2021 Q-School Event 1 – Days 4 & 5

As we enter the last day of this season Q-School event 1, let’s take stock of what happened over the last two days.

Unsurprisingly Tony Knowles “adventure” came to an end in the third round. He was 3-1 up and lost by 4-3. He did much better than I expected, all credits to him, but because of the way he lost, I wonder even more than before if, at 65, he still has the stamina to compete professionally. Actually I doubt it. It is understandable that older players, especially those who once reached the “top tier”, miss the thrill of the competition, but the answer is not to get them back on the main tour, not at 65 anyway. The WSS Tour should be better supported and promoted. Jason Francis works wonders with limited means but it isn’t enough. Exposure is paramount and currently he isn’t allowed to stream events if they are held at the same time as main tour events. It’s probably a contractual issue, but can’t it be resolved? Because frankly, I don’t think that streaming WSS events would impact the Main Tour viewing figures!

Six non-British/Irish youngsters, Lei Peifan,Si Jiajui, Yan Sijun, Bai Langning (China), Florian Nüßle (Austria) and Niel Vincent (France) all reached the fourth round. Unfortunately Bai and Florian faced each other, as did Niel and Lei. The relegated pros prevailed, unsurprisingly.

Soheil Vahedi and Michael White both lost at that stage as well, and I’m sorry for both. Soheil has made so many sacrifices to try and live his dream. I hope he manages to stay on Tour. As for Michael White, I fear what could happen if he doesn’t regain his tour card.

All that leaves us with only four “youth” players in round 5, three Chinese and one Welsh,  and only  five amateurs, one of them being Michael Georgiou who has been on and around the tour for many  years. Only three of the remaining competitors have never been professionals, none really a “young prospect”: Oliver Brown (26), Lee Shanker (33) and Sean Harvey (36). I’m not sure this “outcome” is great for the future of snooker.

I’m wishing all four younger ones the best for today.

Here are the reports by WST:

Day 4

Fry Up: Knowles Run Ended

Tony Knowles let slip a 3-1 lead as he lost 4-3 to Raymond Fry in round three of Q School event one.

All results

After fine wins over Bradley Cowdroy and Craig Steadman, 65-year-old veteran Knowles missed the chance to go further in the first of three events in Sheffield. He will return for event two which starts on Wednesday.

Breaks of 69 and 54 helped Knowles build a 3-1 lead. However Northern Ireland’s Fry (pictured) hit back with 110 and 67 for 3-3 then dominated the decider.

Alfie Burden eased to a 4-1 win over Ryan Thomerson with top breaks of 55, 56 and 66, while former German Masters semi-finalist Duane Jones was also a 4-1 winner, beating Tyler Rees.

Harvey Chandler edged out Robbie McGuigan 4-3, taking the deciding frame on a respotted black. Ian Burns top scored with 69 in a 4-1 win over Brandon Sargeant.

Peter Lines saw off Riley Parsons 4-2 while David Lilley whitewashed Paul Davison 4-0. Two-time ranking event winner Michael White top scored with 93 in a 4-1 win over Ben Fortey.

Day 5 

Page On Course For New Chapter

Jackson Page is just two wins away from earning a fresh two-year tour card thanks to a 4-2 win over Soheil Vahedi in the last 32 of Q School event one.

All results

The last 16 will be played on Tuesday from 10am, with the eight winners going through to the quarter-finals which start at 1pm. Those four winners will each receive a coveted two-year World Snooker Tour card.

Welsh 19-year-old Page turned pro in 2019 but was relegated at the end of last season. He has the chance to bounce straight back and boosted his hopes by seeing off Iran’s Vahedi with a top break of 59. His next opponent is Sean Harvey.

Peter Lines, who first turned pro back in 1991 and is looking to keep his career on track at the age of 51, scored a 4-0 victory over two-time ranking event winner Michael White. Lines now faces Lee Shanker.

Ian Burns top scored with 82 in a 4-1 defeat of Leo Fernandez and will now face World Seniors champion David Lilley, who scored a 4-2 win over Paul Davies.

James Cahill made a break of 73 in the deciding frame to beat Hammad Miah 4-3, earning a tie with China’s Bai Langning.

