Snookerbacker

March 31, 2018

The Million Pound China Open and The Crucible Dash

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:57 pm

Fates will be decided in Beijing

Not only does the China Open become the first ever event outside the UK to have a total prize fund of over £1m next week, but we also have the annual sub-plot whereby the final seedings for The World Championship are decided over in Beijing, including of course, the 16 seeded players for The Crucible.

As it stands, the last 16 draw (if all first round matches were won by the seeded player) would currently look as follows:

Mark Selby (1) v Ryan Day (16)
Marco Fu (9) v Barry Hawkins (8)

John Higgins (5) v Neil Robertson (12)
Anthony McGill (13) v Judd Trump (4)

Ding Junhui (3) v Ali Carter (14)
Luca Brecel (11) v Mark Williams (6)

Shaun Murphy (7) v Kyren Wilson (10)
Stuart Bingham (15) v Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

* Ryan Day and Judd Trump have (carelessly) not qualified for the final stages of The China Open so cannot improve their seeding positions.

It’s fair to say that the way these matches will pan out after this huge prize fund has been dispersed is likely to be very different from the above, however it seems highly likely that the top 3 seedings will remain as they are with the others jostling for position depending on how they get on over there. Selby of course remains seeded 1 as defending champion even if Ronnie O’Sullivan overtakes him on the main list next week.

The main obsession for us anoraks however is not where the seedings fall but who they will be. With such a huge prize fund for the eventual winner, it’s fair to say that anyone from Kyren Wilson who is seeded 10th and below could potentially miss out if they have a bad week and it goes from bad to worse with subsequent results. Conversely anyone currently seeded 60 or above could grab a late place with the title and £225,000 added to their points, some can do this with a runner up or semi final spot, so it really is all to play for.

Most at risk in terms of his Crucible place of course is Ryan Day. He may know his fate early in the week because if Mark Allen beats Noppon Saengkham in the first round, he’ll be relegated to the qualifiers. But while Allen would then be in a seeded spot, the Masters Champion would not be guaranteed remaining there unless he wins a couple more and results don’t go against him. With Stephen Maguire, Liang Wenbo and Mark King the closest behind him in the chasing pack. Either way, if I was Ryan I wouldn’t be booking a holiday for the week after next.

If you are interested in seeing all the possible permutations, then as ever head to Matt’s blog here, it’s the place where anoraks go when they die to live in perpetual harmony.

So in terms of the China Open itself, I think the thing that most of the snooker fraternity will be talking about is the Crucible seedings, which is a bit of a shame given the dosh up for grabs and maybe something the schedulers need to think about for next year, but for us anoraks and our spreadsheets this is the equivalent of rankings porn.

Note that this is also played over the best of 11 frames until the 2 session best of 19 semi-finals and oddly, a best of 21 frame final. It’s great that a lot of tournaments are now adopting the longer format matches after much moaning from this small part of the internet, it’s definitely enhancing my enjoyment of snooker this season. This is live on Eurosport all week.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

I’ll post recommended match bets on Twitter, but in terms of the outrights, I’ll go with the three names below.

Recommended Outright Bets: Mark Selby at 8/1 Ding Junhui at 16/1 and Stuart Bingham at 22/1

I’m delighted to announce that John Parrott Cue Sports are now blog partners. Click the banner below to have a look at their gear and get yourself a little snooker present.  

Click here for an exclusive offer to blog readers on Taom Version 2.0 chalk. If you are in the UK you will not get this cheaper anywhere else. Be sure to go through this link or you will be charged the full price at the checkout.

March 30, 2018

RenysArk.com Prediction Contest Round 3 Selections

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:09 pm

The Baize Boys have a deficit to make up over in China but in the spirit of fairness they have been given the opportunity to do just that with a change to the scoring system for this week. The current score is Team Numpty 116, Team Baize Boys 95 in the Race for the Giraffe. 

Selections for the China Open are now in and you can read how you can get involved, even at this late stage just for a bit of a laugh here

In the meantime here are this week’s selection summaries, can the potters get back into it against us mere punters?

If you missed this and want to know what it’s all about click here. The latest standings after Round 2 can be viewed here.

Our kind sponsors RenysArk.com are offering up a host of prizes and if you’d like to own something from them simply fill in the code ‘TEAMNUMPTY’ with any order at the checkout and receive a whopping 15% discount at their website.

