The ROKiT Phones World Seniors Q School event reached its conclusion yesterday (Sunday) in Reading with eight places at the venue stages of upcoming major tournaments decided.
The event, which represented the first open-entry competition organised by the WPBSA following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, ran across seven days at the Crucible Sports and Social Club in Reading. Eight places at four tournaments were to be won, with a mix of current professionals and amateur players taking part.
Pinches secured his place at the Crucible following a dramatic 4-3 victory against former World Seniors champion Darren Morgan in his final qualifying match. Welshman Morgan had led 2-0 and 3-2, but it was Pinches who claimed the last two frames to secure his return to a venue at which he competed three times as a professional, memorably reaching the last 16 in 2004.
Three-time English Amateur Championship winner Lilley meanwhile produced a high-quality performance to defeat Wayne Townsend 4-2. Breaks of 72, 63, 60 and 60 were enough to see the 45-year-old prevail and earn a debut at snooker’s most famous venue in just a few months time.
Four places at the UK Seniors Championship in Hull were decided with Barry Pinches, David Lilley, Phil Williams and Kuldesh Johal all making it through to the final four of this week’s qualifying tournament.
For Pinches and Lilley their victories ensured that it was a near-perfect week of snooker as the pair qualified for two of the three available events, with 4-1 victories against Stuart Watson and Mark Gray respectively enough to secure their places at the Bonus Arena.
Both Williams and Johal however were pushed all the way, Williams defeating former world number 42 Andrew Norman in a deciding-frame, while Johal was also a 4-3 winner against Wayne Cooper.
Also up for grabs last week were two places at the upcoming Seniors Masters tournament, scheduled to be held at the Alexandra Palace.
The first was claimed by Darren Morgan, who won seven matches, including four against current professional players to win the Masters qualifying tournament. Having defeated Peter Lines, Nigel Bond and Andy Hicks to reach the final, he would deny David Lilley a qualification hat-trick by coming through a deciding-frame to claim the place.
He will be joined there by Gary Filtness, who overcame recent back problems in recent weeks to defeat Ashley Beal 4-0 in the final of the Super Seniors tournament for players aged 55 or over.
The WPBSA and World Seniors Snooker would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this week’s tournament during these most challenging of times, including the players, officials and venue staff, without the cooperation of which the event would not have been possible.