Our team of players who travelled to Cwmbran in Wales recently, had a great event as they flew the flag for Ireland for the very first time in a World Billiards event.

Annette Newman, Tina Keogh, Valerie Maloney and Christine Carr all gave it their best over the two day event in Cwmbran Wales.

With top class male players from around the World at this event, our players knew that this was certainly going to be a learning curve within the sport of billiards.

It was to be a fantastic success for the organisers who had received backing from a number of local businesses to help them stage this World event.  The Redz Snooker Club, Cwmbran was the venue who provided excellent facilities along with support from Palace Windows, Phoenix Hire & Sales, G .Hitchens Landscaping, Sports Wales and Rosetta Sports certainly made for the success of the tournament.

World Billiards was on hand to see the smooth running of such, with Ron Allen at the helm as Tournament Director and Alex Donne who was the main organiser who pulled everything together to see it through.

The invitation to our Association, RILSA here in Ireland from Alex was great acknowledgement of our success with female billiard sports over the past 4 years.  We gladly accepted his invitation and in doing so put RILSA back into International Cue Sports where our players will gain great experience and advance the standard of play over time.

With a number of other Invitations to date along with a trip to Jersey for a friendly match in 2020 on the cards from Richard de La Haye who is a great ambassador for billiards on the Island, I’m sure participation will gather somewhat in the near future and maybe we will start to see billiards played on the big screen soon where I feel the sport would excel and advance like snooker has over the years.  Small steps such as a timed final with a TV network on a number of occasions to see how the cue sports world would view it, certainly wouldn’t do any harm.

Our players were delighted with the event and the friendliness and acceptance from all the male players in the competition, they really made us feel welcome and very much part of the World billiard community.

Such great respect was shown to our players during their matches with great encouragement along with some tips on certain shots was forthcoming from many of the seasoned top class male players over the two days in Cwmbran.

Our girls did us proud and even though they knew that the standard of the male players is much advanced than theirs, they all played some great billiards.  This is the first time you will see four Irish women listed on the World Billiard Rankings, joining Emma Bonny and Gaye Jones from the UK.

We all stayed to watch the final between Peter Gilchrist the World Number 1 and Martin Goodwill World Number 4, both top class Professional Players who put on a fantastic display of billiards over the 90 minute final.  Martin had previously beaten Peter on two occasions however it was Peter’s turn to oust him on the day again with big breaks of  200 and 257 along with a string of 100+ breaks to finish on a score line of 863 to 190.  Martin just didn’t off the line with a few missed shots, let Peter in to score heavy.  This now, Peters 4th ranking win in succession having just finishing with a great win in Thailand a few weeks before Wales, certainly sees him in good form and full of confidence as they now head off to Leeds for the Jim Williamson Trophy 17th to the 18th August.  Best of luck to everyone in Leeds from us at RILSA.

All the information along with You Tube recordings of the best players in the World, can be accessed on worldbilliards.com

We wish to thank Alex Donne and Ron Allen and all the players for making us feel so welcome and part of the billiard community.  A big thank you to Marcus Stead who writes for cue scene and is so supportive of us and our objectives in promoting female cue sports and Special Needs.  Marcus has been following and reporting on our progress over the past few years and we really appreciate his support and coverage towards female cue sports.

Finally again just to say how proud we are of our players for their participation and great play over the two days, Annette, Valerie, Tina and Christine, really well done to all.