March 27, 2018

RenysArk.com Prediction Contest Round 3 – The China Open

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:28 am

For those playing along on Twitter here are the instructions for Round 3. The selections of the baize boys and the numpties will appear here soon but in the meantime if you are keeping your score don’t forget to use the hashtag #playersvfans on your prediction tweet. 

If you missed this and want to know what it’s all about click here. The latest standings after Round 2 can be viewed here.

Our kind sponsors RenysArk.com are offering up a host of prizes and if you’d like to own something from them simply fill in the code ‘TEAMNUMPTY’ with any order at the checkout and receive a whopping 15% discount at their website.

 

March 26, 2018

RenysArk.com Prediction Contest – Scores after Round 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:49 am

Following Ronnie O’Sullivan’s triumph in the Players Championship we have now reached the halfway stage of the big contest and the Race for the Giraffe is hotting up with only selections for the China Open and the World Championship to go.

The team of numpties are racking up the points consistently and extended their lead by a further 7 points in Round 2, meaning that Joe Perry’s Baize Boys have it all to do on the home run.

In terms of the individual table Dani Martinez maintains his slender lead so we’ll all have to look up what’s Spanish for Giraffe if he keeps this up.

Criteria for the China Open will appear on here shortly.  

 

March 23, 2018

Players Championship Semi Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:02 am

It’s been an enjoyable week of snooker in the seaside town of Llandudno in Wales which has benefited hugely from the longer match format. What we are left with is a pulsating Friday night classic semi final between Number 1 seed Ronnie O’Sullivan and a rejuvenated Judd Trump, followed by the home favourite Mark Williams taking on either Shaun Murphy or Anthony McGill tomorrow night.   

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Judd Trump

For all his faults, Judd Trump has as good a record against Ronnie as any top player and has earned the right to have a crack at him here with a very solid performance at the end against Maguire and an absolute butchering of Neil Robertson, including ‘that’ Alex Higgins exhibition blue. Ronnie was workmanlike but brilliant tactically against Dotty and made 4 tons against Ding, so he’s struggling as usual. This is set up to electrify Friday night and I hope they both bring their A game with them and don’t let us down. Ronnie gave Judd a lesson in their most recent meeting, the final in Shanghai back in November and very little has changed in his form since then, except perhaps that he’s playing even better. So the question is, has Judd’s form improved enough to get anywhere near him tonight? He’s making confident noises but he’s got to back this up with action and any sign of weakness or recklessness tonight will surely be pounced upon by a determined Rocket. All being equal I think I’d back Judd to beat anyone else tonight, but not Ronnie. Judd will have to come into this and finish with a pot and safety success both in the high nineties and over eleven frames I just can’t see that happening, but I do think given his form this week that the century bet below is well worth a bet, particularly if you think it will be closer than I do.

Prediction: O’Sullivan 6-3.

Recommended Bet: O’Sullivan (-1.5 frames) at 4/5 and Judd to make at least one century at 5/6. 

Shaun Murphy v Mark Williams

Now that we know Ronnie is awaiting the winner, tonight’s clash represents an opportunity for Mark Williams to join The Rocket in their first main tour final for 18 years. You have to go all the way back to the China Open in 2000 for the last time the two reached the business end together in a ranking event and to think that almost two decades later they might still do it all again is quite amazing really. Williams is still in top top form and despite a late rattle from Ryan Day in the last round he’d all but won the match in the first hour. Murphy was a little less impressive in his victory over McGill and they seem to be milking this back injury for all it’s worth despite the fact that he keeps winning. The vast majority of their head to heads have been in minor events and they have only met over this distance or longer twice, Williams winning both times. I think most snooker fans would like to see MJW and Ronnie lock horns on Sunday and I’m included in that, but you have to bet with your head so I’m not having a bet here because this is really a coin toss, but gun to head, I think Williams will deliver and give the fans the final they want.

Prediction: Williams 6-5 

March 21, 2018

Players Championship Quarter Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:27 pm

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ding Junhui

A real belter to kick off the quarter finals on Wednesday evening between two players who look to be peaking at just the right time in the season. That first sentence applies more to Ding, who had a few very barren months and now seems to be coming out of them, whilst Ronnie has been the only player on the tour this season to maintain such a high level of play almost without exception. His application against Graeme Dott had the wee man in bits and as well as his legendary heavy scoring his safety play was probably at the best it’s ever been, he really now must be considered a justified strong favourite for Sheffield in my opinion. Ding benefitted from an out of sorts Mark Allen but looked razor sharp in the balls as he always does at his best, he’s strangely robotic when he’s around the business end of the table yet remains great to watch. It was of course Ding who ended Ronnie’s latest World Championship quest last season but since then Ronald handed out a right old pasting in the World Grand Prix final last month. Ronnie has walloped Ding a few times down the years whereas Ding’s wins tend to be tighter affairs and I think that’s the question tonight, will Ronnie win in a canter or will Ding scrape home? For me, it has to be the former.

