Rian is top of the pots

April 7, 2014

Snooker sensation Rian Hoey from Cullyhanna marked his rising stature within the game by becoming Northern Ireland U-14 champion. Rian plays out of the Mac’s Snooker Club, Keady where he is coached by his dad Sean and club owner Joe Short and competes regularly in the East Tyrone League. Having won all 3 events he has played in and has qualified for the final of his fourth competition in East Tyrone his coaches decided to take the next step up and enter him into the U-14 championships.

A third year student at St Joseph’s, Crossmaglen, Rian headed for the 147 snooker club in Antrim last Sunday to compete in the Northern Ireland U14 championships. The early format was on a round robin basis with the top two players in each group qualifying for the knock-out semi-finals. Rian finished runner-up in his group and was pitted against home favourite Lewis Clewer, who topped his group. With the huge home support getting behind their man it was no surprise that he won the first frame and looked set to book his place in the final as he led frame two. But Lewis made a costly miss as young Rian, under tremendous pressure, amassed a winning break of 29 to tie the match at 1-1.Having shown great bottle to tie the match Rian was quickly into his stride in the deciding third frame which he won with ease, following an excellent display of potting.

In the final Rian faced the experienced Conor Marron from Ballymena. Connor had beaten his own Minnesota’s club mate Callum Kinney who had topped Rian’s group 2-0 in the semi-final. Conor had no answer to the potting power of  the Cullyhanna lad who was not one bit daunted by the occasion, letting his cue do the talking in a dazzling display that brought him the title on foot of a 2-0 victory.

This was a great victory for Rian against some of the best young talent emerging on the snooker circuit and bodes well for a promising future in the sport he loves.