Jimmy White is your Seniors Irish Masters 2019 Champion

Congratulations Jimmy!

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The finals day, Sunday 6 January 2019, started with the semi finals played in the  afternoon session.

Rodney Goggins beat Joe Johnson by 3-0

Jimmy White beat Patrick Wallace by 3-2.

Patrick led by 2-1 before Jimmy forced a black ball decider with a magnificent 101. This proved to be the tournament highest break.

The evening session started with a VIP meet and greet

Followed by the Final.

Jimmy White beat Rodney Goggins by 4-1

The players got a magnificent reception in the iconic circle of Goffs!

Here are two reports

By David Caulfield on his blog

Jimmy White Wins Irish Seniors Masters

Snooker legend Jimmy White beat Rodney Goggins 4-1 to capture the Irish Seniors Masters title on Sunday at Goffs in County Kildare.

Irish Seniors Masters
Jimmy won the Irish Masters at Goffs in 1985 and 1986. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

The “Whirlwind” lost the opening frame to home competitor Goggins before gradually taking control of the showdown.

After edging 2-1 in front, White scored a well-compiled 96 break in the fourth frame to move to within the brink of victory.

The 56 year-old duly wrapped up the success in the next frame, in doing so claiming the Alex Higgins Trophy.

The Irish Seniors Masters win adds to two previous triumphs in senior events for White, who also emerged with the silverware in the 2017 UK Seniors Championship and of course the 2010 World Seniors Championship.

White originally outplayed Willie Thorne in the quarter-finals with a 3-0 scoreline before narrowly getting passed Patrick Wallace in the last four.

The latter appeared set to conjure an upset when he established a 2-1 lead but a terrific 101 century break from White forced the deciding frame re-spot, a ball which he potted to secure his final berth.

The performance of Goggins, though, will be well remembered as one of the most successful players on the Irish domestic circuit proved his worth on centre stage.

The qualifier overcame 1997 world champion Ken Doherty in the last eight before a 3-0 semi-final beating of Joe Johnson.

The return to Goffs, one of snooker’s most iconic venues from the 1980s and 1990s, was well worth it again with great crowd numbers in attendance for the second Irish Seniors Masters.

Its coverage on FreeSports TV and across Facebook helped to further develop the ever-growing World Seniors Tour.

And by RIBSA on their official site

Well done Rodney – Irish Masters Goffs

Well done to Irishman Rodney Goggins from Liam Mellows SC in Wexford on his fantastic run at the Seniors Irish Masters on Saturday & Sunday the 5th and 6th of January. This event was held in the most famous venue of them and the home of Irish Snooker, Goffs in Co. Kildare.

A big thank you to Monique Limbos for all the beautiful photos

First match of the event Rodney played Irish legend and former World Champion Ken Doherty and the Wexford man was up for the challenge and won 3-1 in front of a large audience for one of the greatest wins his life. Next he played another world champion Joe Johnson from England. Rodney played his best game and won 3-0 to set up the dream final against Jimmy White for the Alex Higgins Trophy.

This match was live on eir sport and via Facebook and all-around the world. Jimmy started well in the first frame but Rodney cleared up to go 1-0 up and send the full crowd in attendance wild but Jimmy White fought back with superb potting to beat Rodney 1-4 and claim the Alex Higgins Trophy.

The Republic of Ireland Billiards & Snooker Association would like to congratulate Rodney on his success in Goffs and wish him continued success for the rest of the season.

Rodney achieved something this week that will go down in the history of Snooker in Ireland and his Coach PJ Nolan said ‘’ he was so proud how Rodney prepared for this tournament and how he performed over the weekend. He was a great ambassador for his Family, Association, County and Country.

Three RIBSA Irish referees had the honour of referring in the event when Neil Shanahan, Shane Mason and Shane Corr joined up with Professional Referee Michaela Tabb and everyone were superb in the event.

Rodney would like to personally thank everyone who was in Goffs cheering him on over the weekend as he knows it helped him achieve this success.

Finally RIBSA would like to send a big thank you to Jason Francis & Staff from World Seniors on holding this event in Ireland and putting snooker back on National Irish tv and in the media.

