Martin McCrudden from Celbridge Snooker Club, County Kildare, captured the 2001 National Snooker Championship title in the Ivy Rooms, Carlow with an 8-5 victory over 18-year-old Brendan O'Donoghue from Nenagh.

The 21-year-old from Kildare Town played superb snooker throughout the 4 days of championships and reached the final after beating both Jason Watson in the quarter-final and TJ Dowling in the semi-final, two players who lifted the championship cup twice each in the 90's. The two young finalists were both making their debut in the final and put on a terrific show for the spectators who were packed into the Ivy Rooms Snooker Club. McCrudden took the first 2 frames with breaks of 65 and 67, but O'Donoghue then responded with a 64 break to take the third frame. McCrudden then took the next 3 frames helped by breaks of 64 and 63 to take a 5-1 lead into the interval.

O'Donoghue came out for the second session needing to up his game and did so taking three of the first four frames to pull it back to 6-4. McCrudden then took the 11th frame and although Brendan rallied with a superb 83 clearance to make it 7-5 Martin held his nerve and took the next frame and the National Champion Title. The result has also clinched Martin the No.1 spot in the National Senior Rankings and he will now represent Ireland in the World Amateur Snooker Championships in Egypt in October.

Filed by Pat Nugent