Some news/infos about the WSS “calendar” for the coming weeks and months

The current Covid-19 crisis has forced everyone to change their plans, and it’s a very difficult time for all, economically, socially and psychologically.

The Seniors Tour has suffered as events needed to be posponed or canceled. There are no absolute certainties just yet about the end of this season, or about next season. There is no way a proper calendar can be established with certainty at this moment in time.

But here are some informations about WSS  tour plans at the time of writing.

This SEASON 2019/20

Jan 4th – 10th – Qualifying School, Crucible Reading

This event was supposed to be played in Jersey. Because of the travel restrictions, it became increasingly obvious that most entrants would be unable to travel to the venue. Therefore, the event will now be held in Reading and entries are re-opened.

The Q-school comprises four competitions:
2021 UK Seniors Qualification – 4 places available to qualify
2021 World Seniors Championship – 2 places available to qualify
2021 Masters Championship – 1 Place in the 2021 Masters
All matches best of 5 to semi-finals, Final matches in each event best of 7
All 8 winners will be guaranteed £1000, payable at the final stage event.
Criteria
The senior  events are open to any current amateur player over 40 on or before 4th January 2021.
The  Seniors event is open to any amateur player over 55 on or before 4th January 2021.
All players who enter will need to agree to the WPBSA code of conduct and terms and conditions of the event which will be available within the entry system. They will also need to understand the COVID procedures that will be in place. Players will be tested for Covid-19 and will be withdrawn from the events should they test positive. They may need to arrive the day before their first match.

March 27/28th – Irish Masters Goffs (tbc pending pandemic rulings by then in Ireland)

May 6-9 – World Champs Crucible

SeniorsWC2021PressRelease+ Seniors Qualifying School 2 (venue tbc)

New SEASON 2020/21

UK Championship  in Hull (dates yet to be confirmed , but likely  mid August)

Seniors Q School in Jersey September (dates to be confirmed)

Masters  – Alexandra Palace, London (dates to be confirmed)

 

 

Qualifying School in Jersey postponed

Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 situation, the Qualifying School in Jersey had to be postponed.

Here is the message that Jason Francis shared on social media, on October 13, 2020.

Dear All,
It is with great regret that given todays announcement from Jersey we have no option but to postpone the seniors qualifying school. What started out as a challenge, and a resolve to get an event on, is no longer viable with only residents of Worthing and a few remote regions in the Uk now able to arrive in Jersey without a 5 day isolation period.
The new dates will be Monday January 4th to Sunday January 10th.
Play will begin on Tuesday 5th, everyone will need to arrive by 6pm on Monday 4th in case the self-isolation rule is still in place. With today’s announcement most flights will be cancelled so move quick to get them rearranged.
The Mayfair Hotel have agreed to honour and move bookings at no cost to players, please get in touch with them, they will also honour the rate. I cannot speak for any players staying in an unofficial hotel but you should contact them as soon as you can.
For those players who have already withdrawn you now have the option to come back in, irrespective of numbers in the field if you want your place back we will make it happen but you need to get in touch.
Also if you cannot attend between 4th – 10th January then you can apply for a refund and I will issue a form for this.
However please note if you withdraw now there is no guarantee you can get back in closer to the date as I had already filled the spots of everyone who had withdrawn and we still have a waiting list.
I am hopeful things will be a bit easier after Christmas but I also accept this is not ideal for everyone, but giving up and cancelling and depriving players of a chance to play in the crucible or against a legend would be worse.
For those who were waiting for the 20th, you’re automatically transferred into the new event date and unless I hear from you that will stay the same.
Current Jersey regions for Uk attached, you can see how little green was left.
We have moved as quickly as we can,
Regards
World Seniors Snooker.

Jason and the World Seniors Team are putting in every effort to get the WSS players playing whilst making sure it’s safe for everybody involved. It’s a huge challenge and they have no control over the pandemics situation and its consequences. They can only work hard and try their best, which they certainly do.

