Despite brimming with confidence, New Institute Snooker Club were left disappointed at the All-Ireland Championships.
The team had previously lifted the trophy on three different occasions – the most recent coming in 2019 – and having won the Munster Club title just one week before, they were in good heart heading to Killarney for the major.
The All-Ireland Championships pit 34 of the best snooker clubs from all four provinces against one another, but even among such quality competition, New Institute’s ‘A’ team got off to a fantastic start.
Led by captain Mark Walsh, they won three of their four group games to progress to the competition’s knockout stage.
They were drawn against St Johns of Limerick in the quarter-finals, and a topsy-turvy tie ended in heartache for New Institute as they went down in a final frame decider.
In the premier final, Kilkenny defeated Northern Ireland’s Drumaness to clinch the title.
Glittering snooker on the Emerald Isle
Meanwhile, New Institute’s ‘C’ team would make the last 16 of the tournament.
They had qualified having reached the semi-finals of the Munster Championships just the week before, and the side made up of Dave Garrett, Billy Kelly, Martin Kelly, Tom Ford (not the world number 22), and Damien Long won two of their four group games to proceed to the bracket stage.
However, their run would come to an end in the last 16 where they were defeated in a close-fought contest by Northern Ireland’s Blackstaff.
Elsewhere, the prestigious Billy Telford Memorial Cup has a new name engraved on it.
Brendan O’Donoghue, who has already prevailed in both the All Ireland and Munster Singles, took the title after defeating Crucible’s Noel Landers 3-1 in an engrossing final.