MARC Hutchinson is the new 147 Club Individual champion after an excellent display of pool, defeating Allen Tosh in an exciting final.
The singles had been full of early shocks as the likes of Raymond Baxter, Tommy Morrow, Lee Hull and Willie Eakin all made early exits.
The bottom half of the draw was full of quality and Hutchinson battled through two tough matches with Damien Reid and Darryl Watt to set up a semi final against Billy Moore.
Moore tried to slow the young Forge cueist down but Hutchinson gave as good as he got in the tactical battle. The match was tight at the start but Hutchinson pulled away to seal his place in the final.
As for Tosh, he had come through a slightly less illustrious top half. However, he did have to send his captain, Lee Caulfield, home in the first round.
This was followed by a comfortable win over Adam Watt, but Tosh could have found himself out in the next round. Peter Martin had two glorious chances to beat Tosh in the quarter finals but fell apart both times and Tosh scraped through.
In his semi final against Jimmy Moore, he was excellent as he never missed a pot, and despite Moore playing some great pool himself, the Sperrin man went through 5-3.
The final started off in great fashion with no less than five eight-ball finishes in the first six frames. The next two frames went very tactical but they still could not be split as the match was tied at 4-4.
The pressure really started to show in the next frame as both missed chances but it was Hutchinson who battled through to put himself one from the title.
The tenth frame was similar, with both players missing a couple of early chance. It looked like it would be going to a decider as Hutchinson fouled giving Tosh two shots.
However, the Sperrin man ran too far when attempting a snooker, leaving Hutchinson a chance at his last red. Depite the pressure, Hutchinson slotted the long red in and managed to pull the cueball back far enough to get on the black.
A simple pot to the middle and the young star was crowned champion.
A player who has always had the potential to win this event and has now done so. There is no doubt he is quite capable of adding more. As for Tosh, he played some great pool and will no doubt be a better player for the experience.
* The Tennents Coleraine Pool League held their Festival of Pool in the Sperrin club last week and the event was, once again, a resounding success. The League would like to thank the club for their hospitality as well as all the sponsors who make the event possible to run.
Quarter finals: J Moore 5, G Wallace 1; A Tosh 5, G Wallace 4; B Moore 5, C Wade 0; M Hutchinson 5, D Watt 0.
Semis: A Tosh 5, J Moore 3; M Hutchinson 5, B Moore 3.
Final: Hutchinson 6, Tosh 4.
Bullseye 3 Person Team Event
THE first title decided in the Tennents Coleraine Pool League’s annual Festival of Pool was the Bullseye 3 person team event.
The winners came from the home of the sponsors as Damien Reid, Adrian O’Kane and Raymond Baxter secured victory with a convincing win over Lee Hull, Peter Martin and Chris Wade in the final.
The Bullseye trio raced into a 3-0 lead but their opponents fought back to make it 3-3. However, the eventual winners stepped up a gear again as they took a clean sweep in the next session to put them one from victory and it was O’Kane who held his nerve to pot the winning black.
Reid, O’Kane and Baxter had defeated the pre tournament favourites in Tommy Morrow, Lee Caulfield and Billy Moore in the semi finals.
Hull, Martin and Wade also came through a tough semi final encounter with Marc Hutchinson missing a black which would have put himself, Corey Sweeney and Willie Eakin into the final.
Semi finals: Baxter, Reid, O’Kane 7, Caulfield, Moore, Morrow 5; Hull, Wade, Martin 7, Hutchinson, Sweeney, Eakin 6
Final: Baxter, Reid, O’Kane 7, Hull, Wade, Martin 3.
* This year also saw the first Plate event for this competition and it saw another success for the Bullseye.
This time Steven Morton, Chris McColgan and Kenny Watton, from the Bullseye B, were the victors.
They had a titanic battle with Arthur McMullan, Stephen Blair and David McMullan and the match went to a tiebreaker as they finished locked at 6-6.
Chris McColgan produced an excellent break and finish to take the match.
Under 23 Open Individuals
DIJON McCorkell lifted the under 23 title in the last year he will be eligible for the competition.
With both Corey Sweeney and Lee McIlreavy clashing in the first round, one of the favoured competitors would be gone and it was McIlreavy who came through that one.
However, it was McCorkell who ended young Lee’s chances in a tight semi final clash.
In the final, McCorkell met former champion Chris Wade who had made his way to the final with wins over John Huston and Gary Simpson.
McCorkell raced into a 3-1 lead in the final; but Wade battled back to force a decider. However, it was McCorkell who held his nerve with a good finish to seal the title.
Semi finals: Dijon McCorkell 4, Lee McIlreavy 2; Chris Wade 4, Gary Simpson 0.
Final: McCorkell 4, Wade 3.
Clement Dealey Photography Knockout Cup
SPERRIN retained the Knockout Cup with a late night victory over Bullseye A.