Press cuttings … about “The Blade”

Your very own Gary Filtness made it into the press

Hornchurch snooker star Gary Filtness believes the senior circuit will become massive

Gary Filtness
Hornchurch snooker player Gary Filtness in action (Pic: Andy Chubb/World Professional Billards and Snooker Association)

As the World Seniors Snooker Tour continues to grow both in stature and prize money Hornchurch potter Gary Filtness believes the over 40s circuit will eventually become the sport’s equivalent to golf’s US PGA Champions Tour, writes Ziad Chaudry.

Gary Filtness
Hornchurch snooker player Gary Filtness in action (Pic: Andy Chubb/World Professional Billards and Snooker Association)

The 47-year-old finally got to play at the Mecca of snooker, The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, for last week’s ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship. The Whirlwind from south London, Jimmy White, retained his crown after coming back from four frames down to topple Ireland’s former world champion Ken Doherty 5-4.

And despite playing in front of an empty auditorium and losing to late call-up opponent Wayne Cooper 4-2 in round one on a table described as “damp and sticky”, Filtness enjoyed the pre-match atmosphere.

He had gone in to the event as the world number one due to winning two “super” seniors titles.

“The actual build-up to the competition, being behind the scenes, was very emotional,” he said.“It was everything I expected it to be, just lovely.”

But the poor table conditions and his opponent’s slow play tactics contributed to Filtness’s defeat.

“Playing in front of no crowd helped Wayne really,” he said. “He was very nervous. I wasn’t nervous at all really, I just didn’t land correctly on the balls.

“I basically outplayed him but the balls just didn’t feel kind towards me. We ended up bogging ourselves down.

“I tried to stay positive but the table just didn’t allow it. If you looked at the early round matches everyone was struggling. The only player who never struggled really after a couple of frames was Darren Morgan.”

Filtness, who works full-time as an upholsterer, along as being a snooker coach, reckons he can see top main tour players such as Ronnie O’Sullivan (a player Filtness helped during his schoolboy years), Mark Selby, John Higgins, Stuart Bingham, Mark Allen, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams and Shaun Murphy all joining a lucrative big-money over 40s circuit in years to come.

“I think another five to ten years it will be massive. It will be like the seniors golf in America. I can see Ronnie O’Sullivan having a little go at it if he gets invited at the big tournaments.”

It’s nice to see the press getting interested in the WSS Tour.

That tables conditions were poor can’t be denied. This had been the case during the Main Tour World Championship as well and it the unusual circumstances didn’t help (mid-summer, emtpy arena). Personally, I don’t think that there were any “tactics” from Wayne. He was just very nervous and trying his hardest.

Stephen Hendry decision to return to pro competition illustrates why the WSS tour is important

Jason Ferguson reckons that playing on the WSS Tour has been a big factor in Stephen Hendry decision to return to the Main Tour competition as it has helped him to rediscover his love for the game.

Here is WPBSA article:

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has welcomed the decision of World Snooker Tour to award seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry an Invitational Tour Card from the start of the 2020/21 season.

The decision follows a successful run at the recent World Seniors Snooker Championship which saw the 51-year-old defeat current tour player Nigel Bond and 2018 Seniors champion Aaron Canavan to reach the semi-finals, before losing 4-2 to old rival Jimmy White at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Despite his defeat, both those within the game and fans at home were impressed by the form of the Scot – who hit seven breaks over 50 during the tournament – and Hendry himself has said that he “really enjoyed” competing again at the tournament.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson believes that the rekindling of Hendry’s competitive spirit at the tournament underlines the importance of the World Seniors Tour as part of the WPBSA’s Sport Development structure.

“I am delighted to see that Stephen has decided that now is the time to compete once again at the highest level of our sport,” said Ferguson. “Few players have contributed to the success of our sport as Stephen Hendry during the modern era and it is with open arms that we welcome this great champion to the World Snooker Tour once again.”

“It is also important to acknowledge the role that the World Seniors Snooker Tour, a project instigated by the WPBSA prior to its launch at the 2018 World Championship, has played in his decision. During the years following his retirement in 2012 there were few opportunities for players like him to continue playing competitively following life on the professional circuit.

