THE Cookstown Snooker Open Individual has eventually reached the grand final. This was played in the spacious Snooker Club of Pot Black Cookstown who also sponsored this tournament.
The final was between 7 times winner of the Cookstown Open Individual Micky Quinn who first won it in 1984 and Paul McGuckin who won it in 1997 and 2009 and with it being the best of nine frames a top referee was called upon to oversee all decisions.
Both players were dressed to perfection as Micky started with a 54 break which came about to a poor safety shot. Paul made amends with a brilliant 45 break but it could been more except he ran out of position on the yellow. After a well controlled bout of safety Micky potted the pink to take the first frame.
Once again Micky started with a 40 break and Paul had to call on all of his experience to claw his way back. Paul potted the final red followed by an outstanding black with all the remaining colours up for grabs. After potting up to the blue he suddenly missed the blue and unfortunately he left it over the middle pocket. Micky potted the blue and pink to go 2-0 ahead.
In the third Micky had 49 which was good enough to go 3-0 up. Paul knew that he was under pressure but he dug deep with some impressive potted and safety forcing Micky to concede as they approached the colours.
The fifth got of to a slow start but Micky threw in a modest break of 26 to stay in a good position. With one red left Paul got a brilliant snooker which Micky failed to hit. The referee called a foul and a miss and after it was replaced Micky played it perfect leaving everything safe. After a bad safety shot from Paul, Micky cleared with a 26 to take 4-1 lead. In the next Paul had a few small breaks to claw a frame back to make it 4-2.
In the seventh frame like most frames, Micky got of to a great start by getting a 41 break and then leaving Paul snookered when he ran out of position, Paul got out of the snooker but left Micky in to hit another 25 break to secure this season’s Open Individual with the final score line 5-2.
The high break prize went to John Hagan who got a 87 in the first round against Seamus Quinn.
A special mention must be paid to the referee, Thomas McCrea who expertly controlled the match in a very professional manner. Now that the Open Individual is brought to an end, we all hope that next season will be bigger and better which will be hard to do.