David Forde from the AOH club is the ‘Munster Snooker Council’ Munster Intermediate (Round 1) winner following some outstanding snooker at Douglas snooker club recently.
The well-known and much admired cue-man was in sparkling form on the green baize at the Donnybrook based club where at the draw 38 hopefuls started in their quest to amass as many ranking points as possible at the start of the three stage tournament, with the top eight players qualifying for the Munster finals weekend in Fermoy in May.
Players came from Kerry and Tipperary to take on the large Cork contingent for the first event that started at 11am and concluded at 9.30pm in a final where Forde met the newly crowned ‘Cork Billiards and Snooker Association’ (CBSA) U14 and U19 snooker champion Sean Walsh at just thirteen years of age from the host club in Douglas.
It was good to see players like Aaron Tobin (Crucible) Martin Kelly (New Institute) Ger Kelly (Youghal) and newly crowned Munster doubles champions Derry O’Sullivan and Danny McGough from the Cue Club in Killarney all in attendance and all going for it and the tightness of most of the top matches indicates that the standard at Intermediate level is very high and there is nothing between the players with the exception of the eventual winner David Forde who was at another level altogether.
Another exciting aspect of the tournament was the huge number of young players from Shooters snooker club playing under the experienced eyes of Anthony O’Connor who was present to see how the ‘Shooters Academy’ young guns would get on and if that wasn’t enough on what was a great day’s snooker, the ‘Grinder’ and 1980 ‘World Professional Snooker Champion’ Cliff Thorburn was present for a while to add some real prestige to the occasion.
Thorburn famous for being the first to make a ‘Maximum 147’ at the Crucible Theatre in 1983 was impressed by the level and the famous Canadian was more than accommodating to the demand on him at Douglas snooker club.
As the day unfolded it was obvious that the top end of the draw was very tough and when it got down to the last eight players it looked like the best had come through with Aaron Tobin up against David Forde, Derry O’Sullivan took on the young James O’Connell from Shooters.
Another Shooters player Dion Burns who was playing very well took on Martin Kelly from New Institute in Nenagh and a rather unique battle between father and son as Sean Walsh took on dad Stephen, for a place in the last four.
Derry O’Sullivan was the first through with a three frames to nil win over O’Connell who isn’t playing long, but looks like he could be a very good player for the future.
Most people dubbed the Forde v Tobin match as the top game of the day and Tobin admitted afterwards that there wasn’t much he could do to stop Forde who played very well to win by three frames to nil.
Dion Burns was brilliant against Martin Kelly without dropping a frame to get through and the son Sean proved too good for the dad Stephen as the talented young thirteen year old powered through 3- 0.
Forde in his semi-final did drop a frame to O’Sullivan, but was mostly in control of his semi-final, but the other match was a different affair with Burns having to come back from two frames behind to level matters to force a deciding frame.
Burns looked all out a winner, but again Dion was very unlucky not to clinch the frame on a few occasions and a miss on the blue cost him dearly as Walsh played an incredible shot to land perfectly on the pink and he had the simplest of match ball pots to go through to the final.
The final was cagey at times and really Walsh should have won the first frame, but he gave Forde the opening and that was that. Forde was in charge in frame two and took it comfortably, but Walsh fought back to win the third frame.
Frame four was decisive for Forde who had a 54 break and cruised to victory.
Meanwhile the leagues are flying at the moment and with a Munster U21 on the horizon, there is so much snooker on offer at the moment on Leeside and that is just brilliant for the younger players in particular.
In the ‘A’ league the defending champions the Crucible ‘A’ side welcomed Youghal CYMS ‘A’ to the Blarney Street venue.
Both teams were looking to continue their winning starts to the season and on the night the Crucible proved too strong for Youghal taking the 3 – 0 victory on the night.
Greg Casey 2-0 Noel Landers
Ryan Cronin 2-1 Ross Bulman
Aaron Hill 2-0 Ger Kelly
David Cassidy (71) 1-0 Brendan Cooney
Shane Hourihane 1-1 Adam Fitzgerald
In the second match in the A league this week the AOH ‘A’ welcomed Crucible ‘B’ to Morrison’s Island. Both teams were looking to put a disappointing start to the season behind them and collect their first win of the season and in the end it was the home side who came out on top.
Lloyd Myers 2-1 Dean Callanan
Shane O’Mahony 2-1 Michael O’Sullivan
Kevin O’Leary 2-0 Dylan O’Shaughnessy
David Forde 1-1 Sean Fitzgerald
Sonny Stack 1-0 Jamie Walsh
In the ‘Singletons Super Value Cork snooker league ‘B’ section Shooters ‘B’ welcomed Douglas ‘B’ to the Blackpool club this week. Both teams were still searching for their first wins of the season and in the end Douglas ‘B’ proved too strong on the night for the host club collecting an away win and a very important three points.
Meanwhile Youghal CYMS ‘C’ welcomed Shooters ‘A’ to the Market House on Wednesday night. Youghal ‘C’ were looking to get back to winning ways after suffering defeat last week and Shooters ‘A’ who have started well were looking to continue their winning ways, but anyone will tell you the ‘Market House’ is a tough place to go to and on the night it was the home side who won this match.
Finally Youghal CYMS ‘B’ welcomed the AOH ‘B’ side to the East Cork seaside venue on Thursday night. Youghal ‘B’ were in good form looking to following up their away win last week with a home win this week and the AOH ‘B’ team were looking to get back to winning ways after a home defeat last week. On the night it was the AOH side that played the better picking up a valuble 2-3 away win
Munster Snooker Council