Lee Caulfield’s men had come through a mid game wobble in the semi final against the Bullseye B, who were looking to cause an upset.
The Bullseye A and Forge A enjoyed an incredible battle in the other semi, Damien Reid’s men raced into a 9-1 lead in the first to 12 match.
However, the Forge rallied to win 10 of the next 11 frames and take an 11-10 lead. In a battle of the captains, it was Reid who beat Eakin to force the decider.
Marc Hutchinson should have won the match but missed the black and Raymond Baxter held his nerve to put the Bullseye into the final.
The final was a nip and tuck affair in the early stages with the match poised at 8-7 in favour of the Sperrin after the third session.
However, Sperrin stepped up a gear as wins for Lee Caulfield, Billy Moore and new under 23 champion McCorkell put them on the hill.
Tommy Morrow and Baxter had a tactical battle and it was Morrow who pulled through to take the match that retained the cup.
Semi finals: Sperrin 12, Bullseye B 7; Bullseye A 12, Forge A 11.
Final: Sperrin 12, Bullseye A 7.
* The Plate competition was another trophy staying where it was at as the Railway Arms retained the Clement Dealey Knockout Plate.
They came through a tough semi final against the Bullseye old boys in which they battled back from a 7-1 deficit to make the final.
There they met the Social Club who had performed well in their semi final victory over Mary Pats. However, they did not reach those heights in the final as Arthur McMullan’s charges took control early and never looked back to record a 12-4 victory.
Final: Railway Arms 12, Social Club 4.
Senior open individuals
RAYMOND Stockman is the Coleraine Seniors champion once again with a strong final performance against team mate Paul O’Connor.
Stockman had beaten debutant Willie Eakin in an earlier round, followed by a comfortable win over Clem Howard in the semi finals.
O’Connor had early wins over Hubert Smyth and Davy Logue before he came through a marathon battle with reigning champion Paul Baird in the semi finals.
Stockman took an early lead in the final and O’ Connor never really recovered as Stockman took the title.
Semi finals: R Stockman 4, C Howard 0; P O’Connor 4, P Baird 3.
Final: Stockman 5, O’Connor 2.
Railway Arms Doubles
IN a fitting end to the Festival of Pool, it was Sperrin duo Lee Caulfield and Billy Moore who lifted the Railway Arms doubles title after a long day of pool.
Caulfield lifted last year’s doubles title alongside the late, great Davy Tosh and the Sperrin captain will have been delighted to retain this title.
This duo battled through the tough top half of the draw. Having beaten new singles champion Hutchinson and Chris Wade in the first round, they met Jimmy Moore and Raymond Baxter in the next.
Baxter and Moore had put out the fancied pairing of Raymond Stockman and Tommy Morrow in the first round, and they had a titanic battle with Moore and Caulfield in the next round.
However, the latter pairing held their nerve to reach the quarters where they had a quicker, more comfortable win over Clem Howard and Peter Martin. Their semi final also went to decider with opponents Lee Hull and Willie Eakin having their chances, but again the Sperrin pair pulled through.
In the final, they met defending champions Allen Tosh and Gary Wallace. This pairing had a slightly more comfortable route to the final.
A deciding frame win over Barry McLaughlin and Stephen Blair in round ONE being their only real scare. A semi final win over Kenny Watton and Steven Morton, who had both performed well to get to that stage, set up the final. As is often the way with doubles, the final was a scrappy affair, both teams finishing well but making mistakes in equal measures.
This set up another deciding frame as the match went to 3-3 . Tosh and Wallace had the first chance but an in off from Tosh cost them as Caulfield held his nerve to clinch the win.
This made it two disappointments in finals for Tosh, but this should not detract from the quality he showed over the weekend.
Semi finals: B Moore & L Caulfield 4, L Hull & W Eakin 3; A Tosh & G Wallace 4, K Watton & S Morton 2.
Final: Moore & Caulfield 4, Tosh & Wallace 3.
Coleraine Times Captains Cup
THE handicap system for this competition has proven to be working well as this event saw some close early matches.
There were early exits for Damien Reid and Lee Caulfield but DD Campbell got the biggest scalp of all as he beat Willie Eakin in fine fashion.
It was Darryl Watt and Martin McNeill who made their way to the final, which was unable to be completed. However, it has been scheduled for Tuesday 19th March in the Bullseye. It is best of SEVEN with Martin getting a frame start.
The league returns to action tonight (Tuesday) with the following fixtures Railway Arms v Bullseye Old Boys Floyds v Forge A (played in Sperrin) Roost v Social Club Bullseye B v Mary Pats Forge Bar v Bullseye A Sperrin – Bye The fixtures postponed on February 5 will be played on Tuesday, March 26.
The league play offs will now take place on April 2, with the finals on April 9.