2022 Northern Ireland Open Qualifiers – Day 4

This is WST report on what happened yesterday in Wigan:

Gilbert Ton Floors Muir

David Gilbert avoided a shock defeat against amateur Ross Muir in the qualifying round of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open, making a century in the decider to win 4-3.

The next few tournaments are crucial for Gilbert as he is in 17th place in the Race to the Cazoo Masters so needs to climb into the top 16 of that list by the end of November’s Cazoo UK Championship in order to book a place at Alexandra Palace in January. So today’s result gives the Tamworth cueman a boost, but it was far from plain-sailing for the former Crucible semi-finalist.

From 2-0 down, he won three frames in a row with top breaks of 104 and 89, but then missed several match-winning opportunities in frame six. Muir made it 3-3 but then went for a risky long red at the start of the decider and failed to convert, handing Gilbert the chance to make an excellent 125.

Sam Craigie won a 62-minute decider to edge out Ryan Thomerson 4-3. Noppon Saengkham top scored with 84 in a 4-0 win over Ben Mertens while Jamie Clarke won three frames from 64, 44 and 43 points behind as he beat Marco Fu 4-2. Robert Milkins top scored with 118 in a 4-1 win over Jason Kendrick.

Again I didn’t see much. I only watched the Noppon Saengkham v Ben Mertens match. It was disappointing. Not because Ben lost, because he didn’t play well at all and Noppon could have played better himself too. It was a bad day in office for Ben whose long potting went missing. It happens to all players and it’s part of growing as a pro to learn and bounce back from such defeats.

Oceania “nominees” have often been poor and largely absent in the past but Ryan Thomerson seems to be a very decent player and  determined to make an impact on the tour.

That Jamie Clarke had to come from far behind in three of the four frames he won shows how competitive he is, it also shows that Marco isn’t playing badly at all. He’s surely not back to his best just yet after such a long break but the signs are good IMO.

And, again, some matches are completely ignored.

David Lilley did beat Andres Petrov, but it wasn’t easy: the match went to a decider. Andres will get nothing for his efforts alas, except experience. He’s a 25 years old rookie from Estonia. It was a great effort really.

Gerard Greene beat Barry Pinches by 4-2 in abattle of veterans.

Aaron Hill beat Zhao Jianbo by 4-0 in the last match of the day. Zhao replaced Stephen Hendry who withdrew.



One thought on “2022 Northern Ireland Open Qualifiers – Day 4

  1. It was disheartening to see Marco lose frameball and have the frame stolen. 😿 Hope he’ll be able to retain his card.

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