Sunday 26 December

Cueists Qualify for Professional Cup Main Draw

The live televised last 32 line-up for the 2021 Ultimate Pool Professional Cup has now been completed following a day of preliminary round action at Players Pool and Snooker Lounge.

A round featuring players ranked outside of the top 16, these Boxing Day winners will join the seeded players in the main draw which will be shown on BT Sport for viewers in the UK and for fans everywhere else over the next four days starting Monday morning at 1100GMT.

The first player to make it through was Ultimate Pool Masters finalist Simon Fitzsimmons, who on his Ultimate Pool professional debut recovered from 3-0 down to defeat former World Masters winner Josh Kane, 8-4.

Rob Wharne ousted Craig Lakin 8-6 in a close affair, whilst World Under-23 Champion Luke Gilbert got the better of the experienced Eddie Barker 8-4. Gilbert’s victory would have been some revenge for his loss to Barker in the Challenger Series Event 2 final back in the summer.

Former World Champion John Roe eliminated former European Champion Oly Bale 8-4, and that was the same scoreline for Ultimate Pool professional debutant Arfan Dad as he ended the campaign of John Sullivan. Another former European Champion – Karl Sutton – got his name into the main draw with an 8-3 success over young Scot Geo Edgar.

It would be a fine late evening session for experienced cueists. Ronan McCarthy – who's successful longevity within the sport is perhaps unparalleled - scored a comfortable 8-2 win over Dan Eaton-Lees to set up a tasty all-Northern Ireland tie on Monday night with Pairs Cup teammate Declan Brennan.

Meanwhile, Brian ‘Buzzer’ Halcrow showed his determination as he strung together the final three frames to oust recent Champion of Champions Shootout finalist Chris Day in a deciding frame, 8-7.

Groups 1, 2 and 3 will be played and completed on Monday – resulting in three quarter-finalists that will return later in the week.

The schedule of play for Monday is:

Group 1 – from 1100GMT

  • Shane Thompson (1) v Neil Raybone
  • Greg Batten (11) v John Roe
  • Winner v Winner

Group 2 – from 1400GMT

  • Jimmy Croxton (14) v Tom Cousins
  • Carl Morris (6) v Emma Cunningham
  • Winner v Winner

Group 3 – from 1900GMT

  • Declan Brennan (3) v Ronan McCarthy
  • Dylan Leary (16) v Simon Fitzsimmons
  • Winner v Winner

Please note, the livestream is not available for those in the UK as it is on BT Sport.