Braveheart Wallace

Anyone who ever doubted Patrick Wallace's commitment to playing in the RTM Mortgage Services East Tyrone Snooker League should feel rightly embarrasssed after the St.Patricks A captain's participation on Thursday night!

The Dungannon professional arrived home at twenty to seven on Thursday night after a weather-interrupted trip from England and, within half an hour, he was back out on the ice and snow-covered roads, driving into the wilds of south Armagh - to play in a League Cup match with his club.

And, crucially, it's not even as if it was a massively key match for the Union Place team - because they ahd already qualified for the semi-finals of the competition!

To all those, apart from the usual sceptics, however, the truth is that really should be no surprise at all because Wallace has great affection for the local league and has been involved ever since his most impressionable days when he was an U16 champion.

It's hard to believe that was actually 25 years ago and hasn't he come on a long way since, his stand-out moment being when he reached the quarter-finals of the then Embassy World Championship in 2001, losing to great pal Joe Swail.

But Wallace was back in the bigtime this week as he featured in the final stages of a major ranking tournament after a four year wait when squaring up to former world champion Shaun Murphy in the UK Championship on Sunday and Monday - getting a bit of television exposure for the first time since 2004.

"The last time I was at the finals venue of a ranking event was at the Welsh Open in February of 2006, but I haven't played in a televised match since losing 5-4 to Jimmy White in the Grand Prix back in 2004" explained 41 year old Wallace who has played some of his best snooker for years in reaching the last 32 in Telford.

Read the full story in this week's issue of the TYRONE TIMES