IT IS hard to believe the number of twists and turns that the Hayes Fuels Mid Ulster League has taken this season.
Swa Men looked strong contenders for league glory but their challenge faltered in the second half. Defending champions Pot Black then were in the driving seat only to be replaced by former champions St Pat’s A last week.
With two weeks remaining it is all to play for as the top talent in Mid Ulster battles it out for the prestigious league title.
St Pat’s A travelled to Pot Black knowing that defeat would all but end their league challenge and hand the title to their opponents. Brian Milne and Colin Reid took to the table first as they took on Paul McGuckin and Mickey Quinn respectively. Milne managed to edge home in two competitive frames to give his side the start they so badly needed. Colin Reid managed to take the opening frame from Mickey Quinn but couldn’t sustain the challenge as Quinn deservedly took the second frame.
John Donaghy produced a dream clearance against Peter Reilly to secure the victory. Reilly played an excellent snooker on the green only for John Paul to find an escape, not only did he find the escape he also potted the green and followed it with a breathtaking brown, blue and pink to leave Reilly stunned. The Dungannon man showed his class and resolve however as he claimed a vital second frame to the leave the final score 4-2 in favour of St Pat’s A.
St Kevin’s travelled to Johnny’s still smarting from a 6-0 thrashing in the first half of the league against the Draperstown men. A repeat result was never on the cards this time however as Jordan Shivers shared frames with Johnny’s captain Gerry McAuley. Paddy Murray then shared frames with Regis McAuley to leave the match on a knife edge as Kevin Murray took on Dermot McAuley in the last match. Murray was back to his brilliant best as he potted from all angles to leave McAuley scratching his head. “When I play like that I am unbeatable, I generally feel sorry for opponents when I play like that but after being humiliated by Johnny’s earlier in the season I had to get revenge,” said Murray
St Pat’s B took on Longfield and was defeated 4-2 by a Desertmartin side that is playing with increased confidence in recent weeks. Philip O’Hagan took both frames from Individual champion Kieran Cassidy but Sean Doyle took both frames from Seamus Kane to level matters. Enda McCusker took on old rival Noel McAllister in the last match in what seems to be an annual showdown as rarely do these teams play and McCusker and McAllister avoid each other.
This time around it was McAllister that came out on top but McCusker was philosophical about his defeat “Noel is a fantastic player and we always seem to have incredible matches but this time around Noel was too strong for me but I would like to add that the defeat spurred me on for the Handicap Individual when I played Noel and defeated him, he was the defending champion so I should probably win it now” claimed McCusker.
Swa Men entertained St Pat’s C and claimed four of the frames against the leagues bottom side. Brian Milne Snr shared frames with Seamus Lagan and when Damien Craig shared with team captain Mark Doherty the outcome of the match would rest on the last game. St Pat’s C was extremely confident as they had held ‘the bullet’ Gilmore until last but were left stunned as Martin McLarnon defeated the misfiring Gilmore. “I just can’t believe that happened but I guess it show’s he is human afterall. On the plus side I can confirm that Seamus Wright has a new dummy and has returned to the squad for next week’s game” confirmed team captain Damien Craig
St Pat’s B and Pot Black made progress in their re-arranged match as Sean Doyle defeated Mickey Quinn and Peter Reilly shared with Kieran Cassidy. The last game between Enda McCusker and Paul McGuckin did not take place as McCusker was called away just before the start of the game. The game will be completed as soon as possible with St Pat’s leading 3-1.
Pot Black reached the final of the league cup thanks to a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Swa Men. The Cookstown side will play Johnny’s later in the season.
The individuals are now at progressing and players are reminded to make contact with their opponents to arrange matches as soon as possible. All entrance fees are now due and must be paid as soon as possible.
St Pat’s A 72 46
Pot Black 70 43
Swa Men 72 40
St Pat’s B 70 37
St Kevin’s 72 34
Johnny’s 72 33
Longfield 72 28
St Pat’s C 72 25
High Break Table
Sean Doyle 104, 86 & 76
Brian Milne 85, 71, 69, 68, 64, 55, 53 & 53
Paul Mc Guckin 85 & 57
Mickey Quinn 59, 58, 53 & 52
Peter Reilly 58 & 50
Darren Gribben 55