UK Championship Qualifiers 2010: Monday News

New week, same tournament as the UK Championship qualifiers continue at the Academy in Sheffield. Those through already this afternoon include Dominic Dale and Rory McLeod, winners against Matt Selt and Kyren Wilson respectively…


Adrian Gunnell 4-9 Jimmy White
Jamie Burnett 9-6 Michael White
Joe Swail 9-2 Simon Bedford
Marcus Campbell 8-9 Mark Joyce
Michael Holt 4-9 Patrick Wallace
Stuart Pettman 5-9 Xiao Guodong

First men through to the final round tonight are Jimmy White and Joe Swail, both comfortable winners against Adrian Gunnell and Simon Bedford respectively.

Whilst I had expected a comfortable win for the former champion, Joe’s victory and in particular the 9-2 scoreline do raise an eyebrow as Joe’s form has been fairly rotten recently to say the least, even to the extent that some were suggesting he might lose his place on the tour this season.

Joe though has a habit of winning when not expected to and perhaps this could be the start of something big for him, just like in 2008/9 when he downed Liang Wenbo at the qualifying stage of this tournament to spark a rich vein of form which culminated in a maiden ranking event final in Newport.

Joining those two in the final round are unseeded duo Patrick Wallace and Xiao Guodong who defeated Michael Holt and Stuart Pettman respectively to win this evening. Many will be surprised to see Holt lose after his recent EPTC triumph but it has been relatively common this season to see a PTC winner fall early in the next event and so it has proven to be again. Stuart Pettman too is not a player that I am too surprised to see lose out as Xiao is one of the dangermen from the early rounds and having not been involved in the PTC matches recently I would imagine that Stuart was not at his sharpest.

Afternoon Matches

Robert Milkins 9-4 Matthew Couch
Tom Ford 9-6 Tony Drago
Dominic Dale 9-6 Matthew Selt
Rory McLeod 9-4 Kyren Wilson

Resuming with a 5-3 lead, Dominic Dale looked to be a narrow favourite heading into today and so it proved as he was able to ease to a fine 9-6 win today against Matt Selt, a player not in bad form himself. The result lifts the PTC6 winner up the 33rd place in my projected seedings list, breathing down the neck of Joe Perry who looks like he will have a tough tie with Jimmy White to come in the final round (more later). Matt meanwhile must now wait to see whether he will hang on to a top 48 place with other players still capable of dislodging him.

At 4-4, the match between Rory McLeod and youngster Kyren Wilson looked like it might just be a close one today but as it was to turn out, the experienced McLeod was to take each of the first five frames to complete a surprisingly comprehensively 9-4 victory. His reward is a tricky clash with Liang Wenbo as well as a useful five place jump up the seedings list.

Elsewhere the other two matches were also reasonably straightforward as Tom Ford ended the run of Malta’s finest Tony Drago with a 9-6 victory while Robert Milkins downed Matt Couch 9-4 to book a clash with Matthew Stevens, the man who once defeated him 9-8 from 5-8 down in the semi-finals of the 2005 Irish Masters. Can Rob turn the tables this time?