Posts by: Matt Huart

Stephanie Daughtery

Next Generation Geared For German Trip

As the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic returns to the city of Fürth, Germany later this month, a number of the Tour’s younger players are preparing for their first taste of snooker action outside of the UK.

The tournament will be the first event of the 2017/18 World Women’s Snooker Tour and as in 2016, will be headlined by familiar faces including multiple world champions Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee, as well as fellow top 10 players Maria Catalano, Wan Ka Kai and Rebecca Kenna who will all be eyeing a title tilt.

As well as the big names however, the event will also see no fewer than six players aged 18 or under representing the next generation of women’s snooker, five of whom will be travelling from the UK to play in their first ever overseas competition.

Leading the charge will be Wakefield’s Stephanie Daughtery, two-time defending UK Women’s under-21 champion and WLBS world number 17. Set to be among the seeded players at a ranking event for the first-time, Daughtery first began to play at the age of 12 and was introduced to the World Women’s Snooker Tour by her coach Anthony Hebblethwaite back in 2014.

Now 16, Daughtery is already looking forward to her first overseas competition and the chance to gain crucial experience as she looks to achieve her ultimate goal in the sport.

“I am very excited to be able to compete in Germany for the first time!” said Daughtery. “My aim is to one day become world women’s snooker champion and this will be a great opportunity to be able to learn from the top players.

“I hope that being able to experience playing in a different environment will help me to improve my game and am looking forward to being able to watch and compete against some outstanding players during the week.”

Daughtery is looking forward to being joined by players including Aimee Benn and Claire Edginton, both also regular faces at UK based events who will be competing overseas for the first time.

“The social aspect of these events is really important,” continued Daughtery. “Aimee and Claire are my closest friends on the tour so it is great that we will all be able to make the trip together.

Players aged 18 or under at the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic (age in brackets)

  • Lily Dobson (14)
  • Aimee Benn (15)
  • Stephanie Daughtery (16)
  • Emma Parker (17)
  • Linda Erben (17)
  • Claire Edginton (18)

Another of the younger generation who will be making the trip is 17-year-old Emma Parker, who in April claimed victory at the LITEtask World Under-21 Championship for the first time. Unlike Daughtery and her other contemporaries, Parker is a relative newcomer to the Tour having entered her first event at the Connie Gough Trophy back in February.

“I played pool with my dad when I was little,” said Parker. “Where we played there was a snooker table and I always wanted to play but I was too small. Eventually when I was able to play snooker I loved it and became hooked. I have been playing competitively for two years now.

While this will be her first playing experience overseas, the tournament will not mark Parker’s first visit to Germany, following a unique experience back in 2006 when she was lucky enough to play a special role at the FIFA World Cup.

“I went to Germany in 2006 for the football World Cup,” explained Parker. “I went as a mascot for the England team after winning a competition sponsored by McDonalds. I walked out on the pitch with John Terry and I will never forget the feeling when the crowd cheered. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.

“So I am really looking forward to the trip this time. I love snooker and watching the professionals, it encourages me to play as well as them one day. My Nan and grandad both love snooker too and they will be coming along with me.”

Like Daughtery, Parker hopes to be able to learn from the tournament so that she can fight for titles, not only against other women but one day against the men as the likes of Reanne Evans, Ng On Yee and Tatjana Vasiljeva have recently demonstrated in professional competition.

“My snooker goal is obviously to win as many tournaments as I can,” said Parker. “I would love to play competitively against the men as well. To be able to achieve this I need to practice hard, have commitment and put all my effort into the sport.

“I can learn a lot playing against players like Reanne and On Yee. Their experience can show me how important it is to practice and learn how to play the game as it should be played. I have the good fortune to play and practice with Ronnie O’Sullivan. I have learnt so much watching and playing him and it really drives me to improve. He is my idol in the game and I am very lucky to be close to him.”

The Paul Hunter Women’s Classic 2017 will be played on 24-27 August.

Photo of South West Snooker Academy

New Venue for Women’s Masters

This season’s Eden Women’s Masters will be staged at Gloucester’s South West Snooker Academy for the first time this October.

The venue, which boasts ten high quality tables and has previously hosted events including World Snooker and World Disability Billiards and Snooker competitions, will play host to the third event of the 2017/18 World Women’s Snooker Tour on 28-29 October 2017.

The event marks the first World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) ranking event to be held at the venue and is set to see number one player Reanne Evans launch her bid for a record fifth Masters crown. Her most recent victory came back in January when she claimed the title without the loss of a single frame.

