This week sees the second round of Newry and District Pool league Individuals take place on Thursday 31st of March as the competition gets whittled down to the last 32. here is run down on all winners in the last round to remind every one Dont forget that you can place your bets on your favourite player to win the competion out right
The prize for Karl McGuinness (Orchard Bar) beating last years winner James O'Hagan (Dan's C) is game against John Magee (McGuigan's A). Magee is having a bit of shocker of a season while McGuinness has continued his incredible hoodoo over former multiple individual winner Kieran McMahon and is playing some superb pool throughout the Orchard Bar league campaign. This game takes place on Table 1 in TJ's which just happens to be the the table where McGuinness played on when he was with TJ's A. Any thing can happen in a game of pool as we all know but surely Magee is just making up the numbers here and a McGuinness win should just be a formality.
Over in Moore's Bar the bookie favourite Kieran McMahon (CWC) takes on the 'Baby Faced Assassin' Neill Heaney (Bear's). On paper the brilliant former winner McMahon is a banker but if there are chances that fall Heaney's way he is well fit to take them. Any tactical battles and Heaney hasn't a prayer. Heaney has been instrumental in Bear's fight for Division 1 title honours but he does need a miracle as well as some sniper accurate potting if he has any chance of upsetting the odds here.
Manny Byrne (TJ's A) is 2nd favourite in the eyes of the bookies and many pool enthusiasts will have him as their 2016 winner. No doubt when he is among the balls and in his groove he's a game for any player in the country. Shane Durnin (Armagh/Down) has the unenviable task of taking on Byrne and in TJ's star players home venue, albeit Table 4. Durnin is a good potter and will pin all his hopes on an open attacking game. This type of game is right up Byrne's street and fighting fire with fire is not a good idea when your opponent plays like he's got a full tank of fighter jet fuel.
Back to the top of the draw in TJ's Table 1 Stevie Noades (TJ's) A takes on Declan McMahon (TJ's A) in the in-house derby game. There no doubting McMahon is a 'Postie' because he ALWAYS delivers. He is always there or thereabouts and a twice Division 1 individual winner. McMahon has been very consistent this season but the same cannot be said for opponent Stevie Noade. Last season he was 1 of their main players but this season he has gone off the ball somewhat. Both players will wait for the right moment to strike, like a tiger stalking its prey but Noade has lost his bite and McMahon should get the kill here.
Shane McAllister (Hustlers) plays Paul Murphy (Bear's) in the next game on Table 1. This game won't gather the same excitement round it and with McAllister playing really good pool this season it's really hard to imagine Murphy getting a sniff here. Murphy is having a decent season with Bear's and his teams Div1 title fight will stand by him but I cannot foresee any shock result here.
Karl McGuinness is up 3rd and it should be good bye John Magee.
Cathal McCoy (Hustlers) v Seamus McGeoghegan (Sheepbridge) was a 2-1 win for McGeoghegan just as we were about to predict. The game was played a few weeks back and it's not surprising it went the full distance but mcGeoghegan had all the experience to see off McCoy who we have heard here on the blog was not too happy about it to bow out so early on in the competion.
Ritchie Taylor (TJ's C) v Martin McVeigh (C/Cruppen) is another close 1 to call. Taylor is a good potter, possibly a better than McVeigh but the Cruppen man has undoubtedly the better all round game and I think McVeigh might claim it on a decider.
Declan McConville (TJ's A) v Gavin McNally on paper is an easier game to call. McConville is improving all the time and the experience in pressure games while representing the Irish team at the European Pool Championships make hot favourite. McNally is a good potter which makes him a dangerous opponent but McConville has the class to go through.
Cathal Phelan (Whitecross) v Brian O'Neill (Whitecross) looks a banker for Phelan. O'Neill famously beat Manny Byrne a few years ago but Phelan always makes the latter stages of this competition and he should cruise through here.
