Tag: Emma Parker

World Women’s Snooker Rankings Review 2018/19

Following her record 12th world title success last week at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok, England’s Reanne Evans consolidated her grip on top spot in the world ranking list following her incredible six-title season.

But what have been the other significant movements during a season which has seen the total number of ranked players grow from 87 to 129, with an incredible 22 nationalities now represented?

Like the professional World Snooker Tour, the WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 replaced by those from this season over the past 12 months.

Number one

The big move during the campaign came at April’s Festival of Women’s Snooker in Leeds when Evans reclaimed top spot on the world ranking list for the first time since February 2018 following her double title success at the event.

In fact it is a measure of how strong a season Evans enjoyed that having begun the season some 5,850 points behind Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, she has now ended it with a significant lead of 16,850 points.

With both players having banked a similar amount of points during the 2017/18 season and those points due to be deducted from their respective totals over the course of the coming 12 months, Evans looks well-placed to retain the top ranking for some time to come.

Following her victories at the UK Women’s Championship and the Australian Women’s Open however, On Yee does continue to hold a comfortable second position, the top two having now locked out all of the ranking titles for a second successive season.

The top eight

Behind the top two Keighley’s Rebecca Kenna is up one place to third from her season-start position after she reached two ranking finals before Christmas.

Hot on her heels is World Championship runner-up Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who is the sole new entrant to the top eight from the start of the season, having surged up the list from 17th place a year ago. The 19-year-old now has a real chance to close the gap to the top three with no points to be removed from her total until 2020 because she did not compete during the opening half of the 2017/18 campaign.

Down two is Maria Catalano following a difficult campaign undoubtedly affected by off-table issues including the passing of her father last year, with Wales’ Laura Evans a place behind with quarter-final runs at the Women’s Masters and Belgian Women’s Open her best performances.

Suzie Opacic remains in seventh position with a semi-final run at the Women’s Masters representing her best performance, while Australian Women’s Open Katrina Wan is down two to eighth having not competed since her run in Sydney.

On the rise

Poised to join the elite top eight next season is Hornchurch youngster Emma Parker, up six places to ninth following a career-best season and now well within striking distance of Wan above her who is not currently competing on the Tour.

Also moving up is Wakefield’s Steph Daughtery who claimed back-to-back Challenge Cup victories mid-season, while Thailand’s Waratthanun Sukritthanes finished the campaign up in 15th position despite only competing at the Festival and World Championship events at the end of the season.

In fact it was quite a year for Thai players as both Ploychompoo Laokiatphong and Baipat Siripaporn both soared up the list, Laokiatphong up into the top 30 having only made her Tour debut last September, with Siripaporn right behind her in 31st after reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time.

Belgium’s Wendy Jans also became an increasingly familiar face, competing in three ranking events and reaching the semi-finals of each to vault 19 places up the list into the top 16.

The future

While Reanne Evans will take some stopping at the top of the rankings, behind her there are a number of players with positive momentum who have fewer points to defend than those around them.

Already mentioned above, Nutcharut Wongharuthai will have her sights set on the top three while others placed higher on the unofficial one-year list for the 2018/19 campaign, than their positions on the official two-year ranking list include Emma Parker (5th), Wendy Jans (7th), Steph Daughtery (8th) and Jaique Ip Wan In (10th).

Conversely, players who could face a drop down the ranking list having earned significantly fewer points than the previous season having missed out on events include Maria Catalano (19th), Diana Schuler (16th), Aimee Benn (26th) and Jenny Poulter (27th).

The 2019/20 World Women’s Snooker Tour is set to begin with the all-new Women’s Tour Championship invitational event at the Crucible Theatre on 17th August, prior to the first ranking event, the UK Women’s Championship a month later in Leeds. Further details of additional events will be announced soon.

World Women’s Rankings – Belgian Women’s Open 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the first time in 2019 as Reanne Evans claimed her third title of the season at the Belgian Women’s Open last weekend.

The WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, points earned at the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy were removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned at this year’s event held at The Trickshot in Bruges.

On Yee completes year at the top

Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has completed 12 months at the head of the world women’s ranking list following her run to the final last weekend in Bruges. In fact, despite losing out to closest rival Reanne Evans in the title match, On Yee has actually extended her lead because she was defending no points at this cut-off, while Evans had 3,200 coming off having reached the semi-finals of the Connie Gough Trophy in 2017.

