Snooker legend Jimmy White beat Rodney Goggins 4-1 to capture the Irish Seniors Masters title on Sunday at Goffs in County Kildare.
Jimmy won the Irish Masters at Goffs in 1985 and 1986. Photo credit: Monique Limbos
The “Whirlwind” lost the opening frame to home competitor Goggins before gradually taking control of the showdown.
After edging 2-1 in front, White scored a well-compiled 96 break in the fourth frame to move to within the brink of victory.
The 56 year-old duly wrapped up the success in the next frame, in doing so claiming the Alex Higgins Trophy.
The Irish Seniors Masters win adds to two previous triumphs in senior events for White, who also emerged with the silverware in the 2017 UK Seniors Championship and of course the 2010 World Seniors Championship.
White originally outplayed Willie Thorne in the quarter-finals with a 3-0 scoreline before narrowly getting passed Patrick Wallace in the last four.
The latter appeared set to conjure an upset when he established a 2-1 lead but a terrific 101 century break from White forced the deciding frame re-spot, a ball which he potted to secure his final berth.
The performance of Goggins, though, will be well remembered as one of the most successful players on the Irish domestic circuit proved his worth on centre stage.
The qualifier overcame 1997 world champion Ken Doherty in the last eight before a 3-0 semi-final beating of Joe Johnson.
The return to Goffs, one of snooker’s most iconic venues from the 1980s and 1990s, was well worth it again with great crowd numbers in attendance for the second Irish Seniors Masters.
JIMMY WINS 2017 UK SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
BY DAVID CAULFIELD
Jimmy White has won the UK Seniors Championship after a 4-2 triumph over Ken Doherty in the final on Thursday.
Jimmy also beat Les Dodd in the quarter-finals. Photo credit: Monique Limbos
Victory for the “Whirlwind” comes on the 25th anniversary of his biggest ever ranking event win as a professional at the 1992 UK Championship in Preston.
The 55 year-old was understandably a very popular champion, both in front of the big crowd in Surrey and also across social media where he received plenty of congratulatory messages.
White began the final day with a cagey 3-1 success over Jonathan Bagley, the only qualifier to reach the last four of the competition, while Doherty, many people’s pre-tournament favourite, comfortably dispatched of Stephen Hendry 3-0 in a repeat of their 1994 UK final.
Doherty had compiled a brace of centuries, including a terrific 137 total clearance, in a superb quarter-final win against Patrick Wallace on Wednesday but couldn’t quite replicate that form in a mostly low-scoring final showdown.
The opening four frames were shared, with the Irishman knocking in a 61 in the fourth to tie the game up and set up a potentially nail-biting finish.
However, White controlled the last two frames to avoid what would have been a dramatic black-ball decider had the scores reached 3-3.
With the success, the 2010 World Seniors champion receives a replica of the old UK Championship trophy from the 1970s and 1980s as well as pocketing the £7,500 winner’s cheque.