Thai Snooker 2011: Last 16 In The Thai National Championships

The Thai National Championships are under way in Ubon Ratchathani, and the quarter final line-up is now complete, though not without a few surprises.

Noppon Saengkham

Play began on Monday morning in the north-eastern city of Ubon with Rom Surin taking on Noppon Saengkham, recent runner-up in the World Under-21 Championship in Canada. The youngster was in fine form, scoring heavily with breaks of 93, 73, 41 and 59 as he overcame the more experienced billiards specialist 4-1. The next match saw veteran Somporn Kantawang – a player who played in the UK around a decade ago – take the last two frames to upset Noppadon Noppachorn 4-2 in a low scoring affair. In the evening session, Nakorn Chapol was swiftly sent packing 4-0 by Tumtong Cheunban, who has endured a poor couple of seasons but now looks as if he might be coming back to his best. Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon would also have been involved on day one, but was otherwise occupied in Shanghai and so opponent Suchakree (Kwan) Poomjaeng was handed a bye into the last eight.

Somporn v Noppadon

Tuesday’s play saw perhaps the biggest surprise of the event so far, along with the first century of the final stages. The day opened with former champion Supoj Saenla facing Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, and Supoj started the brighter with a 68 to win the first. Thepchaiya found his rhythm to take a 2-1 lead but Supoj took the fourth 87-0 with runs of 46 and 34 to level the match. Unfortunately, he was subsequently to add only two more points as Thepchaiya rolled in breaks of 76, 31 and 44 to close out the match. The afternoon session then passed with no great upset as Atthasit Mahitti saw off Poramin Danjirakul by a 4-1 margin with top breaks of 79 and 52.

Kritsanat Lertsattayathorn

The evening game turned out to provide the day’s greatest interest when Thailand’s number 14 Somchai Kaosamran met the young qualifier from outside Thailand’s top 64, Kritsanat Lertsattayathorn. Kritsanat had already won six matches to reach the venue stage, and quickly settled, taking the first frame 62-2. However, Somchai responded confidently with breaks of 23 and 37 to take the second frame 79-1. Not to be discouraged, Kritsanat then set about compiling a delightful 103 to take the lead, which he then followed with a 90 to extend his advantage to 3-1. Somchai tried to arrest the slide, but a further 38 from Kritsanat saw him safely into the last eight by four frames to one, where he will face the task of stopping Thepchaiya if he is to keep his fairytale run going.

The quarter finals are on Wednesday and the matches are as follows:

Tumtong Cheunban v Somporn Kantawang

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Kritsanat Lertsattayathorn

Issara Kachaiwong v Atthasit Mahitti

Suchakree Poomjaeng v Noppon Saengkham