2022 Q-School Event 2 – Taking stock of rounds 1 and 2

We are three days into Q-School event 2 and this time there weren’t many real surprises those early rounds. You will find all the results on snooker.org.

Here are the reports by WST:

Day 1 – 22 May 2022

Davies Into Second Round

Ace teenager Liam Davies boosted his goal of turning professional as he got off to a strong start at Q School event two in Sheffield with a 4-3 win over Alex Clenshaw.

In April, Welsh 15-year-old Davies became the youngest ever player to win matches in the qualifying rounds of the World Championship, showing his potential with victories over Fergal O’Brien and Aaron Hill. Today he scored an impressive win over Clenshaw, who was runner-up in the recent Q Tour Play-Off. Breaks of 65, 63 and 60 helped Davies set up a second round meeting with  Mark Lloyd.

Another talented 15-year-old, Stan Moody, saw off Dylan Smith 4-1 and now faces former Welsh Open finalist Andrew Higginson.

Jordan Shepherd scored the top break of the opening day, a 136 during a 4-1 defeat of Liam Pullen. Adam Duffy made a 113 in a 4-2 win over Danny Connolly while Daniel Wells saw off Hrithik Jain 4-2.

Both Liam Davies (who works with Sightright) and Stan Moody are very promising talents, but, in my opinion, they are too young to be on tour. If they do well enough to get invited as “top ups” in a few events next season, it would probably be the best scenario for them: getting some experience of the main tour without the pressure of the rankings.

Day 2 – 23 May 2022

O’Donnell Sets Up Cahill Clash

Martin O’Donnell edged out promising Chinese teenager Liu Hongyu 4-3 on the final black to book a third round meeting with James Cahill at Q School event two in Sheffield.

O’Donnell is a former UK Championship quarter-finalist, but a difficult last two seasons saw him drop off the circuit at the conclusion of the recent World Championship. He’s no stranger to Q School, having successfully negotiated the event three times since initially turning professional in 2012.

He faced stiff opposition today in the form of 18-year-old Liu, who is appearing in Q School for the first time. Liu showed his considerable potential in event one, making breaks of 134 and 137 en route to winning his first three matches.

It was Liu who made the better start this afternoon, moving one frame from victory at 3-1. However, O’Donnell dug in and clawed his way back into contention. A break of 70 in the sixth frame forced a decider, where O’Donnell eventually deposited the pink and the black to progress.

Cahill earned his place with a 4-2 win over Germany’s Umut Dikme. Blackpool’s Cahill, who became the only amateur ever to compete in the Crucible stages of the World Championship in 2019, is aiming to rejoin the tour after dropping off in 2021. Cahill avoided a deciding frame this afternoon courtesy of a 79 break in the sixth frame and he now faces O’Donnell on Wednesday.

Former Ruhr Open champion Rory McLeod earned his place in the third round with a 4-0 defeat of two-time ranking event finalist Dean Reynolds, while Scottish 17-year-old Liam Graham beat India’s Digvijay Kadian  4-1.

Day 3 – 24 May 2022

Holt Edges Through

Former Shoot Out winner Michael Holt held his nerve to come from 2-0 down and beat Manasawin Phetmalaikul 4-3 at Q School event two in Sheffield.

Holt is one of a number of high profile players to have lost their tour place at the conclusion of the 21/22 season. It came as a bitter pill to swallow for the Nottingham cueman, who had been on the circuit for 25 seasons since first turning professional back in 1996.

The Hitman only has two remaining opportunities to immediately regain his place on the World Snooker Tour, having lost his first match last week. The four semi-finalists over events two and three will earn fresh two-year tour cards.

It had looked as if 43-year-old Holt would fall by the wayside again here, when Phetmalaikul took the opening two frames. However, Holt dug deep and runs of 53, 72 and 64 saw him take three on the bounce to lead 3-2. A gutsy break of 77 from Phetmalaikul forced a decider, but Holt fired in 91 to progress. Next up he faces fellow Englishman Sean Harvey tomorrow.

Sunny Akani comfortably progressed thanks to a 4-0 whitewash win over Jamie Curtis-Barrett. Thailand’s Akani composed breaks of 87, 63 and 80 in the last three frames to wrap up the win. He now plays Scotland’s Chris Totten, who beat Alex Millington 4-2 earlier today.

Aaron Hill top scored with 116 in his 4-0 win over James Lee, while Gao Yang registered a 4-0 win over Simon Bevz.

Ashley Carty, Brian Ochoiski, Niel Vincent, Lee Walker were among those I excpected to reach the latter stages but didn’t.

We have some really interesting matches to look forward to today. These are my picks:

  • Martin O’Donnel v James Cahill
  • Andrew Higginson v Iulian Boiko
  • Daan Leyssen v Liam Davies
  • Chris Totten v Sunny Akani
  • Sidney Wilson v Gao Yang
  • Steven Hallworth v Harvey Chandler
  • Ross Muir v Lukas Kleckers