The first 2021 Q-School event started yesterday in Ponds Forge.
Strong Start For Knowles At Q School
Tony Knowles eased to a 4-1 win over Bradley Cowdroy as his bid to regain a tour card at the age of 65 started well at Q School in Sheffield.
Former world number two Knowles believes he has a realistic chance of earning one of the 14 cards which will be won at Ponds Forge over the next 18 days.
His top break against Cowdroy was just 38 but he won three frames on the colours as he progressed to a second round meeting with Craig Steadman on Saturday. Knowles will need to win five more matches to secure a tour card.
Former world number 24 Michael Judge scored a 4-1 victory over Fergal Quinn while highly-rated Englishman Connor Benzey top scored with 74 in a 4-0 defeat of Aidan Murphy. Harvey Chandler beat Chen Feilong 4-1 in a battle between two former pros.
Top break of the day was a 107 from Kishan Hirani, but he let slip a 3-1 lead and was edged out 4-3 by Joe Fenton.
Among the players in action on Friday are former world number eight Dean Reynolds, two-time ranking event winner Michael White, Belgian whizz-kid Ben Mertens and women’s world number four Rebecca Kenna.
and here are the results:
9:00 AM Session
Peter Butler 0 – 4 Lee Stephens
Shafaqut Hussain 0 – 4 David Donovan
Jack Haley 0 – 4 Lee Shanker
Billy Ginn 1 – 4 Ronnie Blake
Connor Benzey 4 – 0 Aidan Murphy
Alex Taubman 4 – 1 Liam Graham
Ross Bulman 1 – 4 Gary Thomson
Sean McAllister 4 – 2 Neal Jones
11:30 AM Session
Martyn Taylor 1 – 4 Matthew Roberts
Chris Totten 4 – 0 Peter Geronimo
James Burrett 0 – 4 Luke Maddison
Brandon Sargeant 4 – 1 John Welsh
Jed Mann 4 – 3 Jenson Kendrick
Connor Benzey 4 – 0 Aidan Murphy
Danny Brindle 4 – 3 James Height
Fergal Quinn 1 – 4 Michael Judge
2:00 PM Session
Ross Vallance 4 – 1 James Silverwood
Raymond Fry 4 – 0 Aaron Graham
Roshan Birdi 0 – 4 Samuel Lee-Stevens
Gary Challis 4 – 1 Adam Brown
Labeeb Ahmed 1 – 4 Simon Bedford
Bradley Cowdroy 1 – 4 Tony Knowles
Manasawin Phetmalaikul 2 – 4 Niel Vincent
Jordan Rimmer 4 – 1 Conor Caniff
4:30 PM Session
Lewis Ullah 1 – 4 Jamie Jones II
Brandon Hall 4 – 3 Westley Cooper
Stuart Watson 4 – 3 Carl Mottershaw
Joe Fenton 4 – 3 Kishan Hirani
Mark Vincent 3 – 4 Lewis Gillen
Dylan Mitchell 4 – 2 Jamie Tudor
Harvey Chandler 4 – 1 Chen Feilong
Scott Bell 4 – 0 Thomas McSorley
7:00 PM Session
Luke Simmonds 4 – 1 Michael Tomlinson
Halim Hussain 3 – 4 Elliott Weston
Stan Moody 3 – 4 Callum Lloyd
Dylan Smith 0 – 4 Liam Pullen
Dave Finbow 0 – 4 Jack Bradford
Andy Milliard 4 – 3 Mark Ganderton
Imran Puri 2 – 4 Adam Goff
Alfie Lee 4 – 2 Joshua Cooper
So to summarise … a significant number of Seniors (WSS) players were in action yesterday and most of them won their match: Gary Thomson, Mick Judge, Gary Challis, Simon Bedford, Tony Knowles, Stuart Watson and Andrew Milliard.
The two Irish young prospects, Ros Bulman and Fergal Quinn, lost heavily to veterans. Given the circumstances, maybe they were unable to perpare as well as they would need to.
There are two young French lads involved in the comp. Niel Vincent won yesterday. Brian Ochoiski will be in action today.
Two 14 years old, both English, played yesterday, both lost but with honours, by 4-3. They are Wesley Cooper and Stan Moody. I remember Wesley playing Ronnie in an exhibition when he was about 6 … he impressed.
As so often the WST report focus is on an older player. It would be extraordinary if Tony Knowles was able to regain his tour card, but IMO, it would also be worrying for the future of the game.
One thought on “2021 Q-School Event 1 – Day 1”
Oh don’t worry, Tony Knowles is not a contender. It’s an achievement for him to win a couple of matches. However, there is a serious prospect that some of the players aged around 50 will make it back on tour. Indeed, that’s one of my concerns about the tour-card structure: it’s very difficult for a players to retire, despite being barely capable of winning matches. Even when they do win, it takes hours of grind. The brutal fact is, they are addicted to the adrenalin of competition and WSS tournaments aren’t the same. If only there were a way to reduce their schedule and ease their way into something else…
There were a couple of casualties on the first day of Q School. It’s worth noting that with this structure, anyone who loses in a first round has practically no chance of an Order of Merit position, even as a top-up player. They just have to win QS2 or QS3. That’s why I don’t like random draws, and the seeding isn’t fool-proof.
It’s also going to be very unpredictable, especially regarding players who dropped off the tour a year or two ago. Nominally, they should be contenders, but their circumstances during lockdown make it very difficult to play competitively.
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