UKPTC4: Monday Blog

Now in Gloucester for the UKPTC4 event, the action is already well underway, with the likes of Mark Selby, Barry Hawkins, Peter Ebdon and Jamie Cope already safely into the second round. Click below for updates throughout the day…

  • Click here to view the latest results from UKPTC4 (snookerorg)
  • Click here to view the latest projected seedings
  • Click here to view the latest PTC Order of Merit

17:02 – Following my arrival at the South West Snooker Academy at around 3pm, I was roundly mocked for my fashionably late arrival, although one person dressed in pink saw it as being downright careless.

Regardless, I sought to catch up with the key scores from this morning and noted an excellent win for amateur player Ryan Causton against Marco Fu, while David Grace had pulled off an excellent comeback to defeat David Gilbert in a decider, having trailed 3-1 early on.

As far as the live action is concerned, the snooker of the day that I was able to catch was the final couple of frames of the match between Ben Woollaston and James Cahill, as Ben looked to win his first match as a father following the birth of baby Edward last Thursday.

With a chance to close the gap to 2-1, the crucial shot was to prove a yellow with the rest by Cahill, which he missed, leaving the way clear for Woollaston to dish for 3-0. Although Ben missed when in on approximately 36 in the next, a missed blue from Cahill when attempting to go into the pack was to prove his final shot.

On the next table, Luca Brecel, one of a few players sporting his regulation waistcoat rather than a pink polo, looked to be in good form against Jimmy Robertson, moving 2-1 up with a 70+ break. Since then though, Robertson has taken the next two with a top break of 129 to stand one frame away from a place in the next round.

As I returned to the media centre, which like at the last PTC is based up in the practice room at the Academy, I and my fellow bloggers were handed free SWSA t-shirts and lined up for a photo opportunity by Media Officer Janie Watkins for a photo opportunity, as news of a comfortable opening round victory for John Higgins filtered through.

Turning to the live scores, one match has immediately caught my eye, that between young talents Jack Lisowski and Liam Highfield, which is where I will head now…

19:52 – The match between Jack and Liam proved to be an entertaining one as you would expect, eventually won 4-2 by Lisowski as he looks to get a run going at this final Gloucester PTC. Of the two it was Liam who made the more impressive start by taking the opening frame and starting the second with a break of 52, before Jack pounced with a clearance of 74 to draw level.

In a way that set the tone for the rest of the match, Liam earning the first chance, but not being clinical enough to take advantage, notably missing two blacks off the spot, as well as a yellow in the sixth having over-screwed from the red. Jack though played as well as I have seen him for a while, further runs of 81, 70 and 56 enough to get him over the line.

Meanwhile on one of the adjacent tables, Luca Brecel and Jimmy Robertson played out a close deciding frame, Jimmy opening with a break of 48 before running out of position, allowing Luca to take it to the colours. Despite what looked like it might be a telling snooker on the blue which earned Luca five penalty points, Robertson was able to make the pot up into the yellow pocket, following it with the pink to wrap up a 4-3 win.

Elsewhere, Joe Perry on another nearby table was another winner, a strong clearance of 72 to the pink from 46 points behind enough to see off amateur player Ryan Causton.

Following that match I headed off for some food with Roland from Snooker Island, during which time Tony Drago apparently produced an excellent display to defeat David Grace and book a third round tie with Jack Lisowski. Other second round winners include Mark Selby, Chen Zhe, Andrew Higginson and Anthony Hamilton and Michael Wasley, while UKPTC3 winner Rod Lawler currently leads John Higgins 2-0.

22:46 – Approaching 11pm now and the final last 32 matches are underway, marathon man Steve Davis having held up that section of the draw somewhat following a long first round match against amateur John Whitty.

The real story of the day though has been the form of Tony Drago, who has just seen off Jack Lisowski 4-1 on the main arena, following victories against Andrew Norman and David Grace earlier in the day. He might not be the player that he once was, but on his day he can still entertain the crowd in a way that few others can. Next up for him on Sunday will be former world number one Mark Selby, who was the first man through to the last 16 with a 4-0 win against Chen Zhe.

Elsewhere, I managed to catch what proved to be a typically tense deciding frame between Ian Burns and Xiao Guodong, eventually won by Burns with a very good pot on the black in the circumstances. Both had chances to wrap it up beforehand, notably when Ian snookered himself on the yellow, but it was his safety play which probably won it for him in the end.

Generally speaking, it is good to be back at the SWSA and nice to see that they have spruced the place up a little with a lick of paint, in keeping with the ongoing re-branding exercise as the venue becomes the ‘Capital Venue.’ Also of note is a new partition up at table four, replacing the curtain that has previously been employed.

While a late night had looked on the cards, in around a 15 minute spell, the final matches of the same all came to a conclusion, notably Anthony Hamilton winning his decider with Andrew Higginson on the blue, while John Higgins also came through 4-3 against Leicester’s Ben Woollaston.

A special word though for Michael Wasley, who lit up his home venue with victories against Ryan Day, Liu Chuang and Kurt Maflin to make it through to Wednesday’s final day.

The action continues tomorrow…