WLBS President Mandy Fisher said: “We are excited to be able to bring the World Women’s Snooker Tour to Gloucester this season and in particular a venue with the facilities of the South West Snooker Academy.

“During the past 12 months we have seen significant growth in women’s snooker with increased prize money, entry for two women players to this month’s IWGA World Games and of course Reanne Evans’ brilliant victory against Robin Hull at the professional World Championship qualifiers earlier this year.

“This event, once again generously supported by regular sponsors Eden Resources will be another important step in our development and I am looking forward to seeing our players in action!”

Further information including the event entry form will be released in due course.

tournament banner

Paul Hunter Women’s Classic: Enter Now

Entry is now open for the WLBS Paul Hunter Women’s Classic as the World Women’s Snooker Tour returns to Germany for the start of the 2017/18 season.

Won by Ng On Yee last season, the early rounds of the tournament will again be held at the nearby Ballroom Nürnberg, with the semi-finals and final provisionally set to be held alongside the World Snooker Paul Hunter Classic at the Stadthalle, Fürth.

For the first time, following successful negotiations with the promoter Dragonstars of the World Snooker Paul Hunter Classic, all players who enter the WLBS event will be able to watch the professional event for FREE! The event will be a fantastic opportunity to compete against world’s best women players and when not in action, to watch the professionals in play at one of the most popular venues on the World Snooker Tour.

Further information, including online entry and the full entry pack for the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic are available at www.wlbsl.com. The entry deadline for the event is Monday 17 July with payment of all entry fees to be made by 4:30pm on Tuesday 18 July.

Players will note that for the season World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) has introduced Standard Conditions of Entry, which shall apply in full to all WLBS events unless otherwise stated within the entry pack. We urge all players to read this document carefully and to contact us if you are unsure as to its contents.

Last month WLBS announced its provisional calendar for the 2017/18 season, with further information to be confirmed as soon as possible.

Provisional 2017/2018 Calendar Announced

The provisional calendar for the 2017/18 World Women’s Snooker Tour has today been announced by World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS).

Following a landmark previous season which saw ranking events held in Germany and Singapore for the first time, the WLBS has confirmed that the World Women’s Championship will return to Asia for a second consecutive year from 12-18 March 2018

As in 2016, the new season will get underway in Germany, with the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic set to be held from 24-27 August 2017. The early stages of the event will be held at the Ballroom Nürnberg venue, with the final rounds to run alongside the professional Paul Hunter Classic tournament at the Stadthalle.

The event will be followed by the LITEtask UK Ladies Championship, which will once again be staged at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds on the weekend of 30 September – 1 October 2017.

The same venue will also host the LITEtask Festival of Snooker on 13-17 April 2018, with players competing for a range of world championship titles across a variety of singles and doubles competitions.

Information as to further provisional events, including the Eden Women’s Masters will be released as soon as possible.

WLBS President Mandy Fisher said: “Over the past few years the World Women’s Snooker Tour, under WLBS, has gone from strength to strength, thanks to the support of the WPBSA and our sponsors Eden Resources, LITEtask and the Northern Snooker Centre.

“Once again we will be travelling around the globe and welcoming players from all nationalities to compete in our world ranking events that have no limitations and are open to any women in the world.”

Provisional 2017/18 WLBS Calendar

24-27 August 2017
Paul Hunter Women’s Classic – Furth, Germany.

30 September – 1 October 2017
LITEtask UK Women’s Championship – Leeds, England

October/November 2017
Eden Women’s Masters – Venue TBC

February 2018
Ranking Event TBC

12-18 March 2018
World Women’s Championship – Asia Venue TBC

13-17 April 2018
LITEtask Festival of Women’s Snooker – Leeds, England

June 2018
WLBS Event TBC

Updated WLBS Rankings: April 2017

The official WLBS world women’s ranking list has now been updated following the concluding event of the season, the LITEtask Festival of Women’s Snooker in Leeds, England.

The WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during the 2014/15 season having been removed during the course of this season. With no remaining points to be deducted however, no points have been removed from the ranking list following the Festival, which has seen points added to the total.

It has been the perfect week for second-ranked Ng On Yee, who with victories in both the 6-Red and 10-Red competitions in Leeds has slashed the advantage of world number one Reanne Evans by more than half.

With the 11-time world champion in competition at the professional Betfred World Championship and so unable to compete at the Festival, On Yee has reduced Evans’ lead from 15,300 points to just 5,300.

