THE presentation ceremony at this year’s Mr Chips Festival displayed the growth of talent of Special Needs players from throughout Northern Ireland with the winners stretching from Londonderry to Portadown.
In his opening remarks Mr James Burnside, chairman of Northern Ireland Special Pool, stated that despite serious cutbacks within the various Health Trusts the number of competitors at this year’s festival had continued to grow. He thanked Mr Clem Howard of Mr Chips for continuing his roll as the lead sponsor for the event and also highlighted his further support for the 2013 event, a gesture which was very much appreciated by all involved. He also expressed his gratitude to Coleraine Borough Council for their continuing financial assistance as well as thanking all the staff of the Lodge Hotel for their kindness to everyone involved during the event.
Alderman Maura Hickey, on behalf of the council, in her remarks stated her delight that this prestigious event was held in Coleraine on an annual basis and that she could see from the faces of all the players that they had enjoyed the four days of competition.
Leading the way on the presentation list was current Northern Ireland international player John Brown from Belfast who lifted the much sought after Northern Ireland Men’s Individual title. The equally prestigious Ladies Individuals was won by the current European Champion, Francis McCann of Maghera. The Social Individuals which is for players of lesser ability went to Crawford Chambers of North Belfast Community Day services.
In the team events the social title was won by Muckamore Abbey from Antrim, the ladies event went to Maghera and Millbrook from Ballymoney lifted the men’s event.
The junior team event and individuals, which are limited to entries from special schools throughout Northern Ireland, were nominated by local school Sandleford with Liam O’Hara winning the individuals after a thrilling final against his stable mate David Devine. The A team from Sandleford won the team event defeating their B team in the final.
Other local winners included the ladies team from Mountfern who lifted the ladies team plate event, Valeria Taggart who won the ladies individual speed pool as well as the team speed pool with her partner Ryan Hynds.
Bringing the ceremony and the festival to a close Mr Trevor Harte, event organiser, expressed his gratitude to the numerous local business’s who made the event possible through their participation in the table sponsorship scheme as well as the local pool players for their referring services over the four days.
Table sponsors: Murdock Memorials, Railway Arms Pool Club, Triangle Snooker Club, Right Price Carpets, Coleraine Tennants Pool League, RHK Davidson, Chequers Take Away, N.Ireland Pool Association, Hans Clyde Funeral Directors, Coleraine Credit Union, The Floor Depot, Asda, Norman Hillis, Euroname, Frame It, JKC Cars, JWA Promotions, Nutt Travel, Paul Henderson’s Cash & Carry, Coleraine Van Centre, McDonalds, Lynas Foods, McAfees Property Sales, Relax & Style, MBS Motor Homes, Burkes Gun Shop, Coleraine Credit Union, Bradley Auto Repairs, Troggs, PVC Direct, Alderman David McClarty, Elle Enterprises, Kennedy & Wolfenden, Sailor Bill, Top Meats, R & F Mechanical Services, Red Carpet Wedding Cars, Marine Surface Finishing, Dark Star Tattoo, R & J Walkers and Alderman Maurice Bradley.