The 2022 Ways World Seniors Snooker Championship – a preview

The 2022 World Snooker Championship concluded yesterday with the 46 years old Ronnie O’Sullivan winning the title for a seventh time, equalling Stephen Hendry’s record. On the same day, his close friend, and legend of the game, Jimmy White celebrated his 60th birthday and was offered a great Crucible ovation by the snooker fans. This marks the end of the professional season … no more snooker for a while? Snooker blues? NO … the World Seniors Snooker Championship starts tomorrow and the good news is that, no matter where you are in the world, you can watch it,

The Crucible is getting ready once again…

Throughout the tournament, you will be able to follow the scores and results here and on snooker.org .

The tournament features 24 players this time, 8 players are seeded in the second round.

Let’s have a look at the first round draw… the matches are best of 5 in the first two rounds, best of 7 in the quarters and semis, best of 9 in the Final

Bob Chaperon (Canada) v Philip Williams (Wales)

Bob Chaperon is a former professional. He won the 1990 British Open, a ranking event, beating Alex Higgins by 10-8 in the Final. The same year he was part of the Canadian Team that won the World Cup, beating Northern Ireland by 9-5. He has won the Canadian Amateur Championship twice, the second victory coming as recently as 2019. Bob had won a qualifying event for the 2019 Seniors World Championship, but was unable to participate… now he gets his chance.

Philip Williams has been a constant, and strong presence on the Seniors Tour over the last years.

Winner to play David Lilley, the defending Champion

Darren Morgan (Wales) v Patrick Wallace (Northern Ireland)

Both players are former professionals and both have had significant success on the Seniors Tour in recent years. Both have been in the final of the World Seniors Championship in its present form: Patrick lost to Aaron Canavan in 2018, Darren lost to Jimmy White in 2019. This is a very hard first round draw for both of them.

I slightly favour Darren to win this one, Darren has qualified ten times for the Crucible as a professional, he reached the semi-finals in 1994 – beating Mark King, Willie Thorne and John Parrott, the number 2 seed, en route – and made it to the quater-finals in three more occasions. He still plays regularly and has a very strong temperament.

Winner to play Michael Holt

Lee Walker (Wales) v Tony Knowles (England)

Lee Walker played as a professional this season. He is Mark Williams coach and friend. He’s a very methodical, reliable, solid player.

Tony Knowles is a former professional, twice a ranking event winner and three times a Crucible semi-finalist. Tony is most famous for beating Steve Davis by 10-1 in the first round of the 1982 World Championship, when Davis was the first-time defending Champion. Tony loves snooker with a passion, and will tell you countless annecdotes and stories about his sport and his fellow pros … you could listen to him for hours. He still can play – brilliantly in patches – but consistency is a bit of an issue.

I expect Lee to win this one, and Tony to get the crowd on his side. Especially the ladies…😉

Winner to play Stephen Hendry

Ahmed Aly Elsayed (USA) v Wayne Cooper (England)

Ahmed is a multiple USA snooker champion and qualified for this event by winning the pan-American Seniors Snooker Championship in November 2021. I haver never seen him play, so can’t comment on his style or strengths.

Wayne Cooper has been a strong presence on the Seniors Tour over the last couple of years. He’s a former professional but has never got much success on the main tour.

Winner to play Ken Doherty

Wael Talaat (Egypt) v Maria Catalano (England) 

Now here is an intriguing one…

Wael Talaat qualified for the main Tour in 2016 … but I can’t remember him playing during that season at all. He had turned pro previously, in 1998, didn’t win a match all season and was relegated. The level of snooker in Africa isn’t as good as in other parts of the World of course. That doesn’t sound very promising. That said, Wael is very well respected in his country, and in North Africa in general. His dedication to snooker and his talents as a coach are praised by many.

Maria Catalano … is Ronnie’s cousin. She’s played very regularly on the women’s tour and, for many years, was second only to Reanne Evans. She’s very similar to Ronnie in her style – she goes for her shots – and, on form, she’s a very good break builder. In recent years however, family circumstances  have limited her opportunities to play and practice. I’m sure though that she will prepare the best she can for this occasion.

I could, and maybe should, stay on the fence here but… I’ll go for Maria.