Elsewhere, there is just one further change within the top 10, with the newly married Rebecca Kenna (née Granger), achieving a new career-high of sixth position, switching places with Latvia’s Tatjana Vasiljeva.

Not involved in either competition carrying ranking points in Leeds, Vicky Shirley drops three places to 15th, but it was a strong week for Emma Bonney who has climbed 11 places to break into the top 20 at 19th.

Season changes

Comparing the rankings to the start of the season, the biggest winners are Laura Evans and Rebecca Kenna, who have climbed from 12th and 21st positions, to fourth and sixth respectively.

Junior players Shannon Metcalf (13th), Jeong Min Park (18th) and Aimee Benn (20th) have also seen significant rises to climb into the top 20, while Claire Edginton is close behind in 22nd.

Paula Judge, Heidi de Gruchy and World Championship runner-up Vidya Pillai have all finished the campaign inside of the top 30, despite having not competed during the previous season.

Among those to have dropped places, Jaique Ip Wan In has fallen six places from third to ninth, while Jenny Poulter and Vicky Shirley have both dropped out of the top 10 since the start of the campaign.

The updated ranking list will be used to determine the seedings for the opening event of the 2017/18 season.

LITEtask Festival of Women’s Snooker 2017

The full entry pack for the 2017 LITEtask Festival of Women’s Snooker is now available:

To be held at the Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds on 7-11 April 2017, the event will encompass six World Championship competitions played over different formats, including both singles and doubles competitions.

There will be a total prize fund of at least £8,000 to be won, including for the first time a special £1,000 bonus for a maximum 107 break during the 10-Red World Championship competition.

Full list of events:

LITEtask World Women’s 10-Red Championship

LITEtask World Mixed Pairs Championship

LITEtask World Women’s Pairs Championship

LITEtask World Women’s 6-Red Championship

LITEtask World Women’s Seniors Championship

LITEtask World Women’s U21s Championship

Mark Pears, LITEtask said: “LITEtask are delighted to sponsor the 2017 World Festival of Women’s Snooker. With a fantastic six World Championship events on offer, we are in for five days of great entertainment from the very best women players from around the world and we would like to wish good luck to everyone taking part.”

Full information, including event schedule and details on how to enter are set out in the entry form.

Draw Available: Eden World Women’s Snooker Championship 2017

The draw for the group stage of the 2017 Eden Women’s World Championship to be held at the Lagoon Billiard Room in Toa Payoh, Singapore on 13-19 March 2017 has now been made.

Of the 32 entrants, the top eight players in accordance with the updated ranking list following February’s Connie Gough Trophy have been seeded and kept apart during the group stage. In a draw carried out by tournament hosts Cuesports Singapore, the remaining players have been drawn into the eight groups, with players of the same nationality drawn apart.

Two players will progress from each of the groups and will be seeded into the knock-out draw in accordance with their results during the group stages.

Eleven-time world women’s champion Reanne Evans has been drawn in Group C and will open her latest title defence against international opposition in the form of Suniti Damani (India), Hoe Shu Wah (Singapore) and Nutcharut Wongharuthai (Thailand).

Asian number one and 2015 world champion Ng On Yee will face India’s Chitra Magimairaj, winner of the seniors competition at the 2016 World Women’s Championship, as well as Singaporean number one Charlene Chai and Ireland’s Ronda Sheldreck.

In total players from 10 different countries, including a mix of WLBS newcomers and some more familiar faces, will compete to claim the most prestigious prize in world women’s snooker this year.

The event will be formally launched on Sunday 12 March 2017 with a pre-tournament reception at the iconic Marina Bay Sands building, ahead of the start of play the following day.

You will be able to follow the latest results and group standings via MySnookerStats

Seeds Set for Singapore

The final seeding list for the 2017 Eden World Women’s Snooker Championship has now been set following the recent Connie Gough Trophy.

This year’s World Women’s Championship will be held at the Lagoon Billiard Room, in Toa Payoh, Singapore on 13-19 March 2017, the first time that the event will be staged outside of the UK in over 20 years. The tournament carries a total prize fund of £15,000, with £5,000 going to the eventual champion.

The provisional format for the main event will see group stage matches played over the opening three days, with 16 players progressing to the knock-out stages. The top eight entered players will be seeded into eight groups, in accordance with the updated world ranking list following the Connie Gough Trophy earlier this month. These players will be guaranteed not to meet during the group stages.

