David Morris emerged victorious in the Presidents Cup last weekend, the third ranking event of the Irish amateur season that was held at the Ivy Rooms in Carlow.
By Jonathan Williams
My event was nothing to write home about as I expected, but in saying that I didn’t play awfully as I was just outplayed.
The day itself didn’t start ideally as I had a walkover in my first game. A lot of people would be happy with this but I like to get my hand on the table and play my way into an event.
I was in the Ivy’s from 10am and didn’t play my first match until about 2.30, which was very tiring but I got to watch a few games.
When I eventually got started my first opponent was Paul McGrane. Paul has always been a thorn in my side. I don’t enjoy playing him as he’s very hard to beat and a very solid player.
I think I do have a good head-to-head record against Paul but it’s always a slog. He went one frame up quickly with a nice break of 75, a frame in which I missed a lot of easy balls.
The second was close but I won on the colours. In the third frame I had a break above 50 to lead 2-1 and then I was ahead by 40 in the next only for Paul to come back and steal it on the black.
I should have never lost that frame and thought my chance was gone to be fair. However, I played a very tight last frame with no silly mistakes, and won it quite comfortably in the end.
Paul will feel a bit hard done by as I got quite lucky throughout the match but he can take away the fact that he won in the best hairstyle department. He’s like the Mark Selby of Irish snooker.
My next and final opponent in the Presidents Cup was Davy Morris. I haven’t played Davy a lot in recent years but always enjoy playing him, not because I win but because I just love how he plays the game of snooker.
Davy plays the right way and has an array of shots that most players on the amateur tour just don’t. I left him in places where most would turn down the opportunity of a pot but Davy doesn’t blink and slots in a long red whilst coming over three cushions and back into baulk. He attempted four of these nine-foot shots and got three anyway. It was great to watch.
I think I matched Davy in the safety department on this occasion, something Paul mentioned after our own game, but Davy scores so heavily. He came out a 3-1 winner in what was a good match in my opinion. The fact he went on to win the event eases my pain.
I haven’t had a good run in one of these events yet but I’ve lost to Rodney Goggins, Mick Judge, and now Davy so I cant be that disheartened. I should come good yet.
There were a few standout results in the Presidents Cup over the weekend. Ivor Fitzpatrick’s win over Noel Landers stood out in the last 64. Ivor is no slouch, very solid in the balls, but Landers is one of the new RIBSA poster boys and an Irish international so many would have thought him to be too strong on paper. It was a great win for Ivor.
In the last 32, there was a good win for Alex Currid over James Bateman. I’ve been hearing a lot about Alex recently and it seems he has a bright future. There were strong wins too for Chris Cooney over Philly “the Finisher” Brown and Philly O’Connor against Shane Bates. O’Connor’s run to the quarter-finals was made more impressive after a 3-0 win over former national champion Jason Devaney.
Dylan Rees was unlucky against the ever youthful Brendan O’Donoghue. Dylan had a good 40-odd lead in the decider only for Brendan to do what Brendan does best and, so I’m told, dig deep to pull off a great finish and win on the colours.
O’Donogue was the defending champion and would go on to reach the semi-final, where Ryan Cronin had a big 4-3 victory over him to reach the final.
In the title decider, it seemed like it was a very tight match with Davy Morris only winning by a single frame. It was no surprise really that Davy went on to win the event, though. When firing on all cylinders, he’s near impossible to beat at amateur level. A cue action from the gods.
As for the event overall, it was a pretty poor turnout for the Presidents Cup with about 45 in total in action, minus a few no shows. This, however, is always expected around Christmas because people have less money and less time.
Those factors, combined with the fact that there is now a new online registration/entry system that was a bit faulty, may have contributed to less numbers.
I expected the tables to be slow as pool is the most played sport now in the Ivy’s, as well as the dampness that the winter months bring, but the tables were flying. Hats off, they were a joy to play on.
A special thanks to Marian in the Ivy Rooms for her hospitality, Shane Mason, PJ Nolan, and Ger Murray for running a smooth event and having the live scoring/cameras on the go. Finally to the refs over the weekend for brushing and blocking all tables after the games.
A special thanks as well to Rodney Goggins for his immaculate Michael Jackson framed picture he gifted me over the weekend and to Dylan Rees and wife on the swift and safe delivery of said picture.
A very happy Christmas to all SnookerHQ readers.
Sniper over and out. (I’m off to get married)
Photo credit: PJ Nolan