Irish Qualifiers Confirmed

MORE than four hundred players competed in the Irish qualifying competition for the Sky Bet World Grand Prix Championship at the City West Hotel in Dublin on Sunday. The lucky men were John Magowan, Keith Rooney, Tom Kirby and Joe Collins.

Three of last year's qualifiers, Peter Quinn, Mark Wilton and Jack McKenna, won through from the preliminary board session with the Quinn and Wilton meeting in the last 32.

Peter Quinn won this one to set up a clash with the 'Big Man' Tom Kirby. Kirby (right) won and went on to eliminate his Kildare team-mate, Jack McKenna, to clinch his place in the televised event.

Northern Ireland's John Magowan defeated a previous qualifier, Martin Murphy in the last sixteen and rising Dublin star, Gareth Gray to go through while Mick McGowan suffered heart-break once again at the final stage, this time going out to another previous qualifier, Keith Rooney.

But the real 'fairy-tale' story was Joe Collins from Cork who was competing in this event for the first time. A close friend and near-neighbour of the 2004 qualifier, Peter Quinn, Joe was superb throughout the day and he rounded off a great performance with a 5-0 win over Galway's Gerry Rattigan in his final match.

Last 32:
John Magowan defeated Declan Crowley
Martin Murphy defeated Jason Barry
Gareth Gray defeated Eugene McArdle
Mick Barry defeated James Keogh
Mick McGowan defeated Connie Finnan
Kieran Burke defeated Jason Campbell
Keith Rooney defeated Stephen Byrne
Mick Dwyer defeated Ali Powell
Tom Kirby defeated Mark Howard
Peter Quinn defeated Mark Wilton
Jack McKenna defeated Colin Majury
Ray Campbell defeated Felix McBrearty
Gerry Rattigan defeated Denis O'Regan
Kieran Lennon defeated Alan O'Reilly
Joe Collins defeated Gary Bell
Brian Devlin defeated Roy Montgomery

Last 16
John Magowan defeated Martin Murphy
Gareth Gray defeated Mick Barry
Mick McGowan defeated Kieran Burke
Keith Rooney defeated Mick Dwyer
Tom Kirby defeated Peter Quinn
Jack McKenna defeated Ray Campbell
Gerry Rattigan defeated Kieran Lennon
Joe Collins defeated Brian Devlin

Last Eight
John Magowan 5 Gareth Gray 0
Mick McGowan 1 Keith Rooney 5
Tom Kirby 5 Jack McKenna 2
Gerry Rattigan 0 Joe Collins 5

Report by Michael O'Sullivan