“With many older professionals either having fallen off the main tour, or approaching that stage of their careers, it was vital that we provided them with another means by which they can continue to play the game they love competitively. In Stephen’s case, his enjoyment gained by returning to the baize has led to his return to the WST circuit and I have no doubt that the World Seniors Tour will continue to provide a springboard for more of our sport’s former champions to bounce back on the professional tour.”

We all wish Stephen the very best.

One-off opportunity for Super Seniors in Jersey

Jason Francis just shared this on social media:

SUPER SENIORS!

Super Seniors
We are offering single one off entry to the Super Seniors Event in Jersey as the field was not filled from yesterdays main event entry. If you are over 55 on or before 2nd November you can come to Jersey from Thursday 5th – 8th to play in that one event. its £50 entry and the winner will get a place at the Senior Masters and is guaranteed £1000 at that event. Entries open from Noon here: follow this link

What you need to know about the Qualifying School in Jersey

This information was shared by Jason Francis today:

ROKiT Phones World Seniors qualifying School details. Event opens Tuesday 1st September at 12 noon.

Entry Pack
Dates – Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th November 2020
Venues – Jersey Mechanics Club, & First Tower Snooker Club, Jersey

Competitions – 2021 Uk Seniors Qualification – 4 places
2021 World Seniors Championship – 2 places
2021 Masters Championship Q – 1 Place
2021 Masters Super Seniors Q – 1 Place

Format – All matches best of 5 to semi-finals, Final matches in each event best of 7

All 8 winners will be g’teed £1000, payable at the final stage event. Additional prize money may be added if third party sponsorship is secured.

Criteria Event Open to any current amateur player over 40 on or before 2nd November 2020. Super Seniors Event open to any amateur player over 55 on or before 2nd November 2020.

Dress Code Full match attire

Entry fee £400, payable with £100 non refundable deposit and £300 on or before 1st October 2020.
The event will initially be capped at 96 entries but may be extended at promoters discretion.

Entry Options Entries open at 12 noon midday GMT on Tuesday 1st September. Via this link CLICK HERE

Players are responsible for finding their own travel and accommodation, our recommended hotel is

The Mayfair Hotel, St Hellier.
Reservations: 01534 735511
Quote “Seniors Snooker”
www.themayfairjersey.com

Agreed Rates
£55 twin/double / £40 single, per room per night
Monday 2nd November for 7 nights – 2 x single rooms / standard rooms – Price: £280 per room

Events will be played across two venues, timings of matches can and may be altered at the tournament director’s discretion.

The Top 32 Amateurs are seeded from the Official End of Season Ranking List for the Uk and World Seniors Qualifying Events only.

The Masters event, as non-ranking, will have a totally random draw made on Monday 2nd November at the Launch Event and players reception in Jersey.

The first 32 players over 55 years of age on or before 2nd Nov 2020 who enter will be placed automatically into the Super Seniors Event. The top 16 on the official Super Seniors Ranking List will be placed into a seeded position. The Promoter may increase this field at their discretion.

All players who enter will need to agree to the WPBSA code of conduct and terms and conditions of the event which will be available within the entry system. They will also need to understand our COVID procedures.

Logo Players will be able to wear one logo of their choice, embargo on mobile phones, vitamins and cars.

All players will be given a covid test on arrival into Jersey at no cost to them. Should any player test positive they understand they will be removed from the event and placed into isolation.
All players understand that Jersey’s COVID Policy is constantly changing and citizens from certain countries may be refused entry should their territory be on the restricted list at their time of travel for the event. In that case entry fees would be refunded and players opponents would receive a bye if this occurred after the draw or a new opponent from a reserve entry list.

The current list of countries whose citizens will be refused entry to Jersey can be found here under the Amber and Red Status but this is changing on a regular basis.

https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/Travel/Pages/DeclaringTravelHistory.aspx

All players will need to complete the Pre-departure registration and declaration

This is an online registration form within 48 hours before departure – You do not complete this now!

