As the Leitrim Pool Association prepare for their Open Day at their Pool Hall in Drumshanbo next Saturday, March 2, the sport in Leitrim was handed another tremendous boost as an Irish Junior team featuring four players from Leitrim won the European Pool Championships Team title in Blackpool last weekend.
The Irish team featured four Leitrim players - Kevin McWeeney from Aughnasheelin captained the team as he was joined by Dromahair’s Keith Conlon, Jamie Gaffney of Ballyfarnon, Darragh O’Shea of Bawnboy along with Wexford trio Jordan Doyle, Darren Redmond and Adam Maher.
The Irish Juniors defeated Northern Ireland in the Final but the highlight for the team was the defeat of England, the holders for the past 11 years in the semi-final. England defeated Ireland 10-5 in the opening round of the round robin stage but Ireland settled in and played excellent pool to qualify for the knock-out stages, defeating Northern Ireland 9-6, Scotland B 10-5, Wales B 12-3 before losing to Wales A 9-6.
Those two defeats were quickly avenged in the knockout stages as Ireland defeated Wales A 9-6 and England 8-2 in the semi-final before seeing off Northern Ireland in the final 8-4.
The returning heroes received a huge reception on their homecoming at Dublin Airport from members of the Irish Pool Association and the Leitrim and Wexford Associates and again in their respective counties on their arrival from parents, relatives and friends.
In the individual competition, Jamie Gaffney defeated Keith Conlon in the deciding frame last 32, winning 5-4, reaching the quarter final to suffer a defeat of 6-1. Jordan Doyle beat Kevin McWeeney, also in the deciding frame, to win 5-4 and Darragh O’Shea lost 6-1 to the English team captain in the last 32 mens.
Representing Ireland and Leitrim Niall McWeeney lost the deciding frame, losing 6-5 in the last 32 to give a very credible performance throughout.
The Irish team’s performance comes as a huge boost ahead of the Leitrim Pool Association Open Day in the Pool Hall in Drumshanbo as the LPA try to build on the success of both Leitrim and Irish teams in recent years. The Hall will be open from 10am to 5pm and the LPA are actively seeking players of all grades to participate in the various competitions and form part of future teams to represent Leitrim at the Irish Pool Association ranking and Inter-county tournaments and possibly represent Ireland at the European and World Championships.
The Hall boasts three international standard pool tables in a secure environment and is open to all ages for boys and girls. It will be open all year round and will be available for recreation and competitive action. There will be fun all day with mini competitions and coaching from the experts.
For further details contact Gavin on 087-9593705 or Colin 086-8963552 to book your place.
Tournament: The fourth tour to select players for Leitrim Seniors will be held in the Pool Hall on Saturday and Sunday March 9 & 10. To enter contact Gavin on 087-9593705 for further details or go towww.leitrimpool.com.
League Fixtures: J.W Memorial Cup: Thursday Feb 28 Blue Devon v Club F; Leitrim Inn v the Venue and Monica’s v Taylor’s; Oliver Lee Memorial Shield: Shivnan’s v Cardiff’s A; Cardiff’s B v Duignan’s and the Central
Ladies Pool: Leitrim Pool Association are hoping to put forward a ladies team to compete at the forthcoming Inter County All-Ireland team event. All interested are asked to contact 086-3591804 email@example.com.