Quinn still in pole position as snooker campaign reaches crucial stage

At a crucial stage in this season’s snooker campaign in the Cookstown area, yet another outstanding match took place in the excellent surroundings of the Pot Black club.

Gerald McAuley went to work with a 35 break but Joe Loughran responded well to take the first on the deciding colours.

The second continued in the same fashion, Gerald taking the lead before Joe stepped up to the mark to secure a good result for the Cookstown cueist.

Paul McGuckin is playing some of his best snooker to date and his opening two frames were shared with the highly experienced Peter Reilly.

Micky Quinn’s opponent was John Halferty, Quinn taking no chances as his win included a magnificent 46 in the second frame.

Reilly took both frames against Halferty in a hard-fought match.

Quinn then compiled a 52 break to take the opener against McGuckin, who responded with a modest 35 break to take a good lead in the second - only for Quinn to hit back with a 32 to force a repotted black.

After some nailbiting safety, Paul threw caution to the wind and made a brilliant pot to claim a well-deserved frame.

Quinn was straight into the next match and with breaks of 42 and 70 which secured yet another two points, despite Reilly trying hard.

The final two frames brought together McGuckin and Halferty, McGuckin easing home in the first frame with a well-controlled 60 break.

You can’t write off Halferty, however, as he proved with a 36 to take the second available point.

The second half of the draw started in Mitchells, with McAuley once more crossing paths with Loughran, McAuley’s break of 59 enough to easily take the first.

The second had a most unusual finish because, after Loughran potted the pink and played safe on the black, McAuley could only watch in amazement as the white sneaked behind the lip of the corner pocket leaving him awkwardly angled on frame ball, his escape attempt just failing.

Next on the green baize were Paul Currie and Fergal Quinn, Currie taking both frames and following up by beating Loughran 2-0.

Whizz kid Quinn shared the frames with McAuley with some small breaks, the young Feargal sure to be very happy with some excellent displays in this league.

McAuley’s final two frames were against Currie, McAuley starting the stronger with a 46 break to take the first but Currie responding in the second with some great safety and potting to take the point.

Match of the week was between Loughran and Quinn, Loughran’s young opponent firing a 41 to take the first. Loughran looked good with a 54 in the second but it was not enough as Quinn snatched victory on the black.