Prediction: O’Sullivan 6-2

Recommended Bet – Over 1 century in the match at 5/6

Neil Robertson v Judd Trump

Two stablemates from Grove Snooker (a personal favourite of mine) lock horns on Thursday afternoon and Judd will be buoyed by his win over Maguire in Round 1. All too often he starts like an express train and finishes like a clapped out National Express coach but this time despite the customary lull after firing on all cylinders he kept his head and finished the job, when I personally thought at 4-4 Maguire would win. Robbo gave Luca Brecel the expected hiding after sharing the first four frames and is looking something like the player of old again. Their head to heads are incredibly close, just one frame in it from a total of 217 competitive frames played and dead level in matches though this of course includes quite a few very minor comps. If we look at ones over meaningful distances Judd has had the better of those recently and to me he looks pretty sharp this week and I think Robbo is an opponent he enjoys playing so I’m going to stick with him to set up a semi-final with O’Sullivan on Friday.

Prediction: Trump 6-3 

Anthony McGill v Shaun Murphy

Both came through a different type of pain barrier in Round 1 with Shaun overcoming his ongoing back and neck problem and Ants dispensing with Higgins, who to be fair was beginning to become a bit of a pain in the arse to him. The 6-0 whitewash was something only Nostradamus could have seen coming and took us all by surprise and McGill I’m sure would have had to pinch himself to check it was really happening. In 2016 McGill famously took out Murphy at The Crucible first round having lost to him in the Quarter Finals the year before but it’s been a disappointing season really so far for the Scot who has blown a bit hot and cold and really struggled for consistency, though it has to be said that being drawn against Higgins a lot hasn’t helped. Maybe the win will give him that boost he needs to get back to the top of his game but to me Murphy looked sharp in his opener and I’d be surprised if he didn’t carry that form with him here.

Prediction: Murphy 6-4

Recommended Bet: Over 9 frames at 5/6

Ryan Day v Mark Williams

They’ll be singing in the valleys whoever wins here as two of snooker’s form players try and secure the title of Prince of Wales in their homeland. Day is a revelation recently, I don’t know what this cue he’s found is made of but I wouldn’t mind a bit of it. The winning way is with him and he’s only 3 matches away from winning 3 titles on the bounce on the main tour, Ryan Day….yes, THAT Ryan Day. While he was busy sending the world champion packing his Welsh comrade was putting paid to the new Chinese sensation Yan in convincing fashion. They have met four times this season so far and it’s two apiece and this one could be their decider seeing as Day misses China and all that’s left after that is a possible Crucible clash. Incredibly, Day still needs wins to be sure of his Crucible place given his careless non-qualification for the China Open and whatever happens here it’s out of his hands after this. I think MJW will win and leave Ryan with an agonising wait to see if he’s heading straight to snooker’s mecca or a few miles down the road to the EIS with all the numpties in April.

Prediction: Williams 6-4

Recommended Treble: Trump, Murphy and Williams pays over 4/1             

March 18, 2018

The Players Championship

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:16 pm

It’s off to Wales this week for the Players Championship, a tournament which brings together the top 16 players from the most recent tournaments. Coverage is again on the excellent ITV4 and the fact that this is played over a longer format than last year makes it a decent event on the calendar and well worth watching.

Judd Trump defends the title he won 12 months ago and will be hoping to find a bit of form ahead of the World Championship, he’s not been firing at all lately and his army of fans must be getting a bit worried ahead of the big one again. But it’s nothing a win here can’t put right.

The first round matches are listed below in draw order, coverage starts on Monday evening from Llandudno. If you click on the match it will redirect you to the head to head statistics.

All matches up to the final are played over the best of eleven frames. I’ll post up bets on Twitter, but predictions are listed below each match.

