West of England Open Billiards 2017 – Report

White Wins in the West

18th March 2017
The Galaxy Centre, Torquay played host and sponsor to the West of England Open Billiards Championship 2017. The event attracted exponents of English Billiards from afar afield as Wales, Hampshire and Wiltshire to join in competition with players from nearby Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Players played five rounds of competition in order to reduce the field to eight qualifiers; Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth), Ryan Mears (Aldershot), Barry Russell (Saltash), Dave White, (Bude), Royn Jenkins (Wrington Vale), Chris Coumbe (Plymouth), Alex Donne (Newport) & Geoff Lingard (Camelford). Lingard had to pull out of the completion at this stage due to injury, this promoted Mahmoud Alzaid (Chichester) into the top eight. The best run of breaks in the round robin came from arguably the two strong favourites; Steve Brookshaw with runs of (59,60,61,62,69,73) and Dave White (53,59,63,67,69).

The quarter finals of the main event saw Brookshaw defeat Alzaid 271-156, Brookshaw posting the only century of the day a competent 109. Coumbe overcame Russell 263-165, Coumbe finishing with a 51 unfinished break. Mears proved that he might challenge the two favourites in beating Alex Donne 362-117, Mears had runs of 53 & 73. In the semi’s Coumbe capitalised on a lull in scoring from Brookshaw to win 250-199 and reach the final whilst White, aided with a 76 break, defeated Mears 247-189. The final proved to be a one-sided contest with White posting a string of breaks (81,65,58,52) to win 363-95.

The remaining players competed in the Plate which was won by Nigel Ward who beat Ray Mears 241-211.

Tournament Director from the West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation said, “Our motto is ‘Billiards & Snooker for All’. With several WEBSF Snooker tournaments already this season it is very satisfying to stage this English Billiards tournament as they are few and far between here in the West Country. However, after the support we have received today, this will now be a regular feature in our tournament calendar.” Any player interested in entering WEBSF events or potential volunteers willing to get involved with the work of the WEBSF they should contact Steve Canniford, Mobile 07891940995 or visit http://www.websfsnooker.com or WEBSF Facebook. Thanks to The Galaxy Centre, Torquay who sponsored this event.

Report by Steve Canniford

World Seniors – Final Review

A grand day out was had by all at The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe for the final day of the Super Star Online World Seniors Championship.

This event has been a tremendous success and indeed it has already been announced that next year’s event will be bigger and better in that 8 amateur qualifiers will take on the 8 seeded “legends”. Baths Hall has been booked for 21-24 March and I’m sure the legends will be getting practice time added to their busy schedules, as will the amateurs (over 40 years old) who “dare to dream“.

Over 200 entered the 4 qualifying events with the aim of taking home not just the £10000 first prize and the invitation to play in the World Championship qualifiers, but the honour of competing against some of the game’s greats.

Peter Lines, won the first event in Newbury; Jonathan Bagley qualified from his home town of Leeds; Aidan Owens nipped over to Germany to claim his spot; and Patrick Wallace qualified in Dublin.

They then faced seeds 5 to 8 in Joe Johnson, Patsy Fagan, Tony Knowles and Willie Thorne. Only Joe Johnson made it through the first round in beating much fancied Patrick Wallace.

Seeds 1 to 4; Stephen Hendry, John Parrott, Cliff Thorburn, and Dennis Taylor entered at the quarter final stage but only the top 2 seeds made it through to the semis.

It looked like a strong possibility of an all Leeds final as Jonathan Bagley took on John Parrott and Peter Lines faced Stephen Hendry. Lines did in fact beat Hendry 3-0 but it took a black ball shootout for Parrott to overcome Bagley.

This set up the final where, no disrespect to John Parrott but, talk was mostly about the scoreline that Lines would win by and if he could keep up his record of not dropping a frame. Lines obliged and won 4-0.

All credit to Jason Francis and the Snooker Legends team for putting this event on and Jason can now take a minute to catch his breath before starting the planning of next year’s.