Winner to play Jimmy White

Rory McLeod (Jamaïca) v Frank Sarsfield (Ireland)

Rory played as a professional this season; he has beaten Luca Brecel, Liang Wenbo and Dominic Dale in the last year. He’s a rather slow player, and doesn’t take too many risks, but he certainly can play and, make no mistake, he has his chances in this event. Rory has often been criticised for not shaking hands with female referees. I have met Rory many times, and he’s a lovely person. As a woman myself, I certainly never felt awkward in Rory’s company. He’s respectful, and warm… he just doesn’t express it in the West European conventional way.

I must confess that I know nothing about Frank Sarsfield other than the fact that he reached the final at the EBSA Seniors Champinship in Portugal in 2021 and this earned him his place in this draw…

Winner to play Joe Johnson

Nigel Bond (England) v Stuart Watson (England)

Now this could be a very good match.

Nigel Bond only just retired, having lost his professional tour card a few weeks ago. He decided not to go to the Q-school and to devote himself to coaching. Nigel turned pro in 1989 and never fell off the tour until 2022 … that’s 33 years as a pro. Nigel is a very shrewd player. He’s also quite competitive. He won the 1998 British Open… beat John Higgins in a decider. He made the Final at the Crucible in 1995, losing to Stephen Hendry at his peak  … His problem in recent years is that he doesn’t score as heavily as he used to do.

Stuart Watson is a very solid player who takes every opportunity to play: Seniors Tour, Q-Tour, Amateur events … you name it. He has done very well on the Seniors tour.

I still think that Nigel will have too much for Stuart.

Winner to play John Parrott

Michael Judge (Ireland) v Gary Filtness (London 😉)

Michael Judge also played on the main tour this season. He hasn’t got much success overall which surprised me a bit. He’s only won two matches. That said, the flat draw system is brutal: he had to face the likes of Mark Williams, Judd Trump, Ricky Walden and Mark Allen in first round matches. Michael can play very well indeed, but I’m not sure his confidence is there at the moment.

Gary Filtness … is Gary Filtness. He is a character, he’s a coach, he’s a Londoner through and through and wears his heart on his sleeve. He has been thriving in the Super Seniors events. He has also suffered a lot because of back injuries…

I think that despite a difficult season Michael will have too much for Gary.

Winner to play Peter Lines

Now, very briefly… a word about the players seeded in the second round who I believe might be particularly vulnerable:

  • Stephen Hendry might struggle if he faces Lee Walker. Stephen hasn’t convinced on the rare occasions he played over the last couple of seasons and neither Lee’s style nor Lee’space will suit Stephen
  • Joe Johnson will turn 70 in July. He still knows the game inside out but his cue action isn’t as reliable as it once was.
  • John Parrott has done very little on the Seniors Tour so far. I’m not sure he practices or plays much nowadays. I can’t see him win over Nigel Bond if Nigel is the one emerging from the first round.

 

 

 

How to watch the Ways 2022 Seniors World Championship

This has been shared on WST website today:

How To Watch World Seniors Championship

The Betfred World Championship concludes on Monday but that’s not the end of the snooker from the Crucible as the 2022 WAYS Facilities Management World Seniors Snooker Championship starts on Wednesday.

The event runs from May 4 to 8, with the likes of Stephen Hendry, Jimmy White, John Parrott, Ken Doherty, Joe Johnson and defending champion David Lilley in the line-up. For more information on the event click here.

If you can’t make it to the Crucible, in the UK you can watch the event live on the BBC Sport website and app, BBC iPlayer and the Red Button.

In all territories you can watch on Matchroom.Live

Matchroom has expanded the Matchroom Live streaming service with the launch of dedicated mobile apps – for details click here

This is good news. Although matchroom isn’t free, this announcement means that, for those living outside UK and interested in this event, they will be able to watch it.

Bring it on!

 

2022 Seniors World Championship Update

This was announced yesterday:

HOLT TO REPLACE DALE IN WAYS FACILTIES MGT WORLD SENIORS SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP

Following Dominic Dales performances in the recent BETFRED World Professional Snooker Championship Qualifiers he moved back within the worlds top 64 and therefore becomes ineligible to take up his place at the WAYS Facilities Management World Seniors Snooker Championship. His place will be taken by Michael Holt a ranking event winner, and highest ranked of those eligible for an invitation. We wish Dominic well as he continues his professional career and welcome Michael to the event. The draw for the championship will be conducted live during the BBC Sport coverage of the Professional Championship which starts tomorrow.

