Tag: Stephanie Daughtery

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 – 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 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.

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.

On Yee playing snooker

Rankings Update: October 2017

The official WLBS world women’s rankings have been updated for the second time this season following victory for Ng On Yee at the LITEtask UK Women’s Championship last weekend.

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 during the 2015 UK Women’s Championship have been removed from player’s totals and replaced with those earned during this year’s corresponding event in Leeds.

On Yee defends points

With her third career victory at the LITEtask UK Women’s Championship at the weekend, Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee was able to successfully consolidate her position behind beaten finalist Evans in the world rankings.

In fact neither player sees a change to their points totals as the final was a repeat of their 2015 meeting also won by On Yee, therefore the reigning world champion remains 6,800 points behind Dudley’s Evans.

Suzie Opacic playing shot

The top 10

Behind the top two, Maria Catalano who was a semi-finalist in Leeds remains in third position, while Laura Evans and Rebecca Kenna have narrowed the gap behind with quarter-final runs, with neither losing points this weekend having not played in the event two years ago. Evans will however be defending big points at the upcoming Eden Masters having reached the final of that event two years ago on her return to the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

Suzie Opacic moves up a place to 7th above the absent Tatjana Vasiljeva following her quarter-final run, while Germany’s Diana Schuler rises to a new career high of number nine following her last 16 run.

Finally, Seniors event winner Jenny Poulter reclaims a top 10 position at the expense of Jaique Ip Wan In, who has missed the first two events of the 2017/18 season and drops two to 11th.

Emma Parker playing snooker

 

The chasing pack

Outside of the top 10 notable movers include Ireland’s Paula Judge, up six to 21st following her last eight run in Leeds, while U21 winner Emma Parker has also gained six positions to climb into the top 30 after she reached the last 16 of the main competition on Saturday.

Heidi De Gruchy was also a big mover having reached the last 16 at a 15-red WLBS event for the first time, moving up to 23rd position from her starting position of 29th.

Teenage duo Stephanie Daughtery and Aimee Benn have also gained positions inside the top 20 having successfully qualified for the knockout stages, while Challenge Cup winner Ho Yee Ki moves up 12 places to 31st after she also reached the last 16 of the main event.

The updated ranking list will be used to determine the seedings for the Eden Women’s Masters later this month – enter the event now at www.wlbsl.com

Stephanie Daughtery

Next Generation Geared For German Trip

As the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic returns to the city of Fürth, Germany later this month, a number of the Tour’s younger players are preparing for their first taste of snooker action outside of the UK.

The tournament will be the first event of the 2017/18 World Women’s Snooker Tour and as in 2016, will be headlined by familiar faces including multiple world champions Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee, as well as fellow top 10 players Maria Catalano, Wan Ka Kai and Rebecca Kenna who will all be eyeing a title tilt.

As well as the big names however, the event will also see no fewer than six players aged 18 or under representing the next generation of women’s snooker, five of whom will be travelling from the UK to play in their first ever overseas competition.

Leading the charge will be Wakefield’s Stephanie Daughtery, two-time defending UK Women’s under-21 champion and WLBS world number 17. Set to be among the seeded players at a ranking event for the first-time, Daughtery first began to play at the age of 12 and was introduced to the World Women’s Snooker Tour by her coach Anthony Hebblethwaite back in 2014.

Now 16, Daughtery is already looking forward to her first overseas competition and the chance to gain crucial experience as she looks to achieve her ultimate goal in the sport.

“I am very excited to be able to compete in Germany for the first time!” said Daughtery. “My aim is to one day become world women’s snooker champion and this will be a great opportunity to be able to learn from the top players.

“I hope that being able to experience playing in a different environment will help me to improve my game and am looking forward to being able to watch and compete against some outstanding players during the week.”

Daughtery is looking forward to being joined by players including Aimee Benn and Claire Edginton, both also regular faces at UK based events who will be competing overseas for the first time.

“The social aspect of these events is really important,” continued Daughtery. “Aimee and Claire are my closest friends on the tour so it is great that we will all be able to make the trip together.

Players aged 18 or under at the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic (age in brackets)

  • Lily Dobson (14)
  • Aimee Benn (15)
  • Stephanie Daughtery (16)
  • Emma Parker (17)
  • Linda Erben (17)
  • Claire Edginton (18)

Another of the younger generation who will be making the trip is 17-year-old Emma Parker, who in April claimed victory at the LITEtask World Under-21 Championship for the first time. Unlike Daughtery and her other contemporaries, Parker is a relative newcomer to the Tour having entered her first event at the Connie Gough Trophy back in February.

“I played pool with my dad when I was little,” said Parker. “Where we played there was a snooker table and I always wanted to play but I was too small. Eventually when I was able to play snooker I loved it and became hooked. I have been playing competitively for two years now.

While this will be her first playing experience overseas, the tournament will not mark Parker’s first visit to Germany, following a unique experience back in 2006 when she was lucky enough to play a special role at the FIFA World Cup.

“I went to Germany in 2006 for the football World Cup,” explained Parker. “I went as a mascot for the England team after winning a competition sponsored by McDonalds. I walked out on the pitch with John Terry and I will never forget the feeling when the crowd cheered. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.

“So I am really looking forward to the trip this time. I love snooker and watching the professionals, it encourages me to play as well as them one day. My Nan and grandad both love snooker too and they will be coming along with me.”

