Ryan McGuirk pots his way to All-Ireland 3rd-Level Snooker Glory


Last weekend saw snooker action back on the 3rd level sporting calendar with the All-Ireland 3rd Level individual and team events taking place in Celbridge Snooker Club. It was to be a day to remember for local university Maynooth as they captured the team title, Ryan McGuirk powered his way to the individual Cup title and his club mate Blake Monahan took home the shield title.

A field of 16 players started out in a double elimination singles competition, with players from Maynooth University, SETU Carlow and TU Dublin, with players from the same clubs kept apart in the opening round draw. 

Ryan McGuirk, a member of the Irish team for the upcoming under 21 championships, opened his title quest with a win over Jack Scully SETU Carlow and in that match he compiled an amazing 110 break. Another member of that Irish team Adam Halnon a club mate of McGuirk also powered through his matches to set up a final of two Maynooth students.

Playing on snooker star Fergal O’Brien’s superb star table for the final was set up to be exciting. Ryan McGuirk was quickly into a 2-0 lead, and was on the cusp of success in the third frame, leaving Adam Halnon requiring a snooker with only the pink and black left on the table, however the battling Halnon managed to put McGuirk in the required trouble and got the game into a 4th frame. The 4th frame which would ultimately be the decider went all the way down the stretch again, with the black ball remaining as the deciding ball, and after some tough tactical battling it was McGuirk who got the seven points for sinking the final ball.

Blake Monahan shook off the disappointment of losing his first-round match to Brian Purcell of SETU to progress to the shield final where he would meet Sin Chun Hei, of SETU. Blake raced into a 2-0 lead but Sin Chun Hei refused to back down and claimed the 3rd frame to keep the match alive.  Alas for Jeremy Blake regained his composure and secured the title with the 4th frame.

The team event took place on Friday where four teams of four players took part, Maynooth University (two teams), SETU Carlow and TU Dublin. Indeed the players had an early bit of pressure as heavy snow fell caused travel problems for the teams but luckily the competition still managed to get underway on schedule.

Maynooth A team showed their strength from the outset with Adam Halnon and Ryan McGuirk being ably supported by their team mates Cathal O’Neill and their captain Blake Monahan, meaning they advanced to the final with some impressive results.  In that final they were faced with the tough prospect of the SETU Carlow team led by their captain Jack Scully and featuring Brian Purcell, Danny Brennan and Sin Chun Hei.

The experience and skill of the Maynooth University A team saw them power to victory in the cup final, and it was to be a double team success as Maynooth University B got the better of Technological University Dublin in a tight shield final. The Maynooth University B team was led by Glen Morahan and featured Cian Foran, Ben Kinsella and Kasey Clark, whilst the TU Dublin had Declan Connelly as captain and featured Keeley Hogan, Daniel Colgan McCabe & Jason Samuel.

A fantastic day of snooker was enjoyed by all the players and they’re already looking forward to the 2025 renewal.  A huge thanks goes to Celbridge Snooker Club for hosting the event and to John Tobin of Snooker & Billiards Ireland for coming along to act as referee for the final. Special thanks to competition organiser Steven Scully for rejuvenating the sport at 3rd level and hope that the numbers increase further for the 2025 renewal.