PIOS 2009/10: Event Three Update

Four days down, two to go at Prestatyn and we are down to the last eight in the third of the season’s eight PIOS events. Click below to see how the event has unfolded so far…

Having entered the week as the top two in the rankings, talented young duo Jack Lisowski and Liam Highfield were expected to be two of the leading contenders again at Pontin’s, but instead both fell to early defeats in the third event of the series.

Having come through his first round match with Adam Davies comfortably enough, Liam was unfortunate to come up against for me one of the strongest players in the competition, Kurt Maflin. While his 4-1 defeat is a setback however, with 520 points already in the bag from his first two events he remains well placed to finish in the top eight and I would expect him to secure the points he needs soon enough.

For Kurt however it was a great result and one that he has capitalised on with subsequent victories over Jeff Cundy and Adam Duffy to book his place in the quarter-finals. Currently lying in 6th place in the rankings, as things stand Kurt is the highest ranked player remaining in the competiton and now has a real opportunity now to push on and consolidate his place in the top eight.

Event One winner Jack Lisowski fared little better than Liam, reaching the third round before falling at the hands of John Whitty who like Maflin has made the most of his win and managed to progress to the quarter-finals. For Jack it is a disappointing result but as he has shown already he is more than capable of bouncing back from a setback and will no doubt be contesting finals again before too long.

One match that I flagged up as one to watch at the start of the week was the clash between another couple of promising young players, Jamie Jones and Anthony McGill. Sure enough it proved to be a close match and despite his relative lack of experience it was Anthony who managed to get over the line and secure what is for me a very impressive 4-3 victory.

Though his next match was much more straightforward as he recorded a 4-0 win over Stephen Ellis, things were not to get any easier for Anthony in the third round as he again came through a seventh and deciding frame with Brazilian talent Igor Figueire0. Incredibly, Figueireo at one stage required six snooker and came close to getting them, before McGill was able to escape at the fifth attempt and pot the brown that he needed.

Unfortunately for him however the last 16 was to be as far as he would get as he lost out to talented young 15-year old Sam Craigie in his next match. Having successfully defended his EASB U-16’s title earlier this summer in Sheffield, young Craigie is playing well at the moment and to reach the quarter-finals of a PIOS event at his age is no mean feat. Next up for him is 2007/8 PIOS number one Kuldesh Johal who having come through a thriller with Andrew Pagett today which went all the way to a re-spotted black in the decider, might just be thinking that it is destined to be his week. It will be very interesting to see how that one unfolds.

With Sam performing so well, some of you may be wondering how his older brother Stephen is getting on and amazingly he has also made it through to the quarter-finals where he will come up against Kurt Maflin. While he has come through two final frame shoot-outs against Wayne Brown and Ian Brumby, arguably his most impressive victory was his third round success over Neal Jones who had previously gone all the way to the final of the second event before losing out to Highfield. While there are a few tough matches to go yet, with the two in opposite halves of the draw, could we see an all-Craigie final?

Completing the quarter-final line-up are veteran duo Paul Davison and Hugh Abernethy, while Kyren Wilson will come up against Lisowski’s conqueror John Whitty at the bottom of the draw.

Again, for the latest scores over the next couple of days, please click here.

Incidentally, the draw for Event Four is also up now on Global here, Sam Craigie and Anthony McGill to meet again in the first round!