Snooker Shoot Out a triumph for the amateurs

Posted on: 8 February 2021

Last edited on: 14 February 2021

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Pic: BetVictor

Well done to Ryan Day for winning the 2021 BetVictor Snooker Shoot Out.

Day beat Mark Selby in the final, bringing Selby’s hopes of beating the record of 11 consecutive ranking event finals he currently holds with Stephen Hendry, to an end.

The event, however, belonged to the amateur snooker players involved.

Although this was a ranking event, many of the pros decided not to play. Some may have tested positive for COVID but there has been no official word on that.

There were 8 amateur wildcards chosen by WPBSA which included England’s Reanne Evans and Rebecca Kenna who both compete on the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

They were joined by promising juniors Connor Benzey (England), Dean Young (Scotland), Dylan Emery (Wales), Robbie McGuigan (Northern Ireland) and Fergal Quinn (Northern Ireland).

Northern Ireland’s Declan Lavery completed the line-up. The reigning national champion missed out on competing at this season’s Northern Ireland Open following a positive COVID-19 test in Milton Keynes.

After these amateurs, selection was down to the Q School Order of Merit and many players were called up at the last minute.

There were a total of 33 amateurs in the first round and 14 of them made it through to the second.

6 of them went on to the third round where they were guaranteed £1000 – which will pay for their next Q School entry!

Shoot Out Sunday

Excitement continued to build on the last day of the event as Ian Martin, Declan Lavery and Craig Steadman won their way through to the quarter-finals.

Lavery was first up and faced Mark Selby but went down fighting. Martin was next and he faced another Martin – O’Donnell. It wasn’t to be for the self-proclaimed “2nd best snooker player from Bury”, but he was the star of the show for many.

Last up for the amateurs was Bolton man Craig Steadman. Steadman is no stranger to the professional tour of course and a win over Noppon Saengkham booked him a quarter final match against Louis Heathcote.

Steadman won a tight match 47-37 and with it his first ever ranking event semi final.

The dream ended there though as he was ground down like many before him, by Mark Selby.

All in all, a fantastic event for the amateurs and it will hopefully give many more the ambition to make it into events like this.

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