2021 Q-School Event 2 – Day 1

The 2021 Q-School Event 2 got underway yesterday and here is the WST report about the day’s outcome:

Rebecca Kenna won a match at Q School for the first time, making a superb break of 92 in the deciding frame to beat John Pritchett 4-3.

All results

Women’s world number four Kenna is through to the second round of event two in Sheffield and will meet Phil O’Kane on Friday. She will need another five wins to earn a two-year tour card.

This is Kenna’s second visit to Q School as she first played in the event in 2019, and the 32-year-old from Yorkshire now has an impressive win under her belt.

From 2-1 down, Kenna won a scrappy fourth frame, then made runs of 26 and 38 to lead 3-2. Pritchett made it 3-3 but Kenna finished in style by taking the decider in one visit.

Former world number eight Dean Reynolds lost 4-0 to David Donovan.

David Lilley let slip a 3-0 lead against Callum Lloyd but eventually got the better of a scrappy decider to win 4-3.

Germany’s promising Umut Dikme scored a 4-2 win over James Silverwood, knocking in breaks of 62 and 77

Belgium’s 18-year-old Julien Leclerqc, who knocked Soheil Vahedi out of the Betfred World Championship qualifiers in April, scored a 4-0 win over Evan Munro.

Event two runs until Monday.

Rebecca Kenna actually made a 92 in that decider. It’s good to see WST reporting about the only female player in the draw.

That said, the reason(s) if any that guide WST when it comes to what they decide to report on totally elude me.

Why on earth report on Dean Reynolds? Dean suffered severe health issues in recent years, including a stroke, and he’s now a disability player. Yes, he does have a lot of merit to continue to play, but he stands no chance whatsoever in this competition, and putting a heavy 4-0 first round defeat into the spotlight does him no favour. This time there was no reporting on Tony Knowles who, unsurprisingly, lost to Kishan Hirani, who was a professsional for two seasons in 2018/19/20.

Julien Leclercq (Belgium) gets a mention as does Utmut Dikme (Germany), which pleases me, but why ignore Niel Vincent? The young Frenchman reached round 4 in Event 1. He’s been doing very well so far, he’s one to watch here for everyone interested in the development of the sport in mainland Europe.

The 14 years old Stan Moody also won his first match. He is the EPSB nominee and WST wrote a feature about him last month. Now that he’s got a win there isn’t a word about it?

The first round continues today and will be played to a finish. the second round will start this evening.




2021 Q-School Event 1 Outcome

The four players who earned a two years tour card through the 2021 Q-School Event 1 were all professionals over the 2019/20/21 seasons. They are: Yuan Sijun, Jackson Page, Fraser Patrick ans Peter Lines.

Here are the reports by WST about what happened yesterday.

The last eight

Q School Event One – The Final Eight

Seven of the eight players through to the quarter-finals of Q School event one are looking for an immediate return to the pro tour having been relegated at the end of last season.

Click here for live scores for the quarter-finals on Tuesday afternoon.

Michael Georgiou is the only exception – the former Shoot Out winner dropped off the tour in 2020 then took a year away from snooker to spend time in his native Cyprus, but is now just one win away from a fresh two-year tour card.

The four winners of the quarter-finals in Sheffield will each be handed a place on the circuit for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.

Georgiou beat Oliver Brown 4-1 in the last 16 with a top break of 104. He will now meet Welshman Jackson Page, who thrashed Sean Harvey 4-0 with a top run of 60.

China’s Yuan Sijun saw off Sydney Wilson 4-0, earning a match with Birmingham’s Mitchell Mann, who made a 93 in a 4-2 defeat of Duane Jones.

Peter Lines, the 51-year-old veteran from Leeds, eased into the last round with a 4-1 victory over Lee Shanker. He will now meet Preston’s Ian Burns, who won a 40-minute decider to edge out David Lilley 4-3.

A top run of 118 helped China’s Bai Langning beat James Cahill 4-1, setting up a tie with Fraser Patrick, who came from 2-1 down to beat Lei Peifan 4-3.

The outcome

Action Jackson Bounces Back

Talented teenager Jackson Page earned a new two-year tour card by beating Michael Georgiou 4-1 in the final round of Q School event one in Sheffield.

All results

Page has reached the last 16 of three ranking events

Welsh 19-year-old Page turned pro in 2019 then suffered relegation at the end of last season. The player from Ebbw Vale, who is mentored by three-time World Champion Mark Williams, now has another chance to prove his potential.

He is one of four winners from Q School event one who will receive a card for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons to compete on snooker’s global circuit.

