European Pool Championships get underway in Germany

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Jason Power from Waterford

Day 1 in the European Championships in Brandenburg, Germany saw the start of the 14.1 (Straight Pool) event.

Ireland number 1, Paddy Mcloughlin, took on World Straight Pool Champion Oliver Ortmann. In a spirited fight the ‘ginger magician’ from Warrenpoint scored 69 points against the German master before a couple of runs took Ortmann over the finish line.

Paddy’s next opponent was Zika Mihajlovski. A scrappy opening saw the Macedonian take an early 55-18 lead, but the magician fought back hard. In a tense, 3 hour marathon, Paddy prevailed and won 125-94.

Meanwhile, 2009 All Ireland Open 9-Ball Champion, Jason Power, playing in his first EPC, took on Sandor Tot. Tot, the former European 8-Ball Champion from Serbia created a 40 point advantage against Jason. But Tot didn’t have it all his own way and the pair traded blows back and forth, until a 50 ball run from the Serbian was enough to take the match from the young Irishman.

The losing side of the draw then found Jason matched against Belgian veteran Pascal Budo. The Waterford player started strong and kept his opponent under pressure for the entire match, never relinquishing the lead to notch up Ireland’s best win of the day (125-67).

Despite a strong opening day, Day 2 saw the two remaining Irish straight-pool players lose their matches and bow out of the 14.1 event. The men’s division cooked up many surprises with no german or dutch players on the podium for the first time in the event’s 30 year history. Tomasz Kaplan from Poland won the event, winning his country’s first ever European Championship by beating Italian maestro Fabio Petroni, 125-17. The Women’s division ran more to form, with Jasmin Ouschan winning her 13th European Gold Medal.

Wheelchair Champion Fred Dinsmore will start his EPC campaign in the 8-ball event Saturday.

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