RYAN McQuillan from the Fountain Snooker Club in Antrim and Glen Craig from Ballymena will contest the first semi final in this year’s St Patrick’s Cup following the opening weeks play in Magherafelt.
There was a large turnout for the opening weeks play with players from all across Northern Ireland descending upon the South Derry club. Ex-professional Jordan Brown and CJ Anderson who is the current number one in Northern Ireland were widely tipped to make the semi finals but both players failed to make that stage as they suffered surprise early exits.
Gary Menary took the scalp of Brown following a creditable victory over Anthony Heaney in the opening round. Menary’s run came to an end in the last 16 however as Glen Craig claimed a hard fought 3-1 victory. CJ Anderson succumbed to Gary Millen in the last 16 and then took on Ryan McQuillan in the best match of the day as he narrowly lost 3-2 to the Antrim cueist.
The local players on show had an off day as they ran into an inform Ryan McQuillan, the Antrim man defeated Joe Loughran 3-0, Mickey Quinn 3-2 and Gerry McAuley 3-1. McQuillan also recorded the highest break of the day as he racked up a break of 93 to eclipse his earlier break of 91, Gary Millen also knocked in a superb 93 break.
Next week will see a number of the North’s top players clash as former Northern Ireland champions Dermot McGlinchey and Julian Logue enter the fray.
They will be joined by former World Quarter Finalist Patrick Wallace. World U21 Quarter Finalist Declan Brennan will also feature in what is sure to be an enthralling day’s play as he will also be joined in the competition by last year’s champion, Paul Lefesty.
Other players to feature will be Alistair Wilson and Gary Crawford from the QE1 club in Belfast who currently hold the title of All Ireland Champions and Brian Milne who reached the final of last year’s Northern Ireland Championship.
Local hopes will rest on Brian Milne, Kieran Cassidy, Sean Doyle and Paul Currie. The final is scheduled for Wednesday 23rd November at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome to attend for what is sure to be a great spectacle considering the standard of players that remain in the competition.