Tight at the top

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It wasn’t their best performance of the season and the highest break in the match was just 42, but Max Keady A zoomed to the top of the table when they romped to a 4-0 win over McKees A at the busy south Armagh venue on Thursday night.

Gerry Deveney was back in the team for the first time since the opening night of action in the League Cup and he led the charge with a comfortable 69-37, 62-32 straight frames win over John Hagan.

It was even more convincing for Mark Nugent, as he restricted Colm Kelly to sixteen points in each frame, that 42 coming in the concluding frame. Blue ball wins were exchanged by Stevie McParland and Ronan Fay ahead of a pulsating decider which saw 147 points shared, with the Keady player sinking the clinching ball in the only three-framer of the match. And a 37 break set the scene for Barr Hughes’ 2-0 win over Owen McKee, the victory secured on the pink.

McVeighs keep pace with Max thanks to a superb 3-1 win at Mitchells, albeit only after Joe Loughran missed a black which would have beaten Fergal Quinn. Loughran had already won frame one in two visits via breaks of 41 and 38. Young Quinn won the decider on the black.

Seamus Quinn beat Paul Currie 2-0 and Kieran Corr, with a 33, came from behind to beat Davy McClements before Philip Tener recovered from a black ball defeat to win a last ball decider against Jerome McVeigh.

Pot Black occupy third spot after a very commendable 3-1 victory away to Gervins A.

Mickey Quinn beat Iggy Cullen 2-0, making a 34 to win on the yellow in the first and a 35 to clinch the second with two reds left.

Darren Gribben potted pink and black to win the opener after Patrick Wallace, trailing by 56, had missed the pink on 57. But the Dungannon man two similar frames on brown after lengthy safety battles on the colours.

Dermot Loughran led Philip Gervin by 19 on the last red before the host cleared to brown, fluked a snooker and, from the failed escape, potted a good blue with the rest and added pink. More poor luck followed for Loughran as he went in-off escaping from a snooker on blue and Philip again dispatched blue and pink.

There were three comfortable frame wins in the remaining tie, Peter Reilly taking the opener with a red left, Ciaran Kelly replying with a fourth last red win only for the Pot Black man to clinch the 2-1 success with a tremendous long pot on the penultimate red.

Division Two

Max Keady B knew well that McVeighs is not an easy place to pick up points so they will be happy with a share of the spoils, Louis McGale with a clinching 31 as he beat Mickey Donnelly in two tight frames after Paul McParland had to fight like a terrier to see off the challenge of Danny McVeigh in a three-framer, breaks of 45 and 32 being vital components of his splendid win.

The other big match in Division Two was in Cookstown, where Gervins B were beaten 3-1 as Mitchells B leapfrogged into second spot.

Anthony McGuckin hit back from losing the first to take a decider against Sean Nash via a 33 break, but Mitchells won the rest. Peter Loughran scored just 42, 45 and 45 yet it was enough to defeat Chris Maye, Jonny McCann won a black ball opener and took the second 66-17 against Shane Dillon and Jonny McCurry got home in two tight frames with Malachy O’Neill.

McKees B got back to winning form via a visit to Gervins C, young Daniel Nixon again a tough nut to crack as he scored arguably his best win yet when outpointing James Conway in straight frames for the Plater’s Hill youth. Pete McGrath strengthened the Gortgonis side as their three wins also required no decider, McGrath beating Jason O’Neill, Collie Doris getting the overdue win at Shea Fee’s expense and Marty Doris compiling a 40 break as he was much too strong for Sean Day.

Whilst their A team colleagues were on the receiving end in Keady, the McKees C was blitzing the Max C team on their first visit to Gortgonis, a comprehensive 4-0 hoisting the winners well clear of a south Armagh now firmly detached at the bottom of the table.

Paddy McKillion led by example and the killer blow against Barry Leeson came with a colours clearance to get on the black in the first frame and then knocking in a fine 33 break, to counter the superb 38 from Leeson in the second frame.

