Tag: Nutcharut Wongharuthai

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.

On Yee Defends UK Crown

Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee defeated Rebecca Kenna 4-1 to retain her LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship title at the Northern Snooker Centre on Sunday evening.

The world number one was competing in her fourth UK title match following comfortable wins against Ploychompoo Laokiatphong and Jaique Ip Wan In earlier in the day and was looking to maintain her 100% record with victory against the current world number four.

For Kenna it had been a tougher route to the final after she followed up her career-best triumph against Reanne Evans on Saturday evening with a 4-3 comeback victory from 3-1 down against 18-year-old Thai prospect Nutcharut Wongharuthai to reach her second women’s ranking final.

Having shared the opening two frames however it was On Yee who added the next three to complete a successful defence of the title for the first time in her career.

Victory for the reigning world champion ensures that she remains at the head of the world ranking list, while beaten finalist Kenna climbs one place to equal her career-high ranking of third position.

Elsewhere in the side-events, Leeds-based youngster Shannon Metcalf claimed her first ever WLBS title with victory against world number 7 Suzie Opacic to win the Challenge Cup. It was a busy day for the 16-year-old who also reached the final of the under-21s event, losing 2-1 to Nutcharut Wongharuthai.

The seniors competition meanwhile saw Jenny Poulter complete the successful defence of the title that she won 12 months ago with victory against first-time finalist Yvette Greenway.

World Ladies Billiards and Snooker would like to thank all of the people who supported the event, including the referees, players, our hosts at the Northern Snooker Centre and of course our wonderful title sponsor LITEtask.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour returns with the inaugural European Women’s Masters on 5-7 October 2018. The deadline for entries remains open until Friday 28 September – enter 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

Nutcharut Wongharuthai Q&A

There was a familiar winner earlier this month at the WLBS British Open as 11-time world champion Reanne Evans claimed her latest title on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, but an unfamiliar runner-up as Thailand’s Nutcharut ‘Mink’ Wongharuthai reached her first WLBS final in Stourbridge.

The 18-year-old, who plays at and is supported by the Hi-End Snooker Club, made her WLBS debut at last year’s World Women’s Snooker Championship in Singapore, immediately showcasing her talent by compiling an event-high break of 90.

But it was not until this month that she could play her first WLBS event within the UK, at which she exceeded all expectations by defeating newly-crowned world number one Ng On Yee 4-2 in the semi-finals, before losing out to Evans in the tournament’s decisive match.

We recently caught up with Mink to look back at the tournament and learn more about a player described recently by world number three Rebecca Kenna as “definitely a top-five player in the world” notwithstanding her current world ranking of 32…

Congratulations on reaching your first WLBS final at the British Open earlier this month. How happy were you to make it that far?

As it was my first time participating in a WLBS tournament in the UK I was very happy to have made it to the final, although I lost to Reanne. She was a very deserving winner and I will continue to work even harder to achieve more.

You had a fantastic win against Ng On Yee in the semi-finals? Is she one of your idols in the game for what she has achieved for women’s snooker in Asia?

She definitely is. I believe that all of the women players in Asia look up to Ng On Yee as their role model for her wonderful achievements as an Asian player. She has done all of us Asian players proud.

You have now played Reanne Evans in Singapore and here, what makes her such a strong opponent?

To be frank, I feel that her reading and her play of the game is very different from us Asian players. Her break building technique especially is what I feel is very close to the men’s standard.

However, given ample time and practice, I hope to be like her in the near future.

Did you enjoy playing in the UK for the first time?

Yes. It was definitely a time worth spending in Stourbridge town with all of the lovely people around and working with organisers like the WLBS.

Do you plan to play in more WLBS events now?

Yes I hope I can play in more WLBS events in the future provided I am able to get more like-minded sponsors to help me along the way.

How did you become interested in playing snooker?

Well, I grew up in a snooker club as my mum used to be a cashier there. My dad loves snooker very much too and eventually I started playing and fell in love with this game at the age of 10-years-old.

We have seen on social media that you are referred to as ‘Mink’ in Thailand – why is that?

