Hickson's Centra Open
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Sniper’s Snippets: Hickson’s Centra Open

Rodney Goggins triumphed in the Hickson’s Centra Open at the weekend, the second Irish senior ranking event of the 2019/20 campaign that was staged at D’arcy McGees in Dublin.

By Jonathan Williams

My event wasn’t too bad to be fair. I played Stephen Reddington in the last 64 and, like me, I think Stephen’s best days are behind him.

We have had some good matches over the years but Stephen let me away with a lot and I played solidly enough to win that match 3-0.

My next match was against Mick Judge and, again, we have had some good matches in the past.

A lot of those encounters have gone to deciders and this one was no different.

We were put on the very back table, which was slow, bouncy, and had barely enough room between tables to cue.

At first, I was annoyed but I then thought it might play into my hands as Mick would be used to top class conditions.

The first two frames were laughable and we couldn’t make 20 between us.

He won both on the colours, which I easily could have won, and I felt a bit dejected so opted to just start going for a few more balls.

The next couple of frames were a bit better – I had a 50 and a 60 to bring the scores back level at 2-2.

In the decider, Mick potted a good long red to get in and up until 72 was on all blacks going for the max.

He got a huge bounce off the bottom cushion, fell out of position, went for a plant, and missed.

There were still 75 points left on the table and I took the six reds with one pink and the rest blacks.

On a break of 47 and clearing the table, I came up short on the yellow, missed, and Mick finished the frame off.

It would have been one of my best clearances but, alas, it wasn’t to be.

I felt a whole lot better during this tournament – I put in a bit of practice and, unlike when I played Rodney in the last event, Stephen and Mick gave me plenty of table time. On to the next one I suppose.

Speaking of Rodney, it was no surprise to see him lifting the title on Sunday.

There are not enough superlatives to describe Rodney Goggins as a snooker player, and he’s a class act both on and off the table it must be said.

He has yet again narrowed the gap at the top of the leaderboard in regards to all-time senior wins.

Brendan O’Donoghue had pulled clear when he won the Barrack’s Classic in October but Rodney is not far behind again. Congrats Rodney.

There were a few other matches worth mentioning from the weekend’s play.

Josh Boileau played last year’s Hickson’s Centra Open champion Aaron Hill in the last 64, in what was a tough match for both.

I didn’t see all of the match but a good 3-1 win there over the former professional for Hill.

In the last 32 matches there was a good 3-2 win for John Torpey over Jason Devaney, who was probably slight favourite on paper.

What was probably the upset of the day was a good 3-2 win for Dylan Rees over last event’s finalist John Sutton.

In the last 16, Torpey continued his good run of form with a 3-2 victory over pre-tournament favourite O’Donoghue.

Cork’s Hill had a close encounter with Philip “the Finisher” Browne, who himself is back to near top form.

Hill won that match 3-2 and, onto the quarters, yet again the teenager found himself in another decider against Greg Casey, repeating the 3-2 scoreline.

Hill then beat ex-professional Davy Morris 4-1 in the last four with the head-to-head record favouring Hill before the match also, if memory serves me correctly.

Goggins had too much in the final, though, and after a very solid 3-0 victory over Judge in the last eight and a 4-1 win against Tony Corrigan in the semi-finals, his confidence was high.

The event went well and it ran quite smoothly from what I saw, so well done to TD Shane Mason.

The club itself was adequate for a senior ranking event, most of the tables were in good nick, with nice food and drink served behind the bar as well as a big screen TV for the footy fans.

I thought there was a good turnout in terms of entries also with about 64 in action.

Lastly, I would like RIBSA to make some changes in terms of their excel spreadsheet when it comes to the draws because it’s a tad difficult to read at times.

Until next time, Sniper over and out.

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