Round up from Killarney

Well, the Nations Cup is now just a special memory. But what memories it has left us. A fantastic week on and off the table at the Gleneagle Hotel in the beautiful setting of Killarney National Park. As usual lots of ups and downs for teams and players but this time the highs easily outnumbered the lows as near on 100 players and officials travelled down to represent Northern Ireland. You could sense it would be a special event when instead of marching into Flower of Scotland, Team Scotland came in to a chant of "Mick McGoldrick's Tartan Army" as the Scots honoured a true gentleman and legend of the Scottish game who recently passed away. Once the opening ceremony which included a rendition of Riverdance was over teams were ready to do battle on the green baize of the newly launched EBA branded Optima Match tables of which three were streaming live matches..

Highlights for Team NI were as follows -
-- A fantastic clean sweep for NI Ladies as Jean McIlroy's team cleaned up. First was the Speed Pool as trio Collette Hendricksen, Julie Henderson and Michelle Roonay stormed to victory. Second Collette and Michelle became Doubles Champions defeating another NI pairing Roisin Smith & Sally Caughey in the Final. Third, Collette became European Nations Individual Champion with a nailbiting final frame decider against England's Sarah Trudgett. And to cap it all off the Ladies team came from 8-12 down against a very strong Scots team to win the Final 13-12. Tasha Magill held her nerve in the deciding frame to start the celebrations long into the night for the "Nordie" girls.
-- Stephen Johnston becoming European Nations Individual Masters Champion
-- Eight NI teams making it out of their groups into Semi Finals
-- 5 of those team reaching Finals.
-- Mens A team only team to defeat Champions Scotland in whole tournament only to lose out to them in the Semi Finals. Our Mens A were also on the wrong end of a 11-14 defeat to England in a match which the English had seven break & dish's. Incredible standard to watch.
-- Representation in every section Individuals Semi Finals with Mark Allen losing to eventual winner in the Mens, Kristian Phillips from Wales
-- Bill McIlroy Sr & Raymond Stockman, Runners Up in the Masters Doubles
-- There were many great individual performances but Willie Eakin (Seniors A), Sam Newell (Seniors B), Alan Johnston (Masters A), Alan Corrigan (Masters B) and Michelle Roonay (Ladies A) all topped the EBA scoring stats in the whole of their relevant sections.
-- Thursday morning, a first, in that we had 4 matches against Scotland in various sections and won them all

On a lighter note mentioning no names (lol) -

-- We had a player try to book the hotel without using the official booking criteria. When he got down to Killarney and went to pay off the balance for his room, he realised he had paid a deposit to the Killarney Hotel in Cork !!!
-- And the player who ordered and paid for a taxi to take him from the venue to where he was staying on his first night, only to find out it was virtually next door !!!
-- The 2 old grinders in the Doubles whose match lasted 3 hours 10 mintes for a 3-2 win !!!

Apologies if we have forgotten to mention someone or something !!

Top photo
NI Ladies celebrate after an amazing clean sweep of trophies at the 2015 EBA Nations Cup
Bottom photo
Stephen Johnston & Collette Hendriksen proudly display the trophies from their Individual successes