Riley Powell becomes the second 14-year-old to win at the Snooker Shoot Out after Vladislav Gradinari beat three-time women’s world champion Ng On Yee to become the youngest player to win a televised snooker match
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 26/01/23 11:24pm
Reanne Evans beat former world champion Stuart Bingham 60-8 to become the first woman to win a match in the one-frame Snooker Shoot Out after Riley Powell followed Vladislav Gradinari as the second 14-year-old to reach round two in Leicester.
An early break of 21 by Evans helped set up a healthy lead, which was extended to 35-0 before Bingham, who claimed the 2015 world title, failed to make the most of another opportunity at the table as Evans closed out a memorable victory.
“That’s the first time I’ve actually enjoyed it. I know I won, but that’s the first time I felt a little more relaxed,” Evans told Eurosport.
“I think I wasn’t expecting that much and that did the deal. I’m pleased because I’m low on confidence so any win [I have], I’m happy.
“It’s just [about] touch and feel, especially in this format you have to get to the table quick and to be fair the table was really nice, the nicest table I played on all season.”
Earlier on Thursday, teenager Riley Powell followed Vladislav Gradinari as the second 14-year-old to make round two with victory over world No 8 Kyren Wilson.
On Wednesday, Moldovan Gradinari, who lives in Leeds, became the youngest player to win a televised match when he defeated three-time women’s world champion Ng On Yee.
Powell continued the trend at the Morningside Arena as he dispatched Wilson, a five-time ranking event winner, by a score of 41-31 in the quickfire competition.
“That was amazing, the best event I have played in,” said Welsh teenager Powell, who is two months older than Gradinari and turns 15 in August.
“The crowd were so good. I had a couple of early mistakes but then got back into it. I just tried to enjoy the occasion and I loved every bit of it.”
Powell, from Tredegar in South Wales, practises with the likes of former world champion Mark Williams, Lee Walker and Jackson Page.
“As soon as I started playing snooker I loved it,” he said on the World Snooker Tour website.
“Mark Williams has been fantastic with me, I’d like to thank him, Jackson and Lee for all the help they have given me.
“Any practice I can get them with is fabulous, I have learned a lot from them. I want to be world number one and world champion.”
Gradinari explained how it is difficult to play snooker in his home country.
“It is not really popular, we have three or four tables in the whole country,” the reigning England U14 champion told World Snooker Tour.
“It [the win] feels amazing. I played my best game, at the table I felt calm. At the age of seven, I started playing snooker and we moved here two years ago.”
Elsewhere on Thursday, world No 2 and home favourite Mark Selby was edged out 22-20 by Mark Davis, who produced a late rally to clinch the frame.
Amateur Michael Holt, who won the event in 2020 while on the pro tour, made the highest break so far with 116 in his win over Lei Peifan.
Dominic Dale and Matthew Stevens contested the first ‘blue-ball shoot out’ of this year’s competition, having finished tied at 49-49.
Dale went on to edge out former Masters and UK champion Stevens to progress into the second round, but David Gilbert’s disappointing season continued as he was defeated 35-30 by Saudi player Asjad Iqbal.