World Championship Qualifiers 2011: Day Two Latest

As those of you will have followed my (many), updates on Twitter yesterday will have noticed, yesterday saw a typically tension-filled start to the qualifiers and you can be sure that day two will be just the same!

I have not had time to upload my photos from yesterday or tidy up my day one report, hopefully I will be able to do that tonight. In the meantime though I have updated the drawsheet and the provisional rankings which you can find at the usual places.

Day Two updates will be here on Twitter or below in this blog post…

Morning Session

Off to a fine start so far this morning is Leicester’s Ben Woollaston, a break of 92 gibing him the opener before another 67 helped him on his way to 2-0. The third frame was closer as Jamie clawed himself level with two reds remaining, but an excellent safety from Ben forced an error from which he would take the frame. Jamie could really do with this next frame now…

Kurt Maflin meanwhile has taken two tight frames on the colours against Xiao Guodong, though it could have been different has the man from China not missed a green with the rest in the first. As I type however he has made it 1-2.

Zhang and Andrew Pagett have started slowly as bizarrely brown, blue, pink and black all found their way to the baulk cushion! Andrew eventually took it and now leads 1-0.

Maflin takes the last before the interval with 70 but not without a scare, Xiao getting two snookers back but not quite managing the third.

Pagett 2-0 up, Zhang has had a couple of chances but hasn’t made the most of them so far…and it is now 3-0.

Ben Woollaston extends his lead to 4-1, despite Jamie’s attempts to play for snookers when trailing by 51 points with just 35 on. Good open match this, the reds are being spread far and wide in every frame.

Big clearance to pink of 56 from Xiao keeps him close at 2-3 against Kurt Maflin who had built up a 44 point lead. Zhang meanwhile also has another chance, can he take it this time?

Tables are definitely playing much quicker today, these three anyway. Haven’t seen the really slow two from yesterday yet. Much warmer here like I say.

One thing that came up in conversation today was the starter points for next season, will they be the lowest player on the PTC or the lowest in the top 64 or something else?

What a turnaround, from 1-5 Jamie O’Neill has found some form to finish the session trailing by just one at 4-5. Up to that point he didn’t look like scoring and the long balls were going astray, but suddenly it all changed and he made a fine century break to leave it well poised tonight.

The quality between Xiao Guodong and Kurt Maflin however has just gone up and up, each trading breaks before Xiao took the last three to lead 5-4. That could go the distance.

Zhang Anda meanwhile has also upped his game considerably to lead 4-3. Those chances in and around the black spot that were not being taken earlier are now going in and he has also made a ton.

Liam Highfield was my tip in his match against Kuldesh Johal but trailing 4-5 going into tonight there is everything to play for. Apparently Liam is playing with a new cue which may or may not account for some of his troubles. Incidentally it is the first time I have seen him live and on this evidence he can let himself get a little frustrated at times. We shall see how tonight pans out…

Well done Andrew Pagett who having lost four on the bounce, recovered by winning the last two to secure s 5-4 lead going into tonight.

Simon Bedford takes an arduous 8th frame to lead 7-1 overnight, play being stopped early to prevent it from overrunning into the afternoon session.

Afternoon Session

My focus today will be on the match between David Gilbert and David Morris, a clash which to me has a decider written all over it. Of the two I still fancy Gilbert but at 4-5 down he will have to raise his game today if he is to justify my faith.

Good start from Gilbert, a break of 61 making him an early favourite for this tenth frame…and he takes it.

Morris though regains his lead following a strange shot selection from Gilbert, attempting to double the black from the side cushion into a corner pocket. He missed, left it over the right-centre and Morris knocks It in.

Liu Chuang now leads a frustrated David Gray 9-3 on the adjoining table meanwhile, though that doesn’t stop Liu from swinging his cue and catching his tip against the wall following a poor shot!

That’s more like it from Gilbert, a well-taken 56 drawing him level again at 6-6. Paul Davison meanwhile takes a marathon frame 11 against Stephen Rowlings.

Liu Chuang completes a 10-3 win against an increasingly frustrated David Gray. Of the players I have seen so far Liu looked quite good, though he will have to improve to make the venue. David meanwhile struggled in a match scarily reminiscent of his loss to Jimmy Michie last year. Was even on the same table.

David Morris meanwhile has moved two clear for the first time today at 8-6. Although he led after yesterday, I had still fancied Gilbert to win as Morris had not looked great himself. Today though he has looked better in amongst the balls and as Gilbert’s head looks to be wandering, I am now leaning towards Morris to win here. Looks to have the better temperament.

The Davison/Rowlings match rumbles slowly on, Paul now 8-4 ahead. Neither player is the quickest and after two hours they are yet to reach their interval. Let’s hope it doesn’t go to a decider. Rowlings makes it 8-5 to hang on.

Having struggled for an hour or so, David Gilbert does well to make a 50 break, enough to see him close to one behind again. He needed that, 9-6 would have been too big an ask the way he has played. At 8-7 though it is still very much anybody’s…

And three frames later it is David Gilbert’s, the key turning point coming at 8-8 when Morris missed a simple frame-ball brown off the spot, allowing Gilbert back to the table to snatch the frame. Will post a full report later.

Evening Session

So here we go, the three matches I am watching all at 5-4, this should be a good one…

Going to update this post later, follow me in Twitter for the latest til then!

Unbelievable between Maflin/Xiao though, 130, 135, 100 and 114 between them in consecutive frames since the interval!