Ennis pair smash Guinness snooker record

Ennis pair smash Guinness snooker record

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Gordon O’Loughlin, Gerry O’Loughlin (event organiser) and Kieran Ferns after smashing the previous world record – Photo: Tony O’Loughlin

Two exhausted and aching amateur snooker players celebrated a new Guinness world record yesterday (Tuesday) after completing the longest ever match by racking them up and playing again.

DCU psychology student Gordon O’Loughlin and truck driver Kieran Ferns, both from Ennis, smashed the previous record by almost 8 hours and are now in the frame for a new Guinness World Record.

The duo completed three days and three nights of snooker, a total of 191 frames over 83 hours, but will have to wait for confirmation from the Guinness scrutineers that they have beaten the current record.

The standing record was set in June 2013 by English men Nick Barrett and Andy Osborne who completed 75 hours and 13 minutes.

This has however been smashed by the Ennis lads who potted their last ball at 12.10am yesterday (Tuesday) despite a few scares when it was feared they couldn’t complete the epic challenge.

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After being congratulated by family and supporters, the pair celebrated their amazing achievement by continuing to play for another 80 minutes making it even more difficult for the next challengers to beat their record.

The lads finally downed their cues at 1.30am yesterday (Tuesday) and celebrated with champagne and cupcake snooker balls.

Event organiser, Gerry O’Loughlin of Ennis Snooker and Pool Club said: “This is amazing. They played 191 frames and played approximately 83 hours. I am so proud of them. It looked really bad on Monday morning and I really thought It was over.

We could only imagine how they were feeling and could see ourselves they were beyond tired. I felt so bad because I knew that it meant so much to both of them and there was very little I could do to help them,” Gerry said.

On Sunday, Kieran struggled with severe cramping and a public appeal was made on local radio station Clare FM for a physiotherapist to make themselves available to help.

On Monday morning, Gordon was close to collapsing with sheer exhaustion but after a quick ‘power nap’ was back in action again.

Following strict rules and guidelines set out by Guinness, Kieran and Gordon were entitled to a five minute break every hour and could pool those breaks and take on longer one if they wished.

A CCTV system, with a back-up, recorded the event so that it could be verified by Guinness while a live video stream of the epic match was broadcast so that family, supporters and others could watch.

Money raised from the event will be donate to Sláinte an Chláir, a cancer support centre based in Clare.

“The support we received was amazing. There are no words to describe how grateful we all are. This record would not have been possible without all the volunteers.  It honestly would not have worked. The lads broke the record but the volunteers made the record possible,” Gerry O’Loughlin said.

Former world snooker champion Ken Doherty visited the lads on Sunday night to offer words of support and play an exhibition match.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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