01-Mar, Qualifying Round One:
Emyr Evans (Wal) 3-0 Sean Millington 11-5, 11-4, 11-5
Kyle Finch (Eng) 3-0 Michael Collins 11-7, 11-2, 11-5
Liam Gutcher 3-0 Xavi Blasco (Esp) 11-3, 11-7, 11-2
David Barnett 3-0 Elliot Selby (Eng) 11-3, 11-6, 11-5
Jakob Dirnberger (Aut) 3-0 Sam Broughton 11-8, 11-3, 11-8
Miles Jenkins (Eng) 3-0 Chris Wiggins 11-2, 11-5, 11-7
Ben Coates (Eng) 3-1 Michael Mattimore 11-9, 10-12, 14-12, 11-6
Julian Tomlinson (Eng) 3-0 Jamie Todd 11-5, 11-9, 11-9
Day One – Report by Dylan Younger
TWO local heroes upset the odds to reach the second qualifying round of the $5000 Northumbria Open.
Liam Gutcher of Northern and Dave Barnett, on home turf at Jesmond’s Northumberland Club, both hit top form to see off Xavi Blanco and Elliott Selby (younger brother of former top 10 player Daryl) respectively.
The top two players in Northumbria both won 3-0 and their prize is a clash against each other on Day Two.
Elsewhere Tynemouth’s Sean Millington found Welshman Emyr Evans too strong (the favourite, No 1 seed among the qualifiers, winning 3-0).
Second qualifying seed Julian Tomlinson was given a challenge against Jamie Todd, who celebrated his 18th birthday by finding his form on the glassback, only to lose 3-0 – the second two going right to the wire at 11-9. If the birthday boy could learn to stop serving out after crash-nicking his opponent’s serve, he could have given Tomlinson a real scare.
England youth international Kyle Finch prevailed 3-0 against Newcastle University’s super-fit Michael Collins, while Austrian Jakob Dirnberger also won 3-0, against Northern junior Sam Broughton.