Last weekend seen the first Irish Pool Ranking event of the year help in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran, Co. Donegal. It was held over 3 days played on 20 brand new supreme pool tables. Leitrim were well represented across all disciplines such as Under 15’s, Under 18’s, Under 23’s, Men’s and Over 50’s. In the men’s Section we had our strongest representation with Colin Crossan, Gavin Donnelly, John McKenna, Jamie Gaffney, Lee McSharry, Dave McWeeney, Wayne Kilmartin, Kevin McWeeney, Maurice Cullen and Neil Brady. All playing in different sessions across Friday night and Saturday morning looking to qualify for the last 32 on Sunday morning.
We had the most players through to the last 32 with Jamie, Colin, Gavin, Kevin, Wayne and Maurice making 6 of the last 32. Unfortunately with such a large number through, 2 were bound to meet and they did as Gav met Jamie, Jamie starting stronger going 2-1 up but Gavin retaliated and won the next 5 frames including 2 clearances from break. Kevin McWeeney lost to Laois’ Sonny Flanagan 6-1, Colin Crossan was rolling back the years (back to when he hadn’t a cue) as he started slow going 3-1 down but bit by bit he lessened the lead and went ahead to win the match 6-4. Maurice Cullen was caught in a titanic battle against David McQuillan, Maurice holding a lead for most of the match but the match went to a decider with McQuillan winning the frame. Wayne Kilmartin was 5-1 down vs Wexford’s Richie Furlong but managed to get it back to 5-5. After all the hard work it was unfortunate to lose the decider.
Through to the last 16 we had good friends Gavin Donnelly and Colin Crossan, Gav facing multiple Ranking event champion Stephen Dempsey while Colin faced Mayo’s Sean Conway. Gav started slowly going 3-1 and 4-2 down but got himself into the game at 5-4 but Dempsey kicked on winning 2 out of the next 3 frames to progress to the Quarter Finals. Colin Crossan went from a poor start in the last 32 to one of the best starts you could see in a match, Conway cleared from break in the first frame but Crossan won the next 5 frames to go 5-1 up. Conway fought back to 6-4 but Crossan took out the frame to send him to the Quarter Final of the event. In the Quarter Final Crossan faced Louth’s Cormac Kerr, Crossan started well with the match going 2-2 but Kerr kicked on winning the match 8- 2.
Well Done to all involved in the main event on reaching the later stages of the event. Lee McSharry lost out in the qualification stages but progressed to Sunday in the Plate event, Lee Beat Dave Delaney 4-0 and Marc Rowen 4-2 to reach the final Sunday. In the final Lee faced fellow Irish Under 23 team mate Adam Maher, the match was as close as it could get with Lee winning the decider. In the Under 23 event we had one representative in Lee McSharry, he performed very well over the weekend beating Wexford’s Barry Synnott, 5-1, in the Quarter Final he beat Ben Doyle 5-2 and in the Semi he beat a 3rd Wexford man on his way Tyler O’Connor 5-3. In the final Lee faced Cormac Kerr, Cormac started well going 3-1 and 5-2 up but lee fought back to 5-4 but Cormac took out the penultimate frame to beat the Drumkerran man in another final. In the Under 15 event and Under 18 event we had 3 representatives with Adam Casey of Drumshanbo, Eoin Philips of Kiltubrid and Colm Dwyer of .
They all did Leitrim proud as they played in both competitions. A big well Done to all. Adam Casey in action at the Irish Pool Grand Prix Under 18 event at the weekend in Bundoran Eoin Philips (8) in action at the Irish Pool Grand Prix Under 15 event at the weekend in Bundoran Lee McSharry following his Irish Pool Grand Prix Plate Final vs Adam Maher. Colin Crossan in action in the Quarter Finals vs Cormac Kerr of Louth.