Tag: Emma Parker

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.

Title Triple for Evans at Snooker Festival

Reanne Evans was the big winner at the 2018 Festival of Women’s Snooker as she left undefeated to capture three of the five titles on offer at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, England.

As the curtain fell on the 2017/18 World Women’s Snooker Tour season, it was the 11-time world champion who emerged victorious in the weekend 10-Red and 6-Red ranking events, before adding the Pairs Championship alongside Maria Catalano to bookend another successful season with her third title of the Festival.

There was a familiar opponent for Evans in the finals of both the World Women’s 10-Red and 6-Red Championship events as she faced Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, who was looking to defend both titles after her victories at the events in 2017.

This time however it was Evans who having impressed throughout the weekend first recorded a 4-1 success to win the 10-Red event, before coming back from 3-1 down the following day to win 4-3 on the pink following a dramatic final in the 6-Red competition.

“I am happy to be back to winning ways,” said Evans. “Coming to the tournament straight from Sheffield [Evans lost 10-7 to Dominic Dale at the professional World Championship qualifiers the previous week] I was on a bit of a downer, but also a bit of a high having competed well.

“I played really well in the 10-Red event, everything seemed to go in. Today I struggled a little bit, but I dug in there and I was happy to win in the end.”

Her success at the weekend has seen Evans finish with a tour-best four ranking titles following previous victories in at the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic and British Open events, but the 32-year-old is targeting further improvement ahead of Q School next month where she will be looking to secure a return to the professional circuit for the first time since the 2010/11 season.

“Looking back over the season there have definitely been positives, but I just want to play a little bit better. Obviously, everybody wants to win but lately I have been struggling a little bit, my form has been very patchy so hopefully I can get a little bit more consistent and I will be even more happy!”

Together with friend and world number three Maria Catalano, Evans claimed her third title of the event on Monday as the Dudley duo defeated last year’s runners-up Laura Evans and Suzie Opacic 3-0 to claim the World Women’s Pairs Championship title.

It is Evans’ second victory in the event following her success alongside Jasmine Bolsover back in 2015 and Catalano’s first having previously been runner-up two years ago with Latvia’s Tatjana Vasiljeva.

The World Women’s Under-21 Championship was won for the first time by Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai after the 18-year-old ended the reign of 2017 champion Emma Parker with a 3-0 win in the final.

Wongharuthai, who is also known by her nickname ‘Mink’, recently reached the final of the British Open event in Stourbridge and dominated this weekend’s juniors event by taking the title without the loss of a single frame.

The victory is her first title at any level on the WLBS circuit and one that will add to her growing reputation as one to watch in the women’s game.

The World Women’s Seniors Championship was won by Jenny Poulter, who completed a clean sweep of Seniors events across the current season with a 3-0 victory against Jackie Ellis in the final.

Having topped her group with 2-1 wins against Germany’s Tanja Ender and Maureen Rowland, Poulter ran out a comfortable winner to add to her previous titles this season in Leeds, Gloucester and Stourbridge.

 

View full results from the singles competitions from the 2018 Festival HERE.

World Women’s Pairs Championship results:

PRELIM ROUND

Yee Ki Ho/Pui Ying Chu 2-1 Aimee Benn/Claire Edginton

Nutcharut Wongharuthai/Waratthanun Sukritthanes 2-0 Mei Mei Fong/Yee Ting Cheung

QUARTER-FINALS

Reanne Evans/Maria Catalano 2-0 Yee Ki Ho/Pui Ying Chu

Rebecca Kenna/Shannon Metcalf 2-0 Dorothee Rapp/Tanja Ender

Laura Evans/Suzie Opacic 2-0 Elizabeth Black/Jackie Ellis

Nutcharut Wongharuthai/Waratthanun Sukritthanes 2-0 Ng On Yee/Katrina Wan

SEMI-FINALS

Reanne Evans/Maria Catalano 2-1 Rebecca Kenna/Shannon Metcalf

Laura Evans/Suzie Opacic 2-1 Nutcharut Wongharuthai/Waratthanun Sukritthanes

FINAL

Reanne Evans/Maria Catalano 3-0 Laura Evans/Suzie Opacic

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.

On Yee number 1

WLBS Rankings Update – British Open Update

The official WLBS world women’s rankings have been updated following victory for Reanne Evans at the British Open last weekend in Stourbridge, England.

The WLBS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2015/16 to be removed during the course of this season. At this update, points earned at the 2016 Connie Gough Trophy and Eden Classic events have been removed from player’s totals and replaced with those earned last weekend at the British Open.

Change at the top

Despite a semi-final defeat for Ng On Yee against Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai at the British Open last weekend, her last-four run was enough to see her make history and overhaul Reanne Evans at the top of the rankings for the first time in her career.

Having come into the tournament 1,550 points behind Evans, the Hong Kong ace needed to win just one match in Stourbridge to guarantee that she would replace the 11-time world champion at the top of the rankings, regardless of what happened thereafter. This was because Evans was defending maximum points from two events held during the corresponding period two years ago, a significantly higher amount than her main tour rival.

The result is that On Yee becomes the first Asian woman to hold the top ranking and now holds a lead of 2,250 to Evans heading into next month’s World Women’s Snooker Championship in Malta. With Evans also set to defend maximum points there from having won her most recent world title in 2016, On Yee will be hoping to maintain her advantage as we move towards the end of the season.

The top 10

Away from the top two, there was also a significant movement just behind them as Rebecca Kenna leapfrogged former number one Maria Catalano to reach a new career-high ranking of number three.

Although it was Catalano who came into the event ahead in the points race, the loss of 4,000 ranking points from her run to the final of the Connie Gough Trophy in 2016 (at which Kenna did not play), combined with Kenna progressing two rounds further than Catalano in Stourbridge, means that it is the Keighley player who has now edged ahead for the first time.

There is no change to the remainder of the top eight as those ranked 5-8 hold station, but tour veteran Jenny Poulter climbs two places to ninth following her first quarter-final run of the season.

Nutcharut on the rise

Outside of the top 10, the biggest mover was of course 18-year-old Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who climbs 28 places to 32nd following her run to the final in Stourbridge.

Other risers include the likes of Aimee Benn, Shannon Metcalf and Stephanie Daughtery (all up two), as well as Challenge Cup/Under-21s champion Emma Parker and Chu Pui Ying (both up five) following the weekend’s action.

Further down the order, rookie player Jackie Ellis rises 30 places to 52nd having reached the last 16, while Sharon Lewis climbs 15 places to 37th following her first competition of the season.

Under 21s

On the Under-21 ranking list Leeds youngster Shannon Metcalf remains in top spot some 6,800 points ahead of Stephanie Daughtery.

With the top two currently seeded apart in Under-21 draws, the battle for second place will be one to keep an eye on over the coming weeks following 18-year-old Emma Parker’s latest victory in Stourbridge, where she edged out Daughtery 3-2 in the final to claim her third Under-21 title during the past 12 months. As a result, Parker now stands just 1,000 points behind Daughtery in the rankings race.

Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai was a new entry as she played in her first WLBS juniors event.

Next up will be the WLBS World Women’s Snooker Championship 2018, which for the first time will be held as part of the new World Snooker Federation Championships in Malta from 14-17 March.