Michael Holt lost his professional status earlier this month and will need success at the Q-School to requalify for the main tour. He has been adamant that he wants to continue to play whatever happens … Welcome Michael and congratulations Dominic

Also, the four referees who will officiate at the event have been announced:

The 4 officials who will oversee the WAYS Facilities Management World Seniors Snooker Championship have been announced. Teaming up with legends Michaela Tabb and Leo Scullion will be Roy Gannon and Andy Yates. Both Roy and Andy have put in countless hours in the qualifiers and deserve their time at the crucible. It all starts on Wednesday 4th May live on BBC Sport from the iconic Crucible Theatre Sheffield

 

Line-up for the 2022 Seniors World Championship announced

The following press release was shared by World Seniors Snooker two days ago:

Press Release

Ways Facilities Management World Seniors Snooker Line Up Confirmed.

The 24 players who will contest the Ways Facilities Management World Seniors Snooker Championship have been announced with a few eye catching players making their debut in the event.

Maria Catalano, an 11 time ranking event winner and former World Number 1, will become the first woman to appear at the final stages of a Seniors event, Maria is the cousin of Current World Number 1 Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Also making his first appearance will be former Shanghai Masters, Shootout and World Open Winner Dominic Dale.

The field contains no fewer than four World Champions in Stephen Hendry, Joe Johnson, John Parrott and Ken Doherty and five World Seniors Champions, Jimmy White, Peter Lines, Nigel Bond, Darren Morgan and the Defending champion David Lilley.

Ahmed Aly will become the first American to play at the Crucible and for Bob Chaperon from Canada he will return to the home of snooker for the first time in 30 years.

Africa is represented by Egyptian Wael Talaat and Europe by Ireland’s Frank Sarsfield. Local player Wayne Cooper is sure to bring a vociferous crowd, as is three times London Champion Gary Filtness.

Making up this 24 player field are Lee Walker, Rory McLeod, Michael Judge, Stuart Watson, Patrick Wallace, Tony Knowles and Philip Williams.

The event begins on Wednesday 4th May and will be shown on the BBC Digital Channels in the Uk. Tickets are available to see all sessions by calling 0114 249 6000

The Draw will be made during the early coverage of the World Professional Championship.

2022SeniorsWorldPoster

It’s a diverse and interesting line-up and it will definitely be an interesting event!

Future Seniors UK Championship – Sponsors and Venue announcement

Following the success of the 2022 Seniors UK Championship at the Bonus Arena in Hull earlier this month, this was shared by Jason Francis on social media

WAYS

We are delighted to announce WAYS Facilities Management will continue as the title sponsor of the UK Seniors Snooker Championship for a further two years plus we are thrilled to have agreed a two year extension to our contract with Bonus Arena, Hull Hull is well on the way to being a Snooker City Hull Live Hull City Council

2022 WSS Ways Seniors UK Championship – Peter Lines is your Champion

Peter Lines, the 2017 Seniors World Champion, added a second Seniors title to his record by winning the 2022 Seniors UK Championship in Hull. He came from behind to beat David Lilley by 4-2 in the final.

Congratulations Peter Lines!

Leo, Peter’s six years old son, was in the audience, watching his dad “live” for the first time. This surelely made the occasion even more special for the Lines family.

Here is the official report from the WSS website:

Lines Crowned UK Champion in Hull

Peter Lines became only the second player to have claimed the two biggest titles on the World Seniors Snooker Tour after he won the 2022 WAYS UK Seniors Snooker Championship in Hull.

A winner of the World Seniors Snooker Championship in 2017, 52-year-old Lines defeated reigning world seniors champion David Lilley 4-1 in the final at the Bonus Arena. Still a main tour exponent, Lines continues his good form having reached the last 16 of the UK Professional Championship in York six weeks ago.

SeniorsUK-14

Lines’ journey to glory began last summer when he emerged from a tough qualifying event at the Crucible Sports Club in Reading. By the Humber this week, the experienced Yorkshireman dethroned defending champion Michael Judge 3-1 in the opening round before a 4-1 success against close friend and fellow qualifier Kuldesh Johal in the last eight.

On finals day he defeated 2018 winner Ken Doherty 4-2 to set up a title showdown with Lilley, who was aiming to be the first player to hold both the world and UK seniors trophies at the same time. Having not dropped a frame in his first two matches, Lilley came back from 3-1 down to deny Jimmy White in the other last four tie during the afternoon session.

