Margaret O’Driscoll from Kerry retained her National Amateur Snooker Championship Title at the RILSA Academy Sharkx Newbridge recently and in doing so, she now equals that of Julie Kelly’s 7 titles, an amazing achievement for Margaret.
Margaret first won the title in 1987 and went on to win the title for 4 years in a row, some 12 years later she returned to the tour and won the title again in 2002 for the 5th time equalling that of Ann McMahon’s 5 Championship titles again Margaret dropped out of the tour and after many seasons returned in 2021. In 2022 she won it for the 6th time and now retained it in 2023. Margaret has always kept in touch with cue sports, her many years in the UK and at home playing Snooker and Pool respectively, certainly helps her remain a good contender on the tour.
At the preliminary stages of the Championship we saw Tina Keogh from Offaly go through over Joanna Ward from Kildare, Claire Mill from Dublin saw off Stephanie Foley from Carlow 2 nil in their match while Valerie Maloney from Laois went through to complete the quarter final line up over Christine Carr from Kildare
In the Quarters, Annette Newman from Carlow and the number 1 seed had a good 2 nil win over Grushenka Arnold from Dublin to advance to the semis. Claire Mill had to dig deep to eventually overcome a good effort from Tina Keogh to win 2-1 and meet Annette in the semis
At the the other end of the draw Cathy Dunne from Dublin played solid snooker against Jennifer Earle from Dublin and won both frames needed for a semi final place. Margaret O’Driscoll from Kerry played good snooker against Valerie Maloney with a number of 20+ breaks and a 31 was enough to seal the frames and match to reach the semis.
In the semis, Claire took frame 1 against Annette but Annette responded well in the second to level the match, the 3rd and final frame would go all the way to a pink ball with Claire taking it for her first National Amateur Snooker Championship final on the tour. Margaret won the first but Cathy returned the favour in the second to level at 1-1 the 3rd frame was close for the most part but Margaret closed it out on the colours to meet Claire in the final
In the final Margaret took the first with a number small breaks. The second frame started well for Claire but Margaret responded well with a 28 break to seal the win and retain her title as National Amateur Snooker Champion 2023
Congratulations to Margaret on her win and for equalling that of Julie Kelly’s 7 times going back to the 1990’s, well done to Claire on reaching her first National Amateur Championship final, she has been making progress over the past few seasons. Well done to all the ladies who supported and partook on the day and a big thank you to Dave Earle for refereeing throughout the day and the final. Thanks to Bernie, Paul and staff of Sharkx for all their support as always