Welcome to the 1st blog of 2016. There were no surprises in the Premier Division as the title contenders all won. Leaders TJ's dispatched of Killeavy, 2nd placed Whitecross cruised past Windmill Bar and Sheepbridge demolished Carrickcruppen. We said in the Christmas/New Year blog that 4th placed McGuigan's were out of the running but just in the off chance there was any lingering doubt CWC put the final nail in their coffin with a good home win.
In Division 1 table toppers Bears dropped a point away to McGuigan's C. TJ's D and TJ's C capitalised to join Bears at the summit. TJ's D had a fantastic win at home against fellow promotion rivals Nan's Rams, while TJ's C made no mistake against a struggling Indo.
The top 5 teams in the 2nd Division all dropped points in this cut throat league. Trainor's of Camlough were held to a draw by Omeath title rivals Granvue Hotel. They still hold a 1 point lead at the top over Armagh/Down who could only manage a draw with Millvale Bar in Monaghan Street. Cue Club in 4rd place got stunned as Boyds claimed both points.
Home side CWC slaughtered a hapless McGuigan's A 5-0 before the visitors got on the scoreboard. It was one the the best performances by any team this season with CWC firing in 2 break finishes. Kieran McMahon started the rout beating a very very out of form John Magee.
Gerald Cregan gave Kieran Hanna the brush with a stunning break and finish. Cregan is more famous for a slower methodical game but he turned on the style to annihilate McGuigans captain kieran Hanna who definelty wont want hear the name CWC mentioned for a long time after two thrashings from the hill street gang.Rumour has Kieran Hanna now has the hill street blues.
Marty McClelland beat Brian Campbell to make it 3-0 before Pat Hughes stunned sub Paul McAreavy for 4-0.
With the pressure off slightly PJ Gilmore was able to get into his stride for another soul destroying break finish. Gilmore was a star this team as his side won promotion last year and he produced some of his best pool on Thursday to claim the 2 points.
Young Ciaran Hanna is having a terrific season and he was able to get McGuigans off the mark when he beat John McClorey to make it 5-1. Tommy Rooney put on another vintage performance as he rolled the the years to beat the in form Brendan Healy for 6-1.
Damien Flannaghan defeated a struggling Paul Kelland to take a wee bit of the bad look off the the score to end 6-2.
TJ's A need the last 2 frames to get both points off mid- table KIlleavy. Raymie McKenna beat Mark Shevlin with neither player having great seasons for a 1-0 TJ's A.
Manny Byrne v Stephen Cunningham was surely a home banker. Byrne had won 8 from 8 in the league and Cunningham couldn't buy a win but pool is a funny sport especially if you take your opponent for granted. Incredibly Cunningham shocked TJ's by beating Byrne to level the scores at 1-1.
Jack Courtney wasn't feeling the pressure though as he produced another master-class 8 ball finish to give the City Slickers a 2-1 lead. The terrific Darren O'Hanlon was on the receiving end of Courtney and he won't be the last.
TJ's A captain Declan McConville was again hot favourite against Sean Og Duffy but Duffy kept it tight to frustrate McConville and level the scores at 2-2. America bound Laurence McAlinden has been in unbelievable form this season and how much will he missed when he hits the States? so hear on the blog we say enjoy your trip larry and give our regards to broadway . McAlinden was excellent again as he beat Stephen Murphy for 3-2 TJ's.
Darren Devlin has been beatable and dropped for frames than he would have like this season but Tom Mageniss off Killeavy has been playing fantastic pool and he squared up the match yet again and an upset was on the cards.
But in true champions style TJ's A turned on the style and held their nerve in the final 2 frames. Stevie Noade is great in the pressure frames. He's lost plenty this season but when the chips are down you can rely on Noade. He had no problem seeing off the hapless Pat Quinn and the late arriving Tristan Byrne is a very useful anchorman as he defeated Paddy McCann who himself has been having a very good season.
Would all teams please make sure to put full names on result cards .