Right from his opening match this week when he hit the first of what would prove to be the first of eight century breaks this weekend, world number nine Mark Selby has looked to be the man to beat and so it has proved as he came back from 3-1 down to defeat Norwich’s Barry Pinches in tonight’s Players Tour Championship Event Two final. Click below for a summary of the day’s action or here to view my updated provisional rankings…
Having trailed 2-0 against both Jimmy Robertson and Marco Fu earlier in the day before fighting back to win it appeared as though Mark had passed what would be his toughest tests of the day but in fact that was yet to come in the best of seven final against Barry Pinches this evening.
Mark got off to a good start by taking the opening frame but Pinches was to respond strongly with breaks of 95, 49 and 72 to leave himself just one frame away from his first tournament victory since the 2007 Paul Hunter Classic over in Furth.
There are few, if any, tougher players in the game mentally than Mark Selby at the moment though and without making any breaks of significance he managed to get himself back into the match at 2-3. From there however he was to prove unstoppable as breaks of 133 and 116 kept Pinches off the table and powered the Jester from Leicester him to an impressive 4-3 victory.
Having struggled to find his very best form for much of 2009, Mark has looked more and more like the player who rose to number four in the world a couple of seasons ago recently and with the combination of the heavy scoring and strong tactical play that he always has in his locker will prove tough to beat over the coming months. This result gives him another 2,000 ranking points and lifts him back up into the top 10 of the provisional list ahead of Stephen Hendry and Graeme Dott.
For Barry Pinches this was another strong display after his quarter-final run in the first event and his reward of 1,600 points takes him up five places to number 42 in the latest provisional rankings. Having achieved his aim last season of staying inside the top 64 I hope that he will be able to follow the example of SightRightUK stablemate Mark Davis this coming season and move back up the rankings once again.
Who else impressed today? The shock of the day probably came first thing as young Scottish starlet Anthony McGill whitewashed his far more experienced countryman Stephen Maguire to move into the last eight. It appeared as though his fairytale run would continue further but from 3-1 ahead he could not finish off Gerard Greene who as a result moves up to number 22 in the provisional list despite losing out to Pinches in his next match.
To view the event’s results in full, please click here to visit Global Snooker.