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Graeme Dott (Tuesday 7pm)

Ronnie comes into this as the player sitting way clear at the top of the one year ranking list with almost double the earnings of his nearest rival Mark Williams, with John Higgins just a few quid back in third. You’d be forgiven for thinking when looking at this list that you’d accidentally stepped into a De Lorean and ended up 10 years ago, but it’s clear as day that the Class of ’92 are still proving they are the best in the business. Even former world champion Dotty is getting a slice of the action and his recent upturn in form has got him into this in 16th place. Dotty is still more than capable of mixing it with the best and his main problem in recent years has not been producing against the big boys but maintaining that level for the chance to do it more often. I wouldn’t say he’s without a chance here but only a brave soul would back against O’Sullivan the way he’s been hitting the ball recently, the last two times they’ve met Ronnie hasn’t lost a frame so Graeme can’t really do any worse this time.

Prediction: O’Sullivan 6-2

Ding Junhui v Mark Allen (Monday 7pm)

Ding seems to be getting over his recent spell of bad form, which can be largely attributed to problems he’s been having with his vision, which is kind of important if you make a living playing snooker. Allen of course comes into this in a very odd position, he’s Masters Champion but he’s really up against it in terms of maintaining his top 16 place in the race to The Crucible and that means a good run in this is pretty important for him. Ding holds the aces in the head to head stats but a lot of their matches have come in minor events, actually it’s surprising how few times they have met given they are two top players. While there is still a slight question mark about Ding’s form and his tendency to just drift off into Dingland in longer matches, I’ll take Allen to progress and set up another meeting with Ronnie later in the week following his win over him at Ally Pally.

Prediction: Allen 6-4   

Luca Brecel v Neil Robertson (Tuesday 7pm)

Anyone know who kidnapped Luca Brecel? The olive loving Belgian was looking like a world beater 6 months ago when he blasted his way into the top 16 and since then he’s been nothing short of woeful on the table. He’s developing a very nice tan which is never a good sign in a snooker player, he seems to go on holiday alot but he’s got plenty of time on his hands as he keeps getting beat so he needs something to occupy his time I suppose. The tip of the iceberg was him coming out at The Masters with two cues, if there was ever a way to fill an opponent with confidence that did the trick. Well, he’s sorted his cue issues out now apparently so I wonder if he’ll get back to winning ways? Neil Robertson is another who has struggled with his form now for a while but signs are there that it’s coming back, he’s more or less assured of his Crucible spot having spent a bit of time outside the top 16 but a couple of wins here would set his mind at ease completely, on current form, he has the best draw of the round.

Prediction: Robertson 6-1 

Judd Trump v Stephen Maguire (Wednesday 1pm)

Stephen Maguire is another with one eye on the Crucible going into this. He’s on the brink of the top 16 and he’s playing well, so a run in this will increase his chances of getting back into the game’s elite markedly. Apparently he’s now into a strict regime of practice after a period where he was struggling to motivate himself to put the hours in. He’s ‘going to work’ every day routinely and you do often wonder why someone with such immense talent doesn’t always seem to make the most of it. Another hardcore practice player is Judd, though he seems to have fooled a lot of people into thinking he spends all his time being a playboi, when quite the opposite is actually true. But he is struggling at the moment and would badly love to get his hands on a trophy before the season is out. Judd has the upper hand in recent ties between the two and Mags hasn’t beaten him in anything for 3 years, but I think the extra motivation of that Crucible place might just reverse that this week.

Prediction: Maguire 6-5

John Higgins v Anthony McGill (Wednesday 1pm)

Oh what a surprise, an all-Scottish clash. Anthony McGill must be wondering why his ball and John’s are routinely glued together in the hat when this type of event comes around. This is the fourth time this season they have met in the first round of a 16 player event, though it does, in fairness, look like this one at least is based on their one year seeding of 3 and 14 respectively, so no more conspiracy theories from me this time. Higgins comes into this in great form and shows no signs of slowing up as the years advance, though he has admitted himself that he needs to get a bit healthier to give himself a fighting chance in Sheffield after he clearly ran out of steam in the final last time. Recent head to heads make pretty grim reading for Ants and this you feel will be the fourth time not only of them meeting at this stage, but of Higgins coming out on top.

