Leitrim Pool had a very successful weekend in the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney at the All Ireland Pool Championships. The event began on Wednesday evening at 8 with over 600 participants entering across all divisions from Under 12 to Over 50’s. To start the weekend The Leitrim A team faced Antrim B, Leitrim had a tough game on their hands and it was tight throughout, unfortunately Antrim scraped the win in a deciding frame 14-13. Leitrim B were up against Wexford b, the match was tight with both teams sharing frames throughout, to 8-8. At this point Leitrim found another gear and kicked onto to win 6 out of the next 7 frames to win the match 14-9. Thursday Morning Leitrim A faced Louth, Leitrim were in a tight battle and never really could establish a sizable lead over the Wee county, from 12-10 Leitrim knew they needed to kick on or it would be 2 losses from 2 and they did winning the next 2 frames to win 14-10.
The Leitrim B team faced a strong Mayo team in their match and it was tight throughout with Mayo winning 14-13. At this stage both teams have 1 loss 1 win so it was all to play for. Thursday Night, the B team had a bye. The A team were up against Mayo, a win nearly guaranteeing them progression to the Quarterfinals. Mayo were determined as they were fighting for the top spot. The match was so tight throughout with both teams leading and falling behind in the duration of the frames. It was Mayo who finished the better of the two beating Leitrim A 14-12. Leitrim A now had 2 losses 1 win. Friday Morning brought round Leitrim A’s last chance for qualifying out of the group. They faced Donegal, Donegal also needed a win as Antrim B were hot on their tails to taking the qualifying spot. Leitrim started well going 6-1 up but Donegal returned the favour bring the game to 7-7 and 8-8. The match was frame for frame up to 12-12. Leitrim went on the hill 13-12 but Donegal joined them shortly after, 13-13. Leitrim unfortunately lost the decider 14-13. The B team faced a very strong Fermanagh A team, Leitrim never really got going while Fermanagh made few mistakes throughout the match, Leitrim lost 14-5 in this match but not all hope was lost as they had one game left to qualify. Friday Night Leitrim faced Armagh B, Leitrim needed t6o win this match and hope other results went their way to qualify. Leitrim never really got into the game and Armagh went from strength to strength, Armagh eventually won 14-4 so0 Leitrim progressed to the Shield event. With this Leitrim A progressed to the Shield event. In the Shield event they face Cavan in the Semi final, Cavan have won the main event on 8 occasions so it was going to be a tough match. Leitrim had a comfortable win, 9-2 over the Breffni county progressing to the final of the shield event. In the final they faced Louth….again. The match went Louths way 3-1 but Leitrim won the next 3,4-3. Louth and Leitrim shared the last 2 frames in the first set. 5-4 to Louth. Leitrim and Louth shared the frames up to 8-8. Brendan Shivnan took out the finish in the decider for Leitrim to be crowned All Ireland Shield Champions 2019.
In the quarter final of the B team shield Leitrim B faced Wexford B, Leitrim had 2 wins over Wexford B this year so far but were not going to take them for granted as the races in the shield are shorter. Leitrim got a great atmosphere going and were stronger in the match beating Wexford 9-5 to progress to the Shield Semi final. The B team had progressed to the B team shield, they faced Offaly A in the Semifinal, The match started tight with Leitrim and Offaly sharing the first 6 frames, 3-3 but Leitrim really kicked on and won 6 out of the next 7 frames to beat the Offaly A team 9-4 and progress to the Shield final facing Kerry A in the final. In the final Leitrim were slow off the line going 3-1 down and couldn’t get it going through out as they went 6-1 down, the Kingdom were too strong on the day for Leitrim who had a bad rub of luck in the final losing 9-1. Well Done to the B team on reaching the Shield Final, Leitrim B won the C division last year and reaching a Shield final beating Offaly A and Wexford B is definitely progression in the right direction showing we can compete with anyone in the B division on their day. Wicklow A were in the final of the B team event and only last year the Leitr4im B team lost to them 14-12. The Leitrim Over 50 team did themselves proud, in the group stages they had 3 wins from 4 beating Cork B, Armagh and Limerick. These wins helped them to progress to the Quarter finals of the event where they faced the competitions favourites in my opinion, Meath. Leitrim showed great fight keeping with the royal county 3-3. Here Leitrim began to fall behind, 6-4. The royal county kicked on to win the match 8-5 in the end. Well Done to the Over 50 team big progress on last year and more to come for a good team. The Under 23 had a good weekend going un defeated in the group stages with 5/ 5 wins beating Laois, Wexford, Kildare, Armagh and Wicklow. In the Semi Final Leitrim faced a strong Cork team. Leitrim went 2-1 up in the first session but Cork won the next session 3-0, 4-2 down. Leitrim showed character going 4-4 with the rebels. Leitrim fought hard but went out in the decider to Cork. Unlucky to the team and Well Done to Lee Mc Sharry who reached the final of the under 23 singles event losing to Ben Doyle 7-5 in the final.