Welsh Open 2009: Day One News

So the action is underway in Newport and the first three matches of the day are now coming to a conclusion. During the course rest of the day I will continue to update this post as the results come in so please keep checking back…


Stephen Maguire 5-0 Ian Preece
70(35)-22, 80(55)-48(48), 74(69)-0, 78(78)-3
Mark Allen 3-5 Joe Swail
0-74(69), 79(45)-45, 78(70)-1, 6-68(50), 63-25, 1-64, 0-72, 46-59
Matthew Stevens 5-4 Andy Hicks
104(62)-0, 47-59, 66-59, 0-69(52), 18-79, 46-77, 74(74)-0, 71(67)-1, 71-22
Mark Williams 1-5 David Gilbert
32-71(66), 0-131(131), 75(75)-4, 20-66(58), 4-115(115), 56-70
Dominic Dale 5-4 Liang Wenbo
24-98(94), 66(39)-0, 132(124)-0, 80(35,31)-70(53), 6-76(51), 56-70, 73(50)-75, 75(42)-63(45), 104(104)-0

To view the latest scores you can use either the BBC website here, the embedded live scores on the official World Snooker website here or the relaunched Global Snooker site here.

Apologies for some of the results above being incomplete, it would appear that Global Snooker are still adjusting to the new version of their website.


It has been a great start to the day for world number two Stephen Maguire who wasted little time in defeating local hope Ian Preece without losing a frame this afternoon. In what was a meeting between two players involved in the 2001 Young Players of Distinction scheme, Stephen knocked in breaks of 78, 70 and 69 which while not spectacular, were enough to overcome a player who is not used to appearing in front of the TV cameras. He now awaits either Ding Junhui, Matthew Stevens or Andy Hicks in the next round in what could well be a much closer contest.

For Ian it is a disappointing way to go out in front of his Welsh fans but just by reaching the televised stages here he has given his chances of remaining on the main tour next season a significant boost. He will now be looking towards the World Championship qualifiers at the EISS next month and hoping for a similar run just to make sure.

While Maguire’s win was a victory for the seeds however, qualifier Joe Swail recorded an excellent 5-3 win this afternoon to put friend and practice partner Mark Allen out of the tournament. It was a close affair all the way as they pair traded breaks, but as the match wore on the frames became more scrappy and this was always going to play into the hands of the experienced Swail who duly won the last three frames to move into the last 16.

This is an excellent result for Joe and it marks the first time all season that he has gone this deep into a ranking event, a timely boost given that he failed to win a match until the UK Championship in December. Next up will be either seven-times world champion or Martin Gould who meet tomorrow.

For Mark Allen it is a blow, but his place in the top 16 looks to be secure regardless of this defeat. Still it is a shame that he has gone out so early because after how well he played in the Masters last month, this was perhaps a real chance to make a ranking event final for the first time. He will next be in action in China when he faces Stuart Pettman.

Finally Matthew Stevens came through in the first of the three last 48 matches today that have been held over from Prestatyn, but it was not without a fight from Devon’s Andy Hicks.

Matthew looked good in the opening frame but things quickly became scrappy after that and Hicks seemed to revel in it. An excellent brown down the side cushion into the green pocket helped him level things at 1-1 and he soon took three of the next four frames to move into a 4-2 lead.

Stevens though dug deep and began to produce some better snooker, quickly bringing himself level at 4-4 before clinching the decider with a couple of smaller breaks. This is an important result for Matthew and keeps realistic hopes of a return to the top 16 this season alive because a defeat here would have left him needing a deep run in China. Next up for him will be Ding Junhui, not an easy match by any means but maybe his home crowd will just inspire him to pull off an upset…

David Gilbert said only the other day that he was desperate to win against Mark Williams to try and salvage his season and he delivered on that tonight in emphatic style. He looked confident, fluent and in control from the start. With a pot success statistic of 97% during the fourth frame and century breaks of 131 and 115, he fully deserved what is the probably the biggest win of his career to date. Now into the last 32 of a ranking event for only the fourth time in his career, he will be hoping to push on against Joe Perry and move into the last 16 for the first time.

For Mark it is a disappointing result given his improved form recently, particularly in front of his home crowd in Newport. While he is still reasonably well placed to move into the top 16 at the end of the season, he has just made life a little harder for himself…

In the final match of the evening to finish, Dominic Dale overcame Liang Wenbo to book his place in the last 32 where he will meet Scotland’s John Higgins on Wednesday.

It was a match of momentum shifts as early on Dominic played some excellent stuff to lead 3-1, before Liang came back at him and eventually stole frame seven to lead 4-3. Dom though returned the favour with a fabulous clearance to set up the decider and following a risky red missed by Wenbo, held his nerve to clear up with a well-taken break of 104. That is a good result for Dale as he has not enjoyed a particularly good campaign this time around, but he still has time to change that between now and the end of the season.

For Liang it is another learning experience, that red in the final frame which ultimately proved to be his last shot of the match is one that he should probably have refused, but hopefully he will learn that in time…