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1996-97 Irish Higher Education Snooker Championships

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The 1996 championships were hosted by UCD Pool and Snooker Club, and staged at Jason's Snooker Club, Ranelagh, Dublin, on 29th and 30th November. Ten teams from five institutions took part, including a first appearance by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

The first round saw few surprises, with holders Queen's "A" and UCD "A" coming safely through Group A, though an understrength University of Ulster team, winners two years ago, were unable to reach the semi-finals and had to settle for a crack at the Plate. Queen's "A" overcame the odd scare in their semi-final against UCD "B", winning 6-2, while the "B" string gave UCD "A" a fright before going down 6-3, Damien Gates performing heroics for the losers.

The final, however, was clear cut, with Queen's never looking like giving up their title. Gary Menary never allowed Jimmy Nolan to settle in the first pairing, winning in straight frames and displaying something like his best form, while on the next table All-Ireland Ladies' Champion Cathy Gallagher blew Derek Dormer away, assisted by breaks of 37 and 33. Match three was a much tighter affair, where UCD's Derek Doody forced Edmund Ong to pull out all the stops. The Queen's player, who won two extremely close frames, showed nerves of steel to escape from a frame-losing snooker on the pink in the second before potting a very testing black.

With the title now Queen's for the seventh time in eight championships, matches four and five between newcomer Nathan Lyttle and Ciaran Rice for Queen's, and Ivan Browne and Tony Quinn for UCD, were called to a halt with the Belfast team one frame up in both.

The Plate saw some measure of consolation for UU, when they edged out UCD 6-5 after a play-off, skipper John Leonard doing the honours. This is the second time that UU, comprised of players from several campuses, has lifted the Plate.

The Individual Championship, which had the spectators on the edge of their seats, attracted an entry of forty-eight. As in previous years it was a northern benefit, UU's John Leonard joining Nathan Lyttle, Cathy Gallagher and Gary Menary from Queen's in the semi-finals.

Leonard got the better of Lyttle in straight frames, though he was given quite a battle on the way, while Gallagher once again upset the odds by eliminating Menary on a 2-1 scoreline, to reach the final for the second year in a row, no mean achievement.

Once again, however, the title eluded her as international colleague Leonard won 3-1 after a right struggle. It was clear that a long day's play was taking its toll on both players, but Leonard lasted the pace a little better and finished the stronger to end Queen's stranglehold on this crown which dated back to Peter Simpson's victory in 1988.

There was consolation for the southern teams in the Individual Plate, Brian Keenan of Queen's being the odd man out in the semi-finals, where he was joined by a trio from Maynooth College; and while he suffered the acute disappointment of losing on the black, he can be pleased with his overall performance.

Next year the championships are likely to return to Belfast, to be hosted either by UU or Queen's. Finally, all players would like to thank Tony Quinn and Ivan Browne of UCD for their work in organising this year's event.


Team Championship

Group A

QUB "A" 9-1 RCSI, UCD "C" 5-5 Maynooth "B"; UCD "A" 7-3 RCSI, QUB "A" 7-3 Maynooth "B"; 
QUB "A" 9-1 UCD "C", UCD "A" 9-1 Maynooth "B"; QUB "A" 6-4 UCD "A", UCD "C" 5-5 RCSI; 
UCD "A" 9-1 UCD "C", RCSI 5 -5 Maynooth "B". 

QUB "A" 8 pts, UCD "A" 6 pts, Maynooth "B" 2 pts, RCSI 2 pts, UCD "C" 1 pt.

Group B

QUB "B" 8-2 QUB "C", UU 4-6 UCD "B"; QUB "B" 6-4 Maynooth "A", UU 4-6 QUB "C"; 
QUB "B" 4-6 UU, Maynooth "A" 9-1 UCD "B"; QUB "B" 5-5 UCD "B", Maynooth "A" 4-6 QUB "C"; 
QUB "C" 3-7 UCD "B", UU 5-5 Maynooth "A".

QUB "B" 5 pts, UCD "B" 5 pts, QUB "C" 4 pts, Maynooth "A" 3 pts, UU 3 pts.


QUB "A" 6-2 UCD "B", UCD "A" 6-3 QUB "B".


QUB "A" 3-0 UCD "A" (6-0): G.Menary 2 J. Nolan 0, C. Gallagher (37,33) 2 D. Dormer 0, 
E. Ong 2 D. Dooley 0, N. Lyttle v T. Quinn, C. Rice v I. Browne

Team Plate

1st Round: Maynooth "B" 3-1 RCSI, UU 3-2 Maynooth "A".

Semi-Finals: UCD "C" 3-1 Maynooth "B", UU 3-1 QUB "C".

Final: UU 6-5 UCD "C".

Individual Championship

Preliminary Round: U. Kiran (RCSI) bt I. Browne (UCD), M. Curran (UU) bt G. 
Sharpe (UCD), D. Stynes (Maynooth) bt D. Doody (UCD), J. Nolan (UCD) bt P. 
Moran (UCD), D. Quinn (UU) bt J. Byrne (RCSI), C. Rice (QUB) bt D. O'Brien 
(UCD), G. Parkinson (UCD) bt C. Flynn (Maynooth), J. McCadden (Mynooth) bt 
T.J. Chan (QUB), K. Lim (QUB) bt N. Rajabagakham (RCSI), G. Menary (QUB) bt 
T. O'Gara (UU), D. Gates (QUB) bt D. O'Longain (QUB), G. Laird (Maynooth) bt 
D. Conway (UCD), D. Beagen (Maynooth) bt K. Allen (UCD), C. Gallagher (QUB) 
bt D. Dormer (UCD), B. Keenan (QUB) bt K. Alchin (RCSI), M. Lynch (UU) bt M. 
Monaghan (Maynooth).

