A LARGE crowd descended upon St Patrick’s Snooker Club in Magherafelt on Wednesday night to witness the emergence on another snooker prodigy from Northern Ireland.
Mayobridge teenager Declan Brennan emerged victorious in this year’s St Patrick’s Cup following a 5-2 success over Antrim’s Ryan Mc Quillan in the final.
Played in front of a packed crowd that included world snooker professional Mark Allen the final got off to an edgy start as nerves played its part early on. Early in the season Brennan reached the quarter finals of the world under 21’s and he was first to settle as he clinched the opening frame on the colours. The second frame followed a similar path but was decided on a superb snooker laid by Brennan. McQuillan failed on six occasions to hit the red on the cushion and as a result it left him out of contention to claim the frame. At 2-0 it appeared that Brennan was getting the upper hand and this was further emphasised in the next as Brennan raced into a 50-0 lead.
The Antrim cueist however showed what a superb player he is by seizing the opportunity as a result of an uncharacteristic miss by Brennan. An excellent break of 65 cut the deficit to 2-1 and left it all to play for. The final frame before the mid-session interval saw Brennan establish a two frame cushion again as both players were now getting into their stride. The break seemed to rejuvenate McQuillan and he was quickly off the mark in the next frame to leave the score 3-2 in Brennans favour.
The next frame was all about Brennan as he dominated from the start of the frame forcing McQuillan to concede at the yellow ball. Brennan got off to the perfect start in frame seven as he opened with a 32 break only to miss an easy yellow with the balls at his mercy. McQuillan fought his way back into the game but was unable to get the crucial brown ball and when Brennan dispatched the brown ball it was all over as Declan Brennan became the 2011 St Patrick’s Cup Champion.
There was a surprise exit for former world quarter finalist Patrick Wallace against Gary Crawford from the QE1 club in Belfast.
The St Patrick’s club would like to take this opportunity to thank all those players that participated in this year’s event that turned out to be a major success and resulted in the competition having the best prizes on offer in the Northern Ireland calendar in 2011.
With the positive feedback from the players it is hoped that this competition will continue to grow in the coming years. St Patrick’s Magherafelt would also like to thank Thomas McCrea who officiated throughout the tournament and carried out his duties to a professional standard.