It is not all bad news for 11-time world champion Evans however as her defeat of the top seed has strengthened her position in top spot on this season’s one-year ranking list with 6,000 more points to her name than On Yee.

With On Yee set to lose 20,000 from her total over the next six months following her flawless end to the 2016/17 season, there is a very real prospect that top spot will change hands before the end of the season with Evans due to defend only the 6,400 points earned by her semi-final run at the 2017 World Championship.

The top 10

Despite the removal of points earned two years ago in Dunstable and the addition of those earned in Belgium, there are no changes of position inside the top 10 this week.

Third ranked Rebecca Kenna finds herself on her own some distance behind the top two, but comfortably clear of Maria Catalano who was defending the maximum 5,000 points having triumphed two years ago at the Connie Gough Trophy and did not compete in Belgium

There is in fact a close battle for fourth place with just 2,525 separating Catalano, Katrina Wan and Laura Evans, with all three players defending a similar amount of points between now and the end of the season.

Further back, Suzie Opacic is under increasing pressure from Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who having reached the semi-finals or better for the fourth time in five events so far this season, looks destined to continue her surge up the ranking list over the coming months.

Jans on the rise

Among the biggest movers further down the rankings is Belgium’s Wendy Jans as the 12-time EBSA champion rises nine places to 23rd position following her second semi-final run of the season. A stronger player than her ranking would suggest, she will only continue to climb the ranking list with further tour appearances over the coming months.

Also on the rise is Jackie Ellis who climbs two places to a new career-high of 21st position, as well as Dorothee Rapp and Connie Stephens who are up to career-best positions of 31st and 32nd respectively.

Germany’s Tanja Ender also rises one position to 40th despite not competing in Bruges.

There are six new names on the ranking list this week including Jane O’Neill, who made her first appearance on the circuit since 2003, reaching the last 16. Both Vicky Shirley and Danielle Findlay fall off the list having not competed in over two years now.

Under-21

There is a change at the top of the Under-21 ranking list as with Shannon Metcalf absent from the tournament, a semi-final run from Emma Parker was enough to see the Hornchurch youngster reclaim the number one junior ranking for the second time this season.

Steph Daughtery, who captured the title in Bruges with a brilliant win against Nutcharut Wongharuthai consolidates third position, with her Thai opponent rising into the top four for the first time ahead of Aimee Benn.

Zoe Killington moves up to eighth position after winning her first match at under-21 level against newcomer Anne Kuijpers.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Festival of Women’s Snooker from 12-15 April 2019.

Women to Compete at Snooker Shoot Out

It has today been announced that both Reanne Evans and Emma Parker will compete at the Shoot Out which will be staged at the Watford Colosseum from 21-24 February.

The pair, who both compete regularly on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, have been selected for the professional event among eight wildcard players for the first time and will join 126 other players looking to win the £32,000 top prize.

Dudley’s Evans will face 10-time ranking event winner Jimmy White in a mouth-watering tie during the evening session on Friday 22 February, while former world under-21 champion Parker will play India’s Laxman Rawat a day earlier.

The event will be televised live on Eurosport.

Prior to the event, both players will also be in action at the Belgian Open’s Open in Bruges from 1-3 February. Entries for that event are still being accepted HERE.

Junior Stars Boost Women’s Snooker

As the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour reaches its midway point, today we highlight the achievements of a number of our talented Under-21 players who have set significant career milestones already this season.

Whether it be career-best performances or new career high rankings, it has already been a memorable season for several junior players who have shone so far this term, as encapsulated at the recent Eden Women’s Masters which saw four players aged 19 or younger progress to the quarter-finals against experienced opposition.

Below we turn the spotlight on a few of the players who have shown their potential already so far this season, in no particular order…

Emma Parker

It has already been a landmark season for 19-year-old Emma Parker, who has twice broken new ground in recent months on the WWS circuit with career-best performances at two events.

Competing at the European Women’s Masters in Neerpelt, the youngster from Hornchurch reached her first ranking event quarter-final, notably defeating Thai star Nutcharut Wongharuthai in the first of three meetings during the weekend to top her group. She then recorded a 3-2 victory against former world championship quarter-finalist Diana Stateczny to progress to the last eight, where  Wongharuthai would turn the tables with a 3-0 win.

