Northern Ireland Open Snooker 2023 Qualifying – Day 4 Tips and Betting Preview

The final day of the qualifying competition for the Northern Ireland Open takes place at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on Friday when the 20 players who haven’t yet graced the table do so looking for the win to seal their spot in Belfast next week.

The really big names in the game at present have had their qualifying match held over to the venue but we have seen some recognisable names on show this week and the headline act on Friday will be the former world champion Stuart Bingham.

Morning Session

Three Chinese players compete in the morning session on Friday with Zhou Yuelong very much the pick of them. He has been teetering on the edge of the top 16 for a while and will be looking to reach the main draw here to try and force his way in ahead of The Masters. The talented youngster Stan Moody stands in his way. The other two Chinese players meet each other when Peng Yisong faces the impressive He Guoqiang. The other match sees Michael White looking to make the main draw when he meets the former women’s world champion Mink Nutcharut.

Early Afternoon Session

Two more Chinese players meet in the standout match in the first of the two afternoon sessions of play. That sees the World Championship semi-finalist Si Jiahui taking on the English Open finalist of a couple of weeks ago in Zhang Anda. Stephen Maguire is probably the biggest name competing in this session. He takes on the veteran Fergal O’Brien who will want to be involved in the main draw of the event closest to him. The other match sees Lyu Haotian looking to back up his run to the semi-final of the Wuhan Open last week when he meets Ashley Carty.

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Later Afternoon Session

Just the two matches form the second part of the afternoon on Friday and there is no doubt about who is the biggest name on show. Stuart Bingham was one more top 16 withdrawal away from having his qualifying match held over to next week but instead he will go up against Ashley Carty on Friday instead. At the same time this match is played Sanderson Lam will be looking to make it through to another main draw when he meets the Estonian player Andres Petrov.

Evening Session

That leaves two matches in the final session of the qualifying competition on Friday evening. It presents the four players involved with the chance of reaching a main draw and a much needed earning opportunity in the case of three of them. The World Championship quarter finalist Jak Jones will be on show when he takes on Oliver Brown while in the other match John Astley will look to make progress at the expense of Rory Thor.


Stuart Bingham isn’t having a fantastic time of it this season and I think he is vulnerable to Ashley Hugill on Friday afternoon. In the last month or so Bingham has lost 4-1 to Jenson Kendrick in English Open qualifying, to Ishpreet Singh Chudha in the British Open and to Ali Carter at the Wuhan Open where he coughed up a 4-1 lead to lose 5-4. That suggests we have someone who might have forgotten how to win and might need an easy match to get back to winning ways.

To be fair, Hugill has slowed up after a bright start to the season, one which saw him defeat the likes of Xiao Guodong and Ali Carter at the European Masters. He has lost all four matches since then but he has lost to Cao Yupeng, Tom Ford, Ryan Day and Ding Junhui so it has taken a good player to beat him. That might have dented the confidence of Hugill when the finish line is in sight, particularly as he lost a deciding frame to Ford at the British Open. It has been a good week and I don’t want to ruin it by losing a decider but the odds against on Hugill to at least force a decider will do me for a final punt of the week.


Back A.Hugill (+1.5 frames) to beat S.Bingham for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Bet365