SeniorsUKHB

Lilley had been impressive during the tournament and he began the final well by claiming the opening frame before a break of 60 looked to have secured him a 2-0 lead. However, in what would prove to be a massive turning point, a determined Lines clawed his way back in the frame, eventually completing a gutsy 27 clearance to pinch it on the final black.

This was a catalyst for the current world number 82 as he chalked up frames either side of the mid-session interval and then crafted a decisive counter-attacking break of 47 to win frame five on the final pink.

Lines now follows in the footsteps of White in claiming both the world and UK seniors titles.

It was a great tournament, with an excellent coverage, supported by the ever vibrant enthusiasm of Rob Walker.

There is also a report on WST website:

Peter Lines won the WAYS Facilities Management UK Seniors Snooker Championship for the first time, beating David Lilley 4-1 in the final in Hull.

Back in 2017, Lines won the World Seniors title, and the 52-year-old from Leeds can now add the UK title to his list of honours.

Lilley took the opening frame of the final and made a break of 60 in the second, but his opponent crucially clawed his way back and eventually snatched the frame 67-66 by clearing the colours.

Lines dominated the third and fourth frames to take a 3-1 advantage. In the fifth, current World Seniors champion Lilley led 56-21 when he missed a red, and Lines made an excellent 47 clearance to clinch the title.

I’m over the moon to have won,” said world number 82 Lines. “I am just trying to enjoy myself out there. I want to play for as long as I possibly can because I just love playing snooker. When you get to my age and you haven’t won a ranking event, you accept that fact that you are probably not going to win one. So to win two prestigious events on the World Seniors tour, I’m really proud of myself. I am really honoured that I’ve done it.

Earlier in the semi-finals, Lines saw off Ken Doherty 4-2, while Lilley came from 3-1 down to beat Jimmy White 4-3.

Here is the post-match interview by Rob Walker:

Here are some more images, shared during the event on social media …

 

2022 WSS Ways Seniors UK Championship – The Quarter-finals

Here is the report on the official WSS site about quarter-finals day in Hull:

WAYS UK Seniors Championship 2022 | Day Three Report

Only four players remain on course for 2022 WAYS UK Seniors Snooker Championship glory following the completion of the quarter-finals on Thursday at the Bonus Arena in Hull.

The first player through to the last four was Peter Lines who overcame good friend Kuldesh Johal 4-1.

Lines claimed the opener on the pink although qualifier Johal squared up with the second frame. However, breaks of 60 and 69 helped the in-form Lines make it through and keep alive his hopes of being only the second player on the World Seniors Snooker Tour to have won both the world and UK championships.

Peter Lines

No player has held both the seniors circuit’s biggest two titles at the same time but reigning world seniors champion David Lilley is just two more wins away from becoming the first.

Lilley has yet to drop a frame so far after he dispatched 1986 world champion Joe Johnson 4-0. Carrying on his impressive scoring form from round one, the 46-year-old constructed breaks of 76 and 74 as he went 2-0 ahead. He then made a 58 in the third – eventually taking the frame on the final black – before rounding off another fine performance with a run of 59 in the fourth.

David Lilley

In the evening session, Jimmy White moved closer to yet another seniors accolade after ending the challenge of qualifier Wayne Cooper.

The three-time world and 2017 UK seniors champion produced breaks of 59 and 56 in the first two frames before securing the third on the final pink to go 3-0 up.

White looked like wrapping up a clean sweep victory when he made a 53 in the fourth, although Cooper showed determination as he countered with a 50 and later got on the board via the pink. This just delayed the outcome, though, as the popular Londoner got across the line in the next frame for a 4-1 win.

Jimmy White

The day concluded with the tie of the round as Ken Doherty denied Stephen Hendry 4-1 in a rerun of their world championship final from nearly 25 years ago.

Hendry levelled the match with the aid of a 61 break in frame two, but Doherty – who himself crafted a 61 in frame four – was the stronger player in the latter stages and ended up going through comfortably.

The semi-finals will take place during the afternoon session on Friday with the final in the evening. All four remaining players have already tasted success on the seniors circuit; Lines faces Doherty while White plays Lilley in a repeat of the world seniors final from the Crucible Theatre last spring.

I only watched the evening matches, so can’t comment on the other two.

