November 30, 2010

UK Qualifiers Final Day Previews

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:44 pm

A Nemesis Awaits......

The last six matches get under way tomorrow and without doubt all baizey eyes will be focused on one table. Can Jimmy White overcome Joe Perry to set up a date with his old nemesis Stephen Hendry in Telford?

The TV executives and a certain Cockney chairman in his huge mansion certainly hope so, as do with respect to Gentleman Joe, a legion of fans just urging Jimmy to give us that one last season of magic. Just for us.

But this is a very different world to the one way back when there were only a few channels to watch and Jimmy enthralled us all, well those of us who are old enough at least, in the early eighties and later through his battles with Hendry in the nineties. He took us to the heights of expectation and excitement and to the depths of despair and sadness. He along with Alex before him, took us to places we didn’t know this sport could. Can we dare to dream he can do it again?

Right you can probably tell who I want to win now so will ignore the preview. But no, that’s enough now I must focus. There are five other matches too and cash to be made, no room for sentiment, or is there? Anyway, here goes with the preview.

Oh, I almost forgot. The Festive Sack has burst open. A £100 free bet with Sportingbet available for the shrewdest judge on these matches and a few others here.

Mark Davis v Joe Swail (H2H 4-3)

As you’d expect these two have history. Dark Mavis winning the last two meetings both on a decider, most recently in the Welsh Open qualifying back in January. Joe gave Simon Bedford a right old pasting in the last round and over this longer distance you have to go back a very very long way since Joe posted a scoreline that convincing. Mavis was the most improved player last season in the ranking list, that is a fact that nobody can dispute. The 38 year old is a player that is growing into his game, having been regarded as a journeyman for many years he is now finding a confidence that sometimes comes only with maturity for some players, perhaps I packed in full time too early at 18. There is no doubt however that when Joe is on a roll he is still a fine player, he is also a very likeable chap. What’s wrong with me tonight? Likeable? Come off it this is a bet man. I have to go with Davis here, but strangely I don’t have the confidence in this match as I thought I’d have at this stage, he is however a member of the Snookerbacker Acca.

More interesting to watch than Paddy.

Mike Dunn v Patrick Wallace (H2H 1-1)

Won’t be pretty will it? Referee with shortest straw required for this one. Paddy has been performing this week of that there is no doubt, but I’m sorry, he just isn’t good to watch. Twitter comic Dunny is a bit in and out and isn’t a player that I think anyone should back big for or against, he usually finds one to beat him. Given Wallace’s form coming into this seems solid, I think he has to be backed at odds against here. But the only way you’d get me to watch this one is if the insomnia returns, instant cure.

Recommended Bet: Patrick Wallace at 5/4 (Paddy Power and Sportingbet)

Ryan Day v Jamie Burnett (H2H 1-1)

Both meetings have been on foreign soil and don’t really offer any clues as a lot can happen in four years. Ryan has been to very near the top and has since suffered an horrendous loss of form and Burnett, well, he had a terrible result against Maguire in this a couple of years back, I think that missed black set him back a bit. But despite that, like a phoenix from the flames he came right back and made the final over in Shanghai a couple of months ago. Ryan showed signs of a slight return to form in the last PTC but is still being beaten by players he would have beaten 18 months ago. I’d put Jay-Bee in that category, at his best Ryan would win, but despite a corner turned he ain’t back to his best just yet and again, at odds against the bet has to be Burnett.

Recommended Bet: Jamie Burnett at 5/4 with Bet 365

Andrew Higginson v Dominic Dale (H2H 1-0)

Haven’t a clue on this one and having backed Dale at 7/4 to qualify I’d be happy to see it close. I’d leave this one alone. Seriously, I have no idea who will win and I can’t with any conviction commit to a selection.

Liang Wenbo v Rory McLeod (H2H 3-1)

Rory is another that I have backed to qualify this time at 11/4 as I often believe that there ain’t no mountain high enough.  So again I am probably not the right person to ask on this one as I heard it through the grapevine and I’ll be looking to lay him in play or back Liang. I think we’ll know after the first few frames how this match is going to go. If they are slow methodical frames and Rory is not behind, I’d say let’s get it on, but if the first two frames go by at the speed of lightning, it’s Liang and it’s Liang very comfortably. This is the real tortoise against the hare, Liang does sometimes lose matches that he should win against renowned ‘match players’, Rod Lawler, Alan McManus, Ian McCulloch and Dom Dale being recent examples of this. Rory is from that school of player if you are one for patterns.

Joe Perry v Jimmy White (H2H 1-1)

Joe and Jim’s first meeting in nearly a decade and Jimmy’s biggest match for a long time, to qualify to meet Hendry will mean the world to him. The newly crowned World Seniors Champion has been like the Whirlwind of old this week against mere mortals, but still opponents that he had to account for, which he did very comfortably. Joe on the other hand has been in the doldrums for a couple of seasons since being the model of consistency and is firmly in the Ryan Day school of ‘we used to be that good’ at the minute. You know what? I think Jimmy can win this. Judge for yourselves whether this is the heart, the head or the shrewdie talking, but I’m going to back him at that price as I’d kick myself if I didn’t.

Recommended Bet: Jimmy Whirlwind White at 11/10 with Bet 365

Multiple Bet:

I’d recommend a 3 x 0.5 point doubles and a 0.5 point treble at Bet365 on Jimmy (11/10), Wallace (6/5) and Burnett (5/4), treble alone pays over 9/1.

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