Page needed just 73 minutes to end the challenge of Cypriot Georgiou. A break of 89 gave him the opening frame, and he took the second by clearing from brown to black, before making an 81 in the third for 3-0. Georgiou pulled one back but Page made a 56 in frame five as he secured the result.

“I struggled through the early rounds but improved as the event went on and played well today,” said Page. “My game is improving all of the time. My safety still needs to get better and my break-building has always been my strength. Over the last two years I have learned what you need to do to get to the top. It’s all about consistency, I have to perform on a regular basis.”

All four players earning tour cards from event one were relegated at the end of last season and have earned an immediate return.

Yuan Sijun

China’s Yuan Sijun scored a 4-2 win over Mitchell Mann. Yuan went 3-0 up with a top break of 46, then Mann battled his way back to 3-2 and led 49-0 in frame six. But 21-year-old Yuan compiled runs of 42 and 23 to snatch the frame and clinch his card.

Yuan first turned pro in 2017 and showed his talent with runs to the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix and semi-finals of the Gibraltar Open in 2019. At the time he was described by Stephen Hendry as “one of the best youngsters I’ve seen since the likes of Ding Junhui, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams or John Higgins turned pro.” A loss of form over the past two seasons saw Yuan drop down the rankings but he now has a fresh start.

Peter Lines, who first turned pro back in 1991, extended his career for two more years with a 4-2 win over Ian Burns, highlighted by a break of 55. At the age of 51, Yorkshireman Lines will be the oldest pro player other than Nigel Bond who does not have an invitational tour card.

“I came here with no expectations because my confidence was low, but I have got my act together here and I’m delighted to get through,” said Lines. “I just want to enjoy being on the circuit as much as I can, because I have loved snooker since I started at 14. It’s great to be with your friends on tour and do something that you love.

“I’d like to say thanks to all of my friends and family because it has been a tough time for me and (son) Oliver. A special thanks to a player called Patrick Whelan who I practise with. He gave me a ticking off about my attitude, I hadn’t realised until then how bad my attitude was. If he hadn’t pointed that out I wouldn’t have got through Q School, it really helped me.”

The draws at Q School were seeded for the first time this year, with players who had just been relegated seeded highest, followed by those who performed well in Q School last year. Lines believes that innovation was a success. “It has evened out the sections of the draw so the good players are spread out,” he said. “It made things fairer, rather having a lot of good players in one section, so it worked well.”

Glasgow’s Fraser Patrick took the fourth and last tour card with a 4-1 victory over China’s Bai Langning, closing out the result with a run of 95 in frame five. Patrick, age 35, first turned pro in 2007.

“When I looked at the names at the start, I felt this would be the hardest ever year at Q School,” said Patrick, who has come through the qualifying event three times. “There were so many good players. To get through at the first chance, I’m very relieved.

“I have hardly practised for the past 16 months because the snooker clubs have been shut. I have been turning up to tournaments and getting pumped. If I can start practising now and have more games with the likes of John Higgins, Stephen Maguire and Graeme Dott, that will help me.”

Event two gets underway on Wednesday – for the match schedule click here

I’m delighted for Yuan Sijun and Jackson Page, both young extremely talented players. Yuan in particular must have been low in confidence and a fresh start might help him to regain his mojo.

You can’t fault Peter Lines’ love for the game and, although I would love to see younger players to succeed, I’m happy for Peter as well.

As for Fraser Patrick, he’s a lovely man and I certainly won’t begrudge him his success here. However, there is something not quite right when a player struggles so much to stay on tour, losing his tour card three times, only to regain it each time. And even when he failed to regain it, he still played a lot on the tour as top-up. This illustrates that the gap between professional and amateur game has widened, and continues to widen. That’s a serious worry.

Fraser is not the only one who appears not to be quite good enough to stay in the top 64, but far too good for the amateur circuit. Of course, the covid crisis has made it even worse this year, with amateurs unable to practice or play for most of the season.

Still, I’m not sure what the answer should be. Maybe put “the bar” at 72 or 80 instead of 64? But also surely, reviving the pro-am circuit where so many of today’s established names learned their trade would help?  Basically that would mean revive the PTC tour, giving it decent money and exposure.  And at the same time, go back to a tiered system for at least half of the main tour events, with money, but no ranking points, for those who fail to win their first match and the whole tournament played in one go and in one location, with proper exposure, if not television, at least streaming for all rounds? That would create a better development path for young players, and would not offer “ranking” protection.

That’s of course IF the ranking system is to be kept. There are other options, used in other sports. Rating systems do exist, that make the distinction between amateurs and professionals largely irrelevant. Those systems also usually take the diffrence in rating into account when it comes to rewarding a win: a competitor will be “rewarded” more in terms of rating points for beating a higher rated opponent than for beating someone of similar or lower strength.




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.