Long may it continue we hope!!!!!

This was a great event, that I enjoyed very much. The atmosphere was superb, the Irish crowd, warm and passionate but alwais fair and knowledgeable.

Well done everyone! And thank you!

World Seniors Irish Masters 2019 – Quarter Finals in Pictures

Eight became four yesterday in the iconic circle in Goffs and one of them will walk away with the Alex Higgins trophy tonight

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Before each session there is a meet and greet for the VIPs and, for all, the opportunity to visit the cue zone – a meet PJ Nolan, the excellent Irish coach – as well as the QBolt stand, and maybe, take the challenge on their great practice bench. Last time I heard, the Seniors World Champion, Aaron Canavan was holding the record with 50 consecutive pots without missing.

Remember that the event is shown on Free Sports, the final will be live on Irish television, and for those outside the UK and Ireland there is streaming on Facebook. The event is also streamed in China.

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Now here is what happened yesterday…

Afternoon session

Rodney Goggins 3-1 Ken Doherty

Ken Doherty was the pre-tournament favourite, but Rodney Goggins had other ideas. Rodney is not spectacular, he’s not the fastest player either. But he is solid, both technically and mentally, he’s determined and, he is extremely reliable under pressure. Ken was poor yesterday, far from the form he had shown in York when he pushed Ronnie to a decider. Every player has good and less good days. But Rodney took full advantage and put Ken under pressure, which magnified every mistake. From 2-0 down Ken did well to get oneframe  back, and the next was hard-fought but in the end the better man won deservedly.

Joe Johnson 3-1 Dennis Taylor

To be honest, this whole affair was a struggle. Both players were poor. Joe Johnson, the winner was extremely disappointed with his own performance, embarrassed even, and not one bit happy despite the win.

Evening session

Patrick Wallace 3-0 Aaron Canavan

This was a rematch of the Seniors World Championship last final. That time Aaron had beaten Patrick on the re-spotted black to walk away with the trophy. This time it was Patrick who came out the winner. He was the better player. It was extremely tense and both players made some uncharacteristic mistakes, but it was a good match, played in great spirit. The initial handshake was warm – two good mates were about to set their friendship aside and battle with all they have – and the embrace in the end was anything but fake, for all his disappointment, Aaron was happy for Patrick and wishing him the best. Aaron has never been a pro, I’m not sure that he ever met Patrick before competing on the seniors tour, but this is one of the most beautiful aspects of this tour: they battle to the last ball at the table, but away from it there is a real camaraderie between guys who love their sport to bits.

Jimmy White 3-0 Willie Thorne

During the mid-session between the matches, a feature was shown about Willie Thorne; a great and very honest interview. Willie has gone through very difficult times away from snooker and he knew that his game was in shambles but he has been feeling better, and practicing hard in preparation for this event. He said that, amongst the balls, he’s playing decently again, but his long potting remains a weakness. That’s exactly how it proved to be at the table during this match. Jimmy never looked in danger to lose, but Willie at least did himself justice and everyone was happy for him. Sincerely. Oh, and a devilish snooker led by Jimmy in frame one gave Willie a headache and had Michaela working really hard!

This afternoon Rodney Goggins will play Joe Johnson and Patrick Wallace will play Jimmy White. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had an all Irish Final (Ireland v Northern Ireland to be precise) between the two “qualifiers”, Rodney and Patrick.

World Seniors Irish Masters 2019 – The Gala Dinner in Pictures

The World Seniors Irish Masters 2019 action on the baize starts today. Things get serious!

Yesterday evening though it was all celebration, camaraderie, good food, a few drinks, lots of laugher and awesome live music. Ken Doherty and John Virgo can sing!

Pictures tell more than a thousand words …

If you are in the Kildare area, come and watch in Goffs today and tomorrow if you can!

Goffs is some venue, and the Irish fans are second to none when it comes to generate a warm vibe and an electric atmosphere. They will support their own through and through but they are always fair. If you are good, they will appreciate you … even if you come from Mars!

Bring it on!

Goffs

Events to come…

Action starts again on the World Seniors Tour in just two days.

Be ready!