You will be stating your personal details including but not limited to:

contact information
type of transport
travel dates
address(es) they will be staying at throughout their stay in Jersey
details of travel within the 14 days before arrival in Jersey
declaration of health including disclosure of symptoms, previous positive test results and close contact with known infected individuals
https://www.gov.je/Health/Coronavirus/Travel/Pages/CoronavirusTravelAdvice.aspx#anchor-3
Should more than 25% of the field be affected by the covid travel restrictions the promoter reserves the right to cancel and reschedule the event. A full refund would be given, all hotel and travel costs are booked at the players risk and WSS accepts no liability for any losses caused by cancellation of the event.

The current ranking list is available here

Regarding the rankings, the following important information has been shared by Jason on social media:

With the changes to the format of next seasons events the rankings could be in for a real shake up.
Following consultation with the Seniors Players Commission the end of season ranking list has now been adjusted to reflect the events of this season via the two qualifying school events and also the change of the Masters Event to non ranking status.
Players going into Jersey can earn up to 15 points in the Uk and 18 points in the Worlds, that is the maximum they can apply to their ranking yet the top 5 have the following to come off after Jersey. Lets look at the impact on our current top 8 players.
Michael Judge 54 points to come off
Rodney Goggins 84 points to come off
Patrick Wallace 54 points to come off
Rory Mcleod 51 points to come off
Leo Fernandez 58 points to come off
Aaron Canavan 31 points to come off.
Wayne Cooper 36 points to come off
Stuart Watson 50 points to come off
Many players on the ranking list will have more than 20 points to be removed after Jersey. It should leave a very ‘relevant’ ranking list but one that is future proof moving forward. There is no coasting for sure and every frame won in Jersey will be important.

 

Seniors Q-school announced ahead of the coming 2020/21 season

The news was  aired by Jason Francis during the MSI of the Final two days ago.

This is the announcement by WPBSA:

The ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Tour has announced the launch of World Seniors Qualification School from which eight places at major Seniors tournaments in 2021 will be won.

To be held in Jersey from 2-8 November 2020, the event will be open to a maximum of 96 players, including both amateurs aged over 40 and for the first-time current World Snooker Tour professionals ranked 65-128 at the start of the 2020/2021 season.

Places in the following competitions will be contested over the course of the event:

  • 2021 UK Seniors Championship (4 places)
  • 2021 World Seniors Championship – (2 places)
  • 2021 Masters – (1 Place in the 2021 Masters)
  • 2021 Super Seniors over 55s – (1 place in the 2021 Masters)

Each of the eight qualifying players will be guaranteed to win a minimum of £1,000 at the final stages of the event.

All players will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival (at no cost to them) and will be responsible for booking and paying for their own travel and accommodation.

Jason Francis, Chairman of World Seniors Snooker said: “We are delighted to be able to launch our new World Seniors Qualification School which I am sure will prove to be a fantastic week of snooker with big prizes on offer.

“Only this week we have seen the likes of Gary Filtness and Wayne Cooper overwhelmed by the chance to play at the iconic Crucible Theatre for the first time and through Qualification School even more opportunities will be created for players of all levels of experience to achieve their dreams.

“We also hope that by holding these qualification tournaments together, rather than over the course of several individual qualifying events, this will help to reduce travel and accommodation costs for our loyal players over the course of the season.”

Further information will be released by World Seniors Snooker in due course.

There are still many uncertainties linked to the covid-19 crisis and the 20/21 season calendar is not yet available at the time of writing.

 

WSS ROKiT Phones.com 2020 World Seniors Snooker Championship – Jimmy White is your Champion

It was an extrordinary day at the Crucible as the ROKiT Phones.com 2020 World Seniors Snooker Championship concluded.

Jimmy White defended his title – the first ever player to defend a World title at the Crucible – beating Stephen Hendry in the semi-finals, Ken Doherty in the Final … and beating the infamous Crucible “Curse”.

