The Vegas Cup was in full swing Thursday night and the holders TJ's A cruised past CWC in the 1st round of the defence of their trophy. Newly promoted CWC have settled well in the Premier Division but this was all over bar the shouting after 6 frames.
Kieran McMahon was facing his former champions winning team mates for the 1st time since his move back down Hill Street to the Working Men's Club. It wasn't the game he was expecting as Stevie Noades pulled off some great shots and sent the former Tj's player back to the high stool feeling dejected. It was a bold move by captain Declan McConville and Noades used a good tactical game to beat the former individual champion.
Jack Courtney doubled that lead when he beat Martin McClelland.
Former doubles winner Gerry Cregan beat Darren Devlin with some nice pool to give the home side some hope.
Manny Byrne & impressive Laurence McAlinden made it 4-1 and put the visiting TJ's on the hill when they beat Tommy Rooney & PJ Gilmore ( both had incredible seasons last year ).
It was left for Raymie McKenna to bring home the bacon but last seasons individuals runner-up was brushed off the table by the fantastic newly promoted to prem division Paul Kelland & there was a glimmer of hope for CWC.
Cailim McParland came off the subs bench after being sub last week but Declan McConville was just too good & TJ's booked their place in round 2. Pat Hughes had no problem beating Stevie Taggart with the latter finding it tough going playing for the champions so far this season. TJ's A never got out of 2nd gear & a 6-3 win was well deserved.
Whitecross gave TJ's two good games in the Cunningham Cup & Premier Division Cup finals last season and they're off to a flyer this year. Vegas Cup opponents Sheepbridge B boasted 5 good players from last season Sheepbridge side that reached 2 semi-finals. Whitecross knocking them out in one semi so this was a potential banana skin for the South Armagh side.
But it turned out a bit of a stroll for Whitecross when they visited the bowling Ally running out 7-1 winners. Whitecross raced into a 4-0 lead when Cathal Phelan, Barry Shields, Gareth McCann & Michael Feenan took frames off Sean O'Callaghan, Conor Quinn, Seanie Markey & Brendan Yogi Markey.
Pat Kearns beat Gavin Malone to give the visitors something to think about but the impressive Martin O'Callaghan, Paddy O'Callaghan, Mickey O'Hanlon & Brian O'Neill completed a very 1 sided match 8-1.
The newly formed Hustlers visited struggling Moore's B of division 2. The Premier Division side found themselves 2-1 behind and were facing the biggest shock of the round. Niall McElligott beat Ciaran O'Neill before Tucker Hughes levelled up for Hustlers when he beat Damian Doran.
Surely league chairman Kevin Magee would end his horrendous run but no Daryl Poucher ensured it was 4 defeats on the trot for Magee & now faces the axe against his former team mates and idols of McGuigans A in Thursday's clash of the night.
All the pressure was now on Cathal McCoy who was up against Amanda Pentony. McCoy held his nerve to level for Hustlers for 2-2.
Shane McAllister then Mickey Cunningham put the Hustlers outfit on the hill with wins over Raymond Poucher & James Larkin.
Anthony Morgan, Billy O'Neill and John Little wrapped up a nervy victory for the Premier Division side with wins over Christopher Cunningham, James Cunnane & Denver Jenkins.
Unbeaten Grand Vue Hotel took themselves to Camlough to play Trainors & were on the wrong end of a severe beating. Trainor's blitzed the Omeath side winning the 1st 6 frames to them into round 2.
I'm not going to start trying to write the names because only about 3 are legible. But this was a terrific result for the South Armagh side. Grand Vue won the last 3 frames but it was too little too late.
ndo B had an incredible 5-4 win over Cavern Bar down in the Indo.
Mark Byrne & Gary Byrne returned to winning ways to put the visiting Cavern 2-0 up.
Stephen Quinn, Wayne Jennings, Connor Curran & Anthony Murray won 4 on the spin for the Indo to take a 4-2 lead.
Ciaran Gilbraith & Shane Copeland squared the match again at 4-4 and it was down to a decider.
Eamon Pollock was the toast of the Indo when he beat Karl Feehan & bagged a place in the 2nd round for Indo.
McGuigans A squeezed through to round 2 by the skin of their teeth against a useful looking Windmill bar side. Tommy Broughton beat John Magee to put the visiting Windmill 1-0 up.
Kieran Hanna & Paul McAreavey gave McGuigans a 2-1 lead beating Conor McKeown & Conor Heaney
Another 2 frame spin turned it 3-2 to Windmill and this was turning into a classic. Conor Cunningham & Niall McGeogh beat Daniel McGuigan & Gerald McGuigan & it was game on.
Ciaran Hanna & Damien Flannaghan with another 2 frame swing sent the pendulum back in favour of McGuigans 4-3 with wins over Ruairi Cunninghm & Stevie Gray.
Aaron O'Callaghan needed his supreme potting skills to bring this game to a decider when he beat the experienced Brain Campbell & it was 4-4.
It was down to another experienced campaigner Brendan Healy to keep the home side in the Vegas Cup when he beat Gareth White and I'm sure he Healy was given plenty of pints on the house after this rescue mission. This was a great warm up match Hanna & co as they take on Hustlers this Thursday in a bit of a grudge match.
An incredible match unfolded in Ballyholland as they took on Trainors of Canal Street. Ballyholland are cruising at the top of division 1 and found themselves 3-0 then 4-1 up with wins for Gerard McAvoy, Colm Shields, Giby Vettiankal, William McShane (Trainors) and Jim McMahon for a healthy 4-1 advantage.
But 3 on the spin for Trainors left it 4-4 thanks to Paul McParland, Dylan Devlin & Dylan Morgan.
It was left for Brendan Keenan & Chris Hughes to fight it out for place in the 2nd round & it was Keenan who was the hero for Ballyholland and put the home side in the draw for round 2.