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and those two proud Irish / Northern Irish have qualified for this event in the iconic Goffs bear pit! Good luck Patrick and Rodney!

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Goffs

And then, on January 11, 2018, Jimmy White will be in Lincoln

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This is a special exhibition as it’s gathering money to support disability snooker.

The man behind this exhibition is Nigel Coton, a disabled player himself. He knows how difficult it can be for disabled players to fund their participation in WDBS events, as many are on benefits and quite lonely. Nigel himself is not in that situation but he wants to help those less privileged because for many of those players, WDBS snooker is very important: it’s a place where they feel welcome and valued, and for some it’s even their only “family”.

So, if you can, come and support this great event.

There is only one VIP non playing table for five persons left, but there is still plenty of seats available in the arena.

VIP tickets offer ringside seats, a Champagne buffet and the exclusive “meet and greet” reception before the main event from 16.30 to 18.30.

The Arena doors open at 18.30 and the main show starts at 19.00 sharp.

I will be at both events, in Goffs and in Lincoln … with my camera. Beware!

Happy New Year ahead ….

2019Wishes

On the first day of 2019, here are my wishes to all of you, readers of this blog: be healthy, be happy, look after yourself and your loved ones and enjoy your life!

Regarding the World Seniors tour here are some news shared by Jason Francis on the World Seniors dedicated forum on Facebook:

Dear All,
I wanted to send everyone a message and update as our year comes to a close. As you can see I am working hard on New Years Eve!

We have 4 qualifiers left this season
Beijing, Houston, Newbury and Leeds.

Some of these are filling up and I urge you not to leave it too late to enter.

Now a few updates for you.

We are working hard on next season but also on securing the longevity of this tour. We don’t want ranking events for one season, I don’t want to be in the position of not knowing when events are going to be, we want a situation like we have with Hull where we know the Uk Seniors will be there for the next 3 years – obviously this sort of deal takes time across the tour.

European Open
I am still not in a position to announce this event, the players who qualified will of course get there place in the final event when we do it. This situation is not ideal and is exactly why the point I make in the previous paragraph is important.

World Seniors Championship.
We are making progress on this but I cannot seeing this being done for March. We did move these dates from the calendar a few weeks ago, likely this event will be May June and constitute our last event of the season.

I am conscious of trying to space qualifiers out, trying to fund 3 qualifiers in a month is hard, trying not to clash with other events is hard, trying to get prize money down to the quarters everywhere is hard – is hard! lol Ideally I would like no more than one a month and I have to understand that globally we may reach a position where qualifiers may clash with each other if placed in separate continents.

The ranking list is established and will become more and more important moving forward. I want to set a limit on entries to qualifiers to 128, the reason being I understand sometimes a smaller field gives less chance for ranking points BUT I will also not want to restrict entries if demand exceeds this.

I am constant reviewing formats and listening to all, I have a full day planned with Shaun Murphy and Jason Ferguson to map out next season and we will be making some changes, all designed to make it rely less on me personally but allow it to grow and give players more opportunities.

The amount of different winners this season is testimony to the short format and means more people get the chance to progress to a big event. I don’t want us to lose that and become a tour where the same two or three faces qualify for everything… but the opportunity is there for a player to dominate like Jonathan did last season.

NORBRECK

Its clear there is not the appetite I believed there would be for this, the costs involved in staging this and placing tables is large and I think money could be best served paying out to players and staging it in a club. I will make a decision on this in January. Also of course the planned date will in effect not be our end of season.

Rest assured I am totally committed to making this tour bigger and better but without forgetting why most people do play on it….

May I wish you a Happy New Year… I hope we all support Patrick and Rodney who will represent the tour in Goffs this weekend.

Jason is working tirelessly to make this tour work. Thank you Jason for everything you did and do. As the tour grow, it’s obvious that changes are needed. Jason is constantly seeking the players feedback in order to allow the tour to grow whilst, at the same time, trying to meet the wishes of the players.

The Seniors Irish Masters is only three days away. I’ll cover that tomorrow, as well as a special  exhibition in Lincoln featuring Jimmy White.

Let’s have a great 2019!

#DareToDream