Ireland Denied in Three European Finals

The various European Championships came to a conclusion in Lithuania this weekend with several Irishmen just missing out on glory.

Ireland Malta 2016
Ireland and Malta ahead of their final – photo courtesy of PJ Nolan.

Irish duo Brendan O’Donoghue and Ryan Cronin lost 5-3 to Malta in the final of the European Men’s Team Championship.

The pair knocked out countrymen Rodney Goggins and Jason Devaney in a tight decider but couldn’t go all the way as the Maltese gained revenge for last year’s defeat to Ireland in the final.

The defeat will perhaps be even more sickening considering the fact that joining Brian Cini on the Malta team was professional Alex Borg.

Borg regained his Main Tour card a few weeks ago at Q-School but was still allowed to play in Vilnius as the Team Championship isn’t an avenue to gain professional status.

However, it seems rather ludicrous that an international amateur event would grant permission to a professional player to compete and is surely at odds with developing grassroots snooker across the continent.

Meanwhile, in the Masters Team Championship Nigel Power and Peter Donegan went down 4-0 to Aiden Owens and Jamie Bodle in the final, while Brendan Thomas’ wonderful run to the final of the singles Masters Championship ended in disappointment with a 6-0 loss at the hands of Darren Morgan.

Former World Championship semi-finalist Morgan also won the European Open a couple of weeks ago and continues to perform very strongly on the amateur circuit.

Elsewhere, Wendy Jans won a deciding frame thriller to clinch the European Ladies Championship while the Team event was won by Russia’s Anastasia Nechaeva and Daria Sirotina.

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