Big Sam takes Seniors Title

Congratulations to Sam Newell from Bangor who has just become the NIPA Seniors Individual Champion. 42 year old Sam (pictured right) who will be travelling to the European Masters in Bridlington with the Northern Ireland 'A' Team in April, swept all before him with a powerful display of Pool in the Ballymena United Social Club. On his way to victory he won 33 frames and lost only 9. Also a big well done to to Larne's Bill McIlroy, who turned back the clock with a vintage performance to reach the Final. If his opponent had of been anyone other than Big Sam, he probably would have went on to win it such was the standard of his play on the day. But Sam always looked as if he could go up another gear or two if necessary as he added another Title to his impressive collection. In the Final, McIlroy led 1-0 but 4 on the trot including a classy break and dish gave Newell a strong 4-1 lead. McIlroy never gave up and showed his experience by taking 2 out of the next 3 frames to reduce the arrears to 3-5. But a golden chance to bring it back to 4-5 wasn't taken and Newell stepped in to clear up and put himself on the hill at 6-3. And 3 or 4 minutes later it was all over with a clinical 5 ball clearance from the County Down man.

Prelims - S.Newell 6-1 S.Frew, H.Reagan 6-0 K.O'Prey, K.English 6-2 I.Christie
Last 16 - S.Newell 6-0 J.Millar, C.Howard 6-3 H.Regan, K.English 6-2 E.Sterrett, D.Cooper 6-0 J.McIlroy, J.McIlreavy 6-4 D.Drysdale, S.Johnstone 6-0 David Wright, R.Hawkins 6-1 A.Johnstone, B.McIlroy 6-3 T.Arthurs
Last 8 - S.Newell 7-2 C.Howard, K.English 7-5 D.Cooper, S.Johnstone 7-5 J.McIlreavy, B.McIlroy 7-4 R.Hawkins
Last 4 - S.Newell 7-3 K.English, B.McIlroy 7-5 S.Johnstone
Final - S.Newell 7-3 B.McIlroy

Thanks to both Sam and Bill, who donated part of their prize money to the Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke fund in memory of our Chairman Willie Lucas who died recently.

Also thanks again to the management and staff of Ballymena United Social Club for their hospitality and the use of their facilities, and John McIlreavy and Debby Walker for running the Competition on the day.