Congratulations Jimmy!

Here are the reports by WPBSA:

The semi-finals:

Defending champion Jimmy White and Ken Doherty will contest the final of the 2020 ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre this evening.  

The pair will meet over the best of nine frames for the £15,000 first prize and a lucrative spot at the Champion of Champions after coming through their respective semi-finals during this afternoon’s session.

Over 32 years on since their first meeting here, White and Stephen Hendry added a new chapter to their legendary Crucible rivalry, and for the first time it was the Englishman that bested his nemesis at the one-table set-up in Sheffield.

After an edgy start White took the opener on the colours but a 64 break from Hendry – consisting of eight reds and blacks at the start of the second frame – helped him settle down and level.

The ever-popular Londoner then compiled efforts of 37 and 39 to move back ahead before a scintillating contribution of 130 – the highest of this year’s tournament so far – in the fourth frame put him one away from progression.

White looked like getting the job done in the next when on a break of 52, but after misjudging a tight pot on a red, Hendry later pounced with a typical match-saving 43. However, this would only prove to be a stay of execution for the seven-times world professional champion as runs of 36 and 55 got White over the line as a 4-2 winner.

“I played really well. It’s great to see Stephen practising and playing well again; he will be a big part of the seniors in the next five or six years. He’ll be back for revenge, no doubt.” White said after the game.

‘The Whirlwind’ is looking to become the first player in history to retain this title and win it for a third time in total.

Doherty is also on course to create a piece of snooker history as he aims to become a world champion in four different categories throughout his illustrious career.

In all-Irish affair between two practice partners, ‘The Darling of Dublin’ also put in a classy performance, producing a string of breaks as he overcame UK Seniors champion Michael Judge 4-1.

The 1997 world professional champion made breaks of 46 and 47 to go one up, but the former world number 24 squared it with the aid of a 49 in the next.

However, Doherty largely froze out his opponent for the remainder of the match, racking up further runs of 60, 80 and 57 to triumph with change to spare.

Speaking after the game Doherty said “I’m delighted to get through. I was delighted with how I played when I was in and amongst the balls. I scored pretty good, I felt very calm.”

“I’m just so excited to be in the final; Jimmy is a hero of mine, he’s a great mate of mine, it will be a pleasure and an honour to play him in the final of a world seniors here at the Crucible. It doesn’t get much better than that. It’s a dream come true.”

Stephen Hendry didn’t play quite as well as he did yesterday, but he will have a lot of positives to take from this event. He’s still got it.

The Final:

Jimmy White became the first player in history to successfully defend the ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship after he conjured up an astonishing comeback to oust Ken Doherty 5-4 in an epic final at the Crucible Theatre.

‘The Whirlwind’ pockets a £15,000 first prize and a coveted place in the Champion of Champions later this year. Having initially won the title in 2010, this is a record-extending third time he has captured the ultimate prize on the seniors circuit.

Hopes of retaining the trophy looked all but over for White and his adoring legion of fans during the first half of what would be an unforgettable night of action in Sheffield.

Aiming to create history himself by adding a seniors crown to the junior, amateur and professional world championships he has collected during his illustrious career, Doherty appeared to be coasting to victory before the mid-session interval.

It was one-way traffic from the Irishman, who capitalised on his opponent’s inability to settle down by compiling breaks of 93, 46, 44 and 56 to take a 4-0 lead into the break and move just one away from glory. However, as is so often the case, the interval swung the match dramatically.

White refused to relinquish his title; a run of 42 in frame five got him on the board, and he continued to grow in confidence as he halved the original deficit with a decisive 44 in the next.

Momentum had visibly shifted and the unlikely recovery continued in a dramatic seventh frame. Both players had glorious opportunities to claim it on the colours – White missed a blue into the corner pocket, whereas Doherty failed to pot a tricky match ball pink with the rest after he misjudged his position from the blue. The reigning champion subsequently kept his nerve to sink the remaining two balls and get back within one.

