Pinches Powers to World Seniors Qualification Event Victory

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Barry Pinches defeated Lee Walker 4-1 in a high-quality final to win the second LLP Solicitors World Seniors Snooker Championship qualifying event of the season and therefore secure a return to the Crucible Theatre for the final stages in May.

The experienced cueman from Norwich – who has previously played at snooker’s most iconic venue in both the professional and seniors world championships – joins last month’s event one winner Andrew Norman on the list of confirmed qualifiers. 

Held at the North East Snooker Centre in North Sheilds, 53-year-old Pinches began his campaign with victories against Ant Parsons (3-0) and Gareth Edwards (3-1) before he defeated multiple-time World Seniors Snooker Tour major event finalist Johnathan Bagley 4-1 in the last eight along with breaks of 90 and 81. 

In the semi-finals Pinches went behind early on to opponent James McGouran but he strung together the next four frames for a 4-1 win.

Lee Walker and Barry Pinches pose with referee David Brown in the middle of them.

Coming through the other side of the draw was 2022 world seniors champion Walker. The Welshman recovered from 2-0 down to deny former qualifier Rodney Goggins 4-2 in the quarter-finals and then registered runs of 126 – the highest break of the event – and 78 during a 4-0 success against 2018 champion Aaron Canavan in the last four. 

A decorated final did not disappoint. Walker deposited the opening frame with a 103 clearance although Pinches responded with efforts of 87, 83 and 68 in the next three frames as he went 3-1 up. Professional PTC event winner Pinches then claimed a low-scoring fifth frame to complete victory and book a ticket to Sheffield for the spring. 

The third qualifying event of the season is set to take place across the Irish Sea at the Snooker & Billiards Ireland Academy in Carlow between February 23-25

Paul Rinaldi from the North East Snooker Centre presents Barry Pinches with his medal.