We are already in day 4 of Event 2 and round 3 only began this afternoon.Here are WST reports about day 2 and day 3:
White Survives Wienold Test
Michael White came through a tough battle against Germany’s Richard Wienold at Q School event two in Sheffield, winning 4-2 to reach the last 64.
Former Indian Open, Shoot Out and Paul Hunter Classic champion White was relegated from the tour last year and must reach the semi-finals of one of the two remaining Q School events to be sure of regaining a tour card.
He looked in danger of an early exit when Wienold made a break of 87 to lead 2-1, but Welshman White took the next two frames on the colours, then made a 52 in the next as he set up a third round match with Ben Fortey.
Former Crucible quarter-finalist Patrick Wallace made the highest break of the event so far, 138, as he saw off Adam Duffy 4-2.
Russia’s top player Ivan Kakovskii compiled runs of 60, 75 and 112 in an impressive 4-2 defeat of Hans Blanckaert. Japan’s Keishin Kamihashi came from 2-1 down to edge out Neal Jones 4-3.
Fight back of the day came from Latvia’s Rodion Judin as he recovered a 3-0 deficit to beat Manasawin Phetmalaikul 4-3 with a top break of 81.
Former pro Sean O’Sullivan top scored with 53 in a 4-1 win over Liam Davies. Michael Judge, a quarter-finalist at the Grand Prix back in 2004, beat Sergey Isaenko 4-0 with top runs of 76, 75 and 55.
Crash And Burns
Q School top seed Ian Burns suffered a surprise 4-1 defeat against underdog Ross Vallance in the second round of event two in Sheffield.
Burns finished 65th in the official world rankings at the end of last season, missing out on keeping his tour card by just one place. He then lost to Peter Lines in the final round of Q School event one, and today’s defeat means he must reach the semi-finals of the third and last event to be sure of regaining a place on the circuit.
Scotland’s 33-year-old Vallance, who has never played on the pro tour, made a top break of 48 as he knocked out Burns and set up a third round tie with Haydon Pinhey.
Women’s world number four Rebecca Kenna couldn’t follow up her first round win over John Pritchett as she lost 4-1 to Phil O’Kane. Kenna won the opening frame only for Kane to take four in a row with a top break of 79.
Iran’s Soheil Vahedi top scored with 116 in a 4-1 defeat of Daan Leyssen, while promising Northern Irishman Robbie McGuigan made an 85 in a 4-1 win over Kishan Hirani.
Israel’s Eden Sharav top scored with 74 in a 4-0 victory over Ryan Thomerson while China’s Luo Honghao edged out Luke Simmonds 4-3 with a 79 in the decider.
World Seniors champion David Lilley beat Stephen Baillie 4-0 with a top run of 70 while France’s top player Brian Ochoiski saw off Daniel Kandi 4-0.
David Donovan came from 3-0 down to beat Ben Mertens 4-3. Harvey Chandler made a similar fight back, from 3-1 down to beat Si Jiahui 4-3. Former Scottish Open semi-finalist Daniel Wells went down 4-1 to Simon Bedford.
Event two runs until Monday at Ponds Forge, with the four winning quarter-finalists to earn a two-year tour card.
Round 2 concluded today.
Julien Leclercq (Belgium), Niel Vincent and Brian Ochoiski (France) all qualified for round 3. They are the three native French speakers in the draw and, being a native French spreaker myself I want them to do well. Snooker is quite popular in Belgium but mainly in Flanders. In France, the relevant Federation doesn’t give snooker much attention and the coverage provided by Eurosport FR isn’t great in that the quality of commentary is poor. So those are regions where success for a young local lad would really help the development of the sport. Unfortunately Julien and Niel are playing each other as I’m writing this. The winner could play Brian in round 5. This means that, at best, only one could reach the last round with a chance to qualify. And Luo Honghao, another young player I would really love to see back on the tour is also in that section.
Ben Mertens lost his opening match again: he lead 3-0 and lost 4-3. This can only be pressure. I stand by what I said after Ben’s defeat in event one: I don’t doubt his talent but too much hype is probably putting excessive pressure on this 16 years old. That said Ben has already amassed 14 “merit” points, with another 4 guaranteed, without winning a match. Julien Leclercq has won three matches already and even if he was to win the one that’s under way he wouldn’t be certain to get ahead of Ben in the order of merit. That’s not quite right. The “seeding” has solved one issue in that the best prospects can no more meet in the first round, but has created another one. Yes, it’s true that the players who previously got a bye to round 2 always “earned” 4 “free” points in the process, but they rarely got a bye in all three events…
Another young player who lost in this round is the 18 years old Si Jiahui. He lost by 4-3 to Harvey Chandler who, of course, is a former pro, and, who, at the time of writing is already through to round 4.
Soheil Vahedi, who became a father very recently, beat Daan Leyssen, another young Belgian, to progress to round 3. I hope that Soheil can return to the main tour. He has made so many sacrifices to make his snooker dream reality, and so did his wife, who joined him in the UK.