After two busy days of action at the Castle Snooker Club in Brighton, only eight players remain in contention for the first WPBSA Q Tour event title which will be decided on Sunday.
Over 100 players from 19 different countries set out for the £2,000 first prize, but more importantly, vital ranking points in their quest to secure one of two professional World Snooker Tour cards on offer at the end of the four-event campaign.
In the top half of the draw, 15-year-old Liam Davies has been one of the stars of the show so far on the south coast.
A prolific winner of junior titles in his homeland, the Welshman has already won five matches to get this far, including victories over former ranking event winners Michael White (3-0) and Michael Georgiou (3-1) in the last 64 and 16 respectively. Davies faces Alex Millington in the quarter-finals after the Englishman ousted Ben Fortey in the last 16 with the aid of a 136 break – the second highest of the competition so far.
From two players with no professional experience, to two who were on the top tier of the sport only last season in David Lilley and Daniel Wells.
Off the back of his Cazoo Champion of Champions appearance earlier in the week, world seniors champion Lilley has dropped only three frames in three matches so far. Wells – who came into this unseeded after a disappointing Q School campaign – has yet to be taken to a deciding frame in five outings. The former Scottish Open semi-finalist exhibited his class in his last match against fellow ex-professional Ross Muir by making breaks of 123 and 124 in consecutive frames to close the match out.
In the bottom half of the draw, two more former professionals will meet in the form of Simon Bedford and Harvey Chandler.
Bedford denied Leo Fernandez 3-1 – two players who have both qualified for the Crucible Theatre before – to book his Finals Day berth, whilst 2018 European Amateur Champion Chandler came back from two frames down to eliminate Michael Collumb 3-2.
The final match on the drawsheet is an all-Asian affair between two youngsters – China’s Si Jiahui and Japan’s Keishin Kamihashi.
19-year-old Si is trying to bounce back after his relegation from the pro ranks last term and has made a good start here, finishing off his work on Saturday with a 3-1 success over fellow teenager Alfie Lee.
Former Japanese national champion Kamihashi has been showing how dangerous he can be. In the last 64 the 20-year-old dispatched recent European under-21 champion Dylan Emery, and in the last 16 he needed to win the final three frames – which he did with runs of 133, 100 and 51 – to defeat Brandon Sargeant 3-2.
Report by Michael Day.