Q-School event 1 continued in Ponds Forge over the past two days and it’s brutal.
Eden Sharav, Kurt Maflin, Iulian Boiko, Jamie Wilson, James Cahill, Ashley Carty, Daniel Wells, Peter Devlin, Martin O’Donnell, Steven Hallworth, Gao Yang, Andrew Higginson, Sanderson Lam and John Astley are all “recent” professional who lost over the last couple of days.
It’s worth noting that Gary Challis was very unlucky. He was on his way to the venue when a road accident “blocked” him. He wasn’t involved but the road got closed for a while and he was unable to get to the venue in time.
Here are the reports by WST:
Lee Scores Upset Win Over Maflin
Hong Kong’s Andy Lee came from 3-0 down to secure a shock 4-3 win over former Crucible quarter-finalist Kurt Maflin at Q School event one in Sheffield.
Lee is a former professional himself, having earned a place on the tour at Q School in 2018. However, he dropped off the circuit following the 19/20 season, which was curtailed for Lee due to Covid travel restrictions.
Maflin made the last eight of the World Championship in 2020, but a loss of form over the subsequent two seasons has seen him relinquish his place on the tour.
It had looked like Norway’s Maflin was set for a comfortable win this afternoon, before Lee came roaring back into contention. A break of 72 in the sixth frame forced a decider, which he won to earn his place in round three. Next up he faces Englishman Mark Bell.
Irish 20-year-old Aaron Hill started his bid for an immediate return to the circuit with a 4-0 defeat of Connor Benzey. Hill crafted breaks of 104, 52 and 73 on his way to the win and plays Zak Surety next.
Frenchman Brian Ochoiski defeated Simon Bedford 4-2, while China’s Gao Yang progressed thanks to a 4-2 defeat of Halim Hussain.
O’Brien Battles Past The MOD
Fergal O’Brien booked his place in the fourth round of Q School event one after a 4-2 defeat of former UK Championship quarter-finalist Martin O’Donnell in Sheffield.
O’Brien, who won the British Open in 1999, dropped off the circuit for the first time following the recent World Championship. The Irishman had spent 30 years on the tour since first turning professional in 1991. However, he recently admitted he was uncertain whether he would even attend Q School.
O’Donnell also suffered relegation following the World Championship and must now turn his attentions to the second and third events, where there will be a total of eight further professional spots up for grabs.
In a hard fought encounter, it was O’Brien who had the edge this afternoon. He composed breaks of 61 and 62 on his way to the win and plays Jenson Kendrick up next.
Germany’s Lukas Kleckers saw off James Cahill by a 4-1 scoreline. Kleckers is aiming for an immediate return to the circuit, while Cahill now only has two chances remaining to avoid the prospect of a second consecutive season as an amateur. Next up for Kleckers is a round four meeting with the in form Liu Hongyu.
China’s Liu came into today having already compiled the highest break of the tournament so far, a run of 137. He eased past Alfie Lee 4-1 and added further contributions of 100 and 71.
Lee Walker progressed with a 4-2 defeat of Ashley Carty, while Rory McLeod beat Hamim Hussain 4-1.
As for today’s matches, we have some crackers in prospect:
Here are my round 4 picks:
- Liu Hongyu v Lukas KLeckers
- Aaron Hill v Billy Castle
- Sunny Akany v Michael Georgiou
- Soheil Vahedi v Bai Langning