Jamie Hunter from England won the World Women’s Billiards Championship title at the RILSA Academy Sharkx Newbridge, adding this to her Women’s European Open Billiards Championship title that she won last May at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds. A fantastic achievement for her.
This was the first time that Ireland hosted the Women’s World Billiards Championship since it began back in 1931. We at RILSA were delighted to see the Championship held at our National Academy, Sharkx Newbridge the home of Irish Women’s Billiards. The Academy is also the first female cue sports academy of its kind in the World and was recently officially opened by the Minister for Sport Catherine Martin who was extremely interested in seeing such high profile events for females take center stage at the academy.
During the round robin stage of the championship, we would witness high’s and lows as the players began battling it out on the green baize to see who would take the title which was previously won by Anna Lynch from Australia in Australia in 2019.
The Round Robin matches were of 60 minute duration on day 1 of the Championship with the semis and final set for day 2 with the semis also 60 minute duration and the final at 90 minutes.
Group A saw Annette Newman (Ire) and World number 3 see off a challenge from Joanna Ward (Ire) to take the win as the bell sounded, 121-70. Margaret O’Driscoll (Ire) was up against India’s up and coming young Billiard star Snenthra Babu with Snentra taking the win 119-65
Group B started well for Jamie Hunter (Eng) taking a good win over Tina Keogh (Ire) 223-58 with breaks of 26 &29 while Stephanie Foley (Ire) finished well against Valerie Maloney (Ire) scoring well in the final minutes 88-62
Margaret upped her game against Christine Carr (Ire) to finish well as the minutes ticked down 139-77 to get her first win in Women’s Billiards. Snenthra continued her good form and took the win against Joanna 153-63
Again Jamie played solid Billiards with small breaks every time at the table, she would take the win on the bell against Valerie 274-45. Stephanie did well to overtake Tina as the alarm neared taking the win 83-57
Annette started well against Snenthra but after 20 minutes, Snenthra started making small breaks and a 23 during the final minutes to keep Annette away from the table and take the win 182-83. Joanna and Christine could not be separated as the final seconds ticked away with Joanna making a score of 5 to take the win by 1 point 106-105
There was no stopping Jamie in her match against Stephanie as she made breaks of 22,23,25,26 to finish making a clean sweep of wins in the group by 242-72 and top the group, Stephanie would finish second thus qualifying along with Jamie to the semi final stages
Annette played solid billiards against Christine to take her second win in the group 154-82 and Margaret took a good win over Joanna with a good score of 176-42. At this stage both Annette and Margaret would do battle for second in the group as Snenthra had done enough to top the group.
Snenthra took the win against Christine 155-54 to make it a clean sweep of wins. Annette and Margaret kept in touch for the first 40 minutes with very little between them as the time ticked down, Margaret began to move ahead and with Annette not capitalising on a few opportunities that could have made a difference, however it would be Margaret who would finish on a good win 139-94 and qualifying through to complete the semi final line up
SEMI FINALS Day 2
Jamie Hunter had to dig deep against a very strong effort from Margaret in their semi final match with Margaret ahead for the most part and had a few chances to keep the scores close towards the final 10 minutes where Jamie made a few small breaks to go ahead and stay there as the bell sounded to finish 140-106 for a place in the final
On the other table Snenthra played solid billiards and kept Stephanie away from the table for long periods along with good safety play to finish with the win 188-30 to meet Jamie in the final.
The 90 minute final was nip and tuck for the first 20 minutes with Jamie keeping ahead but once Jamie got into her stride with small breaks each time to the table she ran ahead in the last 20 minutes and finished strong to take the win 304-148 and take the title.
Congratulations to Jamie on winning the Women’s World Billiards Championship Title for the first time and well done to Snenthra on a fine performance throughout. Well done to the semi finalists Margaret and Stephanie and of course all the ladies who participated and made the event such a great success.
The Challenge Cup was held on day 2 and everyone enjoyed the competition. In the prelim round Joanna won against Tina 47-35 in this 30 minute event.
Annette saw off Valerie in the semis with a strong performance 86-35 to see her through to the final while Christine took the win 54-37 against Joanna to meet Annette in the final
In the final Christine would pip Annette on the bell by 3 points to take the win 64-61
Congrats to Christine on her win and well done to Annette on a fine performance
The presentation of prizes
Dan Carroll TD presented all the players and referees with participation certs and medals while Dave Earle the Secretary of RILSA presented the semi finalists with their trophies. Aonghus McNally a Director of the WBL was asked to present the winner and runner up prizes on behalf of the WBL
Dan Carroll thanked Paul Morrison for his kind sponsorship, Judge Roy Beans for the €100 towards the Challenge Cup, Paul and Bernie of Sharkx for covering a table and providing the excellent facilities for the Championship. Mochua Print Portlaoise for providing a pop up for the event. Alison McDonald of Dublin Trophies for doing a great job on the trophies.
Thanks to Mick Fitz for all his support, recording the final and conducting a number of interviews. Thanks to our referees Aidan Murray, Dave Earle and Joe Lyons who did great work along with the girls who helped referee some matches and Annette for marking the final.
Thanks to the all the Board of RILSA for all their hard work in making the event such a great success and last but not lease thanks to the Board of the WBL for their support in funding the prize money and especially Chris Coumbe who works hard behind the scenes on the sub committee for female billiards