Ireland Teams Beaten in European Championship Finals

Ireland fell just short of the champion’s podium as a festival of European amateur snooker came to a conclusion in Albania on Sunday.

Ireland Team European Championships (PJN)
The full Irish team was highly competitive but just fell short in taking home some winners’ medals. Photo credit: PJ Nolan 

Michael Judge had already finished runner-up to Darren Morgan in the European Open last week, and was part of the Irish pairing which were beaten in the final of the European Masters Team Championship as well.

In addition, there was final day agony in the Men’s Team Championship.

Experienced duo John Farrell and Mark Tuite had nothing left in the tank after gruelling quarter-final and semi-final victories over Ireland 2 and Germany respectively.

The all-Irish clash in the last eight was a particularly taxing affair as Farrell and Tuite held off a late rally from Cork pals David Cassidy and Greg Casey for a 4-3 triumph which ended well into the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Farrell and Tuite beat Germany 4-2 with breaks of 61 and 51 but couldn’t counteract against an onslaught from Wales in the final.

Andrew Pagett and Alex Taubman teamed up with runs of 85, 80, 57, and 56 for a resounding whitewash success.

In the Masters Team Championship, Dublin’s Judge and his teammate Anthony Bonnar lost out in the final 4-1 to Iceland.

Former world under-21 champion Kristjan Helgason led Iceland to a somewhat shock triumph alongside Jón Ingi Ægisson having earlier hammered respectable Scottish and Belgian sides.

Helgason, also the European amateur champion in 1998 and the only Icelandic player to ever play at the Crucible, enjoyed earlier glory in Shengjin with victory in the 6 Red European Championship.

For Judge, it proved to be a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise excellent couple of weeks for the former professional as he twice narrowly missed out on top spot.

The 42 year-old was left to rue facing Morgan at crucial stages in two of the bigger events.

Morgan, who pipped Judge in the final of the European Open, won their second battle in the individual European Masters Championship as well at the quarter-final hurdle.

The former World Championship semi-finalist duly prolonged his dominance in the Masters tournament as he overcame countryman Elfed Evans 6-2 in the final showdown for a third straight success and seventh overall since 2007.

Meanwhile, Wendy Jans prevailed in both the ladies individual and team Championships, partnering Belgian teammate Cathy Dehaene in the latter.

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