Parker however would have the last laugh during the weekend, a 2-0 success in the final of the Under-21 event in Belgium to not only claim her fourth junior title, but one that saw her climb to the top of the Under-21 ranking list for the first time ever.

Her biggest success to date a month later in Gloucester however as she defeated Stephanie Daughtery and then world number six Laura Evans 3-2 to reach her maiden ranking semi-final. Although she would lose out to eventual champion Reanne Evans, her performance saw her reach another significant milestone as she broke into the top 10 of the world women’s rankings for the first time.

Nutcharut Wongharuthai

Also achieving this feat earlier in the season was the prodigious Nutcharut Wongharuthai, another 19-year-old who looks to have a big future in the sport in front of her.

Having competed at the mixed gender SangSom 6-Red World Championship in her home country back in September, the Bangkok native made a strong start to her campaign on the World Women’s Snooker Tour by reaching the semi-finals of the UK Women’s Championship in Leeds, narrowly losing out a black-ball game to Rebecca Kenna. She would at least have the consolation of claiming her third Under-21 title with a 2-1 victory over Shannon Metcalf.

Better was to come in Belgium however as she stunned Ng On Yee at the last 16 stage before taking the scalp of home hero Wendy Jans in the semi-finals with a 4-2 victory to progress to her second ranking final. Just as at the first, the result would be a defeat to 11-time world champion Reanne Evans but her performance was enough to see her break into the top 10 for the first time.

Another semi-final run would follow at the Australian Women’s Open in Sydney later in the month, On Yee this time gaining the upper hand on her way to her latest title, but Wongharuthai – or Mink as she is better known – had done enough to end 2018 at a career-high ninth position and with a reputation as one of the most talented players on tour.

Shannon Metcalf

But while Parker and Wongharuthai have grabbed a number of the headlines, also among the silverware so far this season have been Shannon Metcalf and Stephanie Daughtery.

For Metcalf, the start of the season saw the 16-year-old broke her title duck by taking the Challenge Cup title at the UK Women’s Championship with a 3-2 victory against world number seven Suzie Opacic.

Having previously lost six side-event finals, Metcalf then made it a title double at the Eden Women’s Masters by defeating Stephanie Daughtery 2-0 to capture her first Under-21 title and secure a return to top spot in the Under-21 rankings having fallen behind Emma Parker at the previous event. She also made it through to her second-ever ranking event quarter-final in Gloucester to underline the development made with her game in recent months.

Stephanie Daughtery

Despite losing out to Metcalf in Gloucester, it was nevertheless a weekend to remember for Stephanie Daughtery after the 17-year-old captured her third side-event title by claiming the Challenge Cup with victory against ninth ranked Diana Schuler of Germany.

Perhaps the most memorable moment for the youngster from Wakefield however came in the under-21 event where she earned a hard-fought win against Emma Parker in the semi-finals, turning the tables after losing her previous four matches to Parker since the start of the 2017/18 season.

Career bests

It is not just the title winners who have shown promise however, 11th ranked Aimee Benn reached only her second ever ranking event quarter-final at the Eden Masters recently, while Chloe White achieved a new career-high ranking of 22nd after the Hampshire potter progressed to the last eight of a ranking tournament for the first time in Gloucester. Wakefield’s Claire Edginton too has reached three side-event semi-finals in 2018, including at her first two events during the current season.

Debut stars

As well as our regular players in recent years we are also delighted to have welcomed new players this season who have also impressed. Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong in particular made an immediate impact with a shock 2-1 victory against world number three Rebecca Kenna at the UK Women’s Championship on her debut in September, eventually losing out to top ranked Ng On Yee at the quarter-final stage.

And most recently we welcomed 12-year-old Zoe Killington to the Eden Women’s Masters, the Merseysider impressively winning two frames against significantly more experienced players to demonstrate her potential.

Cue case prize

Earlier this season we announced the creation of a new award for the 2018/19 season which will see our Under-21 Player of the Year receive a special cue case donated by RR Cue Cases in recognition of their achievements.

If you want to get involved and potentially stake your claim for what is set to be a fabulous prize, why not learn more about how you can join the World Women’s Snooker Tour and our thriving junior circuit HERE.