The top eight seeds are:

Reanne Evans (England)

Ng On Yee (Hong Kong)

Maria Catalano (England)

Laura Evans (Wales)

Tatjana Vasiljeva (Latvia)

Suzie Opacic (England)

Katrina Wan (Hong Kong)

Rebecca Granger (England)

The remaining players will be drawn into the groups at random, with the draw to be carried out by representatives from tournament hosts Cuesports Singapore during the week commencing 6th March 2017.

Updated WLBS Rankings: February 2017

The latest WLBS world rankings have now been updated for a fourth time this season following victory for Maria Catalano at the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy in Dunstable last weekend.

The WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during the 2014/15 season to be removed as this season progresses. Following the Connie Gough Trophy, points from the 2015 Connie Gough Trophy have been removed in accordance with the already published points drop-off dates.

Despite her semi-final defeat to Rebecca Granger, Reanne Evans retains a comfortable lead of 15,300 points at the top of the rankings to second placed Ng On Yee, who did not compete at the weekend.

Connie Gough champion Maria Catalano remains in third place, but has extended her lead to fourth place from just 1,350 points to a more comfortable 4,650. With no points to defend at next month’s World Championship having not competed in the event in 2015, Catalano will now be looking to close the gap to second placed Ng On Yee in Singapore.

For runner-up Granger, a rise of two places to a career-high position of 12th and with no prize money to ‘defend’ from her total over the next 12 months, it looks to be only a matter of time before she climbs up into the top 10.

It was a good week too for Welsh number one Laura Evans, who breaks into the world’s top four for the first time following her run to the semi-finals in Dunstable.

Further down the list Emma Bonney rises two places to 18th having reached the quarter-finals on her first appearance of the season in a WLBS event, while the youngsters Shannon Metcalf, Jeong Min Park, Aimee Benn and under-21 winner Lily Dobson have all gained positions.

Challenge Cup winner Emma Parker is a new entry on the list at 57th following her first event during the current two-year counting period, while runner-up Heidi De Gruchy is up to a career-high 40th position.

The updated ranking list will be used to determine the seedings for the Eden World Women’s Snooker Championship which will take place on 13-19 March 2017 from the Lagoon Billiard Room, Singapore.

Catalano Claims Sixth Connie Gough Crown

Maria Catalano won the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy on Saturday, defeating Rebecca Granger 4-2 in the final.

Dudley’s Catalano came through the early rounds with victories against Shannon Metcalf, Aimee Benn and Laura Evans to reach the final for a record-equalling eighth time. Granger meanwhile defeated Sharon Kaur, followed by Suzie Opacic and world number one and seven-time former champion Reanne Evans – both in deciding frames – to reach the final of a World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) event for the first time.

Having taken a close opening frame on the pink, Catalano added the next two to move a frame away from the title at 3-0. Granger continued to fight, taking a dramatic fourth frame on the black to keep her hopes alive, before dominating the fifth to close to just one frame behind.

Catalano was not to be denied the title however, sealing a 4-2 victory in the sixth frame to win the title for the sixth time and close to just one behind Evans’ all-time record. The success is her first at a WLBS event since this event back in 2013 and a particularly satisfying win after she revealed a recent change of cue:

“I am absolutely buzzing!” said Catalano. “It has been a while since my previous win and this gives me a massive boost of confidence.

“I have switched back to my first cue which I haven’t played with for over eight years, so this title is even sweeter for me. I think that I will stick with it now!”

The 35-year-old has consolidated her position of third on the official WLBS world ranking list and has now earned more ranking points this season to date than any player except for Reanne Evans.

For Keighley’s Granger, despite defeat in the final, she has achieved two notable career-milestones by reaching her first final and also defeating world number one Evans for the first time in her career. She will also now climb to a new career-high position of 12th in the rankings.

Side Events

The Challenge Cup was won by Emma Parker, who defeated Heidi De Gruchy 3-1 in the final to take her first WLBS title at any level. She had previously defeated Vicky Shirley, Shannon Metcalf and Dannie Findlay, before coming through the decisive match.

There was also a first-time WLBS champion in the under-21 competition as 14-year-old Lily Dobson claimed victory with wins against Aimee Benn and Jeong Min Park in the final.

The next tournament of the 2016/17 WLBS Women’s World Ranking Series will be the Eden World Women’s Championship from 13-19 March 2017, which for the first time will be held in Singapore and carry an increased prize fund of £15,000.