Tag: Emma Bonney

Women’s World Snooker Championship – A Potted History

The 37th World Women’s Snooker Championship gets underway this Wednesday at the Dolmen Hotel in Malta and represents the start of a new era for women’s snooker as the tournament will be held as part of the WSF Championships for the first time.

But as the likes of modern day greats such as 11-time champion Reanne Evans and Asian trailblazer Ng On Yee prepare to contest this year’s event, where did it all begin for women’s snooker?

Below we take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of our distinguished past champions…

Vera Selby MBE – our first ever world champion

The Early years

First held back in 1976, the inaugural World Ladies Snooker Championship – as the tournament was originally known – was won by Vera Selby, who defeated Muriel Hazeldine 4-0 in Middlesbrough to claim the title.

Gosforth’s Selby, who in 2016 was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for her services to snooker and billiards, would go on to win a second world crown five years later. In doing so she succeeded Australia’s Lesley McIlrath, who until 2015 remained the sole non-UK winner of the tournament.

Selby’s opponent in the 1981 was Mandy Fisher, who following the tournament was devastated to learn of a risk that the tournament might not be held again, at a time prior to the ‘snooker boom’ that would come within the UK during the 1980s. Aged just 19, she played a key role in the foundation of World Ladies Billiards and Snooker, the body that remains responsible for women’s snooker and billiards to this day with Fisher serving as President.

Through the new body, Fisher was instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the World Championship, which was won by Sue Foster in 1983, before Fisher herself claimed the title the following year with a 4-2 success against Maryann McConnell of Canada.

World champion and President – Mandy Fisher with Steve Davis and Alex Higgins

The Fisher years

As Mandy found herself devoting an increasing amount of her time to the administration of women’s snooker however, it would be another Fisher who would go on to make a name for herself in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Sussex’s Allison Fisher – no relation to Mandy – had started to play snooker at the age of seven and just a decade later would go on to claim the first of a then record seven world titles against Stacey Hillyard in Solihull. She subsequently became the first player to successfully defend the title at the same venue the following year, before securing further titles in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1994, the last in New Delhi, India as the Championship left the UK for the first time.

The perpetual World Championship trophy

Her rivals at the time included Ann-Marie Farren, who reached three consecutive finals between 1987-1989 (winning the first at the age of just 16 years and 48 days) and Northern Ireland’s Karen Corr, who reached six finals during the 1990s, emerging victorious from half of them including her first on the day following her 21st birthday.

It would be a third Fisher however who would go on to become the sport’s dominant player around the turn of the century, as for six years the final stages of the World Women’s Snooker Championship were held alongside its professional equivalent, at the iconic Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Yorkshire’s Kelly Fisher had rapidly ascended the world ranking list, having taken top spot whilst still a teenager and in 1998 won the title for the first time with a 4-1 victory against 1997 champion Corr. Adding further titles in 1998 and 1999, she became the first player to have won the title on three successive occasions, before she won the title on a further two times either side of victory for Lisa Quick in 2001, to take her total tally to five.

Reanne Evans won a record 11th world title in 2016

The Evans years

As the tournament moved on to what would become its new home for eight of the following nine years in Cambridge in 2005, by now there was another player ready to make her mark on the world stage. Dudley’s Reanne Evans had reached the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time in 2002 as a 16-year-old, before she repeated the feat the following year.

In 2005 though there would be no stopping her, as she would go on to claim the first of an unprecedented ten successive world titles with a 6-1 victory against Scotland’s Lynette Horsburgh. With her attacking style of play, at one point Evans won a record 61 consecutive women’s matches and has since seen her go on to compete on the professional circuit, becoming the first woman to qualify for the venue stages of a full-ranking event at the 2013 Wuxi Classic and become the first woman to win a professional World Championship match against Robin Hull in 2017.

The defending champion – Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee

A rival emerges

Given the dominance of Evans, statistically by far the greatest ever female snooker player, it was therefore a huge shock when she fell at the semi-finals stage of the World Championship to Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee in 2015, the 24-year-old going on to defeat Emma Bonney 6-2 in the final and become the first Asian player to win the tournament.

Although Evans was to win back the crown a year later with a 6-4 success, it was the charismatic On-Yee who would claim a remarkable victory when the tournament was staged in Singapore for the first time in 2017, defeating Evans 5-4 in the semi-finals and then first-time finalist Vidya Pillai from India following another deciding frame 6-5 on the pink.

Having proved that her maiden success was no one-off, On Yee has since gone on to underline her status as a legitimate challenger to Evans, becoming the world’s top ranked player for the first time early in 2018.

To Malta

And so to 2018 as the world’s best women players will descend upon Malta’s Dolmen Hotel to battle it out for a first prize of €6,000 and the chance to add their name to a prestigious roll of honour.

Will Ng On Yee complete a hat-trick of world title victories, can Reanne Evans create history once again by claiming the title for a record 12th time, or will we see a new winner lifting the trophy next Saturday?

Further information, including confirmation of event entries and the round robin draw will be released shortly and you will be able to read regular updates from the tournament here at www.womenssnooker.com

 

Snooker at Northern Snooker Centre

Festival Format Announced

The format has been announced for the 2018 Women’s Festival of Snooker which returns to the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, England this April.