World Women’s Rankings – Eden Women’s Masters 2018 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the final time in 2018 as the season reached its midway point following victory for Reanne Evans at the Eden Women’s Masters last weekend.

The WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, points earned at the 2017 Eden Women’s Masters (Derby) were removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned at this year’s event held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.

Evans closes the gap

Reanne Evans has closed the gap to Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee to 7,050 points following her record fifth triumph at the Eden Women’s Masters last weekend.

Having entered the event 10,800 points behind her Asian rival, Evans duly maximised her opportunity to home in on the current world number one with On Yee not competing at the tournament.

Interestingly, although she claimed the maximum 7,500 points on offer by taking the title in Gloucester, the gap between the top two has only narrowed by 3,750 points as we head towards the Christmas break. This is because Evans was defending maximum points at the corresponding event in January 2017, while On Yee only reached the quarter-finals of that event in Derby, meaning that she had fewer points to defend at this update.

With 10,400 more points to defend than Evans between now and the end of the season however, On Yee must have a strong finish to the season if she is to retain her number one ranking next summer.

The top 10

Elsewhere there was a new entry to the top 10 as Emma Parker climbs four places to 10th following her maiden semi-final appearance in Gloucester. The 19-year-old replaces Aimee Benn, who herself had a positive weekend reaching only her second quarter-final, but was defending last 16 points from two seasons ago.

With no points to be removed from her total however, having not competed in the corresponding event in January 2017, Parker gains 3,750 points as she continues her rise up the ranking list from 22nd position 12 months ago. In fact only six players have earned more points than her so far this season meaning that if she can maintain her current form then she has a real chance to rise further still.

Otherwise the top 10 remains stable, players including Rebecca Kenna (3), Laura Evans (6) and Suzie Opacic (7) consolidating their positions having all reached the quarter-final stage or better at the Eden Women’s Masters.

Rise and fall

Outside of the top ten, there are career-high positions for Hong Kong trio Ho Yee Ki (12), Fong Mei Mei (17) and Pui Ying Mini Chu (18), who despite not competing in Gloucester have gained positions because they were not defending points from 2017.

Also setting a new high watermark in their respective careers are players including Chloe White (22), who reached her first quarter-final at the weekend and Jackie Ellis (23), after she reached the knockout rounds for the first time.

A little further down the list both Yvette Greenway (39) and Connie Stephens (40) have broken into the top 40 for the first time having also made it through to the last 16, while there are three new entries on the list as the circuit continues to expand.

With players on the rise it is inevitable that others have dropped down the list, most notably So Man Yan (24) who is down seven places following the expiration of her points from reaching the final of the event two years ago.

Others to have slipped down are Jenny Poulter (down four) and notably Vicky Shirley, a quarter-finalist in Derby who has played only one event since which sees her drop to 90th position on the latest list.

Under-21

For the second time in three events there is a change at the head of the under-21 rankings after Shannon Metcalf captured her first Under-21 title to reclaim top spot at the expense of Emma Parker.

Stephanie Daughtery consolidated third position after an impressive win against Parker at the semi-finals stage of Gloucester’s junior event, although she would ultimately finish as tournament runner-up to Metcalf.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return in 2019.

World Women’s Rankings – European Women’s Masters 2018 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the second time this season following victory for Reanne Evans at the European Women’s Masters in Belgium last weekend.

The WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, no points were removed from the ranking list as there was no corresponding event two years ago, with just points added from the European Women’s Masters at De Maxx.

Evans closes the gap

After Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee dramatically extended her lead at the top of the world ranking list with her victory at the season-opening UK Women’s Championship, second ranked Reanne Evans has now narrowed the gap following her latest title success.

With On Yee’s early exit to Nutcharut Wongharuthai at the last 16 stage in Neerpelt, combined with the first silverware of the season for Evans, the 11-time world champion has closed to just 7,050 points behind, compared to 13,612 heading into Belgium.

Elsewhere Keighley’s Rebecca Kenna consolidated third place with her run to the semi-finals, with closest challenger Maria Catalano not competing in the event and therefore unable to add to her total.

The remaining positions inside the top eight are unchanged, but there is a new entrant to the top 10 as 18-year-old Nutcharut Wongharuthai climbs two places to a career-high ninth following her second appearance in a ranking final. Since joining the tour as a regular player back at February’s UK Open, only the top three have gained more ranking points than the talented Thai player who has just 3,300 to be removed from her total during the next 12 months and is on course to continue moving up the list.

