The quarter final line up at the UK Championship will be determined when the final matches in the last 16 of the tournament are played out over the two sessions of play inside the Barbican Centre in York.
We’ve already seen Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Allen and Stephen Maguire progress to the last eight and the likes of Ding Junhui, Judd Trump, Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins will be aiming to emulate them on Thursday.
Judd Trump vs Joe Perry
The main match in the afternoon session on Thursday sees the former champion Judd Trump taking on a man who probably should have won more than he has over the course of his career in Joe Perry, with Tom Ford awaiting the winner in the quarter finals.
Trump has admitted that he hasn’t played his best stuff this week so it is to his credit that he is still in the tournament whereas Perry has played very nicely. He has six centuries to his name in the event including three in the previous round and there are signs that the form which took him to the European Masters final is with him here in York.
I’m expecting a decent enough game here. Although Trump hasn’t necessarily played well this week when he has been in the balls he has generally mopped up and with Perry in such rich scoring form I’ve got to think that we will see a couple of centuries to entertain us while this one is played out. I like over 1.5 tons here.
Martin O’Donnell vs Ding Junhui
The other table in the afternoon session will have Ding Junhui taking on one of the surprise packages of the tournament in Martin O’Donnell for the right to go up against a certain Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter final.
This is the first time these two have met in their careers and I will be interested to see how this one plays out. Ding has been nothing like his best this week but he has made it into the last 16 and in theory he should be dangerous. O’Donnell has played quite nicely so if Ding doesn’t improve this has a banana skin written all over it. This doesn’t feel like a match to bet on so I’ll leave this one alone.
Kyren Wilson vs Barry Hawkins
Two genuinely class acts meet in the main match of the evening when former Masters finalists Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins do battle for the right to take on either Stuart Bingham or Sunny Akani in the quarter final on Friday.
Both these men have been gifted wins in this tournament but at the same time they both upped their game to deliver a strong performance in the last round and we should probably expect them to raise their game here as well and on the assumption that they do that then we should be in for a blockbuster of a match to go along with the three deciders that we saw on Wednesday. Whether this goes to a decider or not it is hard to see this one not being won 6-4 or 6-5 either way.
Sunny Akani vs Stuart Bingham
The last of the quarter finals sees Sunny Akani, who seems to enjoy himself at York after he dumped out Barry Hawkins here last year and ran Ronnie O’Sullivan close before going down in a deciding frame in this round 12 months ago. He takes on Stuart Bingham for a space in the quarter final.
The Thai battled through a pair of deciders in the first two rounds and he looked on course for another one in the last game when he trailed 2-1 but then he launched a scoring burst to win 6-2. Bingham smashed in three tons in his win over Dave Gilbert in the previous round and is a huge favourite to come through here.
I’ve a feeling Sunny Akani can keep this one quite tight but it isn’t a strong enough one to justify it with a bet so I’m going to sit back and watch this one rather than bet on the match.
WON – Back J.Trump vs J.Perry – Over 1.5 centuries for a 4/10 stake at 1.73 with Bet365
Back K.Wilson vs B.Hawkins – Over 9.5 frames for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with William Hill
Back it here: