The Joseph Thompson senior billiards tournament, in memory of the late Joseph Thompson, who played a huge part in the old CYMS and O’Brien Memorial Hall came to a finish earlier this month.
As usual, the semi-finals and final took place on the same day, with semi-final line up seeing Larry Drennan (Kilkenny) against Aidan Murray (Wicklow), the tournament specialist with five previous wins, and local man John Fahy up against Billy Talbot (Piltown).
Larry won the choice of tables and elected to play on the near table. He started off very well and built up a 200 to 46 lead with the help of his 100 point handicap. The first 300 was evenly contested, but Larry was distancing matter and lead by 340 to 270. At this stage Larry opened up and went on to wun by 700 to 425m with his over-twenty breaks as follows; 61, 31, 64, 25 and 45, while Aidan responded with 34, 68, 25 and 20.
The other semi-final was well contested between John Fahy and Billy Tabot, who emerged as the surprise of the tournament. John was conceding 75 points of a handicap and he found the concession a bit too much, but not without a gallant fight. In the end he lost on a scoreline of 450 to 407. The referee for the game was Joe Doheny and marker Shay O’Brien, and in the other semi-final it was Joe Dooley and Michael Dooley.
At this stage all retired to the Racket Hall for a meal which was enjoyed by all. The final between Billy and Larry started at 4pm was watched by a nice crowd, including sponsors Frank and Margaret Thompson, Theresa Lalor, sister of the late Joseph Thompson and club members including some juveniles, which was great to see.
The club chairman John Delaney made a brief appearance as he is recovering from surgery, and he welcomed everyone, thanking the players for taking part, the sponsors, and Theresa Lalor for attending the final, before wishing Billy and Larry the best of luck in the final.
The final was well contested with Larry conceding 225 points to Billy, and although he found it hard going, in the end his experience told and he won on a scoreline of 600 to 487. Larry’s over-twenty breaks were 27, 21, 40, 27, 25, 32, and 26, while Billy replied with 33, 21, 24 and 20. After the game, Frank Thompson presented th crystal trophies to both finalists and also the prize money to all four players.
He also presented Aidan Murray with his cheque for the higest break on the competition with 174, and indeed the highest ever in the club. Frank went on to thank all four players for serving up such top-quality billiards on the day, and thanked all players who took part from Kilkenny, Dublin, Wicklow, Laois, Cork and Kildare. He also praised all the locals who helped in any way during the tournament, getting the tables ready and providing refreshments.