The Pat O’Sullivan Memorial handicap tournament was played at Celbridge Snooker Club on Sunday, 20th of January 2013. After a day’s play, which saw many games decided on the tightest margins, John Kehoe (Enniscorthy), one of Ireland’s most competent young players, was the well deserved winner on the day.
Among the first round eliminations were Andy Kehoe (Enniscorthy), Brendan Devlin (Celbridge), Victor O’Gorman (Dun Laoghaire), Liam Byrne (Edenderry),Joe Doheny (Borris-in-Ossory) and Portmarnockplayers Kevin Christie and 2011 winner Aonghus McAnally.
The semi finalists in the top half of the draw were Robert McCrum (Celbridge), having won his quarter final quite convincingly against Anthony O’Flaherty (Rathkeale) and Mark Nolan (Edenderry) who was awarded a walkover when Larry Drennan (Kilkenny) withdrew. Mark, who was getting a 40 point handicap start from Robert, scored well from the start, pulling off some remarkable pots in the process, not only maintained his starting advantage but gradually increased his lead to claim his place in the final by a margin of 80 points.
The semi finalists in the bottom half of the draw were eventual winner John Kehoe (Enniscorthy) and Wayne Doyle (Dun Laoghaire), John taking his quarter final after a tight match against Dun Laoghaire junior player Ross Doyle while Wayne (Ross’s older brother), scoring breaks of 71 and 52, took an even tighter quarter final win against Gavin Farrell (Dun Laoghaire). The semi final was a superb match between two of the country’s finest young players, the decision going John’s way by a margin of just over 50 points.
The Final turned out to be an enthralling game, both players scoring well when at the table. As there was not a great deal of difference in handicap points, it was a matter of whether Mark with his quick-fire style of play, or John with his more classical approach would prevail. In the event, Mark got off to a flying start, building up an early lead. John however, stuck to his task, never allowing his opponent to get too far ahead. By the half way stage of the game, John had made up the deficit and with consistent play and skilful shot selection not only reversed the deficit but, having established a lead, went on increasing it to the end of the game to become a well deserved winner of this year’s title.
By way of consolation for his journey from Borris, Joe Doheny was the winner of the plate, amassing a magnificent break of 113 in the process.
It was gratifying to have such good participation at this year’s Pat O’Sullivan tournament, an independent event, separate from any of the points ranking billiards series, which gave us an opportunity to remember Pat in an active way and to reflect on the influence he had on the game of billiards in Ireland.
Our thanks are due to Bernard Burke and Phil Martin for the excellent playing facilities at Celbridge Snooker Club and to James, Ray and Liam at Celbridge for their help on the day.
Results(all matches 400 up, 90 minute time limit):
Anthony O’Flaherty 400 – 396 Andy Kehoe
Brendan Devlin 335 – 400 Robert McCrum
Larry Drennan 400 – 276 Victor O’Gorman
Aonghus McAnally 360 – 400 Mark Nolan
Liam Byrne 376 – 400 John Kehoe
Gavin Farrell 400 – 361 Kevin Christie
Joe Doheny 249 – 400 Wayne Doyle (Brk: 62, 62, 52)
Anthony O’Flaherty 270 – 400 Robert McCrum
Larry Drennan – W/O Mark Nolan
John Kehoe 400 – 377 Ross Doyle
Gavin Farrell 391 – 400 Wayne Doyle (Brk: 71, 52)
Robert McCrum 318 – 400 Mark Nolan
John Kehoe 400 – 349 Wayne Doyle
Mark Nolan 337 – 400 John Kehoe (Brk: 55)