With the tension rising, an unsteady Doherty broke down from a good position on a break of 32 in frame seven and White punished with a counter-attacking effort of 79 to force it all the way. The Englishman – who has painful memories of deciding frame defeats at the Crucible Theatre – then completed the seismic recovery in style with a break of 85.

Speaking after the match to BBC Sport’s Rob Walker, White said: “Once I got that frame [fifth] I settled a bit. I didn’t really get going but towards the end I felt really good because I’m playing well in practice so I know that my form’s there.”

“Luckily enough for me Ken missed a couple of balls which would have wrapped the match up. It’s a fantastic win; I’m a bit gutted for Ken because I’ve been here miles in front and got beat. This is a great win for me being 4-0 down.”

Contemplating what might have been, Doherty graciously said: “It completely changed after the interval. I missed a good few chances and Jimmy started to comeback, he played really well.”

“It’s a bit heartbreaking because it would have been nice to get my hands on the trophy but that’s snooker – it can be a great sport; it can be very cruel at times.”

Ken came on twitter later admitting that he felt devastated and that it will take some time for him to get over what happened there.

It was a fantastic event. Jason Francis and the team behind him deserve immense credit, not just for this event, but for how well they managed to develop the Seniors snooker tour and to give it real credibility. The quality was there for all to see – and enjoy – this week. This tour is not about a bunch of retired snooker players knocking a few balls around, it a real Tour, and it means an awful lot for the players involved in it.

In general the BBC coverage was excellent, Rob Walker in particular was fantastic … BUT they did it AGAIN (*): they pulled the snooker off just as the Final’s decider was to start, to show highlights of women golf. One event was happening LIVE and heading to a dramatic conclusion, the other was “past” and watching those highlights half an hour later wouldn’t have changed much for anyone interested in it.

This is the link to the semi-finals pictures album

And the link to the Final pictures album 

all images by Andy Chubb

(*) They had pulled the snooker off in 2013, just as Ronnie, defending champion and coming back after a year off, was about to finish his first round match. Barry Hearn wasn’t impressed.

 

 

 

 

QF day at the WSS ROKiT Phones.com World Snooker Championship

It was another fantastic day at the Crucible yesterday as the four seeds duly emerged from the QF round.

Here are yesterday’s results

QFresults

And the updated draw

DrawAfterQF

Those are the reports by WPBSA

Afternoon session

Stephen Hendry and Michael Judge are the first two winners to emerge from a bumper quarter-finals Friday at the 2020 ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship.

Seven-time world professional champion Hendry continues to roll back the years in Sheffield. Fresh from a brilliant recovery against Nigel Bond on Thursday night, the Scot produced another eye-catching display to defeat Aaron Canavan 4-1 in the afternoon session’s first match.

Hendry did have to bounce back from an early setback, though. On a break of 60 in the opening frame he missed a straightforward red and was made to sit as 2018 winner Canavan pounced with efforts of 39 and a 32 clearance to steal it.

However, ‘The King of the Crucible’ quickly rediscovered his stride, looking more like his old-self here as he registered runs of 75, 81 and 53 to claim four consecutive frames and seal a 4-1 victory with a near 95% pot success rate.

“There was some good stuff in there. I’m lacking match composure, but I’ve been working on some good stuff and my long game was great today. I am happy to still be in.” Hendry said to Rob Walker after the match.

Hendry would face career rival Jimmy White in a romantic semi-final clash should ‘The Whirlwind’ defeat Peter Lines later today. Asked about the prospect Hendry added “Magnificent. It would be amazing to play Jimmy out here again”.

Later in the afternoon session reigning UK Seniors champion Judge stayed on course for a unique seniors circuit double after dispatching Wayne Cooper 4-1.

Both players struggled to settle early on, but it was Dubliner Judge who adapted best in establishing a 3-0 advantage. Yorkshireman Cooper managed to avoid the whitewash with a swift effort of 59 in frame four, but Judge decided the outcome in the next – a break of 48 helping him get across the line.

