The players are in Barnsley this week, to play a possible two matches in order to qualify for the television stage. of the German Masters 2017.
Before the match, Ronnie had tweeted:
In Barnsley tonight playing really looking forward to it.
Which I took with a good pinch of salt because none of the top players like to play in these qualifiers.
Ronnie won his match against young Darry Hill by 5-4 but it was anything but plain sailing.
Here are the scores (Ronnie first, source Cuetracker)
51-66; 32-100(62); 72-46; 74(74)-26; 105(105)-4; 21-69; 48-76; 93(89)-0; 87(59)-1
Ronnie started badly and trailed 2-0: during the first frame a mixture of bad run and careless shots allowed Darryl to steal it; a missed long red by Ronnie resulting in a spectacular split of the pack allowed Darryl in straight away in the second and he didn’t ask twice. But somehow Ronnie regrouped and breaks of 105, 89, 74 and a 59 got him through … just.
Darryl came on Facebook, thrilled by his own performance despite the result:
Wow what a night! Thanks everyone for the support just going through the messages now! That’s the most I’ve enjoyed snooker since winning the Europeans. All I was thinking before I went on about 5 mins before was to just get a frame and not disgrace myself but I took the first and felt good from there. Tonight was a great feeling after having a difficult few months and even last week I was advised not to even travel to this so to take Ronnie to a decider is a great step forward. Thanks everyone..
Darryl certainly didn’t disgrace himself out there, he showed what he can do and I wish him all the best in the future in particular regarding his health. Darryl suffers from Crohn disease, as you can read here which is a very difficult condition to cope with when the job implies a lot of traveling, with irregular hours and pub type meals only too often.
This morning Ronnie came out on twitter again with this:
Am I the only player that feels playing in these qualifiers for ranking events is wrong ??
If they are going to play 128 from the start shouldn’t that mean we start at the main venue and not play in below average conditions
I can only agree. The players are the sport most valuable asset. It takes years of hard work and dedication to become a good one, not to mention a top one. They deserve conditions that allow them to show and express the full range of their skills, not poor conditions, in a rather shabby looking venue with little atmosphere and drunks in the causing disruptions (as it transpired on twitter across some fans reactions to yesterday’s matches)
Here is the match: