March 7, 2016

SB Classic: Rhodes and Thomson join Grand Finals field

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:11 am

It was a busy day yesterday both North and South of the Border as two further qualifiers were added to this season’s Grand Finals Day in the shape of current English Amateur Champion Michael Rhodes and Scotland’s Gary Thomson.

Michael Rhodes is the fourth player from the North East into this season's Grand Finals.

Michael Rhodes is the fourth player from the North East into this season’s Grand Finals.

Michael came through an extremely tough draw to beat reigning champion Brett Miller, Alex Taubman and David Roe before facing Farakh Ajaib in the final. His 133 clearance against Roe on the way to a 4-0 win being a particular highlight of the day. He has been priced up at 10/1 at Boylesports to take the £3000 first prize on April 3rd and on yesterday’s evidence he is definitely in the running. Taubman also hit a 120 break and but for going in-off on the final blue could have topped the £500 highest break table, but this is still held by Phil O’Kane with his 136 in Gloucester, with just one more qualifying weekend and the Grand Finals to go.  

You can view all the results from Liverpool here.

Gary Thomson won Scotland's second qualifying event to join the Grand Finals field.

Gary Thomson won Scotland’s second qualifying event to join the Grand Finals field.

A big thanks to the other SB, Stevie Baillie, who ran the event in Clydebank for me and it’s great to see the Scottish boys getting involved in the Classic. Gary Thomson came out the winner beating Giulio Rea in the final. I’ve been chatting for years online to Gary (aka Schalke) on various forums, most notably the old Betfair snooker one back in the day, but I’ve never actually met him. He’s clearly still got the snooker bug from his old professional days and he’s got himself into the Grand Finals. Boyles have priced him up at 14/1 to take the title to Scotland for the first time.

You can view all the results from Clydebank here.

There are now just two more qualifying events left both played on Easter weekend in Gloucester. As things stand Tom Barton is 6 frames clear at the top of the Order of Merit, but there are lots of points up for grabs still and nothing to say that this might not change with a lot of the chasing pack also involved in Gloucester. The player at the top of this list after the final qualifier will also join the Grand Finals day field, just as the eventual winner Brett Miller did last season.

The latest standings in the Order of Merit as well as the break table which now boasts 18 centuries in all can be viewed here.   

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