Speaking after the result the former world number 24 said “I kind of put a bit of pressure on my myself because I really didn’t want to miss out on the semi-finals. I felt good coming in, but as I went on even though I was ahead, I started feeling more and more nervous so I was just glad to get over the line and hopefully I can relax tomorrow and play a bit better. I have nothing to lose.”

If Ken Doherty can overcome Darren Morgan later there would be an all-Irish last four affair on Saturday afternoon. Judge practices with Doherty on his table in Dublin and thinking about a potential meeting said “It would be great to play Ken here at the Crucible. It would be an honour, but I think Darren will have something to say about that first.”

Evening session

The last four line-up for the 2020 ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship is now complete after Jimmy White and Ken Doherty claimed the final two spots during Friday night’s quarter-final session at the Crucible Theatre.

Reigning champion White set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash with career-long rival Stephen Hendry after defeating fellow main tour professional and 2017 winner Peter Lines 4-1 with a trio of sixty-plus breaks.

‘The Whirlwind’ lost a scrappy opening frame but responded with a well-constructed contribution of 79 to square it before a 62 helped him move 2-1 in front.

White continued to look determined, and with a gutsy run of 41 from the last two reds – including a glorious green down the side cushion with the extended rest – he went one away from progression. The ever popular and evergreen Londoner then finished the job with a 66 in frame five to keep at bay ‘The Crucible Curse’ and keep alive hopes of a third World Seniors Championship title.

The Hendry-White rivalry is the stuff of sporting legend. The pair famously contested four World Championship finals here at the Crucible Theatre in the 1990s with Hendry winning all four, although White did overcome his nemesis during their first and last meetings at the iconic venue.

There will be plenty of reminiscing, but plenty at stake when the two cross cues here once again tomorrow afternoon for a place in the final.

After his win, White spoke to Rob Walker; “When I got in the balls I felt really good. I’m getting more confidence in my cue action and I’m going for my shots. I’m back attacking.”

Looking ahead to his blockbuster tie with the Scot, White added “I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to it. I understand three million people will be watching on primetime in China tomorrow, but I love all that.”

Earlier in the evening – thirty years on from their first meeting as professionals – Doherty eliminated 2011 winner Darren Morgan in a quality encounter.

‘The Darling of Dublin’ set his stall out with a classy 67 clearance to deposit the opening frame but Morgan retaliated with a frame-winning 30 finish in the next. Further breaks were traded in the following two frames as Doherty made a 72 to move back in front before Morgan levelled once more with the help of a 66.

World professional champion here in 1997, Doherty inched ahead again before shutting the door on the Welshman as he compiled a decisive effort of 80 in the sixth frame to triumph 4-2 with a 91% pot success rate.

Doherty will meet fellow Dubliner and practice partner Michael Judge in an intriguing semi-final with both still hoping to create first-time history later in this tournament. Judge is aiming to hold the World and UK Seniors titles at the same time, whereas Doherty is trying to add this crown to his junior, amateur and professional world titles.

“I’m delighted to get through, it was a tough game; Darren played some really good stuff there. It’s nice to play and get a few breaks – I was delighted to get a break at the end there. I’m looking forward to the all-Irish clash for sure.” Doherty said after the game.

The semi-finals – which feature the tournament’s four seeded players – will take place from 12 noon with the White v Hendry showdown first up and Judge v Doherty to follow. The winners will then meet on Saturday evening for a best-of-nine finale to determine the destiny of the championship.

So that’s our “program” for this afternoon and it’s not to be missed!

This has so far been an awesome tournament!

Excellent commentary has been provided by Mike Dunn, Dennis Taylor, Ken Doherty, Peter Lines, Patrick Wallace, Tony Knowles,  Rodney Goggins and of course this man

RobWalker

Rob Walker has been everywhere except at the table playing. His formidable enthusiasm and his energy have brought something very special to the event. Thanks Rob!

And here is the link to the photo album for the QFs – all images by Andy Chubb

The theatre of dreams is waiting …

who will be crowned Seniors World Snooker Champion tonight? 

Photography Andy Chubb