Like Daughtery, Parker hopes to be able to learn from the tournament so that she can fight for titles, not only against other women but one day against the men as the likes of Reanne Evans, Ng On Yee and Tatjana Vasiljeva have recently demonstrated in professional competition.

“My snooker goal is obviously to win as many tournaments as I can,” said Parker. “I would love to play competitively against the men as well. To be able to achieve this I need to practice hard, have commitment and put all my effort into the sport.

“I can learn a lot playing against players like Reanne and On Yee. Their experience can show me how important it is to practice and learn how to play the game as it should be played. I have the good fortune to play and practice with Ronnie O’Sullivan. I have learnt so much watching and playing him and it really drives me to improve. He is my idol in the game and I am very lucky to be close to him.”

The Paul Hunter Women’s Classic 2017 will be played on 24-27 August.

Photo of Reanne Evans with UK Trophy

Evans Above

It has been another record-breaking year on the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) circuit for Dudley’s Reanne Evans, who claimed four of the five ranking events held in 2016 to remain the undisputed world number one in women’s snooker.

The highlight came at the Eden Resources World Championship in April, where she won a landmark 11th world title with a 6-4 success against Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, winner of the event in 2015.

Further victories came against her closest rival came in the final of the Eden Classic in March and most recently at the semi-final stages of the LITEtask UK Championship in October on her way to a record eighth title, while she also successfully defended the Connie Gough Memorial Trophy in February.

Evans would not enjoy a clean sweep in 2016 however, as world number two On Yee defeated her 4-1 in the final of the inaugural Paul Hunter Ladies Classic in Fuerth, Germany.

On the rise

Few would dispute the status of Evans and On Yee as the leading players on the WLBS tour, but which players have impressed behind them in 2016?

Ending the year third in the rankings is Latvia’s Tatjana Vasiljeva, whose highlights this year included a first WLBS ranking event final at the UK Ladies Championship, as well as a run to the semi-finals of April’s Eden World Championship. The 33-year-old also came to the attention of the wider snooker world at the professional Riga Masters in June, where she lost out to Marco Fu 4-1 in a deceptively tight encounter, two of the frames decided on the final black.

Fourth placed Maria Catalano has enjoyed another solid year, reaching the final of the Connie Gough Memorial Trophy and the last four of the Paul Hunter Classic to stand behind only Evans and On Yee in terms of points earned during 2016.

Next up on that criteria are Laura Evans and Rebecca Granger, who have both made significant moves up the ranking list during the year. Welsh number one Evans returned to the tour with a bang at the final event of 2015, reaching the final of the Eden Masters and has taken that form into this year, consistently reaching the latter stages of events. She ends the year ranked up inside the top 10, with the scope to climb higher if she can maintain that level of performance.

Close behind her is Keighley’s Granger, who having reached the semi-finals of the Eden World Ladies Championship at her first attempt, is already up to 14th in the list and eyeing a place inside of the top ten.

Finally, German national champion Diana Stateczny has also impressed in 2016, reaching the quarter-final stages of each of the two events that she has entered, enough to see her climb to 23rd in the list.

Young Talent

The calendar year has also seen three under-21 events staged in support of the main Women’s World Ranking Series competitions.

The first was held at Derby in support of the Eden Classic, with 19-year-old Yana Shut defeating Claire Edginton to take the title to Belarus.

There was also an overseas winner at the Eden World Ladies Championship as India’s Varshaa Sanjeev defeated South Korea’s Jeong Min Park 3-0 in the final. It was a particularly memorable event for the 19-year-old, as she completed a title double having already won the Plate competition with victory against Suzie Opacic the previous evening.

Most recently, Wakefield’s Stephanie Daughtery claimed the U-21 competition at the LITEtask UK Ladies Championship in Leeds, completing a successful defence of the title that she first won 12 months earlier.

To Singapore

The action continues in 2017 with the Eden Women’s Masters at the Cueball, Derby in January, before the players will fight to win the Connie Gough Trophy in Dunstable a month later.

From there, the tour will head east for the 2017 Eden World Women’s Championship, which for the first time will be held in Singapore at the Lagoon Billiard Room on 13-19 March 2017 with the support of Cuesports Singapore and their chairman Christopher Chuah.

“Earlier this year I was contacted by Mandy, who asked whether Singapore would be keen to host next year’s WLBS World Championship,” said Chuah. “We were only too happy to do so and are now extremely excited by the prospect of hosting the WLBS Eden World Championship next year here in Singapore.”

The event will mark the first time since 1995 that the biggest WLBS tournament will be staged outside of the UK, as the circuit continues to expand globally.

WPBSA supports WLBS

It has been also been a significant year in the development of the WLBS off the baize, as it became a subsidiary body of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), in December 2015.

The following year has seen new events staged with the support of the WPBSA, including the Paul Hunter Ladies Classic, which saw the WLBS hold an event outside of the UK for the first time this decade.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “As world governing body, the WPBSA must demonstrate equality and diversity in our development plans. The World Professional Snooker Tour is open to anyone who is good enough, however we are now making a conscious effort to encourage more women to take up our sport through their own organisation. We are delighted with the progress made by the WLBS and there is no doubt that in the future we will see more women competing at the top level.”