Wayne Cooper looked very nervous, especially at the start and was not able to replicate the form he had shown in the last 16 round. Also, the “rest” wasn’t his best friend on the nigth… Jimmy White was far from his best himself, but did enough and was helped also by getting a bit of luck here and there.

Ken Doherty was far too good for Stephen Hendry. Hendry’s long potting was poor but that didn’t stop him to try and attack the way he always did. This was often his undoing as, when missing, he usually left Ken in amongst the balls … There were some very good shots by Hendry, but no consistency.

 

2022 WSS Ways Seniors UK Championship – The Last 16

The lst 16 round was played over the last two days and, I have to say, my predictions proved pretty accurate.

This is the World Deniors official report on the first day of the round:

WAYS UK Seniors Championship 2022 | Day One Report

Half of the quarter-final line-up for the 2022 WAYS UK Seniors Snooker Championship is now known following the opening day of action at the Bonus Arena in Hull.

The World Seniors Snooker Tour event began with defending champion Michael Judge exiting the tournament after losing 3-1 to fellow main tour professional Peter Lines.

lines-2

Lines – world seniors champion in 2017 – settled any early nerves he may have had with an 81 break in frame one, although Irishman Judge levelled up by claiming a scrappy second frame. However, the Yorkshireman, who reached the last 16 of the recent UK Championship, ousted the third on the final pink and then sealed victory with the fourth.

Later in the afternoon session, Ken Doherty kept his hopes of a second UK seniors title alive with a 3-0 success over Lee Walker in another all-professional affair.

doherty-7

The 2018 champion – who wasn’t in the event 12 months later to defend – secured the first frame on the colours and made a crucial break of 30 up to and including the final pink to shade the second. Doherty then completed the win with a classy 64 clearance in the third.

Play resumed in the evening session where serial seniors event winner Jimmy White booked his place in the last eight with a 3-1 triumph over WSST tour number one Patrick Wallace.

white1-2

Wallace was a late replacement for Tony Drago and he threatened an upset when he took the opener, although three-time world and 2017 UK seniors champion White found his groove, leaving his opponent pointless in the next two frames with the aid of 88 and 80 breaks. The ever-popular Londoner then wrapped up victory with the fourth frame.

White’s opponent in the last eight will be qualifier Wayne Cooper who registered a memorable 3-0 win over former world and UK professional champion John Parrott in the final match of the day.

cooper4

One of the successful players to emerge from a qualifying event in Reading last year, the 46-year-old from Bradford got off to a dream start with a run of 102 before later registering a relatively comfortable passage through.

This is the official World Seniors report on the second day of the round:

The quarter-final line-up for the 2022 WAYS UK Seniors Snooker Championship is now complete following the second day of action at the Bonus Arena in Hull.

Joe Johnson caused something of an upset as he ousted Rod Lawler 3-2 in the first match of the day.

Lawler looked good as he took the opening frame with the help of a 71 break but the 1986 world champion potted several pressure balls as he claimed the second on the colours to level.

Back in front went Lawler, although 69-year-old Johnson – winner of the Seniors Masters in 2019 at the Crucible Theatre – remained resilient as he shaded the fourth on the pink before completing an impressive victory with the fifth.

johnson2

In the second match of the afternoon, 1980 world champion Cliff Thorburn brought down the curtain on his illustrious competitive career when he bowed out to qualifier Kuldesh Johal.

Former professional Johal registered runs of 47 and 32 during the 3-0 win to set up a last eight tie with good friend Peter Lines on Thursday.

Revered Canadian Thorburn – who famously made the Crucible’s first maximum 147 break in 1983 and won the Masters on three occasions – announced that this would be his last competitive match earlier this week.

The former world number one has been an integral part in the creation and development of the World Seniors Snooker Tour and tasted glory on it in 2018 when he lifted the Seniors Masters trophy at the home of snooker.

lilley1

No player has held both the world and UK seniors titles at the same time, but David Lilley kept on course to create history when he defeated in-form Philip Williams in the evening session.

Lilley won the world crown in Sheffield last spring and the 46-year-old made a statement here with a classy 3-0 victory over the qualifier that featured breaks of 66, 55 and 89, and a pot success rate of over 98%.

hendry1-1

The final player to book a spot in the quarter-finals was seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry who ousted Barry Pinches in a deciding frame.