Ranking risers

Outside of the top 10, there is a new career-high of 13th for Emma Parker after the 19-year-old reached her first ranking quarter-final in Belgium, while former world number three Jaique Ip also climbs two places to 12th after she also reached the last eight.

Hong Kong’s Ho Yee Ki also rises one place to a new personal best of 16th position, while Germany’s Diana Stateczny re-enters the top 30 after she reached the last 16 stage.

There is a leap of 14 places for home favourite and our host last weekend at De Maxx, Wendy Jans, who is now ranked 31st following her run to the semi-finals.

Finally, Australia’s Judy Dangerfield also moves to a new career-high of 44th after she reached the knockout stages at her second ranking event.

Under-21 rankings

There was a change at the top of the Under-21 rankings in Belgium as Emma Parker ascended to top spot following her fourth Under-21 title victory during the past 18 months.

Having come into the tournament just 300 points behind 16-year-old Shannon Metcalf, Parker defeated the youngster 2-1 in the round robin stages of the European Women’s Masters Under-21 event before defeating Nutcharut Wongharuthai 2-0 in the final to clinch the title.

Parker now sits 3,450 points clear of Metcalf at the top of the list and with fewer points to defend compared to the Leeds-based youngster during the remainder of the season has a good opportunity to remain there for the immediate future.

Further down the list, Thailand’s Wongharuthai climbs two places to fifth following her final appearance with Aimee Benn next in her sights.

The next ranking event will be the WLBS Australian Women’s Open 2018, which will be held for the first time at Mounties in Sydney, Australia from 25-28 October 2018. Enter now online HERE.

Evans Above at European Women’s Masters

England’s Reanne Evans lifted her first silverware of the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour season with a 4-1 victory against Nutcharut Wongharuthai last weekend.

The 11-time world champion and current world number two came into the tournament on the back of a surprise last 16 exit at last month’s UK Women’s Championship, but it was to be a different story at De Maxx club in Neerpelt as she dropped just one frame on her way to the title.

Following victories against Caty Dehaene and Ho Yee Ki, she then avenged her defeat to Rebecca Kenna in Leeds with a dominant 4-0 victory against the world number three in the semi-finals.

For the second time in 2018 it was not long-time rival Ng On Yee who would await her in the final, but instead Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai who once again underlined her credentials as a star of the future this weekend.

Following her progress through the group stages she stunned reigning world champion On Yee with a 3-1 success, before adding the scalps of Emma Parker and home favourite and 12-time EBSA European champion Wendy Jans with a 4-2 semi-final victory.

In a cagey final however it was to be Evans who proved too strong, winning the final three frames from 1-1 to add another ranking title to her already unrivalled CV. Victory also sees Evans significantly close the gap to Ng On Yee at the top of the world rankings ahead of this month’s Australian Women’s Open in Sydney.

For the defeated Wongharuthai she has the consolation of having broken into the world’s top ten for the first time following her final run, a status that few would be surprised to see her retain for some time to come.

Side-events

Despite her unexpected early exit in the main competition the weekend, world number one Ng On Yee would not leave Belgium empty-handed following her success in the Challenge Cup side-event.

A competition open to players who had not reached the quarter-finals of the main competition, the event saw an unusually strong field with four of the world’s top eight players all in action during the final two days.

Following victories against Laura Evans, Diana Schuler and Diana Stateczny, On Yee saw off fellow Hong Kong player Katrina Wan in the final to claim victory.

In the Under-21 competition there was success for England’s Emma Parker who shrugged off the disappointment of losing to Nutcharut Wongharuthai in her first-ever ranking event quarter-final to turn the tables on the Thai player with a 2-0 final victory and win her fourth junior event.

The win also sees Parker achieve a significant milestone as she rises to top spot on the WLBS Under-21 ranking list ahead of Shannon Metcalf for the first time in her career.

Finally there was also victory for India’s Chitra Magimairaj in the Seniors side-event after she defeated Australia’s Judy Dangerfield 3-1 in the final. The success is the first for Magimairaj on the World Women’s Snooker Tour since the 2016 World Championship Seniors competition.

