2008 Pontin’s Autumn Festival Notes

With the Belgian Open coming up this weekend which will soon be followed by the Shanghai Masters, the week has been a relatively quiet one as far as snooker news goes which is the reason for the absence of posting yesterday. When not posting I will try to make some progress with the player profile pages though so hopefully the site can continue to grow over the coming weeks.

During this quiet period however, there has been an event taking place at Prestatyn, the 2008 Pontin’s Autumn Festival which runs until this Friday. Full information and results can be found here at GCS.

The meeting is made up of five events, the Open, the under 20’s, the 20-40’s, the Masters and the Pontin’s Plate, though little information appears to be present about this last event.

Pontin’s Open

A number of current and former main tour players are taking part across a number of events, notably the current world number 35 Ricky Walden who is the favourite to succeed Jamie Cope as the winner of the main Open competition. The other professionals still involved in the main event are the recent tour debutants David Grace and Stephen Craigie, the latter having come through 3-2 against Aaron McIntyre in his most recent match.

Other names that you may recognise include the young Michael White and Leo Fernandez, both of whom were on the main tour last season. White is looking particularly dangerous having beaten the experienced Mike Hallett 3-0 at the last 32 stage and with him and Fernandez joining Craigie in the bottom half of the draw, there could well be some excellent matches as the week draws to a close.

Under 20’s

Of those remaining in the draw, the biggest name is once again 18 year old Stephen Craigie who so far has eased into the last 16 having won his first three matches at the expense of just two frames. Anthony McGill however, the man Craigie beat in the final of the European under-19 Championship this year lost early on to Accrington’s Farakh Ajaib who has since joined Craigie in the last 16.

t is not just Stephen Craigie in action here though as he is joined by his younger brother Sam in this event. Sam is in the opposite half of the draw and is yet to drop a frame so it isn’t impossible that we could be seeing a final contested by brothers! Does anyone know if that has happened since the days of Joe and Fred Davis? With other talented players such as Michael White remaining in the draw this is by no means a formality though.


Like in the main Open event, Ricky Walden will be a heavy favourite to win here given his experience and current world ranking. That said, he is poised to come up against the talented 22 year old Robbie Williams in the quarter-finals in a match that could go either way given the short format.

Elsewhere in the draw, David Grace continues to make good progress, as does Leo Fernandez who recorded an excellent 3-0 win over current world number 57 Paul Davies.