Prediction: Higgins 6-3 

Shaun Murphy v Kyren Wilson (Monday 7pm)

Shaun Murphy was forced to pull out of the last two events with an ongoing back and neck problem, one which he says has been plaguing his career for a number of years. He even recently revealed that his coach walked all over him (literally) just before his 2015 world championship final match. I had a mate once who had one of those in a Thai massage parlour, he came out with a spring in his step so maybe Shaun should try that. Anyway, I digress, if he does make it to the table it’s difficult to gauge how he’ll play if this is as bad as he says it is. Kyren comes into this on the back of a semi-final appearance in Romania following a good win over Judd and is still looking every inch a top 10 player. Just on the off-chance that Murphy is a bit rusty, I’ll take Kyren but I’d advise against a bet in this one.

Prediction: Wilson 6-4  

Mark Selby v Ryan Day (Tuesday 1pm)

Absolute dominance is all you can say really, almost unplayable and absolutely bossing snooker, but that’s enough about Ryan Day, who here takes on the man formerly known as Mark Selby, another who can’t buy a win recently. The man at the top of the ranking list is currently a shadow of his former self whereas back-to-back titles king Day seems to have forgotten how to lose and is definitely THE man in form in the field coming into this. The World Champion famously came good around this time last season winning the China Open before successfully defending in Sheffield and who is to say the same thing won’t happen again? But he has to be concerned at this recent run which is as poor as I can remember him ever having. They met at this stage last year with Selby taking a decider and I’m sure he’d snap your hand off for that same outcome again. He has to come good soon surely? Doesn’t he? Day should be a bit knackered so Selby might at least have the advantage there, but on form alone, you have to back Day at the prices. 

Prediction: Day 6-4 

Mark Williams v Yan Bingtao (Tuesday 1pm)

There is currently a question mark over whether Williams will make it out of his house in time to play. He’s carelessly chosen to live up a hill in the coldest most remote part of Wales and is currently snowed in so his opponent Yan Bingtao will be hoping for more blizzards ahead of their scheduled Tuesday afternoon clash. I wonder if this is a problem whether they might mix the schedule up a bit? MJW was on the wrong end of a 4-0 walloping by Ali Carter last week but before that had looked right back to his best. His Northern Ireland final win over his opponent here was a classic and he followed that up with a German Masters triumph so confidence is as high as the snow outside his front door. Yan is now widely heralded as the next big Chinese star and he’s definitely improving all the time, he’ll be out for revenge here and I can see it going close again, but if it goes to the wire I’d always side with Williams, if he turns up.

Prediction: Williams 6-5 

First Round Bet – Trebles and an Acca

March 16, 2018

RenysArk.com Prediction Contest Round 2: The Players Championship

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:14 am

It’s time for the gloves to come off again as the biggest needle match in snooker enters the second round. Team Baize Boys are looking to improve on their earlier performance in Gibraltar and stop the force that is Team Numpty going further clear in the race for the giraffe.

You can see the latest team and individual standings after Round 1 here but it makes sorry reading for Joe Perry’s men and a tough team talk behind the scenes seems to have motivated his band of potters into action. A far more dedicated set of predictions have come forward and it’s clear that their shaky start has given them the kick up the ‘arris they badly needed.

The instructions for this week were:

Pick the winner of each first round match in next week’s Players Championship. For each winner you will receive 1 point.

Pick 2 outright selections. For the champion you will receive 5 points, for the runner up you will receive 3 points.

These points will be added to your current total.

How you can get involved:

If you are keeping your running total, simply follow the instructions above and tweet your selections using the hashtag #playersvfans – keep your own score and if at the end of the whole competition you finish with more points than the eventual individual winner (and the proof!) you will be entered into a draw to win a signed cue.

Here are the selections for this round from both teams:

If you missed this and want to know what it’s all about click here.

Our kind sponsors RenysArk.com are offering up a host of prizes and if you’d like to own something from them simply fill in the code ‘TEAMNUMPTY’ with any order at the checkout and receive a whopping 15% discount at their website.

 

March 14, 2018

World Seniors Championship – The Lowdown

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:10 am

The Snooker Legends Tour has come a long way since its introduction around the same time as this blog began, so much so that now it’s morphed into an official World Seniors Tour. So as well as the exhibition nights with the legends of yesteryear there is now a fiercely competitive and professionally run tour which gives all players in their 40’s and above the chance to compete on a regular basis, an initiative which is definitely a welcome addition to the snooker world and something that tireless creator Jason Francis, deserves a lot of credit for.

