Celbridge Snooker became the 2012 All-Ireland club champions yesterday after beating Northern Ireland outfit Drumaness 3-1 at the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney.
Kildare’s Celbridge had proven to be one of the outright favourites after winning the Leinster title earlier in January and maintained their form by going unbeaten throughout this weekend’s championship.
A team containing the likes of former National Senior champions TJ Dowling, Martin McCrudden and Colm Gilcreest is always going to be difficult to oust.
Back that up with former stalwart of the professional Main Tour Joe Delaney as well as seasoned amateurs on the Irish scene in John Sutton and Nigel Power and there is a recipe for great success.
Celbridge took a clean sweep during the round-robin phase and only dropped one match from the quarter-final stage onward to confirm their dominance over the course of the tournament – with whitewashes over St. Matthews and Minnesota respectively.
That dropped match came during the final when McCrudden lost 3-0 in frames to Drumaness’ Martin McGoran but it didn’t matter as his team-mates recovered the situation to claim the three encounters required to lift the trophy.
Gilcreest, who beat Darren Dornan during the final, walked away with the honour of the Player of the Tournament accolade while New Institute’s Brendan O’Donoghue took away the high break prize with a 135 break.
Down’s Drumaness had a much more difficult passage to the final showdown with close victories over Maynooth and Roadstone A during the knock-out stages.
All-in-all it seemed to be a pretty successful few days down in Kerry with top class snooker on offer.
Many of the players regard this event as one of the most important on the calendar which is probably a result of fighting for both team and region.
Any All-Ireland championship across any discipline is prestigious and Celbridge will, I’m sure, be absolutely delighted with their achievement.