And so today is the last day of the 2021 Q-School already.
I have to admit that the last couple of days have been painful from my fan point of view as none of the ones I really wanted to do well are still in the draw.
Here are the reports by WST
Ross Muir made the highest break of 2021 Q School so far as he thrashed Fergal Quinn 4-0 to move into the fourth round of event two in Sheffield.
Scotland’s Muir played on the pro tour from 2013 to 2019 and will earn a return if he can win three more matches on Sunday and Monday.
His break of 140 against Quinn tops the century charts, and he also fired runs of 53, 63 and 64 in a superb display. He now meets Simon Bedford, who made a 103 in a 4-3 defeat of Ross Bulman.
Two-time ranking event winner Michael White came from 3-2 down to edge out Ben Fortey 4-3. He now faces Barry Pinches, who came from 3-1 down to beat Ryan Davies 4-3 in a marathon match which lasted five hours.
Michael Georgiou compiled runs of 93, 62, 66, 85 and 68 in a 4-3 defeat of Samuel Lee-Stevens. Alfie Burden’s top break was 77 at he saw off Mark Ganderton 4-0.
Belgium’s promising Julien Leclercq top scored with 80 in a 4-1 win over Niel Vincent, while James Cahill made a 105 in a 4-1 win over Dave Finbow.
Veteran Rod Lawler beat Chen Feilong 4-2 with a top run of 82, while World Seniors champion David Lilley suffered a 4-1 defeat against Jenson Kendrick.
Potential Rookies Chase Tour Dream
Robbie McGuigan, Liam Pullen, Michael Collumb, Mark Lloyd and Daniel Womersley could all earn a place on the World Snooker Tour for the first time when they play in the business end of Q School event two on Monday.
Just 16 players remain in the second of three events in Sheffield. The last 16 will be played from 10am on Monday, followed by the quarter-finals from 1pm. Those four winners will receive a place on the pro circuit for the next two seasons.
Promising Northern Irishman McGuigan, who turns 17 next month, edged out Ross Vallance 4-3 in the last 32 with a top break of 88. He now faces Michael Judge, who beat Soheil Vahedi 4-3.
York’s 15-year-old Pullen, playing in Q School for the first time, beat James Cahill 4-3 with a superb break of 72 in the decider. He will now play Scotland’s 32-year-old Collumb, a 4-2 winner over Dylan Emery.
Womersley, age 29 from Leeds, whitewashed Rod Lawler 4-0 and will now face veteran Barry Pinches, who scored a 4-1 victory over two-time ranking event winner Michael White.
Lloyd, age 21 from Portsmouth, beat Julien Leclercq 4-2 and now meets Hammad Miah, who beat Paul Davison by the same scoreline.
China’s Lei Peifan top scored with 109 in a 4-1 defeat of Michael Georgiou. His next opponent is Alfie Burden who came from 3-2 down to beat Joshua Thomond 4-3, making breaks of 113 and 88 in the last two frames.
Sanderson Lam edged out Harvey Chandler 4-3, setting up a tie with in-form Ross Muir, who fired runs of 135 and 111 in a 4-0 win over Simon Bedford.
Craig Steadman beat Luo Honghao 4-2 and now faces Duane Jones, who top scored with 86 in a 4-1 win over Jenson Kendrick.
John Astley saw off Leo Fernandez 4-2 with a top break of 96, setting up a tie with Kuldesh Johal, who came from 2-0 down to beat Liam Graham 4-2.
It’s not all bad of course: Lei Peifan, Robbie McGuigan, Mark Lloyd and Liam Pullen are all young players and I hope that they will qualify. Liam Pullen is not one of the hyped youngsters and he has been impressive so far. Ross Muir has lost his professional status after suffering health issues, he’s only 25, and I hope that he can get back on the tour.
However, Niel Vincent, Julien Leclercq, Brian Ochoiski, Soheil Vahedi and Luo Honghao are all out of the competition, as is Michael White. Soheil is not badly placed in the order of merit. Even if he doesn’t requalify, he will likely get opportunities to play via the top-up system. That said, I’m not sure what his situation would be regarding visas and work permit. If he has to go back to Iran, it would be heartbreaking. Luo is incredibly talented and only 20 years old. The main toour needs the likes of him. As for Michael White, who recently opened up about his drinking problem, I fear that a “failure” to requalify might drive him back to alcohol. That would be terrible.
“Juju”, Julien Leclercq, has done well in this Q-School so far and it’s a valuable learning experience for him. What annoys me big time is that he got 18 points in the order of merit so far, having won four matches, yet, he’s behind Ben Mertens who also has 18 points without winning a match purely because Ben is seeded in the secound round in all events and on “count back” did better that Julien in event 1, winning three frames in round 2, whilst Julien lost by 4-0 in that round. By the same mechanism, Julien is also behind Brian Ochoiski, who won only one match, whilst Julien himself finds himself behind the winless Ben! Something is clearly not right here! Surely, winning matches should have “precedence” over winning frames?
The above is nothing against Brian, nor Ben; I would love to see them both on the main tour. It’s just that it doesn’t feel right the way it is.