NW Snooker’s Most Decorated medallist
SIXTY YEARS have elapsed since Jimmy Herron made his debut for AOH Club, the start of a record-breaking career which saw him accumulate 24 major medals wearing the ‘Hibs’ jersey (the most decorated medallist in the annals of North-West team snooker).
At the peak of his cue powers during the 1950’s and 1960’s, Jimmy pretty much played an anchor role in the Foyle Street Club’s phenomenal strike-rate in the three most important team events of the period - League Division One, Senior Cup and Pairs Cup.
Herron’s mixture of single-ball potting and astute safety tactics - backed up by boot-tough competitive qualities and a rock-solid big-match temperament - made him a hard nut to crack and, suffice to say, the ideal man to have on your side for tight situations.
Apart from his multiple medal accreditation, his CV is illuminated by four Senior Championship conquests, initiated in 1956 following a resounding 6-0 victory over Gilly Hughes (CIMC) in the final, played over two legs (home-and-away).
Runner-up to AOH colleagues Jim McAllister (1958) and Charlie Harkin (1961), the safety-conscious Herron was back on the throne in 1962, courtesy of a 4-1 tactical triumph over the attack-minded Jackie Lyttle (CIMC) when the pair locked horns in the final at RAF Club.
The hat-trick was completed with an untroubled 3-0 rout at the RAF Club, his opponent being Noel McGinley, a first-time finalist still too green around the gills to handle Jimmy’s cat-and-mouse game plan.
Incidentally, the Waterside potter was visibility dejected when showing up for the post-final Press Conference. But, to his eternal credit, he took his defeat with good grace (after the obligatory five-minute ranting and whinging, of course!).
Herron put the icing on top to an eventful decade with a fourth Senior Championship peak in 1969 (then a record), thanks to beating Paddy Harkin (Star Hall) 3-1 in the decider at Foresters Hall.
And finally, Jimmy Herron’s ‘chess on the green baize’ technique, devoid of any sizeable breaks, was often dismissed as unimaginative and unexciting by snooker’s true connoisseurs. Yet, according to the criteria by which players are usually judged - what they achieved - the former Hibs stalwart’s place in North-West snooker’s ‘Hall of Fame’ as one of the game’s top practitioners can hardly be denied.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS - Senior Championship (1956-62-64-69), Pairs Championship (1961-67), League Division One (1955-57-59-63-64-65-66-67-71), Senior Cup (1955-56-57-58-66-68-71), Pairs Cup (1960-62-65-66-68-69-71-78).
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