Irish contingent in confident mood

Eight Irish snooker players will travel to Egypt this weekend to represent the Republic of Ireland Billiards & Snooker Association (RISBA) in the 2015 World Men’s, Women’s and Masters IBSF Snooker Championships.

Irish contingent in confident mood

The Irish contingent will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Ken Doherty who won the competition in 1989.

Despite the recent terrorist attacks in the region, national coach PJ Nolan thinks that the squad will still travel to Egypt and take part in the tournament. “Unless something else happens then I can’t see us not going,” he said. “There’s a lot going on over there but at the moment, we’re going,” said Nolan.

The championships will take place from November 9 to 21 in the city of Hurghada, located on the coast of the Red Sea. The tournament will be hosted by the Sunrise Grand Select Crystal Bay hotel which boasts 20 match snooker tables while training tables will be available at the Sunrise Select Garden Beach.

The RIBSA held two training camps in the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club in Carlow to help the players prepare for the Championship under the tutelage of Nolan. He has been coaching the Ireland squad for 22 years, and is looking forward to the tournament in Egypt.

“We have eight very good players going out and we feel we can compete and come home successful.”

The players will compete in the men’s, masters and ladies categories. “We have the current Irish men’s champion and current Irish masters champion in the squad so we’re confident,” said Nolan.

Brendan O’Donoghue, the senior national champion will compete in the men’s category along with Rodney Goggins, Greg Casey and David Cassidy.

Meanwhile the national masters champion Colm Gilcrest will be joined in the masters division by Alen Matic, Tom O’Driscoll and Anthony Bonnar.

Goggins, who will be competing in the senior championship, has already come third in the competition in 2010. He also won the boys’ world championship in 1999.

“We already have a former runner-up in Rodney so we know how to compete in it,” said Nolan. “It’s also helped us prepare.”

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