Once again, unfortunately, those reports only focus on British/Irish players, and, mainly on the older ones.  If WST is serious about going really global, it’s time they understand that there are fans out there who are interested in the fate of their fellow citzens and want the governing body to report on them too.

4 thoughts on “2021 Q-School Event 1 – Days 4 & 5

  1. I think you’d be shocked/horrified/a bit disgusted at the viewing figures if the Seniors were on live at the same time as the Main Tour, certainly from the UK!

    There are many ardent “proper” snooker fans in the UK but there’s still a reasonably-sized contingent of people who would watch Jimmy White and Tony Knowles over two rookies playing in the opening round of a proper ranking event. It’s sad to say it, but it’s true.

    It’s not just the stereotypical “Grandma and Grandad who loved snooker in the eighties and never got oven Stephen Hendry” types either, I’m sure there’d be plenty of people in pubs/snooker clubs who would ask them to put the Jimmy match on. I’m relatively surprised that ITV4 haven’t bought the rights to some of the seniors stuff because their daytime schedules are just repeats of 1980’s TV, so it would fit nicely.

    I definitely agreed with Judd Trump’s comments earlier this year about such things, but this is why there’s an insistence on pandering to the nostalgia and this is why they won’t show the Seniors simultaneously.

    • It is very interesting what you say, Roger, for me I guess because I’m totally at the opposite extreme and regard the Seniors no more than an exhibition, that might be fun to watch when there is nothing else on TV, but sth that lacks that competitive element which I think is also very important in a sports event and that’s why I have definite sympathy for those who, if they feel the urge to play competitive, try to get back to the main tour and don’t feel satisfied with the Seniors (no matter how hopeless their efforts might be).

      It’s hardly ever two rookies on TV one of them is usually a higher ranked player, so name recognition cannot be that bad. It is true that BBC is stuck with the “golden oldies” and I wonder if it is because they think that is demanded, or their laziness reaches continuously back to the old ones. The latter would be surprising as they must have more recent matches in their collection (as they have the rights to the so-called “triple crowns”).

      • Csilla – I think it’s a bit of both to be honest. Any reader of this site is likely to be a ‘proper’ snooker fan due to the incredible work Monique does to keep us informed of proceedings at both ends of the rankings and her well-considered opinion pieces. But there’s still a decent amount of people (certainly in the UK) who “like snooker” but if you asked them to name the top 8 in the world I think they’d struggle. Whereas each player in a Seniors match gets an “oh yeah, I remember him, didn’t realise he was still playing” reaction.

        There’s two ways of looking at it from there. In my opinion, the BBC (and ITV4) should take their role as the ‘major tournament broadcasters’ to help grow the game, eg by interviewing the world number 74, showing highlights footage from lower down the pyramid, perhaps some “social interest” style pieces on the inclusion of the female players or how snooker is growing in Belgium / Iran / Switzerland. Even just using one interval from their main match each day would work wonders.

        But they don’t – you could tune into the entire Crucible 17 day coverage and not even know that other players exist outside what is on the television screen. Even the recent ‘Gods of Snooker’ stopped in 1994, surely there was scope for a 5 minute bit at the end looking to the future, perhaps highlighting that snooker has ditched the “players drinking booze and smoking fags between shots” image (which is still what springs to mind for many people when you say you like watching snooker)?

  2. It’s a mixed set of players. There’s an ‘old’ section, where Peter Lines is probably favourite. I would favour David Lilley – he is after all WSS champion and has a positive outlook, having only recently made the move to professional. Ian Burns only just fell below the top-64 and would do a decent job if he were to qualify.

    Then a ‘young’ section which contains Lei, Cahill and Bai – 4 relegated pros. Fraser Patrick is outsider, but he may be able to progress if he can keep his composure better than the youngsters, who are under pressure.

    The third section looks to be between Georgiou and Page, and either would be acceptable, for differing reasons.

    The last section is very tough. Syd Wilson has been playing well so far, but is outsider. Apart from that it could just come down to luck on the day.

    Yes, the reports do tend to focus on British interest (i.e. British players and older players). I’m a little surprised they didn’t mention Si Jiahui’s 139 top break. He lost a very close match against Georgiou, where they spent about half-an-hour on the colours in the final frame.

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