World Ladies Billiards and Snooker extends its thanks to all players and supporters who attended the event, in particular Wendy Jans (and her father Guy) who as the owner of De Maxx was a fantastic host and could not have been more accommodating of the event.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour continues later this month with the inaugural Australian Women’s Open which runs in Sydney on 25-28 October 2018. The deadline for entries remains open until Saturday 13 October – enter HERE at the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council website.

World Women’s Rankings – UK Women’s Championship 2018 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the first time this season following the latest title triumph for Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee at the LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship last weekend.

The WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, points earned at the 2016 Paul Hunter Ladies Classic and 2016 UK Ladies Snooker Championship events have been removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned last weekend at the Northern Snooker Centre.

On Yee extends her advantage

Following the successful defence of her UK title in Leeds, Hong Kong star Ng On Yee has significantly tightened her grip on top spot with her lead now stretching from 5,850 to 13,612 points to second placed Reanne Evans.

This significant swing is primarily the result of two factors, the first of course being On Yee’s victory combined with the surprise last 16 exit of record eight-time UK champion Evans to Rebecca Kenna.

The second reason is that as well as having more points going onto her total after this event, On Yee also had fewer points to defend with 12,300 coming off her total compared to 13,500 for Evans following their respective results two years ago. Interestingly this pattern will continue through until early next year with Evans defending winners points  from the Eden Women’s Masters (7,500) at which On Yee lost in the quarter-finals (3,750), as well as semi-final points from the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy (3,200) at which On Yee did not compete.

The tables will turn after that however with On Yee set to defend a further 20,000 points before the end of the season compared to just 6,400 for Evans, giving the Dudley star a chance to close down the gap.

The top 10

Keighley-based Rebecca Kenna has moved back up Maria Catalano into a career-best equalling third position following her run to the final at the UK Women’s Snooker Championship.

The two most consistent performers on the tour outside of the top two in recent seasons, the pair have enjoyed a competitive battle in 2018 which has seen them regularly swap places in the table and it will be interesting to see whether either player can make that position their own over the coming months or even mount a serious challenge to the top two.

There is no change in position elsewhere in the top ten, although Katrina Wan has closed the gap to fifth placed Laura Evans by reaching the quarter-finals, while Evans was not in action in Leeds.

Ranking risers

It was another successful event for Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai who climbs six places to a career-high 11th position following her run to the semi-finals. With no points to come off her total prior to next year’s World Women’s Championship, it would appear inevitable that the 18-year-old will soon break into top ten for the first time and could follow the example set in recent years by players like Rebecca Kenna and Laura Evans who have firmly established themselves inside the top six.

Other significant movers include Hong Kong’s Ho Yee Ki who climbs four places to 17th following her run to the quarter-finals, while there are new career-high positions for several players including Chloe White (23) and Connie Stephens (44), who reached the last 16 of an event for the first time in Leeds.

Of the five debutants in action this weekend Ploychompoo Laokiatphong enjoyed the most success by making it through to the last eight and is rewarded with an initial ranking of 59.

Under-21 rankings

Turning to the Under-21 rankings and 16-year-old Shannon Metcalf remains in top spot following her run to the final this weekend in Leeds. Interestingly however, second placed Emma Parker has closed the gap to just 300 points after her semi-final run because she had no points to defend having not competed at the event in 2016 while Metcalf was defending final points from that year.

Both players are now comfortably clear of third placed Stephanie Daughtery, who was defending champion’s points from the UK Under-21s Championship in 2016.

Elsewhere, this weekend’s champion Nutcharut Wongharuthai climbs one place to seventh and with two titles from three since joining the tour as a regular player earlier this year, it would again be no surprise to see her gain further positions over the coming months.

Next up will be the WLBS European Women’s Masters 2018, which will be held for the first time at De Maxx Snooker Club in Neerpelt, Belgium from 5-7 October 2018. Enter now online HERE.

LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship: Tournament Preview

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return this weekend with the LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship in Leeds and with the draws for the tournament now out, today we take a look at a few of the key themes to follow throughout the event.

The top two

Having shared last season’s silverware between them, current world number one Ng On Yee and 11-time world champion Reanne Evans will once again head into the tournament as the players to beat.

