World Championship Qualifiers 2011: Wednesday Wrap


Wow. What an evening session, filled with drama and a black ball finish (see above), between Mike Dunn and Sam Baird. It is very late so but here is a brief report on the climax to that match and the other noteworthy results…

Mike Dunn 10-9 Sam Baird

A close match throughout, Sam edged the first session 5-4 before Mike turned the tables in the evening to take the match to a 19th and deciding frame, at which point I shuffled over following the conclusion of the Michael Holt match.

First chance in the decider came to Sam who after a few good shots had to go into the reds from the black, unfortunately only leaving a long one into the green pocket which wobbled and stayed there. Mike came to the table and got himself back into the frame with a good break under pressure, eventually making it as far as the colours and potting the yellow and then the green with the rest to leave Sam needing a couple of snookers.

At this point Mike looked a fairly good bet but incredibly, Sam forced one error on the blue before on the pink being forced into a swerve shot which saw him go in-off, as immediately predicted by a couple of players watching up in the gallery.

Fortunately for Mike he had left the pink safe, though Sam was tempted by a double into the left-middle before sensibly playing safe. A couple of shots later however he did try a double and left it on, only to see Mike do it and give Sam a half-chance for frame and match. It was not easy but the pink dropped and surely with the cue ball heading to the black it would be only, but dramatically it finished almost touching the black and gave Sam no shot.

It is no exaggeration to say that Sam spent five full minutes weighing up his options, repeatedly getting down on the shot before getting back up again before finally he played a thin safely. Under the circumstances it was the best he could done, but he did leave Mike with a long chance. Mike though missed it and surely would leave it on, but it could have fallen far easier and decisively, Sam overhit it and left it over the pocket for a relieved Dunn.

It was a cracking climax to the match and one that had everyone watching gripped and wondering what would happen next. I had a brief chat with Mike afterwards and he was understandably relieved! Credit to Sam though, Mike clapped him off at the end which was a nice touch and I am sure it will not be long before he is back on the tour again.


Elsewhere, Michael Holt recovered from 7-3 down against James McBain to win 10-8 to make it through to the final round. The key moment came at 7-4 down when 25 ahead with 27 on, McBain missed a brown to the left-centre from the last red to let Michael in to clear. From there James was clearly struggling and there was only going to be one winner.

On the adjoining table, Jamie Burnett won five frames in a row from 8-5 down against James Wattana to book his place in the end round and send Wattana off the main tour despite his brave run this week.

Liu Chuang meanwhile edged out Tom Ford 10-8 while David Gilbert recorded an impressive win against Peter Lines, particularly given the fact that he was playing past midnight the previous night against Barry Pinches.

That’s all I have time for tonight, follow me on Twitter tomorrow for all the action from the Lisowski/Davis match…