Hendry – looking to secure a maiden title at seniors level – began well with a 76 break to take the opening frame, although he was restricted to just six points in the following two, as Pinches moved one away from victory with the aid of a 70 break in frame three.

However, Hendry turned the tables, crafting a 50 to square the match up before a few fruitful scoring visits in the fifth helped him set up a tasty clash with Ken Doherty.

Matches in the quarter-finals will be the best of seven frames.

Before this event started, Cliff Thorburn, at 73, had announced that this would be his last “competitive” tournament and indeed confirmed that he played his last competitive match yesterday. Cliff struggled badly but never lost his sense of humor throughout the match.

Right after hanging his cue … he seized the mic and headed to the commentary box!

Here is a great piece, written by Hector Nunns before the start of the event:

Snooker’s Original ‘Grinder’ Cliff Thorburn Ready To Call It A Day

Snooker’s original ‘Grinder’ Cliff Thorburn admits he is finally ready to pack away his cue for the last time – after a life of turbulence and triumph in cue-sports that probably merits a Hollywood blockbuster biopic to do it justice.

Thorburn enjoyed huge success on the green baize in the 1980s winning a total of 20 titles, and the mustachioed and gravel-voiced Canadian was also one of the most popular and instantly recognisable faces in the game at a time when players acquired almost rock-star celebrity status.

At 73, the man born in British Columbia takes on a player 32 years his junior, former professional Kuldesh Johal, in the UK Seniors Championship in Hull in what may well prove his last hurrah should he fail to progress further.

But with a cue in hand, Thorburn has lived a very full, exciting, glorious and occasionally dangerous life to the full. His early years after leaving school, at 16 were spent travelling across Canada playing money games in pool halls, staking himself with jobs as a bin-man and dishwasher.

Then he moved down the West Coast to Oakland and San Francisco in the late 1960s. Thorburn said: “There were certainly some moments. I played at a place once in Oakland where I was winning and the backer of the other guy opened up his jacket and showed a gun.

“He said ‘Ain’t nobody leaves here with my player’s money’. My friends told me to lose all the money we had won, which I wasn’t happy about. But eventually I saw we had to lose at least some of it – or get robbed. It felt like fun, but something terrible could have happened.

“I didn’t play down in the States much after that. In one place two guys were smashing cues over each other’s backs then started throwing the balls at each other. The whole club hit the floor ducked behind tables, before slowly poking their heads up. After winning money against a guy called Cornbread Red in Detroit backed by a nasty piece of work, we had to be escorted to our car.”

Snooker had become the biggest draw for Thorburn and after performing well against John Spencer in exhibition matches he was recommended for acceptance onto the pro tour in 1973.  But if the Canadian had thought things might quieten down a little…he had reckoned without the combustible but brilliant Alex Higgins. A clash of personalities and styles ensured rivalry on the table, and confrontations off it.

On one occasion at the 1983 Irish Open, Thorburn punched the Northern Irishman to the ground, and as peacemakers tried to make the pair shake hands he then kicked Higgins in the groin. It later emerged that Higgins had told his rival: “You’re a Canadian **** who is **** at snooker.”

This rivalry came to a head in the 1980 ‘SAS final’, with Thorburn winning his only world title at the Crucible with an 18-16 victory. TV coverage of the showpiece was interrupted to provide pictures of the storming of the Iranian Embassy in London after a six-day siege. Higgins had a celebratory cake wheeled to his dressing room at 16-16 – Thorburn later planted his face in it.

Thorburn said: “Alex was a heck of player, but he knew what he could get away with and aggravation just seemed to follow him around. I don’t know why he was the way he was, and I still wonder how he could play so well. But I think I bothered him.

“in many ways he was my toughest opponent – I lost a lot of close matches to him, at least it felt like too many. And then of course I would add Steve Davis. But with Steve, he blew so many opponents away and I always felt if I showed some spirit and got close, within two frames, then I could win.”

Another Crucible high for Thorburn came in 1983 in his second-round match against Terry Griffiths, which saw him make the first ever maximum 147 break at the iconic theatre in frame four. Much later, he won the epic match 13-12 at 3.51 am on a Monday morning.

There is no deliberation over his biggest career regret – picking up a £10,000 fine, being docked ranking points and banned for two tournaments by the WPBSA after traces of cocaine were found in a drug sample in 1988. Thorburn said: “People forget that I was world No1 but they sure remember the scandal, and I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.”

