World Championship Qualifiers 2013: Members Round Wrap

The last two days have seen the start of the 2013 World Championship, with the traditional pre-qualifying ‘members round’ being played out at the EIS, Sheffield.

From tomorrow however, the real action begins as the first round of the main draw begins, with matches to be played over the best of 19 frames as the race for the Crucible continues. I will be there in Sheffield from around midday and hope to be able to bring you regular updates via Twitter @prosnookerblog, with daily ranking updates late each night over the course of the next week.

In the meantime, click below for a summary of the action from the last couple of days…

Twelve months ago, popular Northern Irishman Joe Swail’s relegation from the main tour was confirmed, following an opening round defeat to Daniel Wells at the EIS and having struggled for some time, it was tough to see a way back for the two-time former Crucible semi-finalist.

A year on however, Joe looks to be in a far better place and he underlined his return to form with victories against David Morris, Stephen Rowlings and Les Dodd to qualify for the main draw. With breaks of 105 and 100, one of those breaks apparently marking Joe’s 100th professional century break, he is now through to an intriguing tie with Welsh Open quarter-finalist Pankaj Advani, one tie not to be missed over the course of the weekend.

Joining him in the main draw is Justin Astley, who came through a strong section of the draw in defeating Tony Knowles, Paul Wykes and Patrick Wallace to reach the last 96.

Having won four matches in the competition before losing out to Liang Wenbo in last year’s penultimate qualifying round, Justin has proven that he can be a threat in the main event and will now advance to a tie against Paul Davison on Sunday.

Among those not to make it though were Robin Hull and the aforementioned Wykes, who played out a terrific match yesterday in which both players hit century breaks, before Wykes eventually came through 5-2. On Q Promotions’ Andrew Norman was to suffer a surprise defeat to Les Dodd, while as mentioned above, Parick Wallace, a player who I had considered to be one of the strongest players in this stage of the competition.

So as mentioned above, onto the last 96 and the start of the first round proper. Always full of tension and of course important ranking implications, the next nine days will no doubt prove to be as gripping as ever for those of us in Sheffield and those of you watching at home on the livestreams…