EPTC2: Friday News

A belated round up of the notable results from Friday as the top 16 for the Wembley Masters were confirmed and Martin Gould maintained his strong run of recent form…

I will update the projected seedings following the conclusion of Saturday’s play.

Coming into this event there was just one issue to resolve so far as the top 16 for the UK Championship and Masters tournaments was concerned, would it be Marco Fu or Matthew Stevens taking the 16th and final spot? We now know though that it will be Marco as despite a walkover against Ali Carter and a 4-0 victory over Jamie Jones in the second round, Matthew’s tournament was brought to an end by Fergal O’Brien in the third round as the Irishman completed a 4-2 victory.

It was always going to be a tall order, indeed a win for Marco against Patrick Wallace in his first round match would have ended Matthew’s hopes in any case, but if the Welshman can maintain his improved recent form then he may have another chance of reclaiming his top 16 place later in the season. With his points from the 2008 Bahrain final soon to come off however, it is unlikely to be at the season’s second revision.

Elsewhere, it was a good day for Martin Gould who recorded victories against Graeme Dott, Zhang Anda and David Singh to continue his rise up the rankings while Liang Wenbo, now out of the top 16 following a sluggish start to the season, also returned to form with an impressive 4-0 win over Judd Trump.

It was also a good day for home hope Bjorn Haneveer, through to Sunday’s final day following wins against Stephen Lee, Anthony Hamilton and Andrew Norman, the latter two matches having gone down to the final frame.

PSB blogger Alfie Burden also maintained his highly encouraging return to the main tour with victories against three fellow professionals, most notably Andrew Higginson who performed well recently at the World Open. Already into the top 64, if he can continue winning perhaps a top 48 spot by the end of the season could be a possibility.

Notable names crashing out early were Ken Doherty, Luca Brecel, Tony Drago, Marcus Campbell, Mark Allen and Mark Davis, while Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter have already withdrawn from the tournament.