David Gilbert, the defending champion, dominated Group 16. However, the most interesting performance in that group came from the amateur, Florian Nüssle from Austria. Florian was a bit disappointing at the Q-school but it later transpired that he was battling illness throughout. Yesterday he played some very good snooker and deservedly finished second in the group. Zak Surety on the other hand was pretty terrible.
Jimmy White didn’t make it to the venue and Group 8 was reduced to three players, facing each other twice during the day. Not great, but what else could they possibly do? Everyone of them played 4 matches. BTW, there is a mistake in the table (*): Mark Davis had one win, two draws and one defeat. He did NOT play five matches.
Gilbert And Brown Progress
Defending champion David Gilbert booked his place in winners’ week at BetVictor Championship League Snooker, topping Group 16, and was joined by Jordan Brown who topped Group 19.
Gilbert’s day got off to the perfect start with a 3-0 win over Austria’s Florian Nuessle. He then saw off Zak Surety 3-0 with a top break of 78 to put him in pole position heading into his final match against Joe O’Connor.
Gilbert couldn’t keep his perfect record going against O’Connor, having to settle for a hard-fought 2-2 draw, but breaks of 78 and 100 helped him secure his place in winners’ week.
Speaking with Dave Hendon afterwards, Gilbert said: “It’s a weird one being back, my game isn’t very good at the minute but I’m really happy to get through.
“I’ve not put much preparation in for this season yet, I’ve been playing lots of pool, I just want to buy a pool club if I’m honest with you. The aim for this year, and every year, is to try and get in the Players Championship.”
Northern Ireland’s Brown, starting his season as a new father, opened his 2022/23 campaign with a 2-2 draw against Ross Muir and made two excellent century breaks, 115 and 100. Brown then picked up his first win with a 3-1 victory over Mark Davis.
Group 19 was reduced to three players due to the late withdrawal of Jimmy White, who was unable to get to Leicester due to travel issues. That meant that the fixtures were repeated, and Brown went on to beat Muir 3-0. In the final match of the day between Brown and Davis, the former Welsh Open champion needed just a single frame, and he went one better in drawing 2-2 to maintain his unbeaten record.
and the table
Here is Jordan Brown’s interview on WST YouTube channel
Congratulations to Jordan and his family, all the best to the little one 💕
Today is the last day of stage one. We have Group 12 on table 1 with Mark Allen, Stuart Carrington, Jenson Kendrick and Himanshu Jain and Group 8 ion table 2 with Jack Lisowski, Mark Joyce, Michael White and Julien Leclercq.
Mark Allen is the highest seed, of course, but I expect Group 8 to be more enthralling than Group 12 and it’s a bit of a shame that it will be on table 2, without commentary. It’s “National Day” in Belgium today and I hope that it brings Julien luck!
Or maybe not? I have enjoyed the commentary by the players. The know what they are talking about, and their analysis of the shots is always interesting. But, I have to admit that Phil Yates in the “box” has got on my nerves a lot. His knowledge of history of the game is immense, but I want to hear about what’s happening on the table, not what happened to the player at the table some 20 years ago in a different match, in a different place. Also he has his favourites and apparently, can’t keep a minimal of “neutrality” when commentating. It can be very irritating at times.
(*) there have been a few mistakes in tables over the duration of this competition so far. That’s careless … and I’m serious.