By Derek Kiely
GARY Bracken has retained his ‘Cork Close’ snooker title and remarkably just like 2012 the 2013 final was between the AOH man and Youghal CYMS star Aaron Tobin.
Last year’s final at Douglas snooker club was a different affair with Bracken seeing off the young Youghal man by three frames to nil, but this year the defending champion had to come from two frames down to secure victory in a fantastic final that graced a brilliant snooker venue.
The preparation that both Karl and Martin Busteed, the owners of Douglas snooker club ahead of this prestigious event was phenomenal and no stone was left unturned to make sure the tables were in pristine condition for the big day. The game of snooker is thriving in Cork at the moment, but it takes a lot of hard work to keep it going and the Busteed brothers can take a mighty pat on the back for their efforts to maintain the very highest standards and that was reflected by the very high entry for this year’s event and the positive comments from at theplayers who took part.
Bracken the number one seed defeated the Crucibles Dean Callanan, Ger Kelly from Youghal CYMS, Douglas’s Gerry O’Sullivan in the quarter-final and the Crucibles Greg Casey in the semi-final.
Number two seed Aaron Tobin defeated Fermoy’s Daithi Whelan, fellow club mate from Youghal CYMS Adrian Landers, the Crucible’s David Cassidy in the quarter-final and the AOH player Shane O’Mahony in the semi-final.
Tobin got off to a flying start winning the opening two frames of the best of five frame final, but Bracken again showed his patience and class to come back and win the remaining three frames and the title for a second year in a row, which if I am correct is the first time that the ‘Cork Close Snooker Championship’ has been won back-to-back and with Bracken and O’Mahony both playing so well on the run up to the Munster snooker club championships, could the AOH be the dark horses for Killarney?
Meanwhile looking ahead to the ‘Cork Billiards and Snooker Association’ (CBSA) events on the 2012/13 calendar there is plenty to look forward to with two interesting team events coming up.
In March the under 17 three person team event will happen in Youghal and the very prestigious Orme Shield which will hang on the wall of Shooters snooker club for a couple of more months following their win in the event last year, incidentally with a team that had Gary Bracken on board at that time. The Orme Shield is played in Youghal and is definitely a competition that everyone wants to win.
There is also a lot of good billiards to look forward to as the AOH billiards star Timmy Murphy goes in defence of his Cork County billiard title and in the team event Youghal CYMS will look to retain their title.
The last individual tournament of the season is the biggest singles invitational event in Munster held at Shooters snooker club in Blackpool, ‘The Shooters Cork Open’. Last year’s event was the first holding of this prestigious tournament in many years and it proved to be a massive success with Mark Tuite from Killarney defeating the Crucibles Ryan Cronin in the final.
This year it is hoped that all the top players will travel to Leeside to try and claim this wonderful title and with players like Rodney Goggins who played in 2012 sure to make a return to the event and it is hoped that the likes of David Hogan, Brendan O’Donoghue, Tommy Gleeson, Jason Devaney and many other top names in the Irish amateur snooker scene will come south for a very attractive first prize sponsored by John Paul Crowley and the Shooters snooker club family.
Finally this week in the CBSA second division the semi-finals are in place and one of these four sides will be mixing it up with the big boys next season in division one.
This week see’s Youghal CYMS take on the AOH ‘B’ side at Douglas snooker club and next week the Crucible ‘B’ side travel to Youghal to play Douglas ‘B’.
Next week on Cork Snooker we have a full report on the first semi-final and we catch up with Connie O’Sullivan the ‘Tournament Director’ at the Munster snooker club championships in Killarney ahead of the ‘Munsters’.
For more information on Cork billiard and snooker check out www.corkbillardsandsnooker.com