It was a clean sweep for TJ's A and last week stablemates TJ's D completed the Division 1 league and Division 1 cup double. They obliterated joint 3rd placed McGuigan's C 8-1 in a rather 1 sided final.
The week started with TJ's A taking on Orchard Bar in a tricky looking tie. Orchard are one of the few teams that have regularly taken points off TJ's A and they firmly believed they could beat the champions.
Karl McGuinness who's had a superb season and is the only Orchard player left in the last 16 of the singles event had 2 chances at a double to take the opener but the crafty Stevie Noade held firm to give TJ's a 1-0 lead. It was a blow to Orchard and things got worse when the Tristan 'Typhoon' Byrne had an excellent finish over the useful David Cromie to make it 2-0.
Raymie McKenna had a chance to make it 3 nil but his dodgy form left the cool Mervyn Kernaghan to make it 2-1.
Not to worry Manny Byrne is the man for the big occasion and he played some fantastic pool to make it 3-1 with a win over Brendan Devlin.
Orchard have an accomplished potter in Decky Campbell and Laurence McAlinden under pressure, took on a double and some how managed to flick the black in, to hand the frame to Orchard and it was 3-2.
It was game on when Lee Irvine took out a classy finish to level for Orchard Bar. Irvine is an excellent tactician but this time he out potted Jack Courtney and it was 3-3.
The long serving TJ's ace Eugene McDermott took out a fine finish against a former top player Ritchie Crawford. McDermott who recently came runner-up in the Pairs was at his best to put TJ's A on the hill at 4-3.
Orchard needed to win the last 2 but Paul Henning of Orchard never got a sniff as the superb Stevie Teggart took out a brilliant finish to claim the Divisional cup for TJ's A.
Declan McConville never got to play his final frame against Niall Davis. The TJ's captain took one for the team but was delighted for his team.
Could Tony McGovern and Sean McCaul have improved that Orchard side? Undoubtedly they would and had Karl McGuinness took the opener, TJ's might have felt the heat but in the end normality prevailed and TJ's A added the Divisional cup to the league and Vegas Cup already in the bag.
Cunningham Cup Final
So Three down and One to go as only McGuigan's A stood in the way of a miraculous double quadruple. These 2 sides met in title run-in and TJ's A slaughtered them 8-0.
TJ's Captain Marvel Declan McConville made sure he would get a game this time around by playing himself 1st. Former individual winner Paul 'Skippy' Morgan Who we’ve noticed only plays in games for McGuigan's when there something at stake,and he played some great pool to give the rank outsiders the lead.
McGuigan's were on a roll and Brian Campbell inflicted a 2nd cup defeat in 3 days on TJ's ex-Wanderer Jack Courtney who has not won in a cup final this year .Jack my boy you need to up your game if your to beat the harv on Thursday night.
If there's only 1 thing for certain it's that this TJ's side will not buckle under pressure. Laurence McAlinden atoned for his loss on Tuesday night by pulling it back to 2-1 after some excellent play against a useful Gerald McGuigan.
McGuigans Captain Kieran Hanna was next and bottled it big time (Normal for him) when he missed a brilliant chance to put 2 between the teams again but the pressure got to him and TJ's legend Manny Byrne mopped up to level the scores at 2-2.
That defeat for Hanna was a massive blow. Another Blast from the past legend Paul 'Bunty' O'Callaghan would have fancied his chances against old team mate Raymie McKenna and should really have been playing for a 4-1 lead. Instead it was 2-2 and rewards were not so high. McKenna took his chance and it was 3-2 TJ's. Tristan Byrne is a class to high for Paul McAreavey and had no problems making it 4-2 and TJ's were now one frame away from a historic double quadruple.
The experienced Eugene McDermott was up to play Brendan Healy who hadn't given up the ghost. He won a tight match and Pairs runner-up McDermott was left hoping his team mates could wrap it up. Score 4-3 TJ's A.
If the pressure was on Stevie Noade you would never know. He was brilliant the Pairs final night as he led himself and McDermott to the final. Noade has come into good form just at the right time. Stevie Noade broke and one by one started tilting the Cunningham cup towards TJ's. He pulled out a sublime break and dish to the elation of his TJ's team mates. McGuigan's hearts were broken but proudly they played on and Stevie Teggart was at his brilliant best as he made it 6-3. Teggart has often criticised us here in the blog but he has been sensational since the turn of the year and it hasn't gone unnoticed here on our pages. Darren Devlin played his part throughout the season even though he didn't feature here tonight. Also Declan McMahon didn't play and he is still one of the best players in the league.
Declan McConville announced afterwards he will be stepping down as TJ's A captain and that will be a relief to many teams throughout the Newry and District Pool League.
The party was helped in no small part by the very generous Whitecross cueiest Michael Feenan aka 'The Tornado' who donated some of his hard earned cash to the drinking fund. Laurence McAlinden and Declan McMahon asked us to say a public thank you to him. Some lads reckon Feenan raided the petty cash box in Formula Karting but the boys enjoyed the free drinks all the same and said your welcome back anytime.
What a season it was for TJ's A winning all 4 major team trophies for the 2nd year in a row. 2 of their players got runner-up in the Pairs and with Laurence McAlinden, Declan McConville and Jack Courtney all still in the singles the threat of more trophies is still very much alive.
Keep an eye out for our Individuals blog which was put up last week and we will put it up again for those who may have missed the previews of all the last 16 games and we posted up who we Predicted to win it.
All roads lead to TJ's then on Thursday night so get yourselves off the sofa and watch the cream of the Newry Pool league battle it out to be crowned 2016 Newry Singles Champion!