Seventh heaven for Silver Eel!

County Roscommon 2022 Division One Pool Champions for a 7th Time. Back (left to right) Bobby Hanly, Sonny Hanly, Dara Duke, Wayne Kilmartin Front (left to right) Ray Caslin, Derek Hagan, Mark McEvoy Missing from pic: Leo Sheil

The most successful pool team in Roscommon, The Silver Eel, took home their seventh Division One title recently following a hard-fought victory over Foxes of Roscommon town.

The Silver Eel took a slender 5-4 lead into the second leg of the final, meaning it was all to play for in Foxes.

Game one was between Neil Hennelly (Foxes) and Wayne Kilmartin (Silver Eel). Under normal circumstances, two free-flowing attacking players but both knew the significance of the opening game. Neil took control covering two corner pockets and made a position perfect finish to win the opening game to make it five-all on aggregate.

Game two was between Kevin Kenny (Foxes) and Derek Hagan (Silver Eel). Derek got the first look at the black in this game and left it over the middle pocket. In trying to develop his final red, Kevin jawed the white in the corner pocket and was unable to get out of the snooker. Derek burnt his first shot to set up the black and put it away in the middle pocket.

(1-1 on the night, Silver Eel leading 6-5 on aggregate).

Game three was a highly tactical encounter between Lorcan Dowd (Foxes) and Ray Caslin (Silver Eel) with neither player giving up easy chances. As one of the game’s best tacticians, Ray came out on top with an excellent finish. It was now 2-1 Silver Eel, who led 7-5 on aggregate.

The fourth was a doubles encounter between Neil Hennelly and Ollie Cunningham (Foxes) and Derek Hagan and Ray Caslin (Silver Eel). Derek and Ray saw the first opportunity on the black but Neil and Ollie ensured they never got a clear chance to finish the match. Neil potted an excellent black under pressure to draw Foxes level on the night.

The Foxes pair of Kevin Kenny and Fergal Patterson took on Silver Eel’s Wayne Kilmartin and Bobby Hanly in game five in what was a tit-for-tat encounter. The Eel duo finally killed it off with a controlled four-ball finish to stretch their lead to 8-6 on aggregate.

The momentum had now swung in the Silver Eel’s favour and game six saw Sonny Hanly and Dara Duke come out all guns blazing against Gerry Lohan and Johnny Farrell. Gerry and Johnny missed a crucial red and this allowed Dara Duke to double a difficult black to the middle pocket for the win. The Silver Eel were now on the brink.

Gerry Lohan (Foxes) was back for game seven against Silver Eel’s Mark McEvoy. This was an even contest until an unforced error from Gerry provided Mark with two shots and the Silver Eel player cleared the table to seal his team’s seventh title. The final score was 5-2 to The Silver Eel on the night and 10-6 on aggregate.

The Silver Eel captain, Sonny Hanly, thanked all team members for a great season and paid tribute to The Silver Eel for their performances over the two legs. He also paid a special acknowledgement regarding the sad loss of Irene Hanly of The Silver Eel. Irene was a great supporter of the team over the years and the victory was dedicated to her memory.