Shane Faulkner made it three wins in a row in the Charlie Murphy Memorial Scratch Cup on Friday evening with a pulsating 3-2 victory over Rory Buchanan in the final. Two of the pre-tournament favourites battled their way through a field of over forty players to book their places in the decider.
When the match got underway it started as quite a nervy affair with both players failing to capitalise on their opponent’s errors. It was nip-tuck for the majority of the frame with both players level with two reds remaining. Rory potted the final red but went in-off the ensuing black which was very unfortunate. As seemed destined from the early stages of the frame, the frame ended with a long drawn out battle on the black. Both players played some superb safety to deny their opponent any opportunities but it was Shane who clinched it in the end, stroking the ball home to take the lead it what seemed like a crucial frame, even at that early stage.
Rory was now under pressure due to the relatively short nature of the match and knew that to allow someone of Shane’s undoubted quality to take a two frame lead would have been fatal to his chances. He showed his own quality with a superb green towards the end of the frame, which was followed by a clearance to the pink to level things up. The third frame could have gone either way with both players beginning to string some pots together. Both players did however give their opponent opportunities amongst the balls with Rory missing a black off the spot on 22, followed Shane breaking down on 24 with a simple missed red. In the end it was Shane who came out on top to retake the lead and move one frame away from an impressive treble.
The fourth frame was another close affair with Rory behind coming onto the final few colours but an impressive clearance of 25 under pressure ensured that the match would go the distance. As is the well-known cliché in snooker – “all you want in the final frame is a chance” and to this end Faulkner showed his true class knocking in a 39 break in response to Rory’s break off shot. Rory tried hard to recover from this early blow but Shane had built up an unassailable lead and finished off with a classy clearance of 30.
A fantastic final played by two of the club’s real talents and no doubt these two good friends will have many more battles in the years to come. Special thanks to Paul Thomas who was the match referee and to Charlie’s sister Caroline for making herself available to make the presentations.
The draw for the Sean McCafferty Cup has now been made and players are asked to arrange their games a.s.a.p. The club remains open every weeknight from 7pm until late and new members are always welcome.