Grand Prix Qualifying 2009: Day Two News

For the second day in a row, young Chinese hot shot Li Hang has completed an excellent fightback to move on into the next round. More to follow from that and the rest of the day’s action…

Morning Session:

Having come through 5-4 against Brendan O’Donoghue from 3-0 and 4-2 down yesterday, Li Hang has managed to pull off an even greater comeback today to defeat David Roe by the same scoreline.

Roe, who has struggled for form over the past year or so, got off to a dream start by taking all four frames before the mid-session interval to leave himself just needing one more to win his first match since the Welsh Open qualifiers back in February. Li though has the mental strength to go with his talent and managed to take a series of close frames to get himself back into the match, before forcing a decider with a break of 60 in frame eight, the highest of the match. Though David had the highest break in the final frame, his 36 was not to be enough and Li came through to complete another 5-4 victory.

Although it was a scrappy affair, this is an excellent result for Li as he looks to make up the ground lost when he was forced to miss out on the Shanghai Masters tournament and with Mark Davis now waiting for him in round three, he has a chance to give his ranking a further boost. Mark though is a strong player at this level and has recently been playing some of his best snooker, so it will be far from easy.

Another player to come back from 4-0 down to win this morning was Peter Lines who came up against former Scottish Open champion David Gray today. Early on the situation looked good for David as he took a close opener before recording breaks of 58, 52 and 63 to go into the break at 4-0. From there however the match completely turned on its head as Peter drew level before taking a tense decider to book a tie with one of the stars of last season, Martin Gould.

Another player from China to come through 5-4 today was Liu Song who won by taking the final two frames of his match against Bjorn Haneveer this morning. Having climbed to as high as 53rd position in the rankings at one stage, Liu endured a torrid 2008/9 season which saw him win just two matches and now finds himself fighting to maintain his position on the main tour for next season. He will need far more than just this win but with breaks of 50, 66, 64 and 39 he scored reasonably well and it could give him a much needed confident boost. Next up will be a tough tie against Jamie Burnett so he will have to play even better though…

Elsewhere there were good wins for Patrick Wallace and Tony Drago who managed to overcome their seeded opponents, while Mark Joyce, Tom Ford and Robert Milkins managed to book their third round places with relative ease.

Mark Joyce 5-2 Andrew Norman
101(31,38)-4, 8-67, 90(45)-13, 25-70(39), 63-31, 71-20, 62(42)-45
David Roe 4-5 Li Hang
70-66, 62-30, 94-0, 68-45, 29-60, 55-70, 39-80, 0-74(60), 45(36)-55
Joe Delaney 2-5 Patrick Wallace
42-67(39), 59(39)-9, 44-67(47), 59-66(45)(respot), 39-67(46), 68(41)-7, 24-67(66)
Liu Song 5-4 Bjorn Haneveer
63(50)-50, 14-78(78), 95(66)-1, 4-70(39), 27-90(89), 73(39)-52(52), 0-86(57), 89(64)-6, 73-65
Tom Ford 5-1 Joe Jogia
54-60(49), 56(56)-23, 71(63)-7, 126(125)-0, 65(38)-11, 75(75)-0
Andy Hicks 3-5 Tony Drago
17-67(43), 0-65, 60-20, 56(33)-58(58), 68(59)-44, 68(67)-58(58), 5-63, 51-56
Peter Lines 5-4 David Gray
61-68, 20-67(58), 37-69(52), 12-82(63), 66-44, 77-49, 81(50)-12, 67-7, 61-53
Robert Milkins 5-1 Matthew Couch
57-54, 74-29, 3-80(72), 69-45, 63-42, 66(37)-0

Afternoon Session:
The most eagerly anticipated match of the day however did not come until the afternoon session when the in-form Matt Selt took on crowd favourite and 2009 Sangsom 6-Red International champion Jimmy White for a place in the third round. Any fears of an anti-climax were soon dispelled as Matt knocked in a break of 123 in the opening frame only to see Jimmy take the next two with a best run of 99 himself.

From there however it was all Selt as he drew himself level with 70 before further breaks of 55 and a match-winning 77 saw him over the line for a 5-2 victory. A good win in isolation, the result takes on even greater significance when taking into account the fact that he is currently suffering from tonsillitis and just a day earlier found himself 4-0 down against Jordan Brown in the first round. Now however he finds himself in the third round and providing the opposition for Stuart Pettman tomorrow.

For Jimmy it is a set-back to his chances of moving up into the top 48 at the end of the season and a disappointing result in itself, but given how confident Matt must be at the moment, it was hardly the kindest of draws.

It was not such a good day today for Welsh youngsters Michael White and Daniel Wells as the pair lost out to David Morris and Barry Pinches respectively. For Barry in particular it was a much-needed win after an indifferent past 12 months and from his point of view will be the result that kickstarts his season. After recent results he must have been slightly nervous to have been pulled back to 2-2 having taken the first two frames, but he composed himself well at the interval and took the next three on the bounce to book a second round tie with Jimmy Michie.

One man who I did not mention yesterday was another young Chinese player Anda Zhang who came through to win his first tour match against Ben Woollaston. Well today he has done it again with a very impressive 5-2 victory over countryman Jin Long, a player who managed to score more points than any other tour newcomer last season.

Anda’s reward will now be a third round clash with Welsh veteran Dominic Dale.

Finally, the last match of the day to finish has seen John Parrott come from behind to secure a significant 5-4 victory over Simon Bedford as he looks to keep his place on the tour. There has been speculation that John will announce his retirement sooner rather than later but just as he did last year, perhaps a strong run at the Grand Prix could get his season off the ground. Next up for him is a tie with Ian McCulloch, another player who has been struggling for form recently…

David Morris 5-3 Michael White
56-36, 27-69(47), 58-24, 59-38, 14-75(42), 0-93(93), 74(70)-55, 77(36)-16
Rod Lawler 5-3 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
7-60, 53-38, 37-83(52), 88(54)-24, 67(43)-1, 68-56, 9-100(52), 65(45)-14
Barry Pinches 5-2 Daniel Wells
64-32, 66(53)-36, 61(47)-62, 24-90(38,48), 61-54
David Gilbert 5-4 Stephen Rowlings
129(129)-0, 15-87(76), 9-112(57,55), 70(49)-18, 0-103(73), 0-91(62), 107(107)-13, 74(63)-27, 60(43)-8
Paul Davies 5-4 Mark Boyle
28-59, 0-81(49), 20-59, 3-81(81), 83(51)-1, 89(77)-17, 78(78)-1, 84(38,46)-7, 78(45)-33
John Parrott 5-4 Simon Bedford
65-51, 37-64, 69-15, 48-68(58), 67(41)-58, 1-103(103)
Jimmy White 2-5 Matthew Selt
0-123(123), 99(99)-0, 66-29, 15-70(70), 30-67, 25-66(55), 0-77(77)
Jin Long 2-5 Anda Zhang
0-70(44), 67-79(45), 55(55)-57, 65(64)-14, 67(45)-40(40), 54-66, 6-93(45,43)