Ennis lads are Guinness World Record holders

Ennis lads are Guinness World Record holders

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Kieran and Gordon after completing their marathon match last August – Photo: Tony O’Loughlin

An epic 191-frame snooker match played over 83 straight hours has been confirmed as a new Guinness World Record for two Clare men.

Last August, Gordon O’Loughlin and Kieran Ferns, both from Ennis Co Clare, smashed the previous record by almost 8 hours when they cued up for the charity marathon at Ennis Snooker and Pool Club.

At 8.00am on Friday August 18th last, the Ennis pair began their marathon snooker match which they competed over four days and four nights.

Following strict rules and guidelines set out by Guinness, Kieran and Gordon were entitled to a five minute break every hour but could play continuously and 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.

After playing 191 frames over 83 hours, the pair beat the previous record set in 2014 by brothers Anthony and Nathan Hebblethwaite, both from the UK, who played for 76 hours and 5 minutes.

After realising they had beaten the previous record by several hours the pair continued to play for a further 80 minutes despited being fit to collapse with exhaustion.

The lads finally downed their cues at 1.30am on Tuesday August 19th and celebrated with champagne and cupcake snooker balls. Both admitted that, at times, it looked like they wouldn’t be able to continue.

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Feeling the pressure as Kieran tries to shake off leg cramps – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

On the 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.

Gordon also felt the pressure at times and at one point was close to collapsing from sheer exhaustion but after a quick ‘power nap’ was back in action again.

Despite breaking the previous record, the Irish challengers had to wait almost 7 months for confirmation of whether they had snapped a new Guinness World Record.

Event organiser, Gerry O’Loughlin of Ennis Snooker and Pool Club has confirmed the Guinness have contacted him to verify the record.

“I got an email from Guinness and it was like winning the lottery. I called Gordon and Kieran straight away. The rest is history,” he said.

“I don’t think people realise what the guys have achieved. I’m very proud of what they have done. It was a tough ask but they did it. It looked really bad on the Monday morning and I really thought It was over but they rallied and kept at it,” Gerry added.

The email from Guinness confirmed the achievement as “Longest snooker marathon, singles” and that the lads are now the “Guinness World Record Title Holders”.

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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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