David Hogan yesterday emerged victorious in the third ranking event of the Irish season – an event which saw the introduction of the new double elimination format.
Last May’s AGM raised concerns about the many important issues on the national scene, and it led to the inclusion of a wider range of tournament styles for this campaign.
Round robins were trialled to limited success in the opening tournament, which Hogan also claimed upon his return to amateur snooker.
And this weekend double elimination was put into practice as players defeated before the quarter-final stage got a second bite at the cherry.
This was always bound to cause controversy as the system was never going to agree with everyone but, in the end, Tipperary’s Hogan didn’t even need his second chance as he surrendered just three frames en route to the final – where he eventually overcame Dublin’s Robbie Redmond 5-3.
Johnny Williams, as always, was at hand to keep an eye on the weekend’s action in Carlow and he had this to say following what ultimately proved to be a disappointing tournament for the ‘Sniper’ himself…
“I didn’t expect much of myself for this tournament to be honest. I know I’m just back from the World Amateurs and I should be match sharp but I didn’t have my cue for a few days and only got in one day of practice. Also the tables over in Bulgaria were different class and it was hard to adjust. In saying that, however, I played fairly well this weekend. I lost to Josh Boileau again in the main draw but to be honest my safety was very poor at this level and he scores very heavy so I deserved to lose that match.”
“I didn’t drop a frame in the next half of the double elimination until I played Rodney Goggins. I went one up, then it went level, before I played some very good safety to get my chances and go 59 points ahead with 67 remaining in the decider. Rodney then clears with what was one of the most ridiculous clearances I have ever seen. His first red was hard, he went out of position four times but potted everything, It was just sickening to watch, I have never beaten him in competition and I really thought it was going to be my day, but it wasn’t to be. It was actually more heartbreaking than my Bulgarian defeat.
“John Sutton got to his first semi-final of the season and it has to be said it’s probably overdue. He’s a great player, great break builder and great match player. However, the weekend has to go to the two finalists. David Hogan, who I predicted at the start of the season to finish as number 1, has continued his fine form in winning his second tournament of the season. He played amazing all weekend, looked so sharp, so confident, never looked under pressure, all signs of a great player.
“Big congratulations have to go to Robbie Redmond also. He has always been knocking on the door of these ranking events, getting to many finals as far as I am aware. He is definitely due a win soon and I think it will come this season, as I think a win for Josh and Davy Morris will come this season also. Redmond has such a relaxed way of going about his snooker and it just looks effortless – he’s great to watch when in full flow. Anyone who wins an event this season is doing very well as the quality is outstanding, and it could be even more so if the likes of Dowling, Gilcreest, and McCrudden attended all the events.
“To be very honest I was dreading this format. I thought it would go on all day, but to my surprise it went very smoothly. A few people I spoke to didn’t like it, but these players also ended up going far in the event, so what would they rather? I personally did like it and I’d be happy to play it again. I’m sure it was also nice for lower ranked players who are usually sent home early like Philip Browne and George Tierney to get another bite of the cherry! ( I joke, I joke!)
“The numbers weren’t overly flattering but what I did like was the fact that, because everyone got a second game, there was more people in the venue watching the snooker and it added to the atmosphere, unlike in previous tournaments where people got knocked out at 11am and went straight home and you might have 20 people in the event left hanging around.
“I know it’s going to click and happen for me before the end of the season, I just have to get a bit of confidence and a little run going and I will be hard to stop. I also might have to be on the opposite side of the draw to Goggins as the man shows no mercy against me. I am in awe of his brilliance, though, I wont lie.”
Irish Rankings after Third Event
1. David Hogan – 380
2. Josh Boileau – 300
3. Robert Murphy – 260