THE Eire Og A team of Mark McLernon, Sam Frazier and Chris Cinnamond claimed victory in the annual 3-a-side competition in the Celtic Club after beating a gallant Drumgor B team in the final.
The eventual winners started their night with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Celtic C winning both the singles and the doubles 2-0 with Sam Frazier hitting the first 180 of the night. Eire Og B repeated this scoreline with a win over The Premier C team. The Trojans B team had a 2-1 win over the Stables B team winning the round robin leg and it went all the way again when the Eire Og C team beat the INF C team of Seamy Tallon, Paddy Magill and Vincey Culbert sr.
Clann Eireann B team qualified for the last 16 when the won both matches 2-0 against the Trojans C team and reigning Champions INF A got past a tough first match over Celtic B players M Haddock, Dessie Dunbar and Sean Farren winning both games 2-0.
The final preliminary game matched two of the early favourites Celtic A and Stables A with Tommy McErlene winning the singles against Peter Morris 2-0 and Dee Breen and Davy McCusker also winning the pairs 2-0 against Gareth Bunting and Michael Lamb to complete the line-up for the last 16.
The last 16 got underway with title holders INF A being eliminated by eventual finalists Drumgor B with the inform Pearse Richardson beating Stevie McConnon 2-1 and Paul Donnelly and Marty Craig winning 2-0 against Lee Culbert and Marty Murray. Eire Og C (Hugh Heaney, Paul McGahon and Paul Callaghan) had a 2-0 win over Premier B (Mo Campbell, Dee McCready and Brian McCavigan) and the Celtic A had their second win of the night beating Clann Eireann A with Tommy McErlene again winning the singles 2-0 against Mark Magee and Davy and Dee beating Ciaran McMahon and Neil McCluskey 2-0 also.
Trojans B team could not repeat their first round win when losing out to Premier A 2-0 and Clann Eireann B made it into the last eight with Mick Hendron, Nathan and Joe McCabe winning the 701 last leg against the Stables C team of Hugh Campbell Brian Devine and Sammy Toman. Eire Og B team beat Clann Eireann C team (Cathal Hendron, Ciaran Magee, Chris Magee) 2-0 and that was soon followed by their A team who made it all three teams from Eire Og into the quarter-finals when Chris Cinnamond hit a 180 and a 17 darter to beat Terry Morrow 2-1 and Sam Frazier hit his second 180 of the night as he and Mark beat Andy McConnon and Marty Crossan 2-0.
The final match of the last 16 saw another early favourite fall as the Drumgor A team of Shane Lennon, Stevie Duff and Eamon Duff lost out to the Trojans A team of Tony Rutherford sr, Steven Rutherford and Rab Lewis when the Trojans claimed the win after the final 701 round robin leg.
The pressure was building on most teams now and any small mistakes were punished and so it proved when a slight miscount by Tony Rutherford sr cost him as Eire Og B player Micky Dunwoody hit the winning double for a 2-1 win and then Micky Campbell and Dermy McStay took out a 104 checkout to beat Rab Lewis and Stevie Rutherford 2-0. It took the round robin leg for the Eire Og A team to make it through as Clann Eireann’s Mick Hendron got the better of Mark McLernon in the singles only for Sam and Chris to level the game in the pairs. Eire Og C could not match their other two teams though as they lost out to Drumgor B and host team the Celtic A team completed the semi-final line up when for the third game running Tommy McErlene had to play the singles match and he recorded a 2-0 win this time over John Cinnamond. Dee Blaney and Keith Beale won the doubles though to push the match the whole way but it was Davy McCusker who hit double eight to put Celtic through.
It was Eire Og A against Eire Og B in the first semi and the A team went ahead when Sam beat Micky Dunwoody 2-1, The B team levelled the match when Dermy and Micky Campbell got a 2-0 win over Chris and Mark but it was the A team who progressed winning a tight final leg. For the fourth game in a row it was Celtic’s Tommy McErlene who was drawn out to play the singles match but this time he lost 2-1 to Paul Donnelly to give Drumgor B team the early lead. When Pearse Richardson and Marty Craig continued their form they won 2-0 to make it an Eire Og v Drumgor final.
In the final both Sam and Pearse were drawn out in the singles match for the third time of the night with Pearse outscoring Sam but missed doubles at the crucial time cost him dearly as Sam got the 2-0 win to take his personal record for the night to seven wins out of seven. There was plenty of nerves on show in the doubles as tension built when missed doubles by both teams seemed to let the other team in but it was Chris Cinnamond who hit the all important one to give Eire Og the trophy on a 2-0 scoreline.