RYAN Cronin will head to Bulgaria in a couple of weeks time to represent his club the Crucible, his County and most importantly the Republic of Ireland at the European under 21 snooker championships in Sofia.
Incredibly the honour of representing Ireland as a player on the RIBSA panel for the tournament is huge for the young lad and his family and friends, but what is even more incredible is the huge costs that playing for your Country entail where Ryan's family will have to fork out huge amounts of Euro if they want to support Ryan in his endeavours to go all the way on the green baize.
There is doubting Cronin's potential, the Eighteen year old has all the credentials to go all the way to the 'Main Tour' and he could easily be Cork's first professional since Anthony O'Connor, but what is worrying is that the cost of playing for his country could just be too much money to find time after time in a sport that is so demanding and for the most part financially unrewarding.
The national body for Snooker in the Republic of Ireland RIBSA receive very little funding from the National Sports Council and people like the National Coach PJ Nolan and the RIBSA Chairman James Lacy are operating under fierce pressure and very tight budgets to keep the game alive here in Ireland and very often they have little or no funds to help our emerging young group of talented players and that has to change.
Determined to support their son as best they can Ryan's mother Norma and his father Pio are doing everything they can to help Ryan to achieve his dream of making it as an International player and they have organised a quiz night this Friday at the Macushla Bar on Blarney Street owned by Niall and Colin Burns and along with spot prizes and the quiz itself they hope to raise enough money to send their son to Bulgaria.
The honour of playing for Ireland in snooker is fantastic, the reality of funding yourself to go to these championships is horrific.
Ryan who currently tops the National rankings at under 19 and under 21, is a fabulous player, full of talent and potential and he told Rebel Snooker
I really want to do well in the game and I put in the hours of practice every day, but travelling away with the Irish squad is expensive and I hope that everyone comes along to the quiz night this Friday and lends a hand, I would like to thank my mother and father for their support and thank everyone who comes along it is appreciated.
Cronin made it through to the last 128 of the recent 'Players Tour Championship' and was narrowly beaten by the recent German Masters runner up Stephen Maguire. Cronin made it through to the semi finals of the 'Amateur Cup' and wants to play in more 'PTC's' next year and has the potential to go all the way in Sofia when he heads out on the 5th of March for eight days.
The 'Cork Individual Billiards Championships' were held at the AOH last Sunday and it was the 'Maestro' himself Timmy Murphy who came out on top, lifting the county title.
Tim a well known International billiard player had to beat fellow AOH club man Lloyd Myers at the AOH in the final.
Tim Murphy (Jnr) beat Christopher Cooney
Lloyd Myers Beat Derek O'Neill
Kevin O'Leary beat Donncha Breathnach
Timmy Murphy (Snr) beat Brendan Cooney (level at 140 ran out game with 61 break u/f
Lloyd Myers beat Tim Murphy (Jnr)
Timmy Murphy beat Kevin O'Leary ( Timmy Murphy first score 128 break and had 54 later)
Timmy Murphy beat Lloyd Myers
Three places are filled in the Cork Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA) Cork league semi finals. Youghal CYMS 'A', the Crucible and the AOH have booked their semi final spots, but there was no separating Douglas 'A' or Youghal CYMS 'B' who both won their home league matches and therefore it was decided on the toss of a coin that the play off match between these two great sides will take place this week at Douglas Snooker Club with the winners meeting the Crucible.
Youghal CYMS 'A' will play the AOH and the CBSA Cork league final is set for Thursday the 23rd of February. The semi finals will be played at a neutral venue, but this years final will be a home and away match.
Teams will have to play the best of 13 frames to decide the winner of the semi finals, but the final will be the first to 16 frames.
This weekend coming sees the top individual snooker event on the Cork snooker calendar, when Karl and Martin Busteed of Douglas snooker club host the 2012 'Cork Close Individual Snooker Championships'.
The event was played at Shooters last year where Anthony O'Connor on his 40th birthday beat David Cassidy in the final and this years event will be as closely competed as last years with an array of talented players all in with a chance.
The likes of Brendan Cooney, Greg Casey, Ryan Cronin, David Cassidy, Karl Busteed and former winner Adrian Landers will take all the beating, but this event can throw up some amazing results
The entry fee for the Cork Close is just €10 with 50% of the entry fee paid out, and I am reliably informed that there will be a plate event too.