HUNDREDS of people from all over the country converged on the West County Hotel in Ennis last weekend for the Inter-County Pool Championships.
Twenty-two men’s teams battled it out for the most prestigious team title in Irish pool, with a number of ladies’ teams and junior teams also competing at the event.
Cork won the men’s team event, beating off stiff opposition from Wexford. John Magee, chairman of the Irish Pool Association, said it was the most exciting final of any competition they have had yet.
“Cork were nine frames to one ahead when Wexford took the next eight frames, putting them level on nine frames each. Cork eventually won the match by 14 frames to 12. It was nail-biting stuff,” he commented.
This is Cork’s first time winning the national title, on their first outing in the final. Wexford were national champions six times.
John Columb from Cavan won the men’s title, beating Pat O’Leary from Offaly. “This was John’s fourth title, making him the first ever to win four national titles,” Magee added.
Cavan’s ladies team won the ladies’ title, also beating Wexford in the final.
Tyrone beat Mayo in the junior final and John said that the standard at junior level was very impressive, setting high hopes for the future of the competition. “The Clare junior team performed credibly but said that they hope to do better next year,” John said.
He added that games were played from early morning until very late over the weekend, with a number of matches on at one time in the function room.
This was the second year in-a-row that the pool championships came to the West County Hotel. Already, discussions have taken place between the hotel and the Irish Pool Association with a view to holding the event there again next year.
“I can’t say that we’ll definitely be back in Ennis next year but I can certainly say that it’s very likely. It is a perfect venue for our competition and we have all had a great weekend,” Magee remarked.