AOH double-act crowned Creggan Veterans’ Snooker Pairs champions

Dan Shiels (deputising for Ray Barrow) and Sean Ferry Recieving the winners trophy from Eddie Gallagher Chairperson Creggan Older Peoples Snooker Club  With the beaten finalist Enda Mc Menamin & Neil Gallagher Gallagher looking on.
Dan Shiels (deputising for Ray Barrow) and Sean Ferry Recieving the winners trophy from Eddie Gallagher Chairperson Creggan Older Peoples Snooker Club With the beaten finalist Enda Mc Menamin & Neil Gallagher Gallagher looking on.

Ray Barrow & Sean Ferry emerged the triumphant double-act in the 2016 staging of the Creggan Veterans’ Snooker Pairs Tournament, promoted and hosted by Creggan OPSC. In last week’s final, which attracted the customary full house, the AOH alliance dethroned defenders Neil Gallagher & Enda McMenamin (+3) by the odd frame in three.

Full value for their victory in the decider, they won both frames by comfortable margins, whereas the Letterkenny pair struck their lone blow in a photo-finish.

The first two frames, both safety-dominated affairs lasting approximately one hour apiece, saw the Hibs duo take the opener (74-41). The CYMS cuemen shaded the second frame after Ferry left a ‘hanging’ black for a grateful Gallagher to even up the scores (49-48). But the AOH southpaw made amends in the shoot-outer, his match-best break of 23 providing the bedrock for a 71-44 lead on the last three colours, at which point the towel came in.

Quarter-final Results – The AOH pair led ex-champions Tony Sheerin & Martin Young (+5) by 33 points on the green, but a couple of careless in-offs from Barrow threw a lifeline to the 2014 kingpins. Sheerin mopped up the colours to the black, only to miss an ‘easy’ pot to tie the frame, the cue for a ‘relieved’ Barrow to step in and bag the final ball (64-50).

The Letterkenny defenders also survived a major fright in a nip-and-tuck encounter with Dan Shiels & Joe Shiels (+7). The Brandywell duo both fluffed simple pots on the frame-winning black and paid the penalty when McMenamin settled the issue with a ‘fluke’ (51-50).

The Rosemount ‘showdown’ involving John Canning & Johnny McCafferty and Eugene Dunbar & Charlie O’Connell (+2) proved a tactical tussle, the first-named alliance gaining the upper-hand on the colours (61-37).

Phil Curran & Danny Harkin advanced to the penultimate stage when, anchored by Harkin’s consistent scoring, they outpointed Mailey’s OB club companions John McDermott & Willie McGahey (+12) by a snug margin (71-36).

Semi-finals – Barrow/Ferry chalked up an untroubled 2-0 decision over Canning/McCafferty (57-32 and 74-34), the frustrated Cnoc cuemen (+5) unable to combat the opposition’s master-class display of the cat-and-mouse game – a red, a colour and safety.

Gallagher/McMenamin also won in straight frames against Curran/Harkin, the Bluebell potters well in the hunt entering the colours in the opener until Gallagher put the frame to bed in two visits. A tidy break of 25 from McMenamin back-boned a comfortable win in frame two (72-51 and 58-31).

At the conclusion of the final, the various time-piece prizes (watches) were presented by Eddie Gallagher (Creggan OPSC chairperson). He thanked all that helped in any way, notably the Derry & Strabane District Council, Derry Journal and Drive 105 FM, after which the evening ended with the usual refreshments.