TRACEY’S BAR are expected to make their extra quality count when they trade pots with Glendermott CC in next Monday night’s final of the 2016 North-West Premier Snooker Knockout Cup, hosted by Oak Grove.
The William Street side field a trio of senior-graded players (Emmett Cassson, Gerald McCloskey and Anthony McGill), whereas the ‘Glens’ are represented by a triumvirate from the intermediate ranks (Davy Clifford, Maurice Ferguson and Steve Weekes).
Yet, while the Tracey’s team are entitled to the favourite’s tag on the ratings, they will probably need to be firing on all cylinders to justify the odds, meaning anything less than their best might not be good enough to ‘stump’ very capable opposition.
Route To Final – Glendermott chalked up 4-2 wins over Tracey’s ‘147’ (away) and CYMS ‘B’ (home), before progressing past Waterside compatriots Dee’s on points in the semi-final at Tracey’s Bar (369-320)..... Tracey’s followed up a 4-2 win at Tooban with impressive 4-0 victories in their quarter-and semi-final outing at the expense of big-hitters Shantallow House (home) and Oak Grove (at AOH).
FACTFILE – Glendermott CC or Tracey Bar SC will become the 16th club to win NW team snooker’s most prestige cup competition (inaugurated 1979), the potters of St. Pat’s (Strabane) holding the strike-rate bragging rights with five victories (1985-94-96-05-06).
Second-best in the numerical table are four-time winners AOH (1982-83-87-95), followed by a six-pack of treble-up clubs, headed by unrivalled three-in-a-row Ming’s SC (1979-80-81), George’s Bar (1986-88-90), Maxibreak (1997-98-07), Oak Grove (1999-00-02), Letterkenny NWSC (2001-09-12) and Du Pont (2004-10-11).
Duffy’s SC (1984-89), 720 SC (1992-93) and Letterkenny CYMS (2003-14) doubled-up, the roll-of-honour competed by the single strikes of Pot Black (1991), GPO (2008), Shantallow House (2013) and Waterside’s Services Club (2015).
Medallists – Gerald McCloskey employs a full-time ‘polisher’ for his multitude of silverware which includes a quadruple of super-shined Premier Cup medallions (1995-10-11-14). Emmett Casson put his name on the medal map as a member of Du Pont’s 2011 triumphant team.
Record Breaker – Ten years have elapsed since Paul Donaghy crossed the century break Rubicon (103 in a semi-final tie at AOH), the only three-figure compilation in Premier Cup history.
Next Monday night’s final breaks-off at 7.30pm (formal dress), the match officials are Seamus Gallagher and Harry Logan (referees), Joe Porter (overseer) and Hugh Brady (MC).