Boiko Off The Mark
Iulian Boiko scored his first win of the season with a 4-2 victory over Louis Heathcote to qualify for the final stages of the BetVictor Scottish Open.
Ukraine’s 16-year-old Boiko turned pro last season and is currently ranked 104th so faces a battle to keep his tour card, but showed his potential today with a fine display in Barnsley.
A break of 74 in frame four put Boiko 3-1 ahead, then he lost a tight fifth frame on the black. The teenager then came from 65-0 down to win frame six, clinching it with a 33 clearance to secure his place in the televised stages in Llandudno in December.
Robbie Williams top scored with 130 in a 4-2 win over Soheil Vahedi, while Sunny Akani made a 98 in a 4-0 defeat of Lukas Kleckers.
China’s Wu Yize saw off Kurt Maflin 4-2 with breaks of 76, 68, 53 and 50. Hossein Vafaei closed with a run of 68 as he beat Fan Zhengyi 4-2, while amateur Sanderson Lam edged out Jamie Clarke 4-3 with a 58 clearance in the decider.
First of all once again two matches are “absent” from the report.
Xu Si beat Lu Ning by 4-1 in the morning. It wasn’t “high scoring” scoring but it was a very solid professional performance from Xu.
Li Hang beat Nigel Bond by 4-0, Nigel had a 61 break in the first frame but still lost it. After that it was pretty much one-way traffic. Li finished with a 58 and a 92.
Also not mentioned in the above report is the fact that Fan Zhengyi was docked the first frame for being late. Fan found himself 3-0 down despite scoring a break of 50 in frame 3. He really made a figth of it: he came back to 3-2 with breaks of 133 and 65, before Hossein put the match to bed with a good 68.
Iulian Boiko should have won his match by 4-1, his opponent needed snookers in frame 5. Iulian’s inexperience showed during the conclusion of that frame: his shot selection during the battle on the colours was not the best and Louis Heathcote dug down, got the snookers he needed and won the frame. What happened in that frame is an example of what Ronnie means when he says that the youngsters can’t play professionally: they rely mainly on their potting power, which is enough at amateur level, but they struggle with situations like this one. It’s not their fault, they turn pro without much experience of these situations. When Ronnie was 10-15 years old, the amateur game in the UK was very strong. Until the game “opened” in 1991, the likes of Ken Doherty and Peter Ebdon were “amateurs” and the talented kids, notably the class of 92, had opportunities to play such opponents nearly every week. They learned a lot from them. The kids coming through nowadays don’t have many such opportunities. Now … end of digression… what really impressed me is how Iulian won the sixth frame. Louis looked set to win that frame, he built a substantial lead and Iulian looked dispirited in his chair. But given the opportunity, he stepped up to the plate: he needed a snooker, got it, and held his nerves to clear and clinch victory. Well done!