1st Round: A. Ryan (RCSI) bt U. Kiran (RCSI), J. Leonard (UU) bt M. Curran 
(UU), D. Stynes (Maynooth) bt M. Callan (QUB), J. Nolan (UCD) bt I. Rowan 
(UCD), T. Quinn (UCD) bt D. Quinn (UU), C. Rice (QUB) bt K. O'Lehan 
(Maynooth), N. Lyttle (QUB) bt G. Parkinson (UCD), L. O'Dwyer (UCD) bt J. 
McCadden (Maynooth), (69) E. Ong (QUB) bt K. Lim (QUB), (44) G. Menary
(QUB) bt M. O'Duffy (UCD), D. Gates (QUB) bt P. Shiel (Maynooth), G. Laird 
(Maynooth) bt R. McKeague (QUB), D. Beagen (Maynooth) bt C. Killow (QUB), C. 
Gallagher (QUB) bt K. Vaz (QUB), M. Lynch (UU) bt B. Keenan (QUB), S. Cartan 
(UCD) bt K. Boyle (QUB).

Last-16: J. Leonard (UU) bt A. Ryan (RCSI), J. Nolan (UCD) bt D. Stynes 
(Maynooth), T. Quinn (UCD) bt C. Rice (QUB), N. Lyttle (QUB) bt L. O'Dwyer 
(UCD), G. Menary (QUB) bt E. Ong (QUB), D. Gates (QUB) bt G. Laird 
(Maynooth), C. Gallagher (QUB) bt D. Beagen (Maynooth), M. Lynch (UU) bt S. 
Cartan (UCD).

Quarter-Finals: J. Leonard (UU) 2 J. Nolan (UCD) 0, T. Quinn (UCD) 0 N. 
Lyttle (37) 2, G. Menary (QUB) 2 D. Gates (QUB), C. Gallagher (QUB) 2 M. 
Lynch (UU).

Semi-Finals: (39) J. Leonard (UU) 2 N. Lyttle 0, G. Menary (QUB) 1 C. 
Gallagher 2.

Final: J. Leonard (UU) 3 C. Gallagher (QUB) 1.

Individual Plate

Preliminary Round: K. Vaz (QUB) bt G. Parkinson (UCD).

1st Round: J. Byrne (RCSI) bt K. O'Lehan (Maynooth), D. Doody (UCD) bt D. 
Dormer (UCD), C. Flynn (Maynooth) bt D. Lawlor (Maynooth), M. Callan (QUB) bt 
K. Allen (UCD), D. O'Brien (UCD) bt P. Shiel (Maynooth), B. Keenan (QUB) bt 
P. Moran (UCD), K. Vaz (QUB) bt R. Murphy (Maynooth), G. Sharpe (UCD) bt M. 
Curran (UU), R. McKeague (QUB) bt D. Quinn (UU), D. O'Longain (QUB) bt K. 
Alchin (RCSI), K. Lim (QUB) bt T.J. Chan (QUB), M. Monaghan (Maynooth) bt K. 
Boyle (QUB), M. O'Duffy (UCD) bt N. Rajabagakham (RCSI), D. Conway (UCD) bt 
T. O'Gara (UU), J. McCadden (Maynooth) bt I. Browne (UCD), R. Hussey (UCD) bt 
I. Rowan (UCD).

Last-16: D. Doody (UCD) bt J. Byrne (RCSI), C. Flynn (Maynooth) bt M. Callan 
(QUB), B. Keenan (QUB) bt D. O'Brien (UCD), K. Vaz (QUB) bt G. Sharpe (UCD), 
R. McKeague (QUB) bt D. O'Longain (QUB), M. Monaghan (Maynooth) bt K. Lim 
(QUB), M. O'Duffy (UCD) bt D. Conway (UCD), J. McCadden (Maynooth) bt R. 
Hussey (UCD).

Quarter-Finals: C. Flynn (Maynooth) bt D. Doody (UCD), B. Keenan (QUB) bt
K. Vaz (QUB), M. Monaghan (Maynooth) bt R. McKeague (QUB), J. McCadden 
(Maynooth) bt M. O'Duffy (UCD).

Semi-Finals: C. Flynn (Maynooth) bt B. Keenan (QUB), M. Monaghan (Maynooth)
bt J. McCadden (Maynooth).

Final: M. Monaghan (Maynooth) 2-0 C. Flynn (Maynooth).

Highest Breaks

J. Leonard (UU) 69, 39; E.Ong (QUB) 69, 38; G. Menary (QUB) 44, 38; N. Lyttle
(QUB) 44, 37; C. Gallagher (QUB) 42, 37, 33, 30; G. Sharpe (UCD) 40; J. Nolan 
(UCD) 35.

Information courtesy of Patrick McWilliams ([email protected])

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Last Modified: Saturday April 21 2012