Tag: Maureen Rowland

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 with UK Trophy

On Yee Regains UK Crown

Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has defeated Reanne Evans 4-1 to win the LITEtask UK Championship for a third time this evening in Leeds.

The reigning world women’s champion made a fast start to take the opening frame with a run of 44, before snatching the second on the black to double her advantage.

Evans was bidding to claim a record ninth UK crown in Leeds and responded by taking the third frame to halve the deficit, but it was not to be her day as On Yee added the next to win her first silverware of the 2017/18 season.

The scoreline is a reverse of Evans’ 4-1 success in the final of the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic last month and means that On Yee has successfully defended the ranking points from her previous victory two years ago that were due to lapse after this event.

“I am absolutely over the moon,” said a delighted Ng On Yee. “Last week I played in the Asian Indoor Games and I didn’t really play very well so I did not have any expectations, but since I arrived I have been been able to practice and have been getting better.

“In the final I played well in the beginning but Reanne was a bit unlucky with some shots. I am really happy to win back the title because last year I lost in the semi-finals to Reanne.

“I would like to thank our event sponsors LITEtask, whose support helps to make these tournaments bigger and to attract more and more women to play the sport and to improve. The venue here at the Northern Snooker Centre is a nice club with good tables and some great regular players including Peter Lines and Daniel Womersley to practice with.”

Mark Pears of title sponsor LITEtask added: “It has been another excellent tournament, LITEtask is delighted to be helping women’s snooker. On Yee and Reanne continue to set the benchmark for the other players to aspire to and it is great to see a number of new faces involved and continuing to grow women’s snooker.”

Under-21 players Leeds

Side events

The Challenge Cup event for players who did not qualify for the quarter-finals was won by another player from Hong Kong, Ho Yee Ki who defeated Emma Parker 2-1 in the final match of the day.

Parker, however, was able to emerge victorious in the under-21 competition, defeating Shannon Metcalf 2-0 in the final earlier in the day.

The Seniors event saw defending champion Jenny Poulter successfully retain her title with a 2-0 victory against Maureen Rowland.

To Gloucester

The next stop on the World Women’s Snooker Tour will be the Eden Women’s Masters which will be staged on the weekend of 28-29 October 2017 at Gloucester’s South West Snooker Academy.

Entries are still open for the event – visit www.wlbsl.com to learn more.