MONDAY night marked the return to action in the Hayes Fuels Mid Ulster League after a two week break for the Christmas holidays. The first week of action in 2012 made no difference to the league table as for the first time in Mid Ulster league history every game finished level.
League leaders Pot Black travelled to basement side St Pat’s C and got a major scare as the Tyrone outfit was rather fortunate to get a share of the spoils. Brendan ‘the bullet’ Gilmore almost claimed an unlikely point as he had his opponent needing a snooker in the second frame on the pink. His opponent got the snooker required and went on to claim the second frame after clinching the opening frame on the pink. St Pat’s C was not phased by the set back and soon leveled matters when Brian Milne Snr defeated Paul McGuckin.
The Cookstown cueist will be rather disappointed by this defeat as he has been on a good run of results lately. Peter Reilly dropped only his second point of the season as he came up against Damien Craig. Craig will be a major loss to the Magherafelt men if he decides to pursue his stand up dream following a recent gig in Castledawson.
Former champions St Pat’s A travelled to the Loup to take on St Kevin’s and had to fight back to claim a share of the points. The home side got off to the perfect start as Brian Milne suffered a rare defeat as he narrowly failed to claw back the points deficit against Jordan Shivers. Colin Reid took the next two frames against an out of sorts Kevin Murray to level matters. John Paul Donaghys practice regime is starting to show its benefits as he drew 1-1 each against the ever reliable Desmond Murray.
St Pat’s B travelled to Swatragh and will be reasonably satisfied to come away with a draw. Swatragh has proven to be a difficult place to go to this season and the newcomers continue to chase leaders Pot Black. Mark Doherty shared the opening frames with the returning Seamus McAtamney and when the reliable Seamus Lagan lost to Enda McCusker things were looking bleak for the Swatragh men. Sean Doyle came up against Martin McLarnon in the last match and ran into a brick wall as the Swatragh man bombarded his opponent with a number of small breaks to run out a comfortable winner.
Johnny’s took on Longfield in the final match and every game ended 1-1 as Gerry Mc Auley shared with Seamus Kane. Frankie Trolan shared with Noel Mc Allister and Dermot Mc Auley shared with Philip O’ Hagan.
The 6 red competition took place in St Patrick’s, Magherafelt prior to the Christmas break and proved to be a great nights entertainment. Shocks were aplenty on the night when the youngsters shone through against their senior opponents. Defending champion Kieran Cassidy was first to succumb to 11 year old Fergal Quinn as he couldn’t manage to claw back the points deficit.
Sean Doyle and then Paul McGuckin were next to fall by the wayside as Quinn stormed into the semi final. Jordan Shivers was making an equally impressive route to the semi final as he defeated Seamus Lagan and Noel McAllister to make the Semi Finals. Swatragh cueist Mark Doherty also reached the semi final thanks to hard fought victories over Philip O’Hagan and Brian Milne.
Draperstowns Gerry McAuley completed the semi final line up as he seemed to adapt to the 6 red game with ease. The semi finals were intriguing battles as young Quinn ran out of steam against Doherty but no doubt on the strength of this performance the Tyrone youngster will be a name to be reckoned with in a few years time. McAuley was not getting things all his own way against Shivers but can only have himself to blame for defeat as he missed a shocking pink when only needing the pink to go into a 3-2 lead. The final between Doherty and Shivers will be played on finals week later in the season.
Teams are reminded that next week marks the half way stage and therefore handicaps are up for review. If there are enough queries some handicaps may be changed before the start of the second half. Monday 23rd January marks the start of the second half of the league and therefore any changes must be made before this date.
League Table Played Points
Pot Black 36 26
Swa Men 36 24
St Pat’s A 36 21
Johnny’s 36 20
St Pat’s B 36 19
St Kevin’s 36 16
Longfield 36 9
St Pat’s C 36 9