seven of their eight points having gone astray to date.
That said, both their outings have been against the defending champions and they will surely start to climb the table and may even get into the contention for honours as early as by the time Christmas comes around, should they get the results their talent merits.
Indeed, their second outing suggests they have begun to improve already because, after being whitewashed by their club colleagues on night one, they were beaten 3-1 this time and it could have been even better.
Charlie Connolly, who lost the opener but won the second, then had a crucial bit of luck as he only marginally got the better of Jody Shortt when he fluked the blue and landed plum on the pink in the decider.
John Maguire also got the run of ball in the second when he needed it to get home on the black against John O’Reilly in a repeat of last week’s result, the other B team winner being Louis McGale who sank the pink to fend off Kevin Connolly in the third frame, with Barry Leeson showing no shortage of skill as he claimed the ‘home’ point for the C team by overcoming Darren Corvan, who had beaten Leeson seven days earlier.
Gervins C showed improvement as well in their return clash with the Plater’s Hill B team, Mal O’Neill repeating his victory over Ronan Wilson – who showed tremendous sportsmanship in week one when he called two fouls against himself, a case of a young player demonstrating that it’s not all about winning whatever the cost.
Chris Maye was a straight frames winner over Jason O’Neill, while the C team points were won by the impressive Daniel Nixon at the expense of Joe Gervin and Shea Fee, who made it two from two as he outpointed Shane Dillon in a couple of tight finishes.
McKees B are second in the table after a second successive 3-1 win over McKees C in Gortgonis, with wins again for Marty Doris, Shane Coney and James Conway – and, surprisingly in fact, another defeat for the very useful Colm Doris.
Big brother Marty Doris was a mite too strong for Ali O’Neill, Conway even more convincing in the manner of his straight frames victory over Brendan Morgan, while Coney lost the second frame on the black but won a close third against Raymond McKee. The dreaded whitewash was averted for the C team when former Gervins man Paddy McKillion lost the opener 29-54, won the second on the black and then, ironically, beat Colly Doris 54-29 in the decider.
McVeighs B improved against Mitchells B, securing a draw after losing 3-1 on the opening evening of action. But it was again disappointment for club boss Danny McVeigh as he was beaten twice in eight days by solid left-hander Peter Loughran.
John McArdle made it two from two when he won the big battle of the potters against Sean Nash, Dwayne Mallon made a 25 break in the opening frame of a great game with Kevin Kelly who snatched the second on the black and then went under in a nailbiting third, while Jonny McCann’s seasonal bow was marked by a good victory over Mickey Donnelly.
LEAGUE CUP RESULTS
McKees A 2 Max Keady A 2
Ronan Fay 2 (61, 50, 65) Mark Nugent 1 (39, 67, 21)
Colm Kelly 1 (66, 34, 10) Barry Hughes 2 (26, 77, 36)
John Hagan 0 (20, 33) Sean Hoey 2 (64, 32)
Stevie Campbell 2 (75, 80) Stevie McParland 0 (48, 29)
Breaks: Hughes 58, Campbell 43, Hoey 35, Fay 34
McVeighs A 3 Mitchells A 1
Fergal Quinn 2 (56, 57) Philip Tener 0 (8, 33)
Jerome McVeigh 2 (37, 53, 59) Davy McClements 1 (60, 39, 29)
Conor Gillespie 2 (65, 78) Feargal Keenan 0 (58, 39)
Seamus Quinn 1 (45, 66, 33) Paul Currie 2 (65, 35, 70)
Breaks: Currie 35, 31; F.Quinn 32
Pot Black 3 Gervins A 1
Mickey Quinn 2 (7, 48. 54) Ciaran Kelly 1 (81, 41, 23)
Paul McGuckin 2 (67, 67) Iggy Cullen 0 (53, 41)
Joe Meara 0 (20, 45) Philip Gervin 2 (69, 72)
Patrick Wallace 2 (51, 61, 69) Darren Gribben 1 (60, 59, 51)
Breaks: Kelly 36, Wallace 36
DIVISION TWO RESULTS
Gervins C 2 Gervins B 2
Jason O’Neill 0 (31, 48) Chris Maye 2 (65, 61)
Daniel Nixon 2 (62, 74) Joe Gervin 0 (17, 21)
Ronan Wilson 1 (28, 68, 36) Mal O’Neill 2 (52, 62, 81)
Shea Fee 2 (56, 63) Shane Dillon 0 (41, 56)
Max Keady C 1 Max Keady B 3
Barry Leeson 2 (48, 75) Darren Corvan 0 (15, 36)
John O’Reilly 0 (38, 64) John Maguire 2 (67, 70)
Jody Shortt 1 (60, 44, 40) Charlie Connolly 2 (40, 69, 57)
Kevin Connolly 1 (34, 54, 49) Louis McGale 2 (65, 30, 58)
McKees C 1 McKees B 3
Paddy McKillion 2 (29, 41, 54) Colly Doris 0 (54, 39, 39) 1
Brendan Morgan 0 (29, 21) James Conway 2(70, 83)
Oliver O’Neill 0 (9, 31) Marty Doris 2 (52, 51)
Raymond McKee 1 (43, 54, 46) Shane Coney 2 (73, 40, 59)
Breaks: Conway 30
McVeighs B 2 Mitchells B 2
John McArdle 2 (52, 59) Sean Nash 0 (11, 39)
Dwayne Mallon 2 (59, 54, 60) Kevin Kelly 1 (23, 55, 48)
Danny McVeigh 0 (29, 30) Peter Loughran 2 (55, 60)
Mickey Donnelly 0 (49, 34) Jonny McCann 2 (72, 77)
Pot Black 8 5
Gervins A 8 4
Max Keady A 8 4
McVeighs A 8 4
Mitchells A 8 4
McKees A 8 3
Max Keady B 8 7
McKees B 8 6
Gervins B 8 5
Mitchells B 8 5
McVeighs B 8 3
Gervins C 8 3
McKees C 8 2
Max Keady C 8 1
FIXTURES FOR THURSDAY NOVEMBER 15
Pot Black v McKees A
Max Keady A v McVeighs A
Mitchells A v Gervins A
McVeighs B v Gervins C
McKees C v Mitchells B
Gervins B v Max Keady B
Max Keady C v McKees B