The final of the Charlie Murphy Memorial Scratch Cup, which is now in its third year, was played on Friday night at the Donegal Town Snooker Club.
The final pitted two of the club’s most in form players against one another as Shane Faulkner squared off against one of last year’s finalists Rory Buchanan. With both players capable of producing unplayable snooker on their day, it was too close to call before any ball was potted. Shane overcame Declan Ryle in his semi-final while Rory fought back from a frame down in his semi to defeat Declan Brown.
Despite the players being so closely matched, the final turned out to be a rather one sided affair. The opening frame was a close battle with both players getting in amongst the balls but failing to capitalise fully on the opportunities as they presented themselves. As a result, it was decided on the colours with Faulkner pulling ahead when it mattered to get his first frame on the board. Shane also took the second frame with an impressive thirty plus clearance to the brown which left Rory with a lot to do if he was going to get his name on the trophy after the disappointment of losing in last year’s final.
Faulkner was now on the brink and wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass him by. Once again he was first to strike and presented very few opportunities to Rory to get himself back into the match. The decisive moment in the frame, and ultimately the match, was when Shane got in the balls and made an important break of 52 which all but ensured a new name on the Charlie Murphy Cup with James Gallagher having won it the previous two times it was played. Rory was first come forward and congratulate his opponent on a well deserved victory. Having played hundreds of frames (if not thousands) against his old friend Charlie, it was of special significance to see Shane come forward and accept the Memorial Cup from Charlie’s father Francie. Congratulations to Shane on an excellent victory. Many thanks go to Francie Murphy for being present on the night to present the prizes, to match referee Paul Thomas and to Timoney Electrical who sponsored the trophy.
Finally, Club Chairman James Gallagher and the Committee would like to extend their sympathies to the family of the late Vincent Granaghan who died suddenly on the 24th of January. Vincent was a member of the club for many years and also served on the Club’s Committee at various stages, in a number of different roles. An excellent snooker player, his name adorns the walls of the club on numerous occasions having won many competitions. In recent times, he greatly enjoyed a game of ‘golf’ (a billiard game) with fellow ‘golfers’ Jackie McMullin, Martin Hughes, Raymond Tierney, Sean Faulkner, Paul Thomas and Francis Cassidy. May he Rest in Peace.