Another fantastic successful 3 days of snooker for women and girls at Joey’s Dublin as the RILSA International Irish Open got underway on Saturday 12th August. With the round robin stages completed on day 1 the scene was set as the positions in the groups were decided.
Ireland’s top amateur players all topped their groups with Sandra Bryan taking group A without dropping a frame, while Christine Carr qualified in 2nd place. In Group B, Cathy Dunne came through after a playoff with Louise Maher to take top spot giving Louise 2nd. Group C saw Paula Judge come through after a great display of snooker throughout with Michelle O’Boyle taking number 2 in the group. Group D was Annette Newman’s as she won all her matches without dropping a frame with newcomer Susan Hanlon taking 2nd spot to complete the quarter-final line up for the 2017 International Irish Open.
The first quarter-final match between Sandra Bryan and Susan Hanlon saw Susan take frame 1 with Sandra coming back to level 1-1 in this best of 5 match, the 3rd frame was close with Susan taking it to go into the lead only requiring another for a semi final spot. Sandra started well but Susan stepped up a gear and won the frame needed to advance to the semis.
Quarter final match 2 between Irish number 1, Annette Newman and Christine Carr was over in quick time as Annette was in great form winning all 3 frames comfortably to meet Susan in the semis.
Quarter final match 3 saw Cathy Dunne go into a 2 frame lead against Michelle O’Boyle. Michelle came back well in the 3rd frame to keep her in the match at 2-1, however Cathy potted well to take frame 4 to advance to the semis.
Quarter final 4 was another good match with Paula going into a 2 frame lead with a number of 20+ and 35 breaks, however Louise came back to take frame 3 on the black ball. In frame 4 Paula got in with good breaks of 27 and 33 to put her through to meet Cathy in the semis
Susan Hanlon was in great form against Annette Newman after her confidence boosting win over Sandra Bryan in the quarters and went into an early 2 frame lead, Annette potted well in frame 3 and after a close bout in frame 4 to take it on the black to level the match 2-2. the 5th and final frame went to the experienced Irish number 1 Annette as she stuck to her guns to clear up for a first International Final place. Annette got to the quarters in 2015 and the semis last year, this result was great improvement for Annette.
Semi final 2 was yet another great match, with Cathy Dunne taking frame 1 and had chances to go 2 nil up on Paula, however Paula potted the balls needed to level at 1-1. The current Irish Champion Paula went up a gear in frame 3 to move closer to the final, however Cathy pushed her all the way in frame 4 to the colours with Paula clearing from blue to black to win and give her a place in the final with Annette.
The first two frames started scrappy with Paula taking both to go into an early lead in this best of 7 match. Annette responded well in frame 3 to take it as the interval loomed. After the interval, Paula played the best snooker of the weekend with a number of 30+ breaks in frame 4 & 5 to win the match and take the 2017 Irish International Open title.
Congratulations to Paula on her great win and to Annette on a fine performance throughout
Thanks to Joe Lyons for refereeing the final and Robbie Keogh for Marking. Thanks also to Jack Maloney, Declan Tuohy, Dave Seales and Fran Keogh for their refereeing over the 3 days in making the event run smoothly. A big thank you to Derek Fagan and staff of Joey’s for providing excellent facilities for our 3rd International at Joey’s Dublin.
Thanks to Mick Fitz of Clontarf Media and Dublin City FM for his fantastic support and to Declan Hughes also of Dublin City FM for his interviews and reports over the 3 days which will be broadcast next Sunday 19th August from 1pm onwards
Thanks to Mandy O’Neill who came along and took portraits and group photos of the players, we really appreciate it and we wish Mandy every success in her career in photography. Mandy, already has great success and you can check out her progress on www.mandyoneill.com
Thanks to Larry O’Dea who has been so supportive towards both junior and women’s snooker for many years. Larry celebrated his 90th birthday recently and is still very active on our committee and refereeing along with coaching our players at our events.
The International Open would not be possible without the help and commitment of our RILSA committee and in particular to Annette Newman, Tina Keogh, & Valerie Maloney not forgetting Mags, Sandra, Gerard,Leona, Aileen, Lauren and Declan all who give of their time to women’s cue sports.
A special thank you to Clr Deirdre Heney who officiated at the presentation representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Mícheál MacDonncha. Deirdre has been so supportive towards our initiatives and is an advocate for women’s sport, we are delighted to have her on board.
Thanks to all the players for their participation and support and in particular those players who travelled long distances to be here. Again just to acknowledge Laura Alves from Brazil, her commitment is amazing and we need more women like her in the sport.
A big thank you to Lukas and staff of the Travelodge Swords for their reduced rates and support towards our event and to all the staff of the Lord Mayor’s pub in Swords and at the Cock & Bull Raheny for their great food and entertainment over the 3 days in Dublin
Thanks Ann McMahon for all your help and support much appreciated! To all the other radio stations, RTE sport, Kildare FM, Midlands Radio and KCLR 98fFM & TG4 for reporting on the events we at RILSA really appreciate the support in promoting women’s cue sports in Ireland.
We were delighted to see representatives from our friends at SARI and we look forward to seeing this new venture develop in the years ahead.
For those of you who donated items for the raffle and those of you who bought tickets for it, a huge thanks to one and all. Thanks to our Ad sponsors in our event booklet and to Sean Judge of Hula Print.ie for printing them
Alison McDonnell of Dublin Trophies
John & Darren of the Billiard Co
Paul & Bernie of Sharkx Newbridge
Tom Moloney Wood Design
Florist Naas Road
McCanns of Portarlington
Donna Dunne & the Mystery Men
Sandra & Murt Breakers Gorey
O’Leary Maher Solicitors Howth Road Dublin
Christina Phelan Slimming World Carlow
Sean & Pauline Bergin of the Camross Inn
Midland Hygiene Services Ltd Co Laois
We look forward to seeing you the players at next years event and during the RILSA Tour commencing in September 2017