Pat McClenaghan (Nan's Rams) v Emmet Fearon (Killeavy) should be a good quick game as both players like to go for it. McClenaghan is having a good season with promotion chasing Nan's. Fearon transferred from Murphy's Bar in Meigh and is a good attacking player. McClenaghan is better if it turns tactical but with a fast CWC table Fearon might edge it.
Diarmuid Lonergan (Shhepbridge) v Niall O'Hare (TJ's D) is a real contrast in styles. No doubting Lonergan can take out a finish but he is slow and thinks out every shot whereas O'Hare doesn't think too much and must average about a shot every 15secs. Because McGuigan's have 1 of the best tables in Newry we have to think O'Hare has the advantage here.
Adrian Annett (TJ's D) v Marty O'Callaghan (Whitecross) is going to be a classic. Both players will go for the game straight from the break. Both excellent long ball potters and this could really go either way. O'Callaghan has vast experience in the Premier Division and that gives him a huge advantage so it's a win for the Whitecross cueiest here.
Anthony Morgan (Hustlers) v Jamie Lavelle (Carrickcruppen) should be a win for the South Armagh player. Morgan has struggled to claim a place in the Hustlers team while Lavelle is 1 of most improved players in the league this year. Lavelle has a good all round game and this should be quite easy for him.
Conor Dullaghan (Granvue Hotel) v Noel Bradley (McGuigan's C) is a tricky 1 to call. Both having very good seasons. Both big Manchester United supporters, they are both good pool players. Bradley has been around the pool leagues for a long time but Dullaghan will take the chances when the arrive and this should go the full distance with the Omeath player taking the spoils.
Pat Byrne (Carrickcuppen) v Seamus McVerry (Dan's C) is a nice game to kick off the night. With Byrne having a good snooker background his potting is his strong point. McVerry is also an out and out potter so this is going to be quick. Byrne has a superior potting ability and he should take this.
Tony McGovern (Orchard Bar) v Kieran Hanna (McGuigan's A) is 1 of the games of the night. I can't wait for this 1. McGovern is more likely to go all out attack while Hanna will be happy to keep it tight. Hanna will certainly need to be bang on form and anything less will not be enough to beat McGovern. Hanna can nick this on a decider.
Barney Preece (Nan's Rams) v Matty Cartmill (TJ's D) is another classic in the making. Neither player will get stuck in a tactical game. Preece is fantastic among the balls while Cartmill is better at the single ball pots from anywhere on the table. Preece has more control over the white and his sheer class should be enough see him through.
Tristan Byrne (TJ's A) v Damien Woods (TJ's C) should be 1 of the more 1 sided games of the night. Byrne is 1 of the best players in the Premier Division this season while Woods has been inconsistent for his TJ's C promotion chancing side. Byrne is just too good to have any problems here.
Ritchie Fletcher (Boyds Bar) v Stephen Teggart (TJ's A) is a very interesting tie. 5-6 years ago this could well have been the final when both players where in there prime. How much is in the tank for these 2. Fletcher was 1 of the best players in the old 1st Division but now chills in mid-table obscurity in Division 2. Teggart has hardly set the world alight since his move to TJ's A from KIlleavy. Both players can pot with the best while both can go the full 20mins in tactical battles but Teggart should just have the timing to see it through.
Kieran McMahon (CWC) v Neill Heaney (Bears) is a handy 2-0 McMahon barring a minor miracle for Heaney.
Damien Flanaghan (McGuigan's A) v David Cromie (Orchard Bar) could be a bit of a drag. Flanaghan has been fairly decent for McGuigan's and will take his time waiting for the chance. Cromie had a sensational win last time out over Raymie McKenna (TJ's A) and will need to be at his best again to take this. Toss of a coin here but maybe Flanaghan could take it by a frame.
Gareth McCann (Whitecross) v Paddy Phillips (Bears) could turn this into a late night. McCann hasn't played a lot lately and won't be match sharp. Phillips has played plenty for his Bears side who sit 2nd in Division 1. McCann has played top level pool all his career and in a close contest he should nick it late in the night.
