Barry Kelland & Kieran Cunningham (CWC B) v Mark Shevlin & Fred Cameron (St. Monnina)
A good opportunity for both Division 2 pairings to secure a last 8 spot. CWC B will ply their trade in Division 1 next season but Kelland and Cunningham have their work cut out in this Pairs clash. Cunningham is a good potter while Kelland has the craft.
Mark Shevlin is one of the better Division 2 talents and although Fred Cameron could be extra baggage Shev could squeeze the mid-table St. Monnina pair through.
Shevlin and Cameron
Paddy Tavey & Stevie Teggart (CWC A) v Brendan McVerry & Brian McGeough (Windmill)
Pool and the Pairs especially always has the potential to throw up shocks. Two players that are hot favourite playing two massive outsiders can cause complacency. This is easily the biggest mismatch on paper.
Tavey and Teggart are both outstanding potters and have a safety department to match anyone. The duo can concentrate on adding to their Premier Division league title.
McVerry and McGeough aren't the best potters in the competition and they aren't they certainly aren't the best tactically. Largely their league campaign has been very poor.
So is this all set up for a huge shock? NO chance!
Verdict Tavey and Teggart.
Paddy O'Callaghan & Mickey Green (Dan's A) v Tommy O'Hanlon & Adrian Murphy (Millvale)
What a game this is going to be. This may be Premier Division v Division 2 but the Premier Division lads could arguably be 2nd favourites.
O'Callaghan and Green will have a simple game plan. Pot pot pot. The two lads are clueless when it comes to tactics or any sort of safety game. If the two Dan's players are in form they will be a joy to watch and be unstoppable. O'Hanlon and Murphy may have dropped down to Division 2 but don't be fooled. These to are former top Premier Division players. Both are quality potters but are very astute in the tactical department. They may not be a clinical as they once were but they will certainly enter this match with little fear.
This is the game where a surprise result could well be on the cards. The venue TJ's might just swing it for the free potting Premier duo.
Verdict: O'Callaghan and Green.
Pat McClenaghan and Stephen Sherry (Nan's Rams) v Benny Hoey and Ryan Diamond.
McClenaghan and Diamond are the stars on show here and it's between Sherry and Hoey to make the least mistakes.
Pat McClenaghan has been the most consistent of the 4 and although Ryan Diamond has improved since Christmas it might not be good enough. Sherry is a good sold player for the Nan's duo and while Benny Hoey has quality in his armoury it's the Nan's pair full of confidence.
Verdict: McClenaghan and Sherry.
John Daly and Kieran Larkin (Murphy’s Bar) v Darren O'Hanlon and Martin White (Murphy’s Bar)
This intriguingly interesting South Armagh Derby match could be a cracker to kick off the night in TJ's. John Daly is in stunning form and a good run to the last 32 of the individuals showed he is a very capable player. He almost won every single league game before Christmas. His partner in crime is Kieran Larkin. Larkin isn't anywhere near Daly's standard but he can pot a ball and can play cagey pool.
Darren O'Hanlon is a top quality player and his partner Martin White is a good standard for Division 1. These 2 have top tier experience and although they are no geniuses they would still hold their own.
A South Armagh Derby is nail biting enough but playing team mates can be a bare knuckle ride. Experience is key.
Verdict: O'Hanlon and White.
Stephen Cunningham and Michael Teggart (St. Monnina) v Raymond Sands and Paul Kelland (CWC B).
3rd from top of Division 1, the St.Monnina pair won't be taking the top of Division 2 CWC B duo for granted.
Cunningham and Teggart just like their opponents Sands and Kelland are far from the most exciting nor consistent players in their respective teams.
Cunningham and Teggart are probably the better potters but Sands and Kelland would likely edge the inevitable tactical exchanges. The quick TJ's Table might just suit the St. Moninna pairing the better.
Verdict: Cunningham and Teggart.
Sheila Johnston and Kevin Crilly (Murphy’s Bar) v Declan McConville and Kieran McMahon (CWC A).
This could be one of the most one sided games since Wrexham took on Arsenal in the FA Cup in the 1991-92 season. Johnston and Crilly are up against here. Both can draw belief from the fact both McConville and McMahon have tasted defeat many times this season and have both crashed out of the individuals in recent seasons to rank outsiders.
Could this be one of the sporting upsets of the local sport scene in long a many a year? No chance!
Verdict McConville and McMahon.
Gerard Bagnall and Liam Turley (Glenn) v James O'Hagan and Niall Connolly (Dan's A)
Gerard Bagnall is the pick of the Glenn crop. He's used to winning week in week out. Liam Turley is a good partner for Bagnall. He can be tactical and these 2 should not be underestimated.
James O'Hagan and Niall Connolly are in superb form lately. Connolly recently gave Kieran McMahon a real scare in the individuals. O'Hagan has one of the best records in the Premier Division. Both are very attacking and will hope for an open attacking table.
Verdict: O'Hagan and Connolly.
