Tag: Maria Catalano

World Women’s Rankings – UK Women’s Championship 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the first time during the 2019/20 season after Reanne Evans made a winning start to the new season with victory at the UK Women’s Snooker Championship last weekend.

The WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2017/18 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, points earned at the 2017 Paul Hunter Women’s Classic and 2017 UK Women’s Championship were removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned at the Northern Snooker Centre this month.

Evans Extends Lead

Reanne Evans has significantly increased her lead at the top of the world women’s ranking list from 16,850 points to a commanding 24,350 points following her record ninth victory at this year’s UK Women’s Championship in Leeds.

With both players defending the same amount of points from the corresponding time period two years ago, victory for Evans combined with On Yee not competing in this year’s event results in a net gain of 7,500 points for the reigning world champion.

From now until the end of the season both players have a similar amount of points to come off their totals after the leading pair dominated the 2017/18 season and so Evans is now well-placed to retain the top ranking for the foreseeable future.

The Top 10

Away from the top two, Laura Evans has leapfrogged Maria Catalano into fifth position, despite Catalano reaching her first ranking final in 18 months last weekend. This is because she was defending 8,550 ranking points from both the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic and UK Women’s Championship events in 2017, while Evans missed the German event in 2017 and so had just 3,750 to be removed from her total this week.

Nevertheless, with the majority of her total points to be removed over the coming season following a difficult period for Catalano off the table, her final run this week is a timely boost as she looks to retain her top eight ranking.

Also on the rise inside the top 10 is Hornchurch youngster Emma Parker, who climbs one place to a career-high eighth position after she reached the quarter-finals of the season-opening event in Leeds. With relatively few points to defend from two years ago compared to those ranked immediately above her, there is every chance that the 20-year-old can make further gains still over the next few months.

On the Rise

Elsewhere, there were gains for Hong Kong’s Jaique Ip Wan In who climbs four places to 13th, while players including Jackie Ellis and Connie Stephens are up to new career-highs of 16th and 21st positions respectively.

Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong is also up four places to 26th after she reached her maiden ranking event semi-final in Leeds and with no points to defend from her total during the remainder of the season will be targeting further gains over the next few months.

There is a new career-high of 35th for 13-year-old Zoe Killington after she reached the last 16 stage for a first time, representing a gain of 10 places, while  Chrissy Allwood jumps to 45th and debutants Jodie Lockett, Mariia Shevchenko and Hind Bennani are all up to tied 64th after reaching the knockout rounds.

Under-21 / Seniors

Victory for Emma Parker sees her successfully retain top spot on the Under-21 ranking list, with runner-up Steph Daughtery remaining on her heels in second position. Former world under-21 champion Nutcharut Wongharuthai climbs one place to third after 2017 runner-up Shannon Metcalf was unable to defend her points last weekend due to a knee injury.

Meanwhile the new Seniors rankings announced earlier this summer reflects the results of last weekend’s side-tournament with Jan Hughes becoming its first number one after her title triumph in Leeds.

Please note that for this season ranking points in the Under-21 and Seniors rankings will be awarded in accordance with the new side-events points schedule available HERE.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Australian Women’s Open from 17-20 October 2019.

Evans Claims Record Ninth UK Crown

Reanne Evans has defeated Maria Catalano 4-2 to capture the UK Women’s Snooker Championship for a record-extending ninth time at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

The victory sees the world number one maintain her current 11-month unbeaten run on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, which has now seen her claim seven consecutive titles and is her first UK success since 2016.

Having started her campaign with a win against Zoe Killington, 33-year-old Evans survived a scare against Hong Kong’s Fong Mei Mei at the quarter-final stage before coming through a 3-2 winner. She then comfortably defeated namesake Laura Evans in the semi-finals to reach an unprecedented 12th UK final.

There she would face close friend Maria Catalano, who previously won the event back in 2012 and had reached the final on a further five previous occasions prior to 2019. The current world number five defeated Connie Stephens on Saturday before surviving hard-fought matches with promising youngsters Emma Parker and Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong to progress to her first final since the 2018 World Women’s Championship in Malta.

It was Catalano who made the stronger start to the final to lead 1-0 and 2-1, before Evans snatched what would prove to be a pivotal fourth frame on the black to level the scores. From there she began to take control of the match, taking the fifth frame to lead for the first time before comfortably adding the sixth to crown victory.