On Yee, who last season won the event for a third time with a 4-1 victory against Evans in the final, will be looking to extend her advantage at the top of the current world rankings with the gap currently standing at 5,850 points at the close of last season. In fact, with Evans defending maximum points from the corresponding event two years ago when she defeated On Yee in the semi-finals, the Hong Kong player will only need to complete her first match to guarantee retaining top spot following the event.

Record eight-time UK champion Evans however comes into the event having won three of the past four singles competitions on the tour and with 5,450 fewer points to be removed from her total during the course of this season will be keen to start closing the gap this weekend in Leeds.

Group draw

With the top two seeded through to the knockout rounds the remaining 26 players will contest Saturday’s group stage with the top two guaranteed to progress from each of the seven groups.

There is a real feeling of variety to this event with nine of the world’s top ten joined by five players who will be making their first appearances on the women’s circuit in Leeds, including players from the USA and Thailand.

Group A is headed by two-time UK Championship semi-finalist Suzie Opacic who will be aiming to go one match further this weekend and reach the final for the first time. The current world number seven will be joined by Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai, fresh from her appearance at last week’s SangSom 6-Red World Championship in Thailand, as well as Elizabeth Black and Heidi De Gruchy.

Grimsby’s De Gruchy will be making her return following a year off the tour since the corresponding event in 2017 at which she qualified for the knockout stages for the first time before losing out to Reanne Evans.

Over in Group B we have a real mix of youth and experience with top seed Aimee Benn joined by fellow junior Steph Daughtery and seniors competitor Dorothée Rapp of Germany. The group is completed by Hull’s Kate Longworth, the first of five debutants at the Northern Snooker Centre.

On paper one of the most eye-catching groups is Group C which will see world number four Rebecca Kenna looking to progress beyond the quarter-final stages of this event for the first time.

She will be up against former world women’s under-21 champion Emma Parker, Claire Edginton and Thai debutant Ploychompoo Laokiatphong. Coached by professional player Mike Dunn, the Thai youngster is well-regarded as a player and like each of the newcomers this weekend, a welcome addition to the circuit.

Two players from Hong Kong have found themselves paired in Group D with world number six Katrina Wan paired with compatriot Ho Yi Kee. Joining them will be two-time under-21 event winner Chloe White and 13th ranked Shannon Metcalf.

The final four-woman group is Group E with 2012 champion Maria Catalano its seeded star. Winner of the Connie Gough Trophy in 2017, Catalano is the last player other than Ng On Yee or Reanne Evans to claim silverware on the circuit and will of course look a little different this weekend following the completion of her ‘brave the shave’ challenge on Friday evening.

Set to challenge her on the baize will be Maureen Rowland together with two more newcomers to the circuit in the form of Jessica Connolly and Frances Eames Noland, the latter becoming our first active player from the United States of America.

There is also an international flavour to Group F with Germany’s top ranked player Diana Schuler set to be joined by former world number three Jaique Ip Wan In of Hong Kong and England’s Jackie Ellis.

Lastly, Group G is headed by the experienced Jenny Poulter, who will take on Connie Stephens and our final newcomer for this event, Michelle Baker. The wife of World Disability Billiards and Snooker player David Baker, Michelle has caught the snooker bug and will be looking to make a name for herself starting in Leeds.

Side events

The weekend will also see side-events played across both days of snooker.

The under-21s competition will see eight players begin at the quarter-finals stage in a straight knockout draw with Shannon Metcalf and Emma Parker kept apart as the top two seeds based upon their positions on the current Under-21 ranking list.

First up for home player Metcalf will be a clash with Claire Edginton with either Chloe White or two-time UK under-21s champion Steph Daughtery awaiting in the semi-finals. In the bottom half of the draw Parker will begin her defence of the title that she claimed a year ago against Aimee Benn, while there will also be an all-Thai clash between Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Ploychompoo Laokiatphong.

With six entries received into the seniors competition, both Jenny Poulter and Jackie Ellis have been randomly drawn straight through to the semi-finals and will each await the winner of a preliminary round match. Playing for the right to face two-time defending champion Poulter will be last year’s runner-up Maureen Rowland and Germany’s Dorothée Rapp, while Yvette Greenway faces newcomer Michelle Baker in the bottom half of the draw.

In addition to these two side-events there will also be a Challenge Cup tournament held for players who have not qualified to play during Sunday’s final stages.