But these days Thorburn is enjoying a quiet, relaxing and peaceful retirement in the town of Markham, Ontario in Canada – playing some golf in the summer, spending time with family and still doing some snooker coaching.

And watching a lot more snooker now than ever he did as a player, it has given Thorburn time to reflect on a few things – including his trademark mastery of safety play and tactical nous, which he still defends to the hilt.

Thorburn said: “You see a lot of flash shots being played by the kids today, and there were players coming up with those in my day too. That’s great, but you need something to fall back on. There might be the odd exception, but I always felt safety play was rocket science. And I still think it is a prerequisite to first turn pro, and then win things. Throwing a cue at everything wins you nothing.

“And in terms of who I would have loved to play at both our peaks, I really like John Higgins’ game – he is Mr Clearance. It would have been good to take him on in a long match.

“This will be my last tournament. I have loved doing the Seniors and the Legends for almost 25 years now and I will really enjoy meeting with old pals. I lived in the UK twice, once for two years and once for six and as a Canadian I have always been made welcome. And I am honoured and proud my name is still out there and known after first coming here in 1973.”

I have met Cliff many times at Legends and Seniors events and he was always charming, witty, knowledgeable  and great company. Un Grand Monsieur du snooker!

Thank you for the memories Cliff, all the best for the future.

2022 WSS Seniors Ways Facilities Management UK Championship Update and Preview

This was announced today by Jason Francis on social media 

We are sorry to announce that Tony Drago has been identified as a close contact of someone who has contracted COVID and his enforced period of quarantine means he cannot travel to the UK for next weeks event. Tony will be replaced in the event by Patrick Wallace who is the current World Number 1 ranked Seniors Player. Patrick will face Jimmy White in the Last 16 Bonus Arena, Hull WAYS Facilities Management

Of course, we wish Tony the best. Hopefully he won’t develop any (severe) symptoms.

This is the updated first round draw:

WSSSEniorsUK2022UpdatedDraw

We have some interesting matches in prospect!

Michael Judge v Peter Lines.

This is a hard one to call. Both Michael and Peter have loads of experience, a good tactical nous and a vast knowledge of the game. This should be good and it should be close. Peter is playing on the main tour, he should be sharp. How much and how well pthe epared Michael will be is the unknown factor. I’m certain though that he will do everything in his power to be ready: He’s the defending Champion. I can’t pick a winner.

Ken Doherty v Lee Walker.

Expect hard match play. Expect grit and patience. Expect fancy socks… 🧦. I will go with Ken for this one, but only just. Ken  is very shrewd and has more experience of the “main table situation”. Lee though is a very solid player: if he manages to dictate the pace and style of the match, he will definitely give Ken a serious challenge.

Jimmy White v Patrick Wallace.

Patrick is the number one Senior player for a reason. In the past however he has struggled with nerves in the big matches, on the main table. Jimmy on the other hand loves such situations, he thrives on them. He’s a showman. Because of these differences in personality, and because these are short matches, I fancy Jimmy to win, but not by much.

John Parrott v Wayne Cooper

John Parrott has very rarely performed convincingly since the Seniors Tour started. I’m not sure why. I must admit that I don’t know much about Wayne’s game, but he has come through the qualifiers which isn’t easy. Wayne Cooper to win.

Joe Johnson v Rod Lawler

Joe Johnson’s cue action is all over the place these days, but he still relishes the battle, and still pots some very good balls. The competitive animal has not been tamed. Rod Lawler is someone I fully respect because he always tries 100%, but I’m not a fan of his pace and he has struggled in recent years. I can’t call this one. I have a feeling that it will just depend on either player’s form on the day.

Cliff Thorburn v Kuldesh Johal

Cliff is 73, getting down of the shot is a struggle, the shot-clock a nightmare. He is however a great champion, and still has the heart of a great champion. Will it be enough to beat Kuldesh? I’m not sure. I would absolutely love to see Cliff do well but I think that Kuldesh will have too much for him.

David Lilley v Philip Williams

Philip Williams has been a strong presence in qualifiers on the WSS tour those last years. He sure can play. David Lilley is the Seniors reigning World Champion and he plays on the main tour. This should be a quality match but, ultimately, I expect David to win it.

