Pool news

The final of the MGF pool classic was held in the Church Street Station pub in Roscommon town on last Friday night, between the team called ‘The West’, made up of players from Kilteevan, Wayne Killmartin, and Eamon Cummins, and Mark McEvoy, Darragh Duke, and Conal (Sonny) Hanley from Strokestown.   The other finalists, called Con’s team, were made up very experienced players in Con Faughnan, David Feeney, Micheal Higgins, Gerry O’Loughlin and Ronnie and Gerry Poucher, a very experienced team indeed and strong favourites to win.    With two such teams in the final and the scene in the Station Pub resembling a minaturised version of the The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, it was little wonder that this was a thrilling final.    The first session started nervously with both teams making errors with  Eamon, Wayne and Darragh all winning to give the West a one-frame lead. Mick Higgins and Gerry Poucher won frames for Con’s team.    In the second session things were evened up when the big guns Con Faughnan, David Feeney and the very reliable Gerry Poucher won frames for Con’s team while Eamon Cummins and Conal (Sonny) Hanley replied for the West.    The third session followed the same pattern with Con and David and now Mick Higgins all winning to leave Con’s team leading eight frames to seven in this race to see who would reach the magical thirteen first. For the record Wayne Killmartin and Mark McEvoy won the two frames for The West.  Con’s team made it 10-7 when Mick Higgins and David Feeney beat Eamon Cummins and Mark McEvoy in two fiercely contested frames before Wayne Kilmartin stopped the rot and indeed started a run of wins for The West as Sonny Hanley beat Con Faughnan, Darragh Duke beat Gerry Poucher and Eamon Cummins beat Gerry Poucher again to leave the West leading eleven frames to ten with four frames remaining. Con levelled the contest with some great pool and under enormous pressure as the big crowd sensed that the underdogs had a real chance of victory.   The frame of the night came next with Mick Higgins up against Wayne Killmartin and with both of those players more than capable of an eight ball clearance it was obvious that a lot would depend on the break. The lie of the balls did not favour an all-out attempt at a potting finish and so this frame developed into a game of safety play where one mistake would surely spell victory for his opponent. Such was the standard of safety play and patience that the frame lasted almost forty minutes before Wayne got the chance to make a clearance and a one frame lead for his team, 12 frames to 11.   What proved to be the last frame was fought out between Darragh Duke and Ronnie Poucher. The early exchanges were very even until Darragh spotted his chance for a four ball finish, and displaying all the required coolness and nerve went purposefully about the business until his tremendous shot on the black almost brought the house down around him.   And so the MGF Cup was won by the team called The West!