World Seniors Day 2

By Elliott West

After an extremely late finish to play last night, the World Seniors began in earnest today. First up Bradford’s Wayne Cooper was against the instantly recognised, Gary Filtness. Cooper stormed into a 2-0 lead but Gary wasn’t having any of it of and fought back to draw the match to 2-2. However from then on, play was all in Cooper’s corner and he took the next two frames to win the match, 4-2. Gary cited kicks and going awkward for his defeat, a loss that you could see how much it meant to him, describing himself as being “gutted “.

In the other afternoon match, Michael Judge played Dennis Taylor. Dennis, who freely admits that he doesn’t pick up a cue very often these days, seemed to be an easy target for Judge and before long Michael had already built up a 2-0 lead. Taylor managed to steal a frame but from then it was judgement day for Taylor and he wasn’t able to capitalise. Judge stormed away in the rest of the match and in the end the result was reflected in the performance. Michael walked away with a definitive 4-1 win.

In the evening, first up was a rematch of the 1995 World Championship final with former British Open champion Nigel Bond against Stephen Hendry. Nigel came out fighting and it wasn’t long before a 2-0 lead over Hendry. Hendry fought back and halved the deficit with a break of 71 to peg the match back to 2-1. Stephen was clearly taking this tournament seriously and had spent some time practising at Ding Junhui’s snooker academy in Sheffield.
In the next frame, Bond increased his lead by making a break of 37 to take the frame by one point. This put Nigel one frame away from victory  at 3-1. However Stephen then rolled back the years and took two frames on the bounce to take the match to a decider at 3-3. A gripping end to a game that had both players evenly matched.
Into the deciding frame and Hendry got in first, making a 20 break and then put Nigel tight on the cushion with the cue ball. A safety battle ensued, Hendry’s least favourite part of snooker. Stephen stamped his mark by getting in with a fantastic long red but broke down when he was on a roll on a tricky, hampered red. Bond couldn’t reply though and ended up potting a red that left him needing two snookers to win. In the end Hendry was victor, winning in impressive style, 4-3 after several years of bad performances on the Seniors’ tour. He will now meet Aaron Canavan in the quarter-final.

The final match of the evening was between Peter Lines and Tony Knowles. Lines quickly built up a 2-0 lead but the third frame turned into a safety battle on the remaining colours. A missed chance by Tony on the yellow left the colours at Peter’s mercy but he couldn’t pot the brown, leaving the frame in the balance. Knowles was unlucky and potted the black in error and left the blue over the middle pocket on his following shot to gift Peter a 3-0 lead.
In the next and possibly the last frame of the match, Tony got in first with a two ball plant but was only able to make 32 after he lost position on the black. A dreaded double kiss on Tony’s shot left Knowles in a snooker behind the blue but Tony managed to make contact with a red and went on to almost clear the table but the pink alluded him and Lines won the match 4-0. He will now play Jimmy White next.

*Photograph courtesy of World Seniors *