The stage is set for the last round of qualifying for the Betfred.com World Championship, which features four players who have never before played at the Crucible.

Andrew Pagett made a dramatic late night escape to beat Nigel Bond 10-9, having got the two snookers he needed in the decider.

Pagett is a mate of Mark Williams. I watched some of his match the other day against Bjorn Haneveer and he seemed to be striking the ball with real confidence.

I’ve been very impressed with Liu Song this season for making the most of the chance he was given to play on the tour first through John Higgins’s suspension and then because of the retirement of Patrick Einsle.

Liu is one of three Chinese players in the final round so there could be four Chinese in the TV stages, plus Hong Kong’s Marco Fu.

Matt Selt has played well enough the past couple of seasons to suggest he can make it through, although Marcus Campbell has had a good season and got himself into the top 32 for the first time.

Jimmy Robertson is no relation to the reigning world champion – although that didn’t stop the hapless Press Association describing him as an Australian in the results the other day – but could do with some of Neil’s grit when he faces Ken Doherty, the 1997 Crucible winner.

Robertson, a former English amateur champion, staved off a late rally from Tony Drago yesterday and has plenty of momentum behind him but he, like all the rest, will be understandably nervy with the Crucible now within touching distance.

So there could be a few new faces at the Crucible and there may be an old one too after Steve Davis raised his game to come from 7-3 down to beat Jack Lisowski 10-9.

Davis, who first won the world title 30 years ago, made two centuries and displayed the iron competitive spirit that has sustained his long, glorious career.

Stephen Lee would have to be favourite to win their match on recent form but Davis just seems to find an extra couple of gears in the World Championship.

He’s played at the Crucible 30 times before but you can tell it would still mean everything to him to appear there again.

Final qualifying round draw:

Mark Davis v Rory McLeod
Joe Perry v Liu Song
Liang Wenbo v Jamie Burnett
Mark King v Mike Dunn
Dominic Dale v Michael Holt
Martin Gould v Robert Milkins
Ryan Day v Liu Chuang
Judd Trump v Dave Gilbert
Matthew Stevens v Fergal O’Brien
Marcus Campbell v Matt Selt
Barry Hawkins v Anthony Hamilton
Stephen Lee v Steve Davis
Gerard Greene v Dave Harold
Stuart Bingham v Alan McManus
Andrew Higginson v Andrew Pagett
Ken Doherty v Jimmy Robertson


Anonymous said...

Some great finishes - these matches deserve to be televised.

Anonymous said...

didnt look like ding was trying to win

(that is not saying he wasnt!)

Anonymous said...

There should be Live Streaming at least!

Matt said...

Ricky Walden is playing

Anonymous said...


after the qualifiers is over any detail when the draw will be made and will it be streamed or on TV.

i think the perfect time to do the draw is during the PTC Finals.

jamie brannon said...

Can't find anywhere to get news on the Hainan Classic, anyone help?

I really hope McManus and Hamilton progress but fear not.

It is a pity that Lee and Davis have drawn each other, would like to have seen both in attendance.

However, would slightly prefer Davis as if he and Doherty qualify, then that should hopefully give Clive Everton more work.

Ollie said...

Why was Ding playing??

Dave H said...

The draw will be made on March 21, I believe only in Betfred shops

jamie brannon said...

I have tried to get news of both World Snooker site and Global Snooker but nothing there.

There wasn't even a preview in the Racing Post, normally is for televised events. Seems to be very low-key but the prize money seems more than decent.

snooker said...

Excited for the finale is there anywhere online to catch the footage ?

Anonymous said...

How are the world qualifiers not televised when that joke of a tournament in China is?

Anonymous said...

441 - china me old china

Matt said...

My report from Thursday:


Looking forward to tomorrow, a series of intriguing matches in store, will be posting updates on Twitter again.

Anonymous said...

calls a double a cross double

says carter tried to nudge the black into play when missing the pink. higgins plays on the unmoved black 1 minute later.

cant add 25 onto 73


i hope that guy is commenting for fun and not being paid (unless for comedy value)

Anonymous said...

sorry dave but i am now watching with the mute on.
i cant stand listening to mallets mistakes every 5 minutes or so.
is he programmed to say "my apologies" every 360 seconds?

shame, cos you are very refreshing compared to most of the beeb....

on another note, any more power snooker info?

Dave H said...

Pretty much every commentator has their fans and their detractors

Personally I'd be amazed if Power Snooker ever returns bearing in mind the money they lost on the first one

Anonymous said...

dave for me its not about being a fan of him.

i listen to all commentators and have some i prefer to others.

what i find astounding is the amount of mistakes he makes.

i started counting them and it was at one point close to 50/50 in correct v incorrect calls of predictions of shot choice, whether balls go, points difference etc etc.

he never used to make so many mistakes (i remember him as a v good player and used to think he was one of the more decent commentators, but in the last year or two hes gaff central.

again, not slagging him as he was a great player and decent commentaot, but hopefully if he goes and watches reruns of his recent efforts in the last year he will see hes guessing far far too often and getting more than half the guesses wrong.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I read on Michaela Tabb's twitter page (back in the days when i was a twitterer ), that Power Snooker is supposedly coming back.


Anonymous said...

Alpha, id already heard that rumour, hence why i asked dave on here yesterday morning.

wonder if its concrete

(i heard it was)

jamie brannon said...

Personally, people get far too worked up about bad a commentator is. The job is not as easy as it first appears, plus we are there primarily to watch the action.

However, a quality commentator like Clive Everton or Willie Thorne can illuminate the proceedings with their differing insight.

In fact, it is a pity that Doherty and Davis failed to qualify, as that will probably mean no Clive Everton on the BBC this year.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind Davis and Doherty being in the commentary box,at least they actually have something interesting to say. Taylor talks too much about O'Sullivan (even when he isn't playing), and Thorne's holier than thou attitude and Virgo's Where's the cueball going!! is simply annoying.