Saturday 26th July 2014 was a great day for the Stars Academy Ireland Inter County Snooker Championships at Joeys in Dublin. Teams of 5 players from Dublin, Carlow, Kildare and Laois took part in a great tournament. This event is now in its 3rd year and the interest growing each year with more and more players and Counties looking to take part. We will be running a B team Championship later in the year to cater for those other players. The event was run over 3 sessions where each team would get to play each other and each player would play each player on the team. A total of 150 frames were played during the event and proved very successful.
The first session saw the Kildare team of Leon Costello, Matty Williams, Keith Murphy, Reece Doyle and Shane Ryan take on the Dublin team of Aaron Holland, Darragh Cusack, Andrei Deaconescu, Dylan O’Connell and James Bray Duffy. Dublin proved strong against last years runners up taking the session 16 frames to 9. Teams also playing in the first session, Laois, last years Champions were Jack Maloney, Robbie Keogh, Jamie Maloney, Darragh Fullam and Joshua Bates were against an in form Carlow team of Jordan McCarthy, Corey Ramsbottom, Jordan Walker, Sean O’Connor and Dylan Keightley. Even though the score line seems big 22 Carlow and 3 Laois, many frames went down to a black ball in favour of the Carlow team.
Carlow now leading going into the second session needed to keep up the pressure against a strong Kildare team and were successful taking it 19 to 6. Again Laois were unfortunate with a lot of black ball deciders going in favour of Dublin, winning their session 23 to 2.
The third and final session saw a fight back from Laois against Kildare, but it was not to be with Kildare taking the session 19 to 6 putting Laois in 4th place and giving Kildare a 3rd place. The Dublin V Carlow session began with both teams very close on points Carlow 41 and Dublin 39. Carlow took the first set of 5 frames 3-2, Dublin returned with a 3-2 win, back came Carlow 3-2 in the 3rd set of 5 frames. Carlow won the 4th set of 5 frames 4-1 and continued in the 5th set with again 4-1 win giving the Carlow team a 9 frame win over Dublin. Carlow 57 frames, Dublin 48 frames, Kildare 34 frames and Laois 11 frames.
The star player on the day to win 14 out of a possible 15 frames was Dylan Keightley from Carlow closely followed by Darragh Cusack from Dublin and team mate Corey Ramsbottom both on 13 frame wins. The Kildare team were very happy with their overall performance while Laois were unfortunate not to take more frames but were positive about their performance and really enjoyed the competition. Darragh Fullam from Laois beat an in form Corey Ramsbottom in their match and Robbie Keogh from Laois was the only player to take a frame from Dylan Keightley so a lot to be said for the Laois players.
Congratulations to Carlow on their win and to Dublin on an excellent performance and well done to the Kildare and Laois teams for their performances and taking a positive approach for their endeavours. A big thank you to Derek Fagan, Keith and Larry for their support and help on the day. Thanks to all the players and parents, grandparents, mentors and supporters for their input in making this event such a success.