Monday 27 February 2017

Carruth boxes clever to beat Ken at own game

Michael McHale

AS a game of snooker goes, it had all the makings of a classic.

Two Irish sporting heroes with just a single black ball left to pot. The pressure mounted in a scene reminiscent of the 1985 world championship final between Steve Davis and Denis Taylor. But in the end, it was a clash that had the unlikeliest of winners.

Irish boxing legend Michael Carruth raised his cue in triumph as he potted the final ball and defeated the former snooker number one Ken Doherty at his own game. But it wasn't without a little help, as Doherty had donned a red boxing glove for the one-frame match.

"I think it actually improved my cue action," Doherty said wryly when asked how the handicap affected his play.

With or without the glove, it was clear Carruth wasn't going to make things easy for the 1997 world champion.

"There's no way he can beat me -- he can't play with broken ribs," the 1992 Olympic gold medallist joked before the match.

"I've taken Ken on in golf, in poker, now I'm taking him on in snooker. It's time he took me on in boxing."

The sports stars were in Dublin City Council's civic offices to take part in a special day of snooker, where members of the public were invited to play a frame with Dublin's four professional players.

Fergal O'Brien, Michael Judge and Joe Delaney joined Doherty as they squared off against the cream of the crop in the city's amateur snooker circuit -- including one 13-year-old boy who had everyone talking.

"He's one of the best I've seen coming up, so it's great to see it," Doherty said of young Ross Doyle, who has already climbed to the top of the rankings as the best under-14 player in Ireland at the moment.

Yesterday was the final event in the council's Social Inclusion Awareness Week, held in conjunction with the city's role as 2010 European Capital of Sport.

Members of Dublin's inner-city communities had been especially invited to take part.

Irish Independent

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