THIS year’s Cookstown Snooker Open Individual which is sponsored by Pot Black Snooker Club and all matches being played in Pot Black, was first played back in 1979 when Graham McFetridge lost to Cookstown’s Paul Currie.
All the first round matches were played and in one of them, last year’s champion Brian Milne was up against Joe Loughran. Joe took an early lead and eventually took the first on the pink. In the next, Joe was in devastating form as he took a 41 point lead meaning Brian required two snookers.
At 2-0 it didn’t look good for the Magherafelt player but Brian is a good player as he proved in the third with a 60 break and small breaks in the fourth to make the match 2-2. The fifth frame went down to the black and Brian had the best chances but alas it wasn’t enough as he hung the black over the pocket and then conceded the match.
This was a good victory for Joe and he will be hoping to take the title this year.
The second fixture was John Hagan v Seamus Quinn, the match was play over five frames. Seamus took the first on the brown and the honour’s were quickly shared when John had a magnificent 83 break. The next two frames shared leaving the score-line 2-2.
In the deciding frame Seamus had a modest 24 break but John came back with some long pots to stay in contention but Seamus potted from blue to the final black to make it into the quarter-finals.
Seven times champion Micky Quinn had a tough game on his hands when he played his fellow team-mate, Peter Reilly.
The opening two frames were shared which included a brilliant 69 break from Micky Quinn. Peter had a chance in the next but unfortunately he missed an easy brown which was the turning point of the match, Micky cleared from the brown to take a 2-1 lead and quickly took the next frame to win the match 3-1.
Next in the draw was Connor Gillespie v James Winters. This was a match when a potter takes on the safety player. James potted his way to a 61 break to take the first, Connor hit back to take the second but James responded well by taking the third and then wrap the match up in the fourth with some small breaks.
John Halferty played James Stirrup and won in three straight frames with no breaks recorded.
Declan Callan who is a well known pool player around Tyrone took to the green baize and was up against 12 year old Daniel McGuckin.
Declan won the first and second frame on the black after Daniel had his chances to take both frames when he had the first chance on the black. Daniel hit back by taking the next two frames to leave the score 2-2.
Declan took an early lead but Daniel had a brilliant chance on the final black which to everyone’s surprise he left hanging over the corner pocket. Declan was relieved to say the least as Daniel had done all the hard work but there’s plenty of years left for Daniel to take the title.
Paul McGuckin who as a matter of interest has won the Cookstown Open twice and this year he was drew against Feargal Quinn who is only twelve. Feargal took the first but Paul hit back to take the match 3-1.
The final match of the first round was Cookstown Snooker referee Thomas McCrea v Joe McGarrity. Joe took the first on the colours but Thomas hit back to take the second, but then Joe stepped up his game to take the next two frames to win 3-1.
Paul McGuckin v Declan Callan
Micky Quinn v Joe McGarrity
James Winters v John Halferty
Joe Loughran v Seamus Quinn