The Topz Fuels Mid-Ulster Snooker league returned from its summer break with a bang as all ten teams competed in the League Cup that is under a new format this season. St Pat’s B and Pot Black B were the first teams to fall as they lost to St Kevin’s and Pot Black A respectively.
In Magherafelt the draw resulted in clashes between St Pat’s A and Swatragh Men while St Pat’s C took on defending league champions Pot Black A.
The league cup format is played in a different format from the main league in that there are three single frames played; then a game of doubles followed by a last singles match that leaves a total of five points up for grabs.
St Pat’s A got into their stride early on as Brian Milne was in scintillating form as he knocked in the opening century of the season as a break of 100 was enough to see him eclipse Seamus Lagan.
Lagan had got off to a great start and with his significant point start it was only on the colours that Milne secured the frame but a miss on the pink prevented a total clearance.
Jason Cushenan was the star of the show last season for St Pat’s A but the Draperstown cueist will be hoping to rediscover that form as he struggled to find his form and slumped to defeat to leave the score at 1-1.
Colin Reid literally had to wipe the cobwebs off his cue before his match with Mark Doherty and also overcame a hamstring strain to edge St Pat’s A 2-1 in front. Reid then partnered John Donaghy in the doubles match and the duo secured the vital point to take St Pat’s A into the Semi Final.
Pot Black would have fancied their chances against St Pat’s C but were pushed all the way by the Magherafelt team that have just recently returned from a team bonding trip in New York.
The trip seems to have worked wonders for the team that continues to finish in last position in the league on an annual basis. Mickey Quinn defeated star pupil Damien Craig in the opening match but was hard pushed by the ‘C’ team captain and the Cookstown ace may now regret coaching Craig towards the end of last season.
Paul Mc Guckin overcame ‘The Bullet’ Gilmore on the colours to extend the lead to 2-0 and the expected whitewash was on the cards. The expected result did not materialise however as Brian Milne Snr and debutant Ryan Morgan both defeated John Halferty to leave the score 2-2.
As a result the match now would be decided on the doubles match and with Paul McGuckin, Mickey Quinn, Brian Milne Snr and Brendan Gilmore involved, it was never going to be experience that would decide the match as each had it in abundance.
The match was actually decided by a piece of brilliance by Mickey Quinn as they Cookstown edged home on the colours.
The semi-final between St Pat’s A and Pot Black A was expected to be a classic but this never materialised as the Magherafelt side romped to a 3-0 victory.
Brian Milne backed up his opening century break with a 77 break against John Halferty and when John Donaghy defeated Paul Mc Guckin on the pink ball it was down to Mickey Quinn to save his side but for once Quinn was unable to do so as Colin Reid edged home on a re-spotted black.
Pot Black in Cookstown was the venue for the meeting of the remaining four teams and with information slow in being forwarded through it can only be told that Longfield A defeated Longfield B while Crocknamohill defeated St Kevin’s.
The semi-final clash resulted in a 3-1 victory for Longfield A against Crocknamohill and as a result the Desertmartin side will take on St Pat’s A in the final within the next few weeks.
Teams are urged to submit detailed reports in order for the information to be relayed in the weekly report.