By David Caulfield
TJ Dowling claimed the Irish National Snooker Championship after beating Jonathan Williams 7-3 in the final in Carlow.
Dowling adds a third domestic crown to his tally, an amazing 18 years after his last success in 1998.
The final at the Ivy Rooms was a cagey affair with sizable contributions at a premium throughout the contest.
Dowling, who earlier in the event beat top seed Jason Devaney as well as former professionals Joe Delaney and David Hogan, established an early 3-1 lead only to be pegged back to 3-3 at the end of the opening session.
Williams had caused a major shock in the last four by beating European Under-21 champion Josh Boileau, who will turn professional next season, but the 28-year-old found it difficult to replicate that form in Sunday's showdown.
Upon the resumption of play, Dowling moved back in front after a scrappy frame that set the tone for the remainder of the encounter.
Both players struggled to score heavily as the balls frequently went awkward, with Dowling taking advantage to move 6-3 ahead and within one frame of glory.
It looked as though Williams was about to reduce the gap when he earned 30 points in penalty fouls in the next frame, but a superb clearance from green to black clinched it for Dowling.
The Terry Rogers Snooker Club player pockets €1,000 for his efforts and joins the likes of David Morris who have won the title three times.
Dowling, 35, will also now represent Ireland at the IBSF World Amateur Championship in November.
Understandably a little emotional as he collected his trophy, Dowling simply said: “It's great, I'm over the moon. It means so much.”
Other winners on a busy weekend in Carlow included Tom O'Driscoll in the Masters final, while Michelle Sherwin captured a 12th Ladies National Championship.