By Fin Ruane
The ninth and final event of this season’s inaugural CrossGuns Junior Series took place at the Phibsboro club last Saturday.
Once again a good entry field in both categories set the tone for a day of quality junior snooker.
Both the CrossGuns Junior Player of The Year and the Billiard Co. Junior Player of the Year awards were all but secured, as was the SnookerHQ high break prize.
John Joyce, newly crowned Billiard Co. under-14 champion from the Classic SC, surprisingly went out in the first round whilst Joyce’s nearest challengers for the majority of the season – Cian Murtagh and Jack Sheridan – lost at the last four stage.
Newcomer Martin Cawley reached the final at his first attempt but ran into an in-form Aaron Smith and lost 2-0. This was the second event win in a row for Smith and there is no doubt that the ten year-old from Navan is certain to feature in junior snooker for many years to come.
As with the under-14 title, the under-19 junior crown had also already been wrapped up before the last event.
Andrei Blondu from the Terry Rodgers club had led the rankings from start to finish, playing some superb snooker along the way.
However, Blondu could not sign off in style with a sixth win of the season as he succumbed 2-1 to Aaron Holland in the semi-finals.
Sean O’Toole, also from Terry Rogers, made his second final of the campaign and looked set to win when leading Holland 2-0 only for the latter to dig deep and prevail in a decider 3-2.
The highest break on the day was a 70 from Holland but it was his marvelous 107 break in Event 6 that secured him the SnookerHQ high break award.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the two sponsors of this season’s CrossGuns Junior Series.
Firstly to Darren Lennox and John Benton of The Billiard Co. When I approached the Billiard Co. at the beginning of the season with a view to sponsoring a title the positive reaction I instantly got from them both was of no surprise.
Here are two former snooker players who now run a successful business and just want to support the game in any way they can. To have the under-14 title sponsored by them confirms the dedication they have to promote snooker throughout Ireland and I look forward to their continued support.
To David Caulfield and his successful SnookerHQ site. Dave was on board right from the inception of the junior series and to have the highest break award sponsored by Ireland’s biggest snooker website was testament to Dave’s continued support of Irish snooker.
To each and every one of the players who competed in the Junior Series no matter how many events events you entered I thank you. Without your support the series would never have survived.
You are all a credit to the game and to junior snooker in general and I look forward to welcoming you all back next September to CrossGuns for the 2016/17 junior series where the format will mostly remain the same and once again a scholarship for the following season will be on offer.