Last chance saloon time for those hoping to secure a place on the main tour for next season as the third and final Q School event is now well underway. Click below for a few newslines on the first round which will come to a conclusion tomorrow…
- For the scores so far please click here
He might be one of the more recognisable names in the draw to some older snooker fans out there but Mike Hallett’s dreams of a return to the professional circuit were brought to an end tonight as he lost 4-3 to another former pro, Craig Steadman.
With the depth of quality of the 124 man entry list it was always going to be a tough ask for Mike to come through five matches to qualify, but he has given a good account of himself and will perhaps be tempted to come back and give it another go next season. Craig though marches onwards and as one of the standout names in his half of the draw, now awaits the winner of the match between Michael Wild and Phil O’Kane which at the time of writing stands level at 2-2.
Other favoured players so far to progress from round one include young Chinese duo Li Hang and Zhang Anda, the latter recorded a particularly impressive 4-2 victory against fellow 2010/11 professional Jamie O’Neill. It was not however to be such a good day for another Chinese talent as Chen Zhe suffered a surprise 4-1 defeat to Englishman Rob James. Having competed during the majority of the past Q School events I am not too surprised to see him lose out however as it cannot be easy to perform consistently well, day after day over what is a relatively long period and during the best of seven matches the players can ill-afford a poor session.
Having failed to win a match during the previous two Q School events, Stephen Craigie produced a good performance to end the run of Ben Harrison with a 4-0 victory today. With an excellent junior record behind him and his younger brother already assured of a place on the tour next season, could Stephen make it a Craigie double act on the 2011/12 circuit?
Generally speaking there have been few close matches during the first round but two players who were pushed all the way were Sydney Wilson and Malta’s Alex Borg, both coming through deciders against Robert Valiant and Sam Harvey respectively. Another to be taken the distance was the impressive Ian Burns who edged out Antony Parsons to make it through to the second round.
On another note, the livescores appear to be back up and running again after a patchy opening Monday from the Academy. The reasons for this have been explained to some extent over at Snookerbacker’s website and hopefully the scoring will now revert to the near seamless experience that we enjoyed last year rather than the erratic service of old.