The final event of this season’s World Women’s Snooker Tour will run from 13-16 April 2018 and feature five tournaments including the return of the 6 and 10 Red World Women’s Championship ranking events both won in 2017 by world number one Ng On Yee.

The Festival will begin with the World Women’s Under-21 Championship and World Seniors Championship events, claimed last year by Emma Parker and Emma Bonney.

Following the 6 and 10 red events, the four-day event will conclude with the World Women’s Pairs Championship, also won by Emma Bonney a year ago together with Vicky Shirley.

Full tournament schedule:

  • Friday 13 April – World Women’s Under-21 Championship / World Women’s Seniors Championship
  • Saturday 14 April – World Women’s 10-Red Championship
  • Sunday 15 April – World Women’s 6-Red Championship
  • Monday 16 April – World Women’s Pairs Championship

Due to the timing of the event which will be played concurrently with the qualifiers for the professional Betfred World Championship in Sheffield, we have taken the decision not to stage the World Mixed Pairs Championship as part of this year’s Festival. We do however intend for the event to return at a future date suitable for all.

The full tournament entry pack is now available and entries are being accepted HERE.

Ng On Yee with trophy

On Yee Reigns at Festival of Snooker

Two-time world women’s snooker champion Ng On Yee added two further titles to her collection at the LITEtask Festival of Snooker in Leeds.

The event, which was hosted by World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) over five days at the Northern Snooker Centre saw six titles decided, including two carrying ranking points won by the Hong Kong star.

She defeated Emma Bonney 4-2 in the final of the Six Red competition on the opening day of the tournament, before adding the 10 Red title, overcoming Welsh number one Laura Evans by the same scoreline on Monday.

The women’s pairs event was won for the first time by 11-time world billiards champion Emma Bonney and Vicky Shirley, after the duo came back from 2-0 down to defeat Laura Evans and Suzie Opacic 3-2 in the final.

The world mixed event also saw new winners crowned as professional player Sanderson Lam and WLBS number five Katrina Wan edged out Rebecca Kenna and Dylan Mitchell in the final. Wan is the second player from Hong Kong to claim the title in succession, after her compatriot Jaique Ip Wan won the event last year.

The final day of the Festival saw both Seniors and U-21 competitions staged, with Emma Bonney claiming her second title of the weekend in the Seniors event with a 3-2 success against Jenny Poulter, while Emma Parker whitewashed Shannon Metcalf 3-0 to claim the junior tournament.

The event brought the curtain down on a landmark season on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, which has seen WLBS ranking competitions held in Germany and Singapore for the first time with the support of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.

It was another successful year for world number one Reanne Evans (absent from the Festival due to her involvement in the professional World Championship qualifiers), who claimed victories at the UK Ladies Championship and Eden Women’s Masters on home soil. Overseas however it was Ng On Yee who took silverware in Germany and Singapore, before adding titles in Leeds this week to complete the season having earned more ranking points than any other player during 2016/17.

Here come the girls

The 2016 Eden Resources World Ladies Championship in Association with Northern Snooker Centre will be held between 31st March and 5th April in Leeds.

Staged by the sport’s newly restructured governing body, World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS), the event is arguably the most eagerly anticipated edition of the sport’s biggest tournament in recent years.

For the last decade it has been Dudley’s Reanne Evans who has reigned supreme over the ladies game, winning the tournament on a record ten successive occasions from 2005-2014.

Last year however saw the world number one suffer a shock defeat at the World Championship, falling 4-2 to Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee at the semi-final stage, the 24-year-old going on to defeat Emma Bonney and win the biggest tournament of her career to date.

Following her big win, On Yee repeated her victory against Evans to win the UK Championship last September and prove that her world title success was no accident, although it is Evans who has now won the three most recent events (Eden Masters, Connie Gough Memorial and Eden Classic), as she prepares to try and win back the world crown in Leeds.

In a change to the format for 2016, the top eight seeded players will be automatically seeded through to the knockout stages, with the remaining players required to come through a two-day round robin phase to complete the last 16.

This means that the likes of Evans and On Yee, as well as other top ranked players including four-time World Championship runner-up Maria Catalano, 2015 finalist Emma Bonney and Latvia’s Tatjana Vasiljeva can focus on the final two days of the main event.

The main World Championship tournament is however just one of the competitions that will be staged over the course of a six day World Festival of Ladies snooker.

During the first two days of the event there will be a ladies pairs event (won last year by Reanne Evans and Jasmin Bolsover) and a mixed pairs event (won by Reanne Evans and Michael Holt).

In tandem with the round robin matches there will also be seniors (won by Jenny Poulter last year), and under-21 competitions (won by Jasmine Bolsover) played at the Northern Snooker Centre, with a plate event, also won in 2015 by Woking’s Bolsover.

Members of the public are welcome to come and watch all events, while live updates will be posted via the website www.WLBS.com, Twitter and Facebook.

Click here for more information and here to see the winners of 2015.

Please contact WLBS Marketing Officer Diana Schuler for any questions you might have

Text: www.WPBSA.com