“It was patchy this weekend, but I felt good even when I played bad so I knew it [form] was there,” said Evans. “Overall I am really pleased, to play Maria in the final again was good. It is always a bit awkward to play against your best mate, but I’m just glad to see her back after last year [Maria lost her father shortly before the same event in 2018] so this one is for her. She didn’t want to enter and we sort of made her treat it as a holiday, but she relaxed and to be fair she played a little bit better than me. I just dug in there and waited for my chances.”

For Evans the event followed her appearance at the SangSom 6-Red World Championship last week in Thailand, as she returned to the site of her record 12th world title success earlier this summer.

“It has only been the last day or so that I have actually slept well, then I got here and didn’t sleep,” continued Evans. “But it was brilliant to be back in Thailand and to be part of an event like that. I’m just happy to be playing in all of these different events now before I get too old!”

The tournament saw 32 players travel from across the world to compete including from Hong Kong, Morocco and Russia as the World Women’s Snooker Tour continues to grow. The high break was a fantastic run of 105 compiled by champion Evans during the second frame of her quarter-final win.

Side-events

Emma Parker shrugged off the disappointment of her narrow quarter-final defeat in the main competition to claim the UK Women’s Under-21 title for the second time in three years with a 2-0 win against Steph Daughtery.

The current junior number one defeated Zoe Killington and then Ploychompoo Laokiatphong in a tight semi-final, before overcoming 2015 and 2016 champion Daughtery to seal victory.

There was also a new winner in the Seniors side-event as Jan Hughes claimed her first over-40s tournament since since 2012 following a 2-1 win against Bugsie Cothier. Hughes defeated Michelle Baker before inflicting a first seniors defeat upon Jenny Poulter since April 2017 to reach the final, before edging out first-time finalist Cothier to claim the title.

The Challenge Cup side-event for players who had exited the main competition prior to the quarter-finals was won by Jaique Ip of Hong Kong, who defeated Morocco’s Hind Bennani who became the first African to compete on the WWS circuit during the weekend. Ip began with victories against Charlee Blair-McDonough, Jackie Ellis and Jenny Poulter, before scoring a 2-0 victory against Bennani for the title.

The next stop on the World Women’s Snooker Tour will be the Australian Women’s Open, which will run from 17-20 October 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Enter online now via the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council website HERE.

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.

Festival of Women’s Snooker 2019

The Festival of World Women’s Snooker will return to the Northern Snooker Centre on 12-15 April 2019. Enter online now View the full entry pack The four-day event will provisionally include the following events: World Women’s 10-Red Championship World Women’s 6-Red Championship World Women’s Under-21 Championship World Women’s Seniors Championship World Women’s Pairs Championship The […]

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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.

Eden Women’s Masters 2018: Draw and Format Released

The draw and format for this weekend’s Eden Women’s Masters is now available:

The event is the fourth event of the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour season and as in 2017 will be the final competition of the calendar year. The players will return to the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester with top seed Reanne Evans gunning for a record fourth Eden Women’s Masters title since the event was first held in 2013 and looking to close the gap to Ng On Yee at the top of the ranking list.

She will be joined by several talented women including this season’s UK Women’s Championship finalist Rebecca Kenna, former world women’s number one Maria Catalano and Welsh star Laura Evans, who reached the final of the event back in 2015.

Alongside the main tournament there will also be side-events for Under-21 and Seniors players, with players to note that both of these competitions will begin on Saturday. There will also be a Challenge Cup event for players who have been knocked out of the main competition before Sunday to guarantee snooker on both days for all players.

If you have any questions please contact a member of the team via our website.

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.

New Dates Announced for Festival of Women’s Snooker

The Festival of World Women’s Snooker 2019 will be held at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds on 12-15 April 2019.

Following the recent announcement that this season’s event would be rescheduled due to the proximity to the 2019 World Women’s Championship in the U.A.E. we can now confirm that this season’s four-day event will again provisionally include the following five tournaments:

  • World Women’s Under-21 Championship
  • World Women’s Seniors Championship
  • World Women’s 10-Red Championship
  • World Women’s 6-Red Championship
  • World Women’s Pairs Championship

The daily schedule will be confirmed closer to the event, however we would provisionally expect both ranking tournaments (10-Red and 6-Red World Championships) to be held during the weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

The 2018 Festival saw Reanne Evans claim a triple success with victories in the 6-Red, 10-Red and Women’s Pairs events (with Maria Catalano), with Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Jenny Poulter emerging victorious in the Under-21 and Seniors side-events respectively.

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.