UK Championship Qualifiers 2010: Final Day News

After a long week or so, the final UK Championship qualifying matches come to a conclusion today and one man already through to Telford is Ken Doherty, though not without a fight from opponent Rod Lawler…

Evening Session

Joe Perry 6-9 Jimmy White
Mark Davis 8-7 Joe Swail
Andrew Higginson 9-6 Dominic Dale
Liang Wenbo 5-7 Rory McLeod
Mike Dunn 1-9 Patrick Wallace
Ryan Day 9-5 Jamie Burnett

First man through to the last 32 tonight is Northern Ireland’s Patrick Wallace who romped to an impressive 9-1 victory against Redcar professional Mike Dunn. Like Mark Joyce yesterday, Patrick has qualified for Telford having started way back in the first round, defeating Jamie O’Neill, Anthony McGill and Michael Holt already before this latest victory and it will be his first appearance at a venue in at least five years by my reckoning. Crucially, the result also lifts him up into the top 64 of my provisional seedings list for the next cut-off.

Joining him will be Ryan Day who recorded a strong 9-4 victory against Shanghai Masters finalist Jamie Burnett to continue his recovery and prevent him from falling any further down the rankings. The Welshman will now meet Mark King in Telford, a tough, underrated player but at the same time, not the worst draw that Ryan could have had.

Also through are Andrew Higginson, a 9-6 winner against Dominic Dale in a clash of two in-form players, and Jimmy White, also a 9-6 winner against Joe Perry. Leading 7-2 at one stage this evening, it looked for all the world like the crowd favourite would cruise into the last 32 an a clash with Stephen Hendry without too much trouble. Joe to his credit however dug in to take the next four frames and move just one behind at 7-6. Jimmy though was able to settle down and book that clash with Hendry, one that is bound to capture the imagination of the public and based on current form, is one that I would probably make White favourite for!

Afternoon Session

Barry Hawkins 9-3 Fergal O’Brien
Stuart Bingham 9-4 Peter Lines
Ken Doherty 9-7 Rod Lawler
Ricky Walden 9-8 Liu Chaung

Wasting no time in booking their spots at the venue this afternoon were Barry Hawkins and Stuart Bingham who both won comfortably and consolidated their positions inside the top 25 of the rankings as a result.

It was a far harder afternoon however for Ricky Walden who resuming level at 4-4 with Liu Chuang, soon found himself 7-4 down and facing another shock exit at the hands of Chinese opposition having already lost out to Zhang Anda during the World Championship qualifiers earlier this year.

This was not to be a repeat however as Ricky managed to level the match at 7-7 before eventually taking a crucial 9-8 win, one that surely means that he will move up into the top 16 when the seedings are next revised following this tournament. Ironically during a week which may well mark the beginning of the end for Steve Davis as he falls out of the top 32, Ricky’s win also pushes Stephen Hendry down to 15th place. Could the Scot also lose his place among the elite come the next seedings changearound?

The other tight match proved to be the slow burner between Ken Doherty which saw the Irishman come through at around 6pm to take a 9-7 win. Resuming at 5-3, Rod soon levelled the match at 5-5 but could do nothing to stop Ken re-establishing his lead and eventually taking the win. Doherty will now meet Stephen Maguire in Telford while Rod at least can rest easily in the knowledge that his top 64 spot is safe for now.

Morning Session

Joe Perry 2-6 Jimmy White
Mark Davis 7-1 Joe Swail
Mike Dunn 1-7 Patrick Wallace
Ryan Day 4-4 Jamie Burnett
Andrew Higginson 3-5 Dominic Dale
Liang Wenbo 3-5 Rory McLeod