Normally in Thailand we call each and everyone by their nickname because our traditional Thai names are too long and we doesn’t have any Christian name like Western people. So we use nicknames instead.

For e.g. Noppon Saengkham [current top 64 player, who was in Stourbridge to watch Nutcharut] is known as Moo in Thailand. It is the same for me  as I am known as Mink.

Who are you favourite snooker players?

My favourite players include Ronnie O’Sullivan definitely, also Mark Selby, as well as Ding Junhui.

How big is snooker among women in Thailand?

There are a number of female players competing, among them four to five of them are of my level. So sometimes it’s quite competitive when it comes to selections.

I hope one day Thailand be the host for a world women’s event, so that more of them will be given the opportunity to compete with players around the world.

Malta next for the World Championship – how excited are you to play in the tournament?

I hope that day will come soon. I simply just love competing with different players around the world.

Nutcharut Wongharuthai plays snookerDo you have any other interests when not playing snooker, things you like to do for fun?

My other hobbies include watching TV and playing games, but I do spend most of my time practising snooker though!

And finally, you play at the Hi End Snooker Club in Thailand, how good is that venue?

It is beyond words that I can describe. Hi-End presently sponsor and support me. I feel so honoured to be able to practice in this club. It’s literally the most prestigious club in the whole of Thailand with top quality tables as well as equipment. If one were to take this sports seriously, Hi-End snooker club in definitely the place to practice in.

Nutcharut Wongharuthai will next be in action at this year’s World Women’s Snooker Championship, to be held as part of the inaugural World Snooker Federation Championships from 14-17 March 2018 in Malta.

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.

Nutcharut and Reanne Evans

Evans Wins British Open

Reanne Evans claimed her second title of the 2017/18 season with a 4-0 victory against Nutcharut Wongharuthai at the British Open on Sunday evening.

The 11-time world champion was in fine form throughout the day having earlier seen off Laura Evans and then world number four Rebecca Kenna with breaks of 103 and 102 in the semi-finals to reach her fourth consecutive WLBS final.

There she would await 18-year-old Thai talent Nutcharut Wongharuthai who playing in her first competition in the UK, defeated the likes of established stars Maria Catalano and reigning world champion Ng On Yee 4-2 to reach her maiden final.

It was however to be Evans’ day, as ultimately ran out a comfortable winner in the best of seven frame final. Following defeats at the UK and Masters tournaments before Christmas, the 32-year-old was pleased to be back in the winner’s circle with next month’s World Women’s Snooker Championship fast approaching.

“I’ve been struggling for form,” said Evans. “But I felt a little bit more comfortable today, and I am happy with the win. It has been good to see everyone again this weekend and to be back competing at a tournament after a little gap in the season.

“I am now looking forward to the World Championship and hopefully going into the tournament with this win here will put me in good stead to continue that form in Malta. I would like to thank my sponsor Bobby Lee and Elite Studios, who will also be sponsoring me in Malta which is a big help.

And despite her comfortable victory in the final, Evans was also impressed by her young opponent who made such an impression on her UK debut.

“It is good to see some new faces,” said Evans. “She played really well against Maria [Catalano in the last 16], who said that she was a lot better than her on the day and was full of praise for her. She was also in my group in Singapore at last year’s World Championship so I knew that she could play.”

Parker at the double

Elsewhere at the British Open there was a title double for Emma Parker, who claimed victory in both the Challenge Cup and Under-21 competitions in Stourbridge.

The 18-year-old first defeated fellow youngster Shannon Metcalf 3-1 to win the Challenge Cup for players who had not progressed beyond the last 16 of the main competition, before edging a dramatic final against Stephanie Daughtery later in the day to add the Under-21 title.

As well as the trophies, she also won a cue generously as an extra prize for the Challenge Cup winner by Dean Jones Cues.

Finally, the Seniors competition was won by Jenny Poulter, who maintained her unbeaten run in the over-40s events this season with a 2-0 success against Sharon Kaur.

World Championship

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return next month with the World Women’s Snooker Championship, which for the first time will be staged as part of the new World Snooker Federation Championships in Malta from 14-17 March.