As part of the RILSA 40th celebrations since the first ever Official National Championship and a Challenge match between the Republic of Ireland and England in 1978. RILSA held a Home Nations Challenge against England once again over the weekend of the Irish Open.
Representing Ireland were Paula Judge (National Champion), Annette Newman (Irish number 1) & Cathy Dunne (Irish number 2) and representing England were Rebecca Kenna (World number 4), Aimee Benn (World number 9) & Shannon Metcalf (World number 13)
As the first of 3 sessions got underway at Joey’s Dublin, the Irish Team knew that they had to play their A game against this tough team from England.
Aimee Benn (Eng) started well against Annette Newman (Irl) with a number of 20+ breaks to take frame 1 in this 3 frame match, Annette came back well in frame 2 counter attacking with a number of 20+ breaks to take the frame to level however Aimee started well in frame 3 but Annette responded well to level on the colours but Aimee took her chance to pot clear from yellow to pink to win 2-1
Rebecca Kenna (Eng) had to play well in frame 1 against Cathy Dunne (Irl) to clear on the colours to take frame 1 but frame 2 was all Rebecca’s with a number of small breaks to take it. Frame 3 started with Cathy making a break of 9 and played safe however Rebecca took advantage after a bout of good safety from both players to finish with a break of 38 to take the 3rd frame.
16 year old Shannon Metcalf (Eng) played good snooker against Paula Judge (Irl) in frame 1 to take it however the Irish Champion stuck right in there to tale the second frame on a black ball to level and again frame 3 went all the way down to yet another black ball, this time it was Shannon who potted black for frame.
England won session 1 by 7 frames to 2
Aimee took frame 1 against Paula comfortably but Paula responded well in the second to level their match. Frame 3 went down to the wire to yet another black ball finish and after a bout of safety on the black, Aimee took her chance to pot for frame.
Rebecca was firing on all cylinders against the Irish number 1 Annette as she made a number of 30+ breaks to seal the first 2 frames, frame 3 saw Annette come back with a small lead but Rebecca fired in a great break of 34 to take their match 3 nil
Shannon started well against Cathy to take the first frame and frame 2 was yet to be another black ball which Shannon potted to go ahead 2 frames, however Cathy pushed the youngster all the way down to a pink ball in the 3rd frame and Cathy potted the pink for frame.
England won session 2 by 7 frames to 2
The 3rd and final session of this Home Nations Challenge was going to be difficult for the Irish team after their previous results but all said, a number of frames could have went their way, so the team gathered themselves and here is the results
Aimee won the first frame on a black ball against Cathy. Cathy went up a gear in frame 2 to level after a great display of snooker. Frame 3 was close all the way to the colours, when Cathy potted from brown to pink to win their match 2-1.
Shannon played exceptional snooker in frame 1 against Annette to win it but Annette responded well in frame 2 to keep in touch with the youngster to finish potting another black ball to level the match, Annette went up a gear in frame 3 to take it and give her a good 2-1 win
After a close first frame Rebecca took it against Paula and fired in a good 33 break in frame 2 to go 2 ahead however Paula took her chances against the World number 4 and played great snooker in the 3rd frame to take it and give Ireland their win in session 2 of this challenge event.
Republic of Ireland won session 3, 5 frames to 4
Congratulations to the England Team of Rebecca, Aimee and Shannon on their win and to the Republic of Ireland Team of Paula, Annette and Cathy for a great performance throughout.
Thanks to Derek Fagan and staff of Joey’s Snooker Club for all their help and support and thanks to Alison McDonnell of Dublin Trophies for sponsoring the Medals for the event.