UK Championship Qualifiers 2010: Story so far

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Day one of the year’s second biggest tournament as the UK Championship qualifiers got underway at the Academy. Click below to see how the day has unfolded so far…

I shall update the rankings following the conclusion of tonight’s evening session.

Wasting no time at all in booking their places in the second qualifying round were Andrew Pagett and Ben Woollaston, both 8-2 victors against Thai opposition in the form of Noppon Saengkham and Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon respectively. While I had expected Andrew and Ben to win those matches having both performed well during the PTC events this season, I had not expected them to do so in such an emphatic manner and hopefully they will be full of confidence heading into tomorrow’s matches.

At the time of writing one of my predicted dark horses in yesterday’s tournament preview, namely Liu Chuang, is also looking good to advance as he holds an 8-4 advantage over Brazilian Igor Figueiredo, while the out of the form Welshman Paul Davies is also just one frame away from victory against Patrick Einsle as he bids to regain a top 64 place between now and May.

A third Welshman looking good to qualify is Jamie Jones who has carried over his excellent form during the PTC so far as he leads Dermot McGlinchey 8-4.

The clash between Liam Highfield and Kuldesh Johal is finely balanced however, the two level at 6-6 with a possible five frames still to play. Johal is the more experienced of the two but Highfield arguably has the greater potential. Interesting.

UPDATE: Paul Davies struggled to get over the line but eventually secured a 9-7 win, whilst Liam Highfield took the last two frames in his match to win by the same scoreline.


Four matches also began this afternoon however and by and large the majority are somewhat closer than those currently coming to a conclusion in the evening session. The one exception however is that between Xiao Guodong and Reanne Evans, the latter trailing 7-1 and looking like her winless streak will continue into 2011 unless she can produce something very special tomorrow.

Elsewhere however three players hold a 5-3 overnight advantage. They are James Wattana, Mark Joyce and perhaps surprisingly David Gilbert who like Paul Davies looks to be making his greater experience tell despite his mediocre form of late.

I have a feeling that at least one of those matches will turn around but am not sure which…possibly the Wattana/Maflin one although James is as experienced as most out there. We shall see.