Snooker: Pot Black are East Tyrone league cup champions

Brilliant Pot Black completed a remarkable feat when they defeated Max Keady A in the League Cup Final on Thursday night at the Mitchells Club.

League Cup winners Pot Black - Patrick Wallace, Dermot Loughran, Peter Reilly and Mickey Quinn. Picture by Paul McGuckin
League Cup winners Pot Black - Patrick Wallace, Dermot Loughran, Peter Reilly and Mickey Quinn. Picture by Paul McGuckin

It was really a quite amazing comeback win for Pot Black considering they had lost their second match in the league section of the competition 4-0 to Gervins A to trail them by six points with just two matches remaining.

In the final, Peter Reilly put the first point on the board for Pot Black as he produced his best performance of the season, restricting Sean Hoey to just 17 points over two frames. Reilly made a break of 51 to win the opener by 96 and made a terrific 77 break on his first scoring visit in the second.

Captain Mark Nugent quickly replied for Max by winning both frames against Dermot Loughran on the colours. Loughran led early on by more than 20 in each, but Nugent clawed back with a 45 to win the first on the brown and repeated the dose in the second to take it on the green.

Mickey Quinn restored Pot Black’s lead when he got the better of Richie Comiskey in two close, hard fought frames. Quinn potted blue with the rest after a battle on colours in the first and pinched the second by clearing blue to black after the Max man missed a cut-back blue into the middle.

Patrick Wallace secured the clinching point by beating Barry Hughes in a decider. The Keady player led 39-0 in the first frame before Wallace, from his first chance, made 77 to yellow. Hughes responded emphatically by keeping the former professional pointless in second unti last red, making a 40 break along the way. The final frame unfolded in a similar fashion to the first as Hughes led by 39 early on, only to miss a difficult black with the rest. With the balls wide open, the Pot Black captain clinched the win cup in two visits, with breaks of 55 and 34.

It was back to league action on Thursday night and Pot Black were held at home by Gervins A, while Mitchells A returned from Keady with two points as well.

In Burn Road, Seamus Nixon got the visitors off to a good start by winning in straight frames. He won the first by potting pink and black after Mickey Quinn missed the penultimate colour, and then made 31 to leave Quinn requiring snookers on the last red.

Dermot Loughran levelled by recovering from a first frame onslaught by Darren Gribben to win 2-1. Gribben was into his stride with breaks of 30 and 68, but Loughran kept tight control to take second on last red and made 40 in the decider to take charge,.

Peter Reilly beat Ciaran Kelly 2-0, making a 30 clinch the first on the second last red and potting both long pink and black to edge a tighter second.

Anthony McGuckin secured the draw by beating Patrick Wallace, who needed a snooker with four reds left in the first, got it on the last red to force a black ball finish. After several minutes , McGuckin dispatched it to the yellow pocket and completed a 2-0 win by clearing from last red to pink, potting frame ball brown down cushion with the rest.

So, with Joe Loughran and Brian Milne winning points for Mitchells in Keady to counter those won by Mark Nugent and Phlip Gribben for Max A, the title race should go to the wire.

The same looks inevitable in Division Two after McVeighs A stumbled once more, Jerome McVeigh and John McArdle banking their points at home to fellow title rivals Max Keady B in a tight contest in Killyman.

In a three-cornered fight for the honours, Mitchells B won 3-1 against Mitchells B so it’s now one point between the leaders and main chasers and same distance down to third. Mitchells skipper Kevin Kelly beat Marty Doris on a re-spot black, Ryan Robinson and Peter Loughran also victorious,