On Friday 5th March 2010 I went to the EIS to watch the 3rd round of qualifying matches for the 2010 World Snooker Championship.
Arriving quite a bit before the 7pm evening session, we met up with Matt, writer of Pro Snooker Blog and chatted while getting photos with any passing players. Three players I had yet to meet had been playing today, but sadly I had missed James Wattana so Jamie Burnett and Stuart Pettman were players I needed.
I got photos with Andrew Higginson, who played Anda Zhang in the evening, Dave Harold and reigning UK champion Ding Junhui who practices at the academy. I also got pictures with Ian McCulloch, Rory McLeod, Jamie Burnett, Martin Gould, Michael Judge and Stuart Pettman. By meeting Burnett and Pettman tonight it took the total number of professional Snooker players I have met and had a photograph with to 94. The two players I still have to meet are James Wattana and David Gilbert.
Martin Gould was very friendly chatting to us about his game the previous day amongst other things.
As the evening session got closer, Mark Davis and Barry Pinches were still going at 9-7, and so the decision was made to pull them off and let them finish after one of the evening games had ended. As they left I got pictures with both Davis and Pinches.
After going to grab something to eat, we came back to watch the snooker. When we left Andrew Higginson was trailing 6-3 to Zhang Anda and it wasnt looking good for him, however when we got back it looked as if the comeback was on at 7-6 to Zhang so we decided to watch this match. Higginson won the 14th and 15th frames to make it 8-7 and it looked like it could only go one way from there.
In the 16th frame, Zhang played a poor shot on the yellow which looked as if it was going to be on and leave Higginson to clear up for 9-7. However the yellow went behind the pink and left Andrew snookered. He hit the yellow but left it on and Zhang Anda cleared for 8-8. This was a big turning point and Zhang won the next two frames to go through to the final qualifying round which starts on Sunday.
Our attention then turned to the Stuart Pettman v David Roe match. After the first session Pettman led 7-2. However Roe, with his tour status on the line, began to make a comback, winning 3 out of the first 4 frames to make it 8-5. Stuart Pettman took the 14th frame to go 9-5 ahead and Roe took a scrappy 15th frame, which came down to the pink.
Stuart Pettman took the match with 53 break to win it 10-6. Rory McLeod beat Jin Long 10-3 around this time and Ian McCulloch defeated Tony Drago 10-6 just before.
We went downstairs for a quick break and while we were down there I got pictures with Marcus Campbell and Jin Long as well as having a quick chat to Stuart Pettman.
With the Tony Drago match finished alot of the fans went home, and there we not all that many people left with 3 games still going. They brought Mark Davis and Barry Pinches back on, and Mark won the only frame easily to win the match 10-7 and book his place in the next round. The last two matches were Mark Joyce v Michael Judge and David Morri v Jamie Burnett.
Mark Joyce won the match with a nice 75 break to defeat the Irishman 10-8. With just one match still going, there were 4 of us, including me and Matt, still watching. Burnett looked to have all but given up on the game at 9-6 down and Morris took the last frame to win 10-6.
As we were about to leave David Morris passed us and so I got a photo with him after his victory.