The Republic of Ireland Ladies Snooker Association held their Annual Awards presentations at the Bridge House Hotel Tullamore Co Offaly recently.
A fantastic evening for RILSA, with many awards handed out to players in both Snooker & Billiards along with various categories such as best club, best School etc
The RILSA President Margaret Browne was on hand to present the Awards and she did a great job on the evening. A big thank you to Tina Keogh our National Secretary who organised the evening at the Hotel. The Hotel gave over the Egan Suite for our presentations on the evening followed by a drink and finger food to all in attendance.
After the award presentations, everyone really enjoyed the evening with great music and dancing.
Thanks to the management and staff of the Hotel for all their support and making our evening a great success.
The following presentations were made on the evening.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – CATHY DUNNE
The player of the year award for 2019 is Cathy Dunne. Cathy has been very supportive of RILSA over the years and has been to the forefront of many of our events over the past season, having great results and a few close calls along the way. Having been runner up on 3 occasions this season in closely contested National Ranking events and again to reach the final of the Ladies National Championship for the 3rd season in a row, shows her tenacity and dedication to female cue sports. Cathy’s position within RILSA is very much one of mutual respect from her peers.
Cathy first started playing in National events over 20 years ago and has represented Ireland on many occasions at both World and International events. After winning the National Championship in 2004 she went on to have a number of wins on the International stage, the first again in 2004 against Cathy Pegg from Northern Ireland in the All Ireland Championship with a 3-1 win. Her win in the 2015 Ladies Intermediate Irish Open was a great success for her.
Cathy came back in 2016 to reach the final of the Irish Open main event but was ousted by Ann McMahon in an all Irish final. She certainly deserves this award for all her dedication and commitment to female snooker here in Ireland as she has so much to offer to our organisation as we make progress in putting RILSA to the forefront of female cue sports in Ireland.
SPECIAL NEEDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – RACHEL BRADLEY
Rachel Bradley from Newbridge in Kildare and attending St Marks has made a huge impact on the Special Needs RILSA Tour since its inception back in 2014 where she reached the inaugural final only to go one better in 2015 taking the National title. Out due to injury in 2016, Rachel returned in 2017 to take the title for a second time and completed the hat trick in 2018 with a great win over Katelyn O’Reilly at Sharkx to be the first player to win three RILSA Special Needs titles. She has dominated the sport in this area and we feel will continue to do so for a number of years to come.
A great achievement for Rachel to take this award for 2019.
BILLIARDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – ANNETTE NEWMAN
Annette has dominated the ladies billiards since the inaugural Championship in December 2015. Annette has won almost every event since and holds the number 1 spot on the National Rankings for the last 4 years along with 4 National Billiards Championship Titles. Her commitment to women’s billiards is outstanding and she truly deserves this award for 2019.
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR – TINA KEOGH
Tina has been very consistent over the past 3 seasons, keeping her number 7 place on the National Rankings which is no mean feat. Her status among the National Intermediate Tour holds well for her with 2 final places last season winning one of the ranking events against Rachael Bradley and runner up to Susan Hanlon in the other. It’s her progress on the main tour this season that sees her take this award for 2019 as she pushed former National Champion, Cathy Dunne to a few close finishes in their matches along with making the current National Champion, Annette Newman fight for a place in the semis of the National Championship in May 2019. Clearly much improved and deserves this award for 2019.
INTERMEDIATE BILLIARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – VALERIE MALONEY
Valerie has much improved in the ladies Intermediate Billiards tour with a runner up and win on the Tour in 2018 securing her the number 1 ranked player on the Intermediate Tour for 2018. 2019 saw Valerie again take 2 wins, a runner up place and semi-finalist in the rankings to retain her number 1 spot on the Intermediate Tour. Valerie is certainly making great progress in ladies billiards and is a force to reckon with on both the Intermediate and Amateur circuit here in Ireland. Her success over the past two seasons sees her take this award for 2019 and so well deserved.
INTERMEDIATE SNOOKER PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – CHRISTINE CARR
Christine started the new season winning the first intermediate ranking followed with a win in ranking 5, both against the current number 1, Valerie Maloney. Holding number 1 spot for two seasons and 2nd this season is a great result for her. Christine has dominated the intermediate RILSA tour during the season and she really deserves this award for all her great efforts during the season.
MOST CONSISTENT PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – LOUISE JORDAN
Louise joined the RILSA Tour after a number of years away from the table but soon made a great impact as she won National Ranking 2, knocking out the current National Champion Paula Judge in the semis at that time and to then get a good win over number 1 Annette Newman in the final 3-2 in a very close match. Louise moved on to yet another National Ranking title with a good win over former National Champion, Cathy Dunne 3-1 and was in form at the inaugural National 10 Red Championship in Navan to again take a win over Annette in the final. A great start back on the National Tour. We are delighted to give this award to Louise, so well deserved
CLUB OF THE YEAR AWARD – SHARKX NEWBRIDGE
Both Paul & Bernie of Sharkx Newbridge have been so supportive towards our promotions over the past 6 years with reduced rates for our members along with facilitating free table time for our young juniors on the scholarship programme, is simply amazing. The facility of the upstairs area of the club as our Academy is so much appreciated by us in RILSA.
Many of our National events along with all of our National Billiards events are now held at Sharkx and we certainly hope this continues for many years. This award is so deserving of their efforts and kind support towards our organisation.
SCHOOL OF THE YEAR AWARD – ST MARKS NEWBRIDGE
Since we introduced snooker into St Marks in Newbridge in 2013 with the installation of a full size table, the interest has continued to grow year on year, at the School. Aileen O’Brien, Alma Carley the principal and Mary at reception are an absolute delight to work with, as they appreciate the difference the sport has made to their school and students, along with the many benefits it gives to the lives of all those involved. The school has dominated special needs snooker on the National scene since joining RILSA with Rachael Bradley taking the National title on three occasions along with Alan Beale, Stephen Sheerin and Conor Flynn winning the National men’s Special needs titles with Stars Academy Ireland in their short time involved in the sport.
St Marks really deserved this award for all their hard work and dedication to our initiatives, with 50 girls from the school have taken part in National RILSA events in the past 6 years is astounding to say the least.
JUNIOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR – EMIRJETA DODA
Emirjeta proved her worth taking the National U21 Championship for the 4th time in 2018 and having made all 5 event finals over the years, is an amazing achievement for her as she had to fight off good competition each year in order to win these titles. Another factor in these U21 events is that you have only 1 frame in each round and this is a true test of ability in which she showed on her way to a 4 National title. The award this year is very much deserved for Emirjeta’s achievements within RILSA.