Annette Newman from Carlow is our 1st player on the all time list with RILSA, Annette joined RILSA in the mid 1980’s but had been playing snooker since 1979 until she joined the Ladies Leinster Billiards & Snooker Association in 1982 just after their formation. Annette was there when the Ladies Leinster Billiards & Snooker Association was terminated and the Republic of Ireland Ladies Snooker Association was formed in 1986. Immediately, Annette made an impact in the newly formed organisation when she reached the final of the RILSA National Championship that same year which was played in Potters Dublin against Martina Wendel, just to lose out in the final frame on the black ball. From then on she would continue to make the semis of most events on the tour and rise through the National Rankings. While keeping in the top 16 for a number of years and making it into the top 8 by the mid 1990’s, she would make it to number 4 in 1995 drop down to number 10 in 1996 and remain in the top 16 for the next two seasons.
However out of competition for a few years due to an accident, Annette returned to the tour to take up where she left off, making progress again reaching semi finals and back within the top 8 once again. Her first National Ranking win came in 1999 taking a 2-1 win over Paula Darby in the Ladies Leinster Masters. She never gave up over the next few seasons with some good results but the win’s were just somewhat out of reach for her until she reached the final of the Griffith Cup in 2002 against Michelle Sherwin and took the win 2-0, returned in 2003 to retain this title against Paula Darby and for the first time ever to take the title of Griffith Cup 3 years in a row, this time against Edel Cosgrave. This would be the last win for a number of years as RILSA went into decline in 2005 with the numbers playing down to single figures. RILSA would have to go back to the drawing board in the coming years to establish a plan to get female cue sports back on track in Ireland.
With the reformation of RILSA in 2014, Annette reached the final of the National Championship once again, against Sandra Bryan from Wexford and like all those years ago in 1986 was to lose out in the final frame and black ball. Annette while beaten remained resolute and was to return the following year to make the final of the National Championship again against Sandra Bryan but it was Annette’s time shine as she won her first National Championship Title. She would reach the final again for the 3rd season in a row only to just lose out on the pink ball in the final frame against Danielle Randle from Kilkenny. The following two seasons would see Annette make the semis of the National Championship until the 2019 Championship in Dublin when she played her best snooker against Cathy Dunne from Dublin to take the title 3-0 and for her second time in her career with RILSA.
Annette was starting to play some of her best snooker in years and would start to dominate the tour since 2014 with 13 more National Ranking wins and many final places over the last 6 seasons. Annette has reached the final of the National 6 Red Championship for the past 5 years and this season took the title to add to the National Amateur Title. After reaching the final of the Inaugural 10 Red National Championship in 2019, she would return to the final in 2020 to take her 3rd National Snooker Title in the same season against Claire Mill. She has reached the final of the National Masters twice. Annette would go on to win the coveted Maureen Butler Cup in 2019 to complete an amazing two seasons with RILSA. Over the years Annette has won 16 National Ranking titles, two National Amateur Championship Titles, one National 6 Red Championship Title, one National 10 Red Championship Title and the Maureen Butler Cup. She would add a Carlow County Championship title to her list in 2017, An amazing achievement for the Carlow woman.
On the National Ranking list, Annette would return in 2015 to take number 2 spot after a great season. In 2016 she would take number 1 for the first time and for 5 seasons in a row, Annette has remained Irish number 1 on the National rankings, this is history in the making as the first woman to do this in Ireland.
Annette took part in 4 World Championships and a UK Championship over the years and did well qualifying out of the group stage on two occasions. She reached the quarters of the World Plate in 1994 and the Quarter finals of the World Seniors in 2016. She reached the semi finals of the UK Challenge Cup Championship in Cambridge in 2016. On the International stage, Annette got to the Quarters of the International Irish Open main event in 2015, went one better in 2016 reaching the semis of the main event, Annette would get to her first International final against Paula Judge in 2017 at Joey’s Dublin in the Irish Open to finish runner up, again made it to the semis in 2018 and back to the final in 2019 against Cathy Dunne to make it an all Irish final for the second time. However it was not to be on this occasion as Cathy took the win. In 2018 Annette along with Paula Judge and Cathy Dunne were runners up to England in the Home Nations Challenge in Dublin
Annette was part of the ladies group to represent Ireland at the Welsh World Billiards Open in 2019, playing some good billiards and played in the Austrian World Open Billiards also in 2019 where she rose to the occasion making a good stand against some of the World’s best male players. She would make it to the quarters of the Challenge Cup in Vienna. Her first International Billiards win was at D’Arcy McGees Dublin when she took on Laura Alves from Brazil in the final.
On the National Billiards Tour, Annette has dominated the tour right from the start taking the inaugural Ladies Billiards Championship title in 2015 and has retained this ever since, 5 National Billiard Championship titles in a row, again an amazing achievement for her. She added the Inaugural 100 Up National Billiard Championship title to her list. On the National Billiards Tour, out of 20 events to date, Annette has won 19 and runner up in 1. Along with her wins on the National Billiards Tour, Annette took number 1 on the rankings and has remained at number 1 in female billiards over the past 4 seasons and is heading to make it 5 number 1 spots in a row.
Annette is a recipient of the Griffith Pin Award and has a total of 75 medals since 2014 with 10 Gold, 23 Silver and 15 Bronze for Snooker and 26 Gold and 1 Silver for Billiards.
With 10 National Championship Titles in both Snooker & Billiards and having remained at number 1 in Snooker for the last 5 seasons and number 1 in Billiards in the last 4 seasons, is an astounding achievement to a woman so dedicated to female cue sports. Overall Annette’s success is a testament to her commitment and dedication to practice and her results show that she is one of Ireland’s top female snooker and billiard players and rightly deserves her place at the top of our list. Annette has not missed an event since the reformation of RILSA back in 2014 and she intends to continue playing snooker and billiards for many years to come.
Annette has 16 International Caps for Ireland.
Congratulations to Annette on all her success with RILSA.