Jody Shortt’s inexplicably bad run of results continued as he was well beaten by Raymond McKee, Brendan Morgan extending the home team’s successes with a straight frames victory over schoolboy Patrick Swift and Ollie O’Neill was a slender 2-1 winner over another youth player, Paudie Mallon.

Division One Results

Division Two Results

Fixtures for Thursday December 20

Division One

Gervins A v Mitchells A

McKees A v Pot Black

McVeighs A v Max Keady A

Division Two

Gervins B v Max Keady C

Max Keady B v McKees C

McKees B v McVeighs B

Mitchells B v Gervins C

League Tables

Division One

Pld Pts

Division Two

Pld Pts

Max Keady B 28 19

Mitchells B 28 17

Gervins B 28 16

McKees B 28 16

McVeighs B 28 16

McKees C 28 13

Gervins C 28 9

Max Keady C 28 6

Seniors League

Ciaran Kelly made the top break of the night in the Seniors League but, as you often hear from the television commentators, a big break just guarantees that you win one frame – and, not only was that it secured for big Ciaran, but it was the only point won by his Gervins team when they travelled to south Armagh on Wednesday night.

It all seemed to be going swimmingly for the Gervins men when Ciaran threaded together his splendid 60 to beat John Maguire 78-39 in the opening frame – but the match was soon all-square as Joe Shortt defeated Pearse Kelly by an almost identical margin, 78-35.

And from there on it was a tale of woes for the Coalisland visitors as Max Keady A eased away for a convincing 4-1 victory. Maguire had a 23 in defeating Pearse, Shortt had a 20 in beating Ciaran and Shortt knocked in a 30 to win the doubles tie.

In the other Division One game, McKees took four of the points on offer in Gortgonis to remain top of the pile, Colm Kelly despatching Frank Loughran with the aid of a 47, but coming a cropper against Seamus Mitchell. Owen McKee beat both the visitors and helped Kelly to a doubles win.

Mitchells INF have made a terrific start to their Division Two campaign, following up their opening night 4-1 win over McVeighs C with a whitewash win over a Mitchells B side which failed to fire on Wednesday night.

Gary McNeill, who is playing seniors snooker for the first time, seems to be reveling in the single frame format and he had solid wins over both Liam Hughes and Desi Stinson, Terry Dunlop in even better form as he dispatched the two ‘visiting’ cuemen with a bit to spare, including a 34 break in his 81-47 win over Hughes, and the doubles game was won by a margin of 66-37.

Max Keady B, the title favourites, made it two wins from two starts as well, but again they got home only on a split decision, this time at home to the experienced McVeighs A side.

Indeed, the visiting team looked like securing a great win after taking the opening two ties, John McArdle with a 23 break in getting the better of Francie Mallon and Danny McVeigh edging a black ball finish against John O’Reilly.

But it was the reverse result in the reverse singles, and then the doubles produced three decent breaks, a 20 from McVeigh far less short of what was needed to cope with 23 from Mallon and 39 from O’Reilly – 3-2 to Max A, McVeighs A losing by the odd frame for a second successive week.

In one of the many McVeighs derbies this season, the C team were victorious by 4-1, Kevin Taggart averting the dreaded whitewash by outpointing Stanley McKeown, as Don Stevenson was too strong for Taggart and Paul Mulgrew.

