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  • Other Sports

Making the Break-through

Thursday, 31st January, 2019 12:31pm
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Making the Break-through

Noel & Mark Gleeson (second & third left) holding the World Championship trophy currently held by Mark Williams (centre) at the Snooker Exhibition at the Dome, Semple Stadium, Thurles, along with Ken Doherty (left), Michael Lowry T.D. and Paddy Hanafin (referee)

Making the Break-through

Noel & Mark Gleeson (second & third left) holding the World Championship trophy currently held by Mark Williams (centre) at the Snooker Exhibition at the Dome, Semple Stadium, Thurles, along with Ken Doherty (left), Michael Lowry T.D. and Paddy Hanafin (referee)

There’s something about snooker which seems to capture a unique part of the imagination, a part that is becoming lost amid the desire for fast-paced, high-tempo forms of action. The sport isn’t as popular as it once was, and yet few can resist the unbearably addictive tension of a World Championship Final, like that historic clash between Ken Doherty and Mark Williams at the Crucible in 2003.

Last Wednesday night, Doherty and Williams chalked their cues once again, this time in the surroundings of The Dome, beside Semple Stadium, Ireland’s most unexploited snooker venue.

For the two Gleeson brothers, 18 year-old Mark and 15 year-old Noel, watching each World champion in action will provoke a mixture of admiration and desire. While most are staring awe-struck at Williams and Doherty, the two brothers were taking mental notes on everything from technique, to the level of water swallowed between frames. Both lads have spent the lads few years scaling the ladder of amateur snooker and next month they’ll climb one rung higher when they compete in the European Amateur Championships, which takes place in the Israeli city of Eilat from February 17th to March 2nd.

As Mark explains, they’ve always had some sort of cue in their hands, but it was only when they arrived in the New Institute clubhouse that the talent, and the passion, really unveiled itself.

We would always have watched the snooker on the television, on BBC and Eurosport or whatever, but I think it was my thirteenth birthday that we went into New Institute in Nenagh, and we just started playing from there really,” he began.

We would have played pool before that, on the smaller table, but that was our first time on a snooker table, a 12-foot long table, and we would have started playing tournaments then after that.”

 

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