In my last website update I mentioned that I won my first Welsh ranking event of the season. Since then I've won another event and reached a final to put me 85 points clear at the top of the rankings. With only the Welsh Championships and European Qualifier to go, I'm in a good position to finish number 1 at the end of the season. I've already qualified to go to Malta in March for the European Team Championships and hopefully I'll be playing in the rest of the overseas events this year. Check out Welsh Snooker for rankings and news items.
Back in November I went to Bangalore in India for the World Amateur Championships. After coming top of my group I lost out to the winner, Yan Bingtao of China 5-3 in the Last 32. The match was live on Indian TV too. We both played well. I made breaks of 134 and 70 while Yan made 89 and 65. He's a real talent for 14 years old and he'll go far in the game. I made several breaks over 50 in this tournament including 3 centuries. The tounament information can be found here: http://ibsf.info/turnieje/2014/ms/en/msm_2014.php
I didn't have the best journey home from India. On the flight to Dubai I managed to get servere food poisoning and was seriously ill. So ill that I couldn't continue to fly on to Manchester and ended up in the Dubai Airport Hospital on a drip. The only plus side was that I got to see Dubai for 1 night as the drugs I was on made me feel much better. I'm a lot better now but still feeling some side affects as I've damaged my stomach lining. I even got a little article about it written in the Snooker Scene magazine!
A week after I got back from India I was off away again this time to Portugal for a European Tour event. After only having a couple of hours practice for this event due to my illness, I wasn't expecting to play well. I played Ryan Causton first match and won 4-3. I didn't play well but I managed to grind a win out. In the Last 128 I played Liam Highfield and I won 4-2 with a 94 and 3 70+ breaks. I was shocked at how well I played and this set up a match with Mark Davis. I didn't play as well as I had done ealier that day and lost 4-1. A missed pot on the final brown and a bad safety shot cost me 2 frames. I was always going to get punished for them mistakes playing someone like Mark.
I had time off after Portugal for Christmas. It was nice to relax and be at home after being away for most of the previous month and also because of the illness. I'm also getting back to the gym now and playing 5 a side football every week. Fitness is important for snooker as it aids your concentration and stamina, especially in long matches.
Coming up next is the final Welsh Ranking tournament and then the final European Tour event in Poland. I hope to make it in the top 16 amateurs to qualify for the grand finals where we will battle it out for 2 professional tour spots. I'm currently 11th on the ranking but it's tight between players ranked about 6 down to 20 odd. I'm practicing hard to get myself ready for it. I have been playing with Andrew Higginson, Ricky Walden, Rod Lawler and Robbie WIlliams lately. I enjoy practicing with them as you get good experience and you learn a lot about shot selection.