It’s been a busy old season for the Seniors. Already we’ve seen Steve Davis crowned Irish Masters Champion at Goffs and almost every week of the season there has been a qualifier somewhere or other going on. The qualifiers for the World Seniors Championship, which culminates in the main event next week in Baths Hall, Scunthorpe, have spanned the UK and even reached China. The qualifier in China, a certain Cao Kashieng, who looks like he must have had a very easy paper round a couple of years back, lines up first against former World Champion John Parrott in Scunthorpe and it will be interesting to gauge how good he is, given the whole set up I assume will be extremely new to him. In the words of most BBC commentators and the lesser clued up Eurosport ones ‘he’s not a player I am too familiar with’.

There are, as you’d expect, big names aplenty competing. The number one seed is the seven times World Champion Stephen Hendry, who has been putting in the hours for this on his travels and might quietly fancy his chances in this field, though his first round opponent Jonathan Bagley is a potential banana skin and the Canary Cueist Barry Pinches may await in the second round, he can still play a bit and must have an outside chance of upsetting the more illustrious names in the hat. Hendry will definitely need all his old battling qualities to proceed against players who are arguably a little more match fit than he is.   

Other former world champions include Joe Johnson, Cliff and Dennis, with Tony’s Drago and Bolton Stud Knowles making up the seeded seven EDIT – Drago has withdrawn and Simon Dent now replaces him. The 8th seed Willie Thorne has had to pull out and his place has gone to London’s Gary ‘The Blade’ Filtness, a staunch supporter of this tour from the off who qualifies as nearest miss. Poor old Willie has a bad back and in the absence of a qualified snooker coach to walk all over him he’s had to pull out (little snooker in-joke there).

As ever Jason is making this both a competitive event but with that slant of his trademark entertainment thrown in and his unique idea of all deciding ‘frames’ being nothing more than a black ball fight adds that bit of drama and makes the event unique. All this alongside JV’s on-stage commentary and Michaela Tabb’s return to competitive snooker makes this a spectacle that I’m sure will draw a crowd both at the venue and online.

An extra added bit of spice here is the place for the winner in the World Championship Qualifiers in April and the prospect of Hendry possibly un-retiring from the main tour will be enough for nostalgic fans of the 90’s legend to tune into this.

There’s also the small matter of £10,000 for the winner and decent prize money all the way down so this isn’t one to be sniffed at. All the details you need to know including the draw, full prize money breakdown and how you can watch it online or attend in person are below.

FULL DETAILS – FINAL STAGES DRAW – Event runs from 20th-24th March in Scunthorpe

PRIZE MONEY – Winner receives £10,000 plus 10,000 assetereum crypto coins.

Runner up receives £3,000 + 5000 assetereum crypto coins.

Losing semi-finalists receive £1500

Losing quarter finalists receive £500

High break (final stages) £500 plus 5 x the break in assetereum crypto coins

147 Maximum Break – A Kia Sportege Car

COVERAGE – The whole event will be live on the Snooker Legends You Tube Channel.

FANCY GOING ALONG? – BOOK YOUR TICKETS BY CLICKING HERE (includes match schedule and times) or call the venue directly on 0844 854 2776

You can find out a lot more about the World Seniors Snooker Tour at their main website here.   

March 13, 2018

The RenysArk.com Snooker Prediction Contest – Standings after Round 1

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:47 am

After a turbulent start to the big prediction contest in Gibraltar, the early running after Round 1 is being made by Team Numpty, with the team of fans holding a 14 point lead over the team of players after the opening gambit.

The total of 60 points and solid early showing from the Numpties was at odds with the inconsistency shown by the careless Baize Boys. Whilst the potters had a couple of impressive scorers, the level of consistency suggests early burn out and if they are going to make a concerted effort to prove they know best you feel Captain Perry needs to up his game and if necessary ring a few early changes.

No doubt the poor early showing from Michael Holt, who props up the leaderboard will be attributed to Mrs Hitman just popping out Baby Hitman, but this won’t wash with the rest of the team and early crisis talks are already underway to gauge the Nottingham man’s commitment to the cause.

The next challenge is The Players Championship next week and predictions for that will follow shortly. Meanwhile below are the current team and individual standings in the race for the giraffe. Currently Dani Martinez heads the field but just 4 points seperate the top ten so this could all change very quickly next week.

If you missed this and want to know what it’s all about click here.

Our kind sponsors RenysArk.com are offering up a host of prizes and if you’d like to own something from them simply fill in the code ‘TEAMNUMPTY’ with any order at the checkout and receive a whopping 15% discount at their website.

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