Division One Results

Max Keady A 4 Gervins 1

John Maguire 39 Ciaran Kelly 78

Joe Shortt 78 Pearse Kelly 35

John Maguire 65 Pearse Kelly 26

Joe Shortt 73 Ciaran Kelly 33

Maguire-Shortt 66 Kelly-Kelly 23

McKees 4 Mitchells A 1

Owen McKee 1 Seamus Mitchell 0

Colm Kelly 1 Frank Loughran 0

Colm Kelly 0 Seamus Mitchell 1

Owen McKee 0 Frank Loughran 0

McKee-Kelly 1 Mitchell-Loughran 0

Division Two Results

Max Keady B 3 McVeighs A 2

Francie Mallon 30 John McArdle 60

John O’Reilly 45 Danny McVeigh 56

Francie Mallon 70 Danny McVeigh 41

John O’Reilly 64 John McArdle 31

Mallon-O’Reilly 82 McArdle-McVeigh 22

McVeighs C 4 McVeighs B 1

Don Stevenson 1 Kevin Taggart 0

Stanley McKeown 1 Paul Mulgrew 0

Stanley McKeown 0 Kevin Taggart 1

Don Stevenson 1 Paul Mulgrew 0

Stevenson-McKeown 1 Taggart-Mulgrew 0

Mitchells INF 5 Mitchells B 0

Gary McNeill 57 Liam Hughes 27

Terry Dunlop 81 Liam Hughes 47

Gary McNeill 64 Desi Stinson 32

Terry Dunlop 74 Desi Stinson 46

Dunlop-McNeill 66 Stinson-Hughes 37

McVeighs A 2 McVeighs B 3

John McArdle 35 Kevin Taggart 64

Danny McVeigh 51 Paul Mulgrew 36

Danny McVeigh 48 Kevin Taggart 49

John McArdle 57 Paul Mulgrew 55

McArdle-McVeigh 59 Taggart-Mulgrew 45

Seniors Fixtures for Wednesday December 19

Division One

McKees v Max Keady A

Gervins v Mitchells A

Division Two

McVeighs A v Mitchells B

McVeighs C v Max Keady B

Mitchells INF v McVeighs B

Seniors League Tables

Division One

Pld Pts

McKees 10 8

Max Keady A 10 7

Mitchells A 10 3

Gervins 10 2

Division Two

Pld Pts

Mitchells INF 10 9

Max Keady B 10 6

McVeighs C 10 5

McVeighs A 10 4

McVeighs B 10 4

Mitchells B 10 2

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Excellent fare in Keady

U17 League.

Max Keady B 3 Gervins B 2

Paudie Mallon 26 Sean Day 58

Patrick Swift 35 Ryan Morrow 55

Paudie Mallon 58 Ryan Morrow 57

Patrick Swift 55 Sean Day 33

Swift-Mallon 55 Day-Morrow 5

Max Keady A 1 Gervins A 4

Caomhin Rafferty 61 Shea Fee 64

Mark Gray 32 Ronan Wilson 49

Caomhin Rafferty 47 Ronan Wilson 29

Mark Gray 47 Shea Fee 55

Rafferty-Gray 23 Fee-Wilson 53

Gervins B 2 Mitchells 3

Sean Day 14 Daniel McGuckin 47

Ryan Morrow 53 Ray Glendenning 12

Sean Day 29 Ray Glendenning 37

Ryan Morrow 65 Daniel McGuckin 25

Day-Morrow 14 McGuckin-Glendenning 42

U14 League

Max Keady B 2 Gervins 3

James Toner 24 Dan Nixon 70

Rian Hoey 63 Philip Gervin 25

James Toner 59 Philip Gervin 26

Rian Hoey 16 Daniel Nixon 59

Hoey-Toner 30 Nixon-Gervin 35

Mitchells 1 McKees B 4

Sean Bennett 30 Ryan Quinn 55

Thomas McGuigan 5 Luke Campbell 52

Thomas McGuigan 41 Ryan Quinn 39

Sean Bennett 32 Luke Campbell 59

Bennett-McGuigan 29 Quinn-Campbell 46

McKees A 1 Max Keady A 4

James Hagan 20 Frank Mallon 53

James Kelly 14 Ryan Gray 56

James Kelly 40 Frank Mallon 77

James Hagan 53 Ryan Gray 12

Hagan-Kelly 30 Gray-Mallon 45

League Tables

U14 U17

Pld Pts Pld Pts

Gervins 20 16 Max Keady B 20 17

Max Keady B 20 15 Max Keady A 20 8

Max Keady A 20 13 Gervins A 20 7

McKees B 20 8 Gervins B 20 6

McKees A 20 6 Mitchells 20 5

Mitchells 20 2

Fixtures December 17

U14

McKees B v Max Keady B

Max Keady A v Gervins

Mitchells v McKees A

U17

Individuals

Gervins host the second series of individuals on Sunday 30th, 12 noon start for U14s and 2.30pm for U17s.