Thepchaiya Takes Thai Title

The final of the Saeng Som Phuket Cup between Stuart Bingham and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh provided fireworks aplenty right from the start, and from that point on, the pace never let up.

Bingham took the opener in style, finding a novel way to miss out on a maximum. He managed the rare feat of taking 15 reds, 14 blacks and all the colours for a total clearance of 140; his 147 attempt thwarted only when he succeeded in potting the eighth and ninth reds in the very same shot. With conditions evidently receptive to high scoring, he then added the second with an 88, before Thepchaiya’s 75 narrowed the gap. Bingham responded promptly to once again open up a two frame lead with runs of 29 and 50, but that was to be his last telling contribution to the match.

Under pressure at 3-1 down, Thepchaiya showed precisely why some BBC analysts had suggested he might be the next great player to emerge from Asia when he first burst on to the scene with his 2008 IBSF world title. Taking full advantage of every opportunity that came his way, the Thai fired in breaks of 105, 83, 93 and 102 to take the match in style and lift his second domestic ranking title.

While it is a pity that Thepchaiya was unable to produce his very best during the recent Q-School events, it seems that his game is in very good shape as we head towards the World Cup in July. With home advantage, a Thailand B team containing Thepchaiya and Passakorn Suwannawat may well be able to spring a few surprises. However, the pair’s next engagement will be in Saraburi in two weeks’ time for the fifth ranking event of the Thai season, where the English flag will be flown by Stuart Pettman.