As we enter Quarter Finals day, no Legend remains in the draw, it’s an all amateur field, and a strong one! Here is what happened yesterday…
Jonathan Bagley beat Stephen Hendry by 3-1. This result came as no surprise to me. Jonathan had taken Stephen to a black ball shootout in this very place last year. He reached the final in Goffs in January, beating Jimmy White and Ken Doherty in the process. Unless Stephen found some form and consistency he was always going to be up against it and to be honest Stephen was poor for most of this match. Only in frame 3, the one he won, did we get to see a bit of the Hendry of old.
Gary Filtness beat Barry Pinches by 3-2. This was a match loaded with emotions and one that pitched two great guys against each other. Gary came here as a lucky loser. Indeed despite being the n°1 Seniors amateur, he failed to qualify, having lost countless times on re-spotted blacks at the final stages of qualifiers. Barry unfortunately lost his father less than a week ago and he could have been excused if he had withdrawn, but he didn’t. Thos two love their snooker to bits. It was a hard-fought match, that ended in another black ball shootout. Gary won this one. Afterwards, the players embraced warmly. Gary was in tears. Barry, despite everything, told me that he had enjoyed the event immensely and was determined to come back for it next year. This was sporting spirit at its best. Thank you.
Nick Spelman beat Cliff Thorburn by 3-2 (re-spotted black) in a very hard-fought match. Not taking anything away from Nick, the one I’m in awe of is Cliff. Yes, he lost, but, boy, did he pot some great balls, played some great safeties. Cliff is 70, he clearly struggles badly to go down on the shots, some shots he can’t play properly because stretching over the table is a physical impossibility. The shot-clock isn’t helping him. But he battled and battled and it was plain to see to missing balls and eventually losing did hurt. Oh Cliff, you should be proud, you know.
Johnny Farrell beat Tony Knowles by 3-1. John was the better player out there. Most frames were close, but when it came to the last balls, to the crunch time, it was Johnny who kept his composure better, and potted more pressure balls.
So here is the Quater Finals line-up:
Jonathan Bagley v Gary Filtness
Patrick Wallace v Rhydian Richards
Cao Kashieng v Nick Spelman
Johnny Farrell v Aaron Canavan
All quarter finals are played today.