MULHOLLAND’S 4-5 Higgins: What a match to finish off any season!
Without doubt the final brought together the two best pool playing teams in any league.
Noel Meara came to the table for Higgins’ and stood back and watched Simon Roy clear the majority of his chosen colours. Noel only needs a sniff of a chance to get back into a frame and he got it. After cagey exchanges through out the frame he was the one smiling as he shook Simon’s hand.
Kevin Smyth was most definately the unlukiest player on the night as he quite brilliantly despatched six of his seven balls only to watch the final colour rest agonisingly over the lip of the pocket. Even though he brilliantly got out of a snooker played by Wayne the Mulholland’s player came to the table and cleared up to level the match.
In the battle of the individual champions champions Colly Wilton was facing Gary Crawford. Gary seized his opportunity and to great cheers and relief gave Mulholland’s the lead.
Frame four brought together two of the best individual players of the season as Gareth Moody and Neil Beggs, Gareth with an over 90% win ratio in the league and Neil not far behind that.What a clash it was with ‘wee Becks’ just about coming out on top in a great tactical match.
Michael McClean won frame five to give Higgins a 3-2 lead.
Yet another former individual champion was up next for the star studded Higgins side as Paddy Donaghy came to the table and he stretched Higgins lead to two frames.
The second half started and unbelievably Higgins pulled out another former individual champion in the shape of Brendan Davis who was facing the very talented Wes McDowell. Brendan had the better of the opening exchanges and found himself first to the black and took on a tricky pot which was just missed.
Wes came to to table after a few cagey shots and pulled out shot of the century as under great pressure, knowing that if he missed he was probably handing the cup to the Banbridge side. He got down eyed up the black and sank an unbelievable eight ball to bring us back to a one frame match ,
The pressure was now on and Mulholland’s dealt with it in their stride as Gary Crawford and Wayne Beggs held their nerve to level the match at 4-4 and set up what it always should be - a final frame shoot out.
This brought Simon Roy and Wayne jess up against Noel Meara and Michael McClean. The final frame had everything with Mulholland’s having the first chance to put the tie to bed only to run slightly out of position and as we know when you have players the calibre of Meara and McClean at the other end of the table you will pay for that inches - and thats what it proved to be.
Noel came to the table but still had it all to do. To us mere mortals it looked like he did not come up the table far enough and finished too straight on his final yellow.
But this is Noel Meara we are talking about and he showed he fantastic cue power as the ball hit the bottom cushion and all the side and perfect power kicked in and the ball travelled up the table to finish six inches from the black into the middle bag. As the black sank total mayhem broke out and Higgins’ finally got their hands on silver were and threw the gauntlet down for next season.
Gareth Moody accepted the trophy and cheque. He thanked Mulhollands for a grat match and Martin Mulholland for his great hosting.