Tournament updates

As always, the latest results and draws from the 2018 LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship will be available to view throughout the weekend at MySnookerStats, with regular updates and photos to be posted at our Facebook and Twitter pages.

On Yee poses next to balls shaped as 1

WLBS Rankings Review 2018

The 2017/18 season was another to remember for Ng On Yee as the Hong Kong player rose to the summit of the WLBS world ranking list for the first time, but who were the other movers and shakers during the season-long campaign?

Like the professional World Snooker Tour, the WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2015/16 replaced by those from this season over the past 12 months.

Number one

As mentioned above, this year has seen a change at the top of the rankings for the first time in nearly four years as Ng On Yee claimed top spot from Reanne Evans following the British Open back in February, maintaining the position through to the end of the season.

With victories at the UK Women’s Championship, Women’s Masters and of course the World Women’s Championship in Malta, it was another strong season for the 27-year-old, although after Evans won three of the campaign’s final four events no doubt the pair will enjoy another season-long battle for top spot next season.

The top eight

Away from the top two it was another successful season for Rebecca Kenna who broke into the world’s top three for the first time earlier this year, eventually finishing in fourth behind Malta finalist Maria Catalano.

The Keighley player enjoyed her most consistent run on the World Women’s Snooker Tour to date, reaching four semi-finals including her third successive World Women’s Championship last four appearance to improve upon her starting position of number six.

The top eight as a whole remained relatively stable with seven of the players who began the season inside the elite bracket remaining there at the end of the campaign. The exception to the rule was Germany’s Diana Schuler, who following a consistent season which saw her regularly qualify for the knockout rounds of competitions, was able to break into the world’s top eight for the first time to become the current highest ranked player from mainland Europe.

Junior progress

It was another strong season for the tour’s junior players who continue to gain valuable experience, including West Yorkshire’s Aimee Benn who also achieved a top ten position for the first time by virtue of reaching the last 16 of each of the six events that she competed in.

As well as Benn, there were new highs for British juniors Stephanie Daughtery (12), Shannon Metcalf (13), Emma Parker (15), Claire Edginton (18) and Chloe White (26) during the course of the season, Parker also climbing to second position in the WLBS Under-21 rankings behind Metcalf following her two victories during the season.

Asian talent

The World Women’s Snooker Tour continued to see an influx of new talent from Asia during last season with no fewer than 10 players from Hong Kong, Thailand and South Korea finishing inside of the top 30.

Without doubt the most successful newcomers were Thai duo Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Waratthanun Sukritthanes, who both earned top 20 places despite not playing a full calendar of events. Both made their debuts at the 2017 World Women’s Championship in Singapore, but it was during 2018/19 that the pair really rose to prominence.

Wongharuthai was first to announce herself as the 18-year-old stunned newly-crowned world number one Ng On Yee in the semi-finals of the British Open to contest her maiden final, before she proceeded to capture the 2018 World Women’s Under-21 Championship in Leeds last month. Sukritthanes meanwhile reached the last eight of the World Women’s Championship in Malta for a second successive year, subsequently going one better at both the World Women’s 6-Red and 10-Red World Championship competitions by reaching the semi-finals.

From Hong Kong we saw three victories at Challenge Cup events as newcomers Ho Yee Ki, Pui Ying Mini Chu and Yee Ting Cheung all claimed silverware, while we also were treated to a memorable semi-final encounter between Ng On Yee and So Man Yan at the Paul Hunter Classic at the start of the season, eventually won by On Yee following a deciding frame.

The future

While the future of course is still to be written, by looking at which players had a strong start to the 2016/17 season or otherwise we can make some deductions as to who may be in a position to climb the ranking list over the first half of the new campaign.

At the head of the list On Yee looks to have a strong grip on top spot as it is Evans who has more points to defend during the first half of the campaign including winner’s points from two of the first three events played during that season. Evans however will then have significantly fewer points to come off compared to her Asian rival as she looks to reclaim the world number one ranking over the following months once again.

With no points to defend over the next six months, top 20 trio Emma Parker, Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Waratthanun Sukritthanes are among those best placed to continue making strides up what is becoming an increasingly competitive ranking list if they can maintain their current form.

The 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour is set to begin with the UK Women’s Championship at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds this September. Further details of the tournament and additional events still to be announced will be confirmed in due course.