Stephen Hendry v Barry Pinches

Now this is an interesting one. Stephen Hendry has hinted that he is playing well in practice. Every time he plays on the main tour he has lots of expectations to cope with and, because of his ranking, he usually faces a “current” top player. This will be a different proposition and an interesting “test” for Stephen. Barry Pinches had a very decent career, he is/was very solid but never really classed as a “top” player. I will go with Stephen here, mainly because, given the opportunity, he still has the scoring power. However, if Stephen goes for too much and gives Barry a lot of opportunities, he will probably pay the price.

 

 

Seniors 2022 World Championship Qualifiers – Event 2

This is the draw for the Seniors World Championship Qualifiers, Event 2.

The event will be played in Reading, from the 17th to the 19th of December 2021.

This is the draw (I know, it’s very hard to read, but I can’t help that)

Seniors Event2 draw

And this is the format:

Seniors Event2 format

These are the “last 64” matches, with  original numbers

1. Stuart Watson BYE
2. Ray Grail 1-3 Dennis Tristram
3. Stuart Reardon 3-2 Paul Burrell
4. Richard Emery 1-3 Andy Booker
5. Ant Parsons 3-0 Darren Bradstock
6. Gaurang Vyas 0-3 Kark Townsend
7. Kevin Palmer 0-3 Tony Chappel
8. Adrian Atkins 0-3 John Hunter
Wayne Townsend BYE
9. Peter O’Malley 2-3 David Taylor
10. Ashley Beal 3-1 Richard Pipe
11. Sanjay Maghani W/O Rod Lawler
12. Mukesh Parmar 0-3 Gareth Coppack
13. John Snape 3-1 Darren Millard
David Brock W/O Simone Zappi
14. Dharminder Singh Lilly 3-1 Jonathan Bagley
—————————————————–
15. Tony Knowles 2-3 Adrian Morrissey
16. John Palmer 3-0 Minesh Doshi
17. Adam Denham v Nigel Philips W/O
18. Justin Eggins W/O Kuldesh Johal
19. Patsy Fagan 3-0 Falsai Majid
20. Andy Lavin 3-2 Anthony Massey
21. Gareth Edwards 2-3 James Heigth
22. Gary Britton v Aaron Canavan W/O
23. Matt Ford 3-0 Andy Battams
24. David McDonnell v Richard Beckham
25. Gary Coulson 3-0 Ian Whiting
26. Tony Corrigan 3-1 Steve Crowley
27. Mark Ganderton 3-1 Richard Somauroo
28. Mark Bell W/O Darryl James
29. Simon Chandler 0-3 Brian Morgan
30. Phil Williams – Anthony Bonnar W/O

These are the last 32 matches

Stuart Watson 3-0 Dennis Tristram
Stuart Reardon 0-3 Andy Booker
Ant Parsons 3-2 Karl Towsend
Tony Chappel 3-2 John Hunter
Wayne Townsend 3-0 David Taylor
Ashley Beal 3-1 Sanjay Maghani
Gareth Coppack 3-1 John Spane
David Brock 0-3 Dharminder Sihgh Lilly
—————————————————–
Adrian Morrissey 3-1 John Palmer
Nigel Philips 3-1 Justin Eggins
Patsy Fagan 1-3 Andy Lavin
James Heigth 3-0 Aaron Canavan
Matt Ford 3-2 Richard Beckham
Gary Coulson 1-3 Tony Corrigan
Mark Ganderton 2-3 Mark Bell
Brian Morgan 3-0 Anthony Bonnar

These are the last 16 matches

Stuart Watson 3-0 Andy Booker
Ant Parsons 2-3 Tony Chappel
Wayne Townsend 0-3 Ashley Beal
Gareth Coppack 0-3 Dharminder Singh Lilly
—————————————————–
Adrian Morrisey – Nigel Philips W/O
Andy Lavin 3-2 James Heigth
Matt Ford 1-3 Tony Corrigan
Mark Bell 1-3 Brian Morgan

Quarter-Finals

Stuart Watson 4-1 Tony Chappell
Ashley Beal 0-4 Dharminder Singh Lilly
—————————————————–
Nigel Philips 3-4 Andy Lavin
Tony Corrigan 1-4 Brian Morgan

Semi-Finals

Stuart Watson 4-3 Dharminder Singh Lilly

Andy Lavin 2-4 Brian Morgan

The Final

Stuart Watson 4-3 Brian Morgan

StuartWatson

During the event, you will be able to follow the scores/results on this page

The results and the draw for the next rounds will also be added here.