TJ's Table 2
Rony O'Reilly (McGuigan's C) v Niall McVerry (Sheepbridge) is another cracking tie. O'Reilly has been 1 of the most consistent players in Division 1 albeit he plays near the back where the opposition would not be the strongest. McVerry is a quality attacking player. We've championed the cause for O'Reilly here on the blog but he could have got a handier draw here. McVerry will be hard to beat and should edge a tight match.
Jack Courtney (TJ's A) v Seamus Graham (Dan's C) should be a 1 sided contest. Courtney has been knocking on the door for a few years and bowed out in the semi-final last season. Courtney loves to go game and they only way Graham can win his is to keep it tight. That's not going to happen as Graham also like the potting game so there can only be 1 winner here - Courtney.
Ciaran Hanna Jnr (Hustlers) v Leigh McAlinden (Nan's Rams) should be another win for the Premier player. Hanna has vastly improved this year and is a really quality player now. McAlinden always comes up with a big win here or there in the singles event of the Pairs event. Hanna's on a bit of a roll and after another titanic 3 frames Hanna should come out on top.
Paul Hughes (Carrickcruppen) v Harvey Lavelle (Sheepbridge) should be a straight forward game to finish the night. Former team mates go head to head with Hughes the current Carrickcruppen captain but he's up against here. Lavelle is still 1 of the best players in the Premier Division and it's hard to see anything other than a very handy night for Lavelle.
TJ's Table 3
Darren McCloskey (Orchard Bar) v Micky Cunningham (Hustlers) is going to be a slow starter to kick off the night. McCloskey has been dodgey enough in the latter stages of matches for Orchard Bar while Micky Cunningham has been around a long time on the pool scen Both players can play tactical but Cunningham is a better potter and anything other than a Cunningham win would be a huge shock.
Cormac Duffy (Maddens) v Ralph Crommie (Bears) will be another tight scrap. Duffy has been doing well in Division 2 with a struggling Maddens while Crommie is having a decent season with Bears. Crommie looks better equipped for a win here.
Gavin Malone (Whitecross) v Thomas Hughes (Hustlers) is another tight match to call and this match could drag out the full distance. Malone is inconsistent and you never know what you are going to get with him. Hughes is slow and methodical and will try to slow Malone down. Hughes can take out good finishes and the Hustlers player should edge this tight match.
Mike Nugent (Nan's Rams) v Laurence McAlinden ( TJ's A) should be a bit quicker than all the rest of the games on table 3. Nugent is having a good season with the Rams but McAlinden has been 1 of the most consistent players in the undefeated TJ's A side and 2-0 shouldn't be a surprise.
TJ's Table 4
Manny Byrne (TJ's A) v Shane Durnin ( Armagh/Down) should be a walk in the park for Byrne but you never know. Only a 2-0 win make Byrne happy.
Gerard Harte (Armagh/Down) v Jason Lennon (TJ's D) is another game where the outstanding potter should prevail. Harte has been pretty good this season but Lennon has been nothing short of brilliant and the TJ's D player should have no problems here.
Paul Kelland (CWC) v Daniel McGuigan (McGuigan's A) won't be as free flowing as some the other frames. Kelland is the CWC captain but he has been far from consistent this season. McGuigan has come on leaps and bounds this season and is taking out some great finishes. McGuigan is young and is pronto to mistakes but he is in good form lately and should take a close game.
Alan Burke (Whitecross) v Jimmy O'Hare (Nan's Rams) are the last 2 names out of the hat. Burke has played little to no pool this season while O'Hare has been doing fairly well for the Rams. On his day Burke is a game for anyone but how much will his inactivity count against him. O'Hare will try to keep it tight but this might suit Burke to warm to the table and get his timing back. Burke should just take the win here if he can get his game going