Gary Bracken is the winner of the 2012 'Cork Close Snooker Championships' which were held at the excellent 'Douglas Snooker Club' last Sunday with a very big entry of 52 players who were entertained by the Busteed brothers Karl and Martin.
The Cork Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA) committee were there to run affairs with Secretary Tim Murphy co-ordinating the playing order and Martin and Karl Busteed along with Derek O'Neill the Chairman of CBSA keeping things running smoothly.
The standard of play in Cork is at an all time high with several Cork players leading National rankings at the moment, so the high standard of play on the tables saw the defending champion Anthony O'Connor of 'Shooters' as well as Brendan Cooney from Youghal CYMS and his fellow team mate and former winner Adrian Landers and the Crucible pairing of Greg Casey and Ryan Cronin starting off well.
The condition of Douglas snooker club is outstanding, with excellent tables and facilities along with the very warm welcome afforded to everyone on arrival was an example to all. The Busteed family have invested heavily in Cork snooker and into the upgrading of the club, with all tables up to national standard and as a reward the south side club will host the RIBSA National under 19 and under 20 championships in March, and if the 'Cork Close' is anything to go by it should be a roaring success.
As the high standard of play continued the big names began to roll, especially the Crucible trio of Casey, Cronin and O'Regan, but the star of last year Anthony O'Connor was in sparkling form and met recent Munster Close runner up Gary Bracken in the semi final.
The AOH's Shane O'Mahony a semi finalist last year made it through to meet Youghal's Aaron Tobin in the other semi final.
There were two very convincing semi final performances by Aaron Tobin and Gary Bracken, with both players winning their matches by three frames to one frame setting up a very exciting final.
Bracken won the first frame well coming from behind with a 46 break and a couple of smart pots on the three remaining reds.
Bracken was on top in the second frame too knocking in a 52 break and putting himself just one frame away from the Cork County title.
Bracken completed the three frames to nil victory with a clearance to the pink in a match he thoroughly deserved to win, but a compliment must go to young Aaron Tobin who celebrated his 16th birthday on the day shows that Cork snooker is in a good place and the future certainly looks bright.
Evan O'Leary was the winner of the plate event defeating Ciaran Cronin in the plate final and Derek O'Neill won the high break prize with a 96 break.
Bracken spoke to Rebel Snooker after the final and said “It is a great honour to win this event, I am thrilled with the win and I am delighted with the way I played today. The tournament was run brilliantly by Douglas snooker club and all in all its been a great day for Cork snooker.
It is a great honour to win this event, I am thrilled with the win and I am delighted with the way I played today. The tournament was run brilliantly by Douglas snooker club and all in all its been a great day for Cork snooker
In the CBSA League semi finals the AOH pulled off the result of the season defeating Youghal CYMS 'A' by thirteen frames to six frames last Tuesday evening at Douglas snooker club.
Shane O'Mahony was in sparkling form for the Morrison's Island men as he put together some fine breaks including a 91 with a possible 42 still remaining on the table.
Other notable performance were Timmy Murphy (Jnr) who defeated Brendan Cooney by two frames to nil, Lloyd Myers had a good win over Aaron Tobin and Kevin O'Leary defeated Adrian Landers by three frames to two frames.
So the AOH will meet the Crucible who were last years runners up in this years final, which will be played over two legs with the best of 30 frames with the first side to reach 16 is deemed the winner.
The Crucible defeated Douglas 'A' by thirteen frames to one frame which was played last Thursday night at the AOH.
Derek O'Neill was the only frame winner with the Crucible is outstanding form and looked unbeatable en route to the final, with Ryan Cronin , Greg Casey, David Cassidy and Daniel O'Regan plus Cian Corcoran looking like they really mean business this year after their 2011 final defeat to the soon to re-open Shooters from Blackpool.
The first leg of the final will be played this Thursday evening at the AOH, with the second leg on at the Crucible on the following Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile in Billiards, Cork's LlyodMyers and Derek O'Neill competed in the European Billiards Championships at the Ivy Rooms in Carlow last weekend.
Both Myers and O'Neill finished third in their respective groups finishing just one place shy of making it through to the last 16 knock out stages.
Derek O'Neill the Chairman of CBSA is very keen to promote billiards within the clubs in Cork, he told Rebel Snooker
Billiards is a magnificent game, which helps the player develop their safety game in snooker as well as teaches the player how to get better position on the cue ball. I really want to promote Billiards in our clubs on Leeside and I believe that in a few years time we could be competing at the very highest level