Bahrain Championship Qualifiers: Day One (Afternoon)

Click below for news on the final six round one qualifying matches taking place this evening…

Teenage trio win again!

As in the Grand Prix qualifiers, teenagers Stephen Craigie, Vinnie Muldoon and Li Hang all won their first round matches this evening to move into round two tomorrow. Craigie in particular was again impressive as he thrashed Simon Bedford 5-1,  the man who made it all the way to the last 32 of the Grand Prix recently. Next up for him is a clash with another experienced player, Irishman Joe Delaney.

Li Hang meanwhile recorded a 5-2 win over Wayne Cooper, finishing the match off with a career-best break of 135 in the final frame.  This puts the 18-year-old into the second round where he will face veteran Mark Davis.

While Craigie and Hang’s matches were relatively comfortable though, Muldoon’s was anything but as he was pushed all the way by last season’s PIOS number one Kuldesh Johal. Though Johal had made a career best 127 to level the match at 2-2, it looked like Muldoon had got the better of the man from Huddersfield as he took the next two frames to lead 4-2. Johal however was having none of it and came back to take the match into a deciding frame at 4-4. While some young players might have wilted under the pressure though, Muldoon composed himself and made a 101 break, not only a century but a career best, a brilliant effort in the circumstances. He now faces Scott MacKenzie tomorrow.

Probably the most intriguing match of the evening though was that between another young player Liu Chuang, and Matt Selt who let’s not forget was playing yesterday in the Austrian Open semi-finals! Selt who must be full of confidence after some of his wins over in Wels got off to the better start, racing to a 3-0 lead early on, but Chuang came right back, levelling the match at 3-3. Selt did recover to go 4-3 up, but Chuang took the next to force a decider. Selt again though showed his class and took the ninth and final frame to earn a clash with Paul Davies tomorrow.

Matt Selt 5-4 Liu Chuang 74-54(38), 69(360-40, 101(72)-0, 0-76(66), 4-107(60), 4-124(124), 71(45)-45(33), 0-65(64), 71(66)-25
Matt Couch 5-3 Andy Lee 66(660-7, 75(75)-29, 43(43)-71(71), 60(60)-29, 73(42)-47(44), 60(41)-64(37), 10-50, 68-44
Kuldesh Johal 4-5 Vinnie Muldoon 83(40)-22, 21-63(41), 51(33)-62, 131(127)-0, 2-83(55), 65-45(360, 65(56)-1, 0-112(101)
Simon Bedford 1-5 Stephen Craigie 50(47)-93(39), 54(450-63, 0-71(57), 21-71971), 74-33, 39(360-66(57)
Patrick Wallace 2-5 Jin Long 76(75)-6, 44(35)-73(620, 0-122(122), 80(57)-11, 1-72(66), 13-68, 57(46)-60(47)
Li Hang 5-2 Wayne Cooper 77(58)-57(57), 0-99(98), 64-9, 105(68)-24, 42-67, 128(40,79)-0, 135(135)-0