The second annual Kingscourt Shoot-Out took place last Saturday at the Cavan venue, with 32 minor, Junior and Intermediate players from around the country – and one from the United States – facing off.
The event is run on a novel format, with the top 16 seeded and round-of-32 pairings decided in a blind draw on the morning of the competition. A huge attraction was the presence of Californian Loren Collado, a former professional tour qualifier from San Francisco who flew in the morning before.
But while the American made it to the last eight, the title remained in Ireland, with Wexford's Galen Riordan taking the spoils with impressive performances all the way through. The Ballyhogue man was very impressive on the day and proved a cut above the rest of the field, eventually seeing off Monaghan's Gavin Coyle in a top class decider.
The in-form Kevin Barrett of Carlow came through to take first place in the dropdown division.
Among the highlights were some exceptional performances by Wexford youngsters Mark Doyle and Josh Kavanagh.
The timed format lent itself to numerous close matches, with Brian Mahon producing arguably the shot of the day in his clash against giant-killer Oran Kieran of Monaghan, the Kilkenny left-hander rolling one out with two seconds on the clock before the lights went out to signal the end of the contest.
In all, 64 matches were run off in the three-court complex, with play beginning after the draw at 10am and concluding at 6.30pm.
“The tournament was a great success, all the players were on time and helped out with refereeing duties and the standard was very high in many of the games,” stated organiser Michael Finnegan.
Winners, runners-up and third-place finishers in all grades were awarded vouchers, with all players picking up a free souvenir t-shirt.
Below: Dropdown runner-up James Brady, winner Kevin Barrett and third-place finisher Joe Dillon.
Round of 32
Galen Riordan (Wexford) dft Patrick Clerkin (Cavan) 31-6
Ben Devlin (Louth) dft Conor Owens (Cavan) 28-9
Cormac McMahon (Cavan) dft Ciaran Brennan (Monaghan) 22-15
Mark McGowan (Donegal) dft Gary McElroy (Monaghan) 19-10
Brian Mahon (Kilkenny) dft Paddy Donovan (Laois) 31-10
Oran Kiernan (Monaghan) dft Kevin Barrett (Carlow) 16-14
Aaron Geoghegan (Carlow) dft Niall McMahon (Cavan) 31-9
Ryan Mullan (Tyrone) dft Aidan Marron (Monaghan) 31-6
Gavin Coyle (Monaghan) dft Diego Di Folco (Cavan) 31-3
Adam Walsh (Wexford) dft Cahair Munroe (Tyrone) 31-7
Josh Kavanagh (Wexford) dft Joe Dillon Jr (Cavan) 28-8
David Walsh (Waterford) dft Paul Fitzpatrick (Cavan) 23-9
Ciaran Neary (Kilkenny) dft Jack O'Reilly (Cavan) 31-1
Eoghan McGinnity (Monaghan) dft James Brady (Cavan) 17-16
Mark Doyle (Wexford) dft Caolan Smith (Cavan) 31-6
Loren Collado (USA) dft Brendan Higginbotham (Kildare) 30-11
Round of 16
Galen Riordan dft Ben Devlin 31-9
Cormac McMahon dft Mark McGowan 12-10
Brian Mahon dft Oran Kiernan 17-16
Ryan Mullan dft Aaron Geoghegan 28-9
Gavin Coyle dft Adam Walsh 13-12
Josh Kavanagh dft David Walsh 25-16
Ciaran Neary dft Eoghan McGinnity 19-18
Loren Collado dft Mark Doyle 20-18
Galen Riordan dft Cormac McMahon 28-10
Brian Mahon dft Ryan Mullan 21-17
Gavin Coyle dft Josh Kavanagh 20-14
Ciaran Neary dft Loren Collado 20-14
Galen Riordan dft Brian Mahon 18-8
Gavin Coyle dft Ciaran Neary 13-11
Galen Riordan dft Gavin Coyle 18-12
Third place play-off
Brian Mahon dft Ciaran Neary 27-10
Round of 16
Patrick Clerkin dft Conor Owens 25-10
Gary McElroy dft Ciaran Brennan 13-9
Kevin Barrett dft Paddy Donovan
Aidan Marron dft Niall McMahon
Cahair Munroe dft Diego Di Folco
Joe Dillon dft Paul Fitzpatrick
James Brady dft Jack O'Reilly
Brendan Higginbotham dft Conor McMahon (sub)
Patrick Clerkin dft Gary McElroy 29-11
Kevin Barrett dft Aidan Marron 31-7
Joe Dillon dft Cahair Munroe 31-8
James Brady dft Jack O'Reilly 31-5
Kevin Barrett dft Patrick Clerkin
James Brady dft Joe Dillon
Kevin Barrett dft James Brady 15-14
Third place play-off
Joe Dillon dft Patrick Clerkin 23-21 AET