The annual All-Ireland Club Championship was held last weekend in Killarney with Wicklow’s Q Club emerging victorious for the first time on Sunday.
The strong five-man team was headed by current Irish no.1 Robert Murphy and also featured Senior National champion Michael Judge, Keith Sheldreck, Jason Watson and Wayne Doyle.
The quintet had their work cut out for them in the final, but were able to overcome two-time defending champions Celbridge 3-1 to collect their maiden All-Ireland trophy.
The Premier Section of the tournament consisted of 25 teams from all across the Emerald Isle in one of the few occasions where there is competitive cross-border rivalry – which always adds to the tension and drama.
Keeping an eye on things for SnookerHQ this time was Roadstone’s Philip Browne, and he gave his account of how the action unfolded on a busy weekend at the Gleneagle Hotel.
“My personal weekend was good. I started off in the Billy Telford Memorial event on Wednesday which had 88 players competing at the start. I had some great wins against former professional Mick Judge and then I beat former World Amateur champion Hossein Vafaei. “
“The play was stopped before the semi-finals took place but resumed again on Saturday night at 9.30 pm where I lost to Declan Lavery . It was close but an in-off on the pink cost me the match. Overall, though, I was pleased with my performance and the run was good for my confidence but I just wished they finished the event on the Wednesday while I was in great form.”
“The team event was great like it is every year. The tables were running well but there was a couple of light sets of balls and some of the top players were finding it difficult to adapt.”
“There were no real shocks early on. Defending champions Celbridge weren’t at their best but were scrapping through their matches. Q Club Wicklow won my group convincingly and it came down to ourselves or Crucible Cork to see who would progress. At 2-2 in matches it came down to the pink and after numerous attempts by both players Crucible won the match.”
“Crucible then caused a shock by beating former winners QE1 of Belfast and then 147 Wexford. That got them to the semi-finals, where they eventually got beaten by Celbridge. It was a great run for the young lads from Cork who will keep getting stronger in the next few years.”
“New Institute kept up their great form after winning the Munster provisional title by topping their group and reaching the last four, where they were beaten by the in-form Q Club Wicklow.”
“The final was between Q Club Wicklow and Celbridge. The latter’s Martin McCrudden beat Mick Judge 3-1 but Robert Murphy defeated Joe Delaney 3-0 and Wayne Doyle had a great 3-1 victory over TJ Dowling. The in-form Keith Sheldreck, who had a fantastic tournament, beat Nigel Power 3-1 to win the tournament for Wicklow with the final game between John Sutton and Jason Watson left irrelevant with their match tied at 2-2.”
“There were two Players of the Tournament, shared between Rob Murphy and Keith Sheldreck, and the high break was compiled by Keith with a fantastic 133 break.”
Many thanks to Philly for his insight into this year’s All-Ireland Club Championship, which seemed to be a success overall, and congratulations to Q Club Wicklow on capturing the silverware.