Cailum McParland and Chris Cunningham (CWC B) v Brendan McCabe and Shane McVerry (Armagh/Down)
Chris Cunningham is the most exciting player of this opening quartet. He is an excellent potter and seems to have overcome his fear of potting the black. Cailum McParland will need to try and curtail Cunningham's attacking instincts.
McCabe and McVerry are a good experienced pairing with decent win rates. They will certainly be confident of progressing.
Verdict: Cunningham and McParland.
Robbie White and Niall McQuillan (Ballyholland) v Brendan Devlin and Mervyn Kernaghan (Orchard Bar)
What a cracking match-up this is. Robbie White and Niall McQuillan are like a match and a stick of dynamite. Together they are explosive. Both ultra aggressive potters and both excellent players with impressive win rates.
Brendan Devlin and Mervyn Kernaghan are no less talented but certainly a little more conservative on the attacking front.
The CWC tables will no doubt suit the Ballyholland fireworks display but unless they produce 2 massive clearances then there is likely to be a damp squib for them.
Verdict: Devlin and Kernaghan.
Eddie Heaney and Ralf Crummy (Bears) v Seamus McVerry and Jimmy McVerry (Dan's A).
Neither of the Bears 2 have covered themselves in glory this season. Eddie Heaney will be glad to see Division 1 so he can get back to winning ways. Ralf Crummy has been one of the more reliable Bears players but he still shouldn't get overly excited by that as he wasn't up against much.
Seamus McVerry and Jimmy McVerry will be delighted with this draw. Seamus is an outstanding potter and an intelligent player. Jimmy is a lucky player and this combination of luck and skill is really all you need to lift trophies.
Verdict McVerry and McVerry.
Nicky Langton and Gerard McGuigan (McGuigan's B) v Billy O'Neill and Ciaran O'Neill (Hustlers)
Langton and McGuigan have hit some good form recently to fire McGuigan's Bar to the top of the Premier Division. Langton the safety operative and McGuigan is the attacking operative.
Billy and Ciaran O'Neill are the 2nd father/Son duo on the table and they will have to work equally as hard. Young Ciaran is the most improved player in the league over the past 2 seasons. He might just be able to carry his Dad over the line.
Verdict: O'Neill and O'Neill.
Shane McAllister and Barry Murphy v Paddy Heaney and Adrian Holman.
Yet another tough one to call. Shane McAllister is the pick of the the 4 players while the other 3 are in and around the same standard. Heaney and Holman will need to nullify McAllister if they are to prevail. Murphy will trust McAllister and I'd Murphy can hold his nerves this could be a potent partnership.
Verdict: McAllister and Murphy
Shane Phelan and Cathal Phelan (Whitecross Bar) v Raymie Magee and Chris McKeown. (Forresters)
The 2 Phelan's are in red hot form this season. Whitecross would probably be long relegated by now only for these 2 brilliant cueiests.Shane has come on leaps and bounds and is playing with real confidence. The Phelan twins are rightly among the favourites for the title.
Talking of Confidence - Chris McKeown has been one of the highlights of the season and he will be brimming with confidence. He set the individuals alight with some sterling performances and could he pull of another brilliant result to make the last 8? Raymie Magee is no soft touch and these lads will definitely give the Phelan's a run for their money.
Verdict: Cathal Phelan and Shane Phelan.
Pat Brady and Harvey Lavelle (CWC A) v Colm Shields and Jim McMahon (Ballyholland)
Pat Brady and Harvey Lavelle have gone 2 full seasons unbeaten in the Pairs and if memory serves me correctly they didn't even drop a frame en route to their 2nd consecutive Pairs title last season. Both players have a cruel safety game and both are stunning potters.
Colm Shields and Jim McMahon got the draw nobody wanted. Colm is the current captain and Jim is the former captain. 2 good solid players. Shields recently dished up a break finish so if the table is open they can cause the champions trouble. It is however immensely unlikely.
Verdict: Shields and McMahon.
Diamuird Lonergan and Conor O'Hare (Sheepbridge) v Paddy Clarke and Seamus McGeoghegan (CWC A)
What a game to finish the night and finish our blog. Both teams have slow methodical players and exciting flashy potters.
Lonergan and McGeoghegan would be good sleeping tablets if the could crush them and put them in capsules O'Hare and Clarke are like a tin of Red Bull with 100% added Carbon dioxide with extra sugar.
This could be an explosion of outrageous potting or it could be a snore fest. Is it possible to have both? Conor O'Hare and Paddy Clarke certainly can get a snooker if required but outrageous exuberant potting is more likely to come to fruition.
This is going to be a close one. Seamus McGeoghegan is the key here. If he can play will and make less mistakes than Diamuird Lonergan then they could edge a classic.
Verdict: Clarke and McGeoghegan.
Remember it's Scotch Doubles!
The Newry Pool league will offer £50 for anyone that can guess correctly the winner of all 16 ties. So why not have a free go!
If your not in you can't win.
Ps Please try and support the competion for the late Barney Preece on Saturday 7th April in Cue Club From 1.30 pm Thanks