The third round of the World Championship qualifying competition continues inside the English Institute of Sport and with there being only six days until Ronnie O’Sullivan begins his title defence in the main draw, everyone in action can see the bright lights of the Crucible getting nearer.
We have seen loads of dramatic snooker already over the first week of this event and when you consider that some bigger names who will be desperate to be at the big show take to the stage on Sunday, tension, drama and intrigue are all guaranteed.
The former world champion Graeme Dott is the leading light on show in the morning and he will be on the main table when he looks to move to within a win of a return to the Crucible as he faces Eden Sharav. The former Shootout winner Michael Holt will be on the other main table when he takes on a Jamie Jones who has already had to come through one tough battle to get to this stage and will probably face another one here.
There is an Asian flavour to the two matches on the outside tables on Sunday morning. Sunny Akani begins his campaign for a place in the main draw when he takes on the dour Chinese player Tian Pengfei in what has all the hallmarks of being a lengthy battle. Li Hang will look to put a largely poor campaign behind him when he meets Andrew Higginson in the other game in one which could very easily go either way.
The main match in the afternoon session will be a repeat of a clash from the same stage last year as Joe Perry takes on the Welsh Houdini in terms of Jamie Clarke. Clarke might be seeing this as a free roll having come from 5-0 down in the previous round to win 6-5. It was he who won that meeting between the two last year and he’ll be eager to do so again. Perry knows he has his work cut out there. The other main table match gives us a real clash in styles as Liang Wenbo takes on Rod Lawler in a hare against the tortoise battle.
There is another Chinese player on show on the outside tables as Lu Ning will look to follow up his impressive run at the UK Championship earlier in the season with a good run at the World Championship. If that is going to happen he will need to beat Jimmy Robertson who all but secured his tour status in the previous round and will be playing with freedom here. Mark Davis is on show in the other game. He meets the competent and returning to form Stuart Carrington.
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We have a very entertaining and exciting proposition in the evening session as Thepchaiya Un-Nooh behind his campaign on the main table. He takes on the equally good to watch Brazilian player Igor Figueiredo for a place in the final round. The other main table will see the Shootout winner Ryan Day getting his event underway. He takes on Louis Heathcote who was another player who probably kept his tour card in the previous round.
There are plenty of veterans on show on the outside tables in this evening session. Anthony Hamilton looked good in the previous round and he will look to get the better of Mark Joyce to move to within a win of a return to the Crucible. Ricky Walden was a semi-finalist in this event not so long ago and he will be looking to make his move towards the main draw when he goes up against a Peter Lines who has already had a good win this week.
Once again I like just the one bet over the course of what should another decent day of snooker and once again we have to wait until the evening session for it to come along. It comes in the match between Mark Joyce and Anthony Hamilton where although Hamilton is the lowest ranked player and the favourite, I do expect him to deliver the goods against a Joyce who really hasn’t done a whole lot since he made the final of the Riga Masters right at the beginning of last season.
Hamilton is ranked below Joyce but I think right now he is the better player of the two, he just hasn’t entered as much due to health issues but he has already played a match and won it which could be significant. He played pretty well in it too and that came against a dour opponent in Rory McLeod. Hamilton can win a scrappy match and a scoring one and I think having qualified last year but didn’t take his place in the field when a crowd was allowed in he’ll be extra motivated to win this and progress.
Back A.Hamilton to beat M.Joyce for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with Coral