Pictures courtesy of Monique Limbos. See more from the event here

World Seniors – Day 2 Review

Aidan Owens came oh so close to beating 7 times world champion Stephen Hendry – only losing on the black ball shootout. Owens won the first then Hendry levelled. Owens won the next and again Hendry levelled to set up the shootout. But it wasn’t to be for Owens and Hendry now moves into the semis to play Peter Lines.

Tournament favourite Peter Lines was a comfortable winner, 3-0, over Dennis Taylor, although reports do say that it was closer than the scoreline suggests.

John Parrot dispatched day 1 hero Joe Johnson by the same scoreline as did Jonathan Bagley over Cliff Thorburn.

This sets up the semi finals where Parrot plays Bagley and a clash of the titans in Lines v Hendry.

It could well lead to a final between the two qualifiers who will be looking to take home the £10000 first prize and book their place at Ponds Forge next month.

World Seniors – Day 1 review

As we wait with anticipation for the return to competitive snooker of Stephen Hendry, I thought maybe a quick look back at day 1 would be in order.

The day belonged to 64 year old Joe Johnson who beat the much fancied Patrick Wallace in fine style 3-0.

The was no real surprise when tournament favourite Peter Lines made short work of Patsy Fagan, again 3-0

Willie Thorne didn’t disgrace himself in losing 3-1 to Aidan Owens – my pre-tournament pick for a value bet at 14/1

Last match of the day was a close affair where Tony Knowles came from 2-0 down to force the “re-spotted black” decider against Jonathan Bagley, which Bagley won after an attempted double by Knowles.

Quarter finals day today

Joe Johnson now meets John Parrot
Jonathan Bagley takes on Cliff Thorburn
Peter Lines plays Dennis Taylor
and the highlight of the day – Aidan Owens against Stephen Hendry

Could there be a shock on the cards?

 

Men’s European Snooker Championships 2017

Congratulations to 18 year old Chris Totten of Scotland on becoming the new European Men’s Snooker Champion.

Chris will now be offered a two year professional tour card.


Both Jamie Clark and Andrew Pagett lost their semi final matches leaving Chris Totten to face Andres Petrov for the title and prize of a pro tour ticket


The semi finals will feature two Welshmen, Jamie Clark and Andrew Pagett, who may even end up playing each other in the final!
Scot Chris Totten and Andres Petrov of Estonia stand in their way.

Follow the scores or watch video (not mobile) here


The quarter finals start on Saturday morning and the semi finals will be played later that day. The final is on Sunday

The line up for the quarters includes 2 Welshmen, a Scot, an Irishman and an Englishman

Peter Lines went out in the last 16 to Andrew Pagett who now faces Oliver Brown

The draw is here

The Men’s European Snooker Championships starts Monday 13 March and concludes Sunday 19.

As in the under 21s, a pro tour card is on offer and Peter Lines must stand a very good chance of taking his place back on the tour.

The starting page for following the progress of the event is here

Criteria Set For Betfred World Championship Invitations

Snooker’s world governing body the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has today announced the selection criteria for the amateur players who will be invited to compete at this year’s Betfred World Championship qualifiers.

 

Tickets for the qualifying rounds at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield (April 5-12) are on sale now and cost just £10 per day. For details visitwww.worldsnooker.com/tickets

 

The top 16 players on the world ranking list following the 2017 China Open will be seeded through to the final stages of the Betfred World Championship, which celebrates its landmark 40th anniversary at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre from 15 April – 1 May 2017.

 

The remaining 112 professionals will head to Ponds Forge, Sheffield a week prior, each needing to win three matches to qualify for the venue stages. They will be joined by 16 amateur players, who have achieved success through the WPBSA qualifying criteria.

 

8 – Home Nations NGB qualifiers – Jackson Page (WAL), Tyler Rees (WAL), Ross Vallance (SCO), Chris Totten (SCO), Jordan Brown (NIR), Patrick Wallace (NIR), Jamie Bodle (ENG), Wayne Townsend (ENG)

1 – 2016 IBSF U-21 Championship winner – Xu Si (CHN)

1 – EBSA European Championship winner – TBC

1 – EBSA European U-21 Championship winner – Alexander Ursenbacher (SUI)

1 – EBSA European U-18 Championship winner – Amir Nardeia (ISR)*

2 – EBSA Order of Merit 2016/17 – Gerard Greene (NIR), Zack Richardson (ENG)

1 – 2017 World Seniors Championship winner – TBC

1 – 2016 WLBS World Women’s Championship winner – Reanne Evans (ENG)

 

*Israel’s Amir Nardeia takes a place as EBSA U-18 Championship runner-up because winner Jackson Page has already received an invitation as a Home Nations NGB qualifier. 2016 IBSF Championship winner Soheil Vahedi was also invited but could not obtain a visa in time to compete, however WPBSA looks forward to welcoming him to the 2017/18 World Snooker Tour.

 

The draw for the qualifiers will be made following the China Open, which finishes on 2 April.

 

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “As the sport’s world governing body it is important that we are able to encourage development by working with partners in different regions and these qualification places to our World Championship allows us to do just that.

 

“15-year-old Jackson Page is an example of a player who has taken the opportunity presented to him with both hands already in 2017. Having qualified through the WPBSA’s development work with national governing bodies and during the Welsh Open last month won two matches against current professionals and gained enormous exposure in the media.

 

“Last week he became the 2017 EBSA European U-18 champion in Cyprus and he continues to battle it out in the European Championship to try and earn that golden ticket to the World Snooker Tour. We look forward to welcoming him and the other successful qualifiers to Sheffield next month and seeing who will be able to take full advantage of the opportunity and perhaps even make it all the way to the Crucible!”

Final event in the LiteTask Pro-Am Series

Sunday sees the last of 6 events in the LiteTask pro-am series at The Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

After this event the top 16 players on the ranking list will go forward to the finals day on 7 May where the winner will collect a cheque for £2000

There will also be an event on 2 April for the top 16 amateurs where the top prize is £250 + entry to Q School. This event will now have a high break prize of £1000. But if the high break is a 147 then the prize will be £5000.

But if the 147 prize is not won on 2nd April, then it will be carried forward to make the prize for the final event on 7 May a massive £10000!

There have been around 120 entrants for each of the previous 5 events and some top quality snooker on show.

LiteTask have announced their intention to repeat this series next season

Under 21s European Snooker Championships

Congratulations to Alexander Ursenbacher who reclaims his place on the tour after defeating Jackson Page in the final


After some intense matches in the quarter finals, the semi finals promise more of the same. Jackson Page will be looking to claim his place in the final and add the title to the Under 18s he won on Wednesday.

The Under 21s event concludes on Sunday 12 March where a professional tour card is on offer for the winner.

Follow the action here

Under 18s European Snooker Championships

Congratulations to Jackson Page for adding this to his World Under 18s title.


 

The Under 18s Championship starts Monday 6 March and runs until Wednesday 8 March.

You can follow all the action here by selecting the relevant link

These lads could well be the names of the future – indeed may of you will already have heard of Jackson Page who made a name for himself in the recent Welsh Open by beating Jason Weston and John Astley before bowing out to Judd Trump. Jackson is one of 5 players representing Wales in this competition. England have 3 representatives while Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland all have 4 each.

The Gibraltar Open – an amateur view

The Gibraltar Open started on Wednesday 1 March with the amateur rounds where 85 amateur entrants will be looking to add to the EBSA ranking points earned at the Paul Hunter Classic in August last year. The top 8 earn a place in the play offs for 2 professional tour cards.

The ranking list is kept up to date here courtesy of Kin Dsa and you can follow the tournament here courtesy of snooker.org

This is the way I prefer to see a pro cards earned, rather than the X Factor style Q School, and I would like to see more tournaments with the amateur rounds like the PTC events had. It’s just possible that the powers that be could sit up and take notice of the snooker world shouting from the roof tops that the amateur structure needs help. If there has to be a Q school then why not give fewer cards and give them out other ways. I’m sure there are many and various ideas out there for just how to go about it.