Nifty Fifty steal the headlines when 2 of their team made it through round 1 and 2 to make the last 32. The Division 2 minnows languish 3rd from bottom in their 1st season in the Pool League. Former Quinn's Bar hero Brendan McAllister came through 2 tough games and was joined by Robbie Loughran.
Most of the favourites made it through to the last 32 but 2 of the last 4 years winners' crashed out on Thursday night. 2016 champion Seamus McVerry (Dan's A) made hard work of beating Kieran Loughran (Foresters A) before exiting at the hands of Mervyn Kernaghan (Orchard Bar)
2015 champion James O'Hagan (Dan's A) cruised past Niall Rice (TJ's B) before a shock defeat to Gavin Malone (Whitecross).
Possibly the biggest shock in round 1 was Declan McConville getting dumped by Division 1 player Mathew Cregan (Cavern Bar) 2-0. The CWC A cueist was among the bookies favourites for the title. Cregan then got put out by an in form John Daly who is having a stunning season.
Current joint holders Kieran McMahon and Pat Brady both sailed through with out dropping a frame. Their team mates Paddy Tavey, Bernie Magee, Harvey Lavelle, Paddy Clarke and Stevie Teggart.
A few of the highlights was Bernie Magee annihilating Michael Feenan (Whitecross) in round 2, Harvey Lavelle showed Mal Maguire (Nan's Rams) the gulf in class between the top of Premier Division and the top of Division 1 in round 2 and Stevie Teggart beat high flying Kevin Magee (Hustlers) also in round 2.
Noel Donaldson probably came through the hardest 2 games to join his team mate Gavin Malone in the last 32. We tipped Ciaran O'Neill to beat Donaldson in the 1st round but the South Armagh player squeezed through 2-1. He than beat Hustlers' Emmett Fearon in round 2. The prize for Noel Donaldson is Dan's sharp shooter Barney Preece
Cathal Phelan was the 3rd Whitecross player into the last 32. Phelan had a tough draw having to beat PJ McDaniel (Orchard Bar) then an in form Liam Bradley (Trainor's Camlough)
It was a night to remember for Philip Murphy (Hustlers) He has yet to pick up a league win for his new team but when he beat stunning potter Michael Green (Dan's A) in round 1 he was on cloud nine. Michael Teggart (St. Monnina) had stunned Diarmuid Lonergan (Sheepbridge) in round 1 but he caught Philip Murphy living the dream and the Hustlers player was into the last 32.
Damien McArdle (Hustlers) will play team mate Shane McAllister (Hustlers) in the last 32 after they both cane through a tough night's work. Aidan Griffen (Nifty Fifty) had shocked Mark Shevlin (St. Monnina) in round 1 but Damien 'Diddles' McArdle was too hot to handle and dumped Griffen in round 2. McArdle had earlier dumped Tommy O'Hanlon 2-1.
Alan Burke (Whitecross) beat Damien Woods (TJ's B) to book his last 64 spot. Shane McAllister was in fine form when he beat the useful Darren O'Hanlon 2-0 to set up the all Premier Division for the last 32 spot. Burke had his chances but Shane McAllister held his nerve to squeeze through 2-1.
Chris McKeown (Forester's A) had a massive result when he beat Barry Murphy (Hustlers) to book his last 32 spot.
Kris was unable to make it a trio of Fletcher's through to the last 32.
Richard Fletcher beat Colly McCann (Millvale) then Martin Conroy (McGuigan's B) - two tricky Division 1 opponents. Jamie Fletcher beat Calium McParland (CWC B) and John McMurray (TJ's B) to book his last 32 spot.
Kris was the 1st Fletcher to face Premier Division opposition when he faced Shane Phelan. Phelan had 8 wins from 10 league games but Fletcher showed his class to edge it 2-1. Gerard McGuigan's (McGuigan's B) had beat Caolan Lonergan earlier to book a last 64 clash. Fletcher was favourite against McGuigan but it wasn't to be for the Boyds ace as he bowed out to the Monaghan Street proprietor and it was Gerard McGuigan that booked the last 32 spot.
Destination Newry have the updated last 32 draw online now.
Back to league action on Thursday.
Still a few spots left for the Pairs so get in contact with Micky Cunningham ASAP.