SNOOKER: Hibs ends 19-year wait for title glory

AOH Club, who rediscovered North-West Snooker League Division One title glory, courtesy of stumping Glendermott CC A 3-0 when the sides met last week in a tie-breaker at Shantallow House. From left Shea Moore, Seamus Cusack, Martin Moore, Micky McGowan and Raymond Barrow, team captain. DER1717-105KM
AOH Club, who rediscovered North-West Snooker League Division One title glory, courtesy of stumping Glendermott CC A 3-0 when the sides met last week in a tie-breaker at Shantallow House. From left Shea Moore, Seamus Cusack, Martin Moore, Micky McGowan and Raymond Barrow, team captain. DER1717-105KM

AOH CLUB, the record 16-time Division One champions (but nothing since 1998), made a belated return to the winner’s enclosure, thanks to defeating Glendermott CC ‘A’ 3-0 in a title tie-breaker, held last Tuesday night at Shantallow House.

In a decider which requires little telling (no sizeable breaks or edge-of-your-seat finishes), the experienced Mickey McGowan struck the first blow by beating promising young rookie Christopher Clifford... Frame two involved Ray Barrow and Jan Biernat in an attritional duel (approximately one hour duration). The definitive ‘baize bruiser’ with a hard-to-combat protracted technique, Barrow ultimately grounded his opponent into submission... An-easier-than-expected 3-0 victory was completed by precociously talented teenager Shea Moore, who dominated exchanges en route to a comfortable win at the expense of ‘Glens’ team captain Davy Clifford.

Frame Scores – Mickey McGowan (+20) 57, Christopher Clifford (+25) 40; Ray Barrow (+20) 57, Jan Biernat (+10) 11; Shea Moore (+20) 81, Davy Clifford (+10) 42; Seamus Cusack (scr) v Steve Weekes (+10) and Martin Moore (+30) v Maurice Ferguson (+10), not played.

And Finally – No mention of this season’s renewal would ever be complete without reference to a new family record. Take a bow Martin and Shea Moore, the first grandfather and grandson to play in the same title-winning team in League Division One history (instituted 1946/47).

DIVISION TWO (quarter-final play-offs) – George’s Bar ‘C ‘, Pilot’s Row and Mailey’s Bar – rewarded with ‘home comforts’ by virtue of better qualification credential – progressed to the semi-finals, leaving Riversiders as the only team to fail to make table advantage count.

Group winners George’s ‘C’ and Pilot’s Row justified short-price favouritism at the expense of fourth-placed opposition; the Bishop Street outfit seeing off Tracey’s Rams (3-1), albeit not without dicing with tight finishes in a couple of frames... No such problems for the Bogside potters, who romped home against George’s ‘B’ (5-0)... Mailey’s progressed past Letterkenny’s CYMS without breaking much sweat (3-1)... Though Riversiders’ hopes were ‘sunk’ by City of Derry Golf Club (3-1), they were a trifle unfortunate to lose all three frames by close margins.

GEORGE’S ‘C’ 3, RAMS 1 – Gavin Gallagher 38, Brian McCourt (+10) 51; Shea Conway 67, Alan Healy (+30) 61; Shea Norris 57, Calvin Hegarty (+20) 56; Cathal Wilson 65, Conor Toye (+10) 21.

PILOT’S 5, GEORGE’S ‘B’ 0 – Ruairi Gill 67, Ian Doran 39; Dan Carlin 50, Danny Wade 37; Eddie McColgan 57, Paddy Ryan 46; Joe Cunningham 64, Jammes Nicholson 41; Paul Johnston 52, Paddy Doran (+15) 36.

MAILEY’S 3, CYMS 1 – John P. Shiels 41, Don Ponsonby (+10) 51; Declan McIntyre (+25) 84, Adrian McFadden 43; Charlie Phelan 61, Shane McGeetigan 29; Andy Shiels 58, Ciaran Gibson 23.

RIVERSIDERS 1, CODGC 3 – Hugo Duffy (+10) 48, Kevin Quigg 56; Phil Curran 55, Willie Robinson 62; Ciaran Gillen 60, Jack Johnston (+5) 35; Hugh Gillen (+5) 45, Ciaran Cunningham 56.

Semi-finals down for decision next Tuesday, 9th May – George’s ‘C’ v City of Derry GC (at George’s Bar) and Pilot’s v Mailey’s (at Pilot’s Row). Both matches cue-off at 7-30 pm.