Hustlers have wrote themselves into the history books after they ended the TJ's A 61 game unbeaten record. They didn't just beat the quadruple champions they slaughtered them. And to make things even sweeter for the Bellinis side they stuffed them in their own back yard. 7th of April 2016 will forever be remembered as the day The Hustlers tamed the mighty TJ's A. League Secretary Micky Cunningham was overcome with joy that his Hustlers team destroyed TJ's A but that came as at a cost. Apparently when he tried to put the defeat onto the pool website the system crashed. It had never seen a TJ's A Loss since its inception and Micky had a lot of trouble in getting the computer to recognise the defeat beside the TJ's A name. Captain Cathal McCoy must take a huge pat on the back after he masterminded this monumental occasion for the newly formed Hustlers team.
TJ's A went into the game knowing a win would be enough to lift the Premier Division trophy for the 4th time on the trot.
TJ's A captain Declan McConville has lived a charmed life as captain of arguably the best side in the Newry Pool League. But why on earth he played himself 1st is beyond us on the blog. Playing last, (like McConville normally does) and to play 1st, is as different as day & night. McConville played like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Tucker Hughes was his opponent and he is experienced enough to see a 'duck out of water'. Hughes let McConville sink into his own mess and eventually McConville took on a wreckless shot and potted the black mid-way through the frame to give Hustlers a surprise 1-0 lead.
Next up for the hosts was Jack Courtney and he was playing a Kevin Magee who couldn't buy a frame for a while. Courtney has been widely tipped for this years individuals and the gap in class should have been there for a nation to see. Courtney was nervous and was walking on egg shells afraid too take on the finish even though he had plenty of opportunities to go for the game but Magee tied the game up and waited for jack to crack them shells and cracked them he did the frame went to a re-spotted black. When the chance arose Magee took on a stunning black and sent it down the hole for a jaw-dropping 2-0 lead Hustlers.
Stevie Noade needed to strike back for the champions elect. And he played some cagey pool to squeeze past a very talented Shane McAllister and the unbeaten record looked like it was going to hold out. Especially when the 'Golden boy' Manny Byrne was up next. Byrne smashed in a load of balls off the break and looked set to square the match up. When the TJ's ace fouled it was game on for Ciaran O'Neill & with a brilliant top drawer finish O'Neill gave Hustlers a 3-1 lead and now the Hustlers dared to dream.
Darren Devlin isn't having a dream season by any stretch of the imagination & his game with Dee Kearney really was a toss of a coin. Kearney has taken some stick on the blog in the past but there no doubting the kid has balls. Kearney took on some great pots while Devlin couldn't get going. When the chance came to Kearney he took it with both hands and it was
4-1 and Hustlers were on the verge of something no team had done in 2 full years. Other teams have dreamt of
This historic moment in the history of the Newry Pool League was there for the Hustlers captain Cathal McCoy to take Could he be the hero to finally end TJ's A record breaking 61 game unbeaten record? Tristan Byrne the N.Irish international was the TJ's A legend who stood in McCoys way of his place in Newry pool league folklore. And McCoy was not going to be denied. He played a brilliant frame and out classed the N Irish ace. Byrne never got a chance. The Hustlers captain potted like a demon and took out a fantastic finish to seal an unbelievable 5-1 win.
Stephen Teggart beat Anthony Morgan to pull the score back to 5-2. Morgan was poor although he had nothing to play for but at least Teggart put his heart & soul into a frame that was a dead rubber.
Laurence McAlinden was down to play last for TJ's A but he couldn't make it. Substitute Eugene McDermott had a horrid frame and Barry Murphy was able to apply some icing to the Happy Hustlers cake. 6-2 was the final result and nobody can argue that it wasn't a well deserved win for Hustlers.Now we can look forward to the mouth watering clash between Hustlers v TJ's A in the Cunningham Cup semi final which will be coming shortly Hustlers are on a high now that they know they can beat them Tj;s will be well aware what there oponents abilty is so they will be weary on the night and lets hope its played in the spirit in which it should be . Go On The Hustlers.
Look out for tomorrow's blog where we will be covering the huge clash between joint 2nd placed Whitecross & Sheepbridge & also the massive Division 1 title battle between TJ's D & Bears.