Tag: Heidi De Gruchy

Updated WLBS Rankings: April 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Season changes

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

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

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

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

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

Catalano Claims Sixth Connie Gough Crown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Side Events

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

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

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