The potters are back in Barnsley for the 2019 World Open qualifiers. For many of them it’s been nearly two months since they last had the opportunity to play competitively. That’s a long gap for those who aren’t well-off financially.
Ronnie has entered the event, but isn’t playing in Barnsley: his last 128 match – against Dominic Dale – is held over to the main venue.
The qualifiers are run over four days, and yesterday was the first of these days. It yielded a couple unexpected results.
Barry Pinches beat Robert Milkins by 5-3. This is the first win for Barry this season, outside the Q-school. Barry is 49. He dropped off the main tour at the end of the 2015/16 season. However, he continued to play in amateur comps, because he just loves his snooker. Last season, he played on the WSS tour – the Seniors tour – were he enjoyed some nice success. He reached the final of the Seniors Masters 2019, losing to Joe Johnson on a respotted black. I am convinced that playing on the WSS tour – against some very good opposition – contributed to Barry’s return to the main tour. He came to the Q-School sharp and yesterday he beat a very dangerous opponent.
Chang Bingyu, who only turned 17 last August, beat the experienced Tom Ford in a decider. Tom lead 3-1 at the MSI. It was an entertaining match to watch, both players opting for an attacking game. Chang is still extremely young. He’s a very dangerous potter, but his positional game is not the best yet. He did however play some excellent safeties and it was a telling factor in the match. He impressed me.
Other than that, Marco Fu continues to blow hot and cold. He found himself 3-1 down to Brandon Sargeant at the MSI, seemingly struggling badly, only to win all four frames after the MSI, with a break over 50 in each of them. Very strange.
Kyren Wilson v Chen Feilong produced nine breaks over 50 in eight frames played. The final score was 5-3 to Kyren. Neither was faultless but once in they both scored heavily.
All detailed results can be found on snooker.org