Wembley Masters Qualifying: Last 16 Latest

Three days to go and we’re at the last 16 stage of the Masters qualifiers in Sheffield. Click below for today’s updates throughout the day…

Morning Matches:

The first man into the quarter-finals was Matthew Stevens who continued his return to form with a fine 5-2 win over Shanghai Masters winner Ricky Walden this morning. It looked like it was going to be a closer match early on as both players traded breaks of 58 and 68 to leave it at 1-1, but it was the recent Bahrain runner-up who powered into a 4-1 lead with further runs of 78, 70 and 40. Walden hit back with a 79 to keep his hopes alive but Stevens finished him off in the next and Ricky will have to rely on being awarded the other wildcard spot if he wants to compete at Wembley.

There he will face veteran Irishman Fergal O’Brien who came through a tense final frame decider with impressive Welsh youngster Daniel Wells this morning. Information was really sketchy on this one but it turns out that having started brilliantly to lead 4-2 with a couple of 90+ breaks, Wells looked set for the win before Fergal used all his experience to launch a terrific comeback and win 5-4. He didn’t make any sizeable breaks but he won’t care about that one bit, he will just be glad to have secured his place in the quarter-finals.

Soon to follow Stevens into the next round early on was former Welsh Open finalist Andrew Higginson who also had a good 5-2 win, this time against Gerard Greene. It was 2-2 at the interval but it was Higginson who took the next three frames, finishing off in fine style with a break of 132, the second-highest of the week so far. He will now face Mark Joyce who enjoyed a narrow 5-4 victory over Huddersfield’s Kuldesh Johal to move into the quarter-finals.


Matthew Stevens 5-2 Ricky Walden 80(58)-0, 0-68(68), 123(70)-1, 78(78)-23, 60(40)-8, 13-120(79), 58-17
Andrew Higginson 5-2 Gerard Greene 74(53)-2, 34(34)-65(51), 86(50)-0, 41-78(70), 79(40,39)-0, 65(40)-49(44), 140(132)-4
Mark Joyce 5-4 Kuldesh Johal 87(82)-38, 0-132(121), 9-81(74), 89(56)-38(38), 80(79)-8, 75(68)-0, 48-50, 45(45)-73(58), 75(54)-24
Fergal O’Brien 5-4 Daniel Wells 25-97(97), 81-74, 41-60, 0-91(91), 72-35, 30-69, 51-44, 63-52, 65-43

Evening Matches:

In arguably the standout tie of the day, it was Judd Trump who prevailed over Jamie Cope with another impressive win for the Bristol youngster. Due to the match being played on a table with no scoring link, GSC have been unable to provide frame scores so exactly how the match unfolded is unknown, though it was 3-1 to Trump at the interval. Either way it is an excellent result for Judd who is really beginning to translate his obvious talent into results on a consistent basis now.

In the next round he will come up against Jin Long who narrowly edged past Martin Gould 5-4 this evening. It was a good, close match throughout, but Long’s superior scoring capped by an excellent break of 125 in frame three proved to be the difference and just about saw him over the line at around 7:35pm.

The second match to finish this evening saw Stuart Bingham end the recent revival of David Gray with a 5-2 win to move into the quarter-finals. Stuart, who won this event in 2005 and 2006, started well to move 2-0 ahead before David fought back and levelled it at the interval. Bingham though was playing well and a break of 78 set him on his way again as he marched on to the quarter-finals.

Next up for Stuart however will be another tough match with Ken Doherty who overcame Preston’s Ian McCulloch tonight. Ken, a previous winner of the qualifying tournament and a twice finalist of the Masters itself, went down 1-0 early on but recovered to lead 3-1, 4-2 before eventually winning frame eight from 48-0 down to secure a 5-3 win. It is really good to see him winning matches again and I really hope that his comeback yesterday can give him a lift and turn things around for him.

Ian McCulloch – Ken Doherty
Stuart Bingham 5-2 David Gray 79(65)-14, 65-54(54), 40-59, 13-88(56), 78(78)-0, 57(42)-56(56), 64(34)-37
Martin Gould – Jin Long 11-74(62), 95(35)-18, 0-126(125)
Jamie Cope 2-5 Judd Trump 47-55, 37-78(78), 57(57)-70(70), 120(120)-0, 35-78, 93(75)-10, 37-81(75)