THE blue ribbon of the individual pool season took place recently in the home of the sponsors, Mulhollands Bar, Dromore.
In a competition that promised so much for many proved to a great hunting ground for one home favourite as Gary Crawford finally got his hands on the precious shield to finish his fine collection of pool trophies won through the years.
From the opening night on Monday the shocks were coming thick and fast as many peoples favourites were falling to the way side with the standard of pool widely accepted to have been higher than ever before as all the masters of the baize had two great tables to ply their skills on.
Defending champion Noel Meara came unstuck on the second night as he came up against an inspired player in the shape of Gary Murphy (Railway) who had it far from easy in his side of the draw, having to take care of both of last year’s finalists to progress. He was unfortunate to run into Gary Crawford in awesome form in the quarters.
The other part of that draw saw Liam Gribben battle his way through many a mine field to meet Gary in that exciting semi-final.
The top half of the draw was all about one player in particular as all knowledgeable pool players were witnessing a man on fire in the guise of long time servant to the pool league, Mucker Mc Mullen. He steam rolled through all of the opposition in front of him to set up a semi-final with the much improved Ryan Taylor.
Both semi’s turned out to be one sided as Gary, who admitted the scoreline did not reflect the match, disposed of Liam 3-0.
Mucker had the same score against an under the weather Ryan Taylor and the final many people had predicted was now on.
Gary came out of the blocks like a wild cat and marched into a 2-0 lead. Mucker knew he had to settle down and thats exactly what happened as he clawed his way back to 2-2.,
It was time for a small intermittion as the competitors partook in food provided by the competition’s fantastic host.
At the re-start Gary showed straight away he was not going to let this game slip away from him and he took out a great finish to retake the lead.
With Mucker now under preassure in a race to four the nerves seemed to be creeping in but once again Gary Crawford could not be denied as when the chance came he grasped it with both hands and took out the frame and the championship to great cheers from all present .
From a personal point of view I would like to thank Martin Mulholland for his support in this competition for providing two great tables and keeping everyone there well topped up with refreshments. Also all the pool stalwarts for their entries and their feedback for having the individuals outside of Banbridge for the first time and making this the best individual competition in many a year.
Thanks to Kevin Smyth and Noel Meara for their generousity of time and help in making everything go smoothly, so we will be back in Mulhollands on Tuesday March 26 for the presentation night and the Brendan McAdam Cup final. See you all there. Once again thank you all for your support in this years competions.