Ben Harrison PTC7

by Roland Cox

(Cont’d from PTC5 blog)

PTC6 in Poland missed due to a bad back. What happened?
Well I slept funny in Sheffield in the last tournament and I first noticed it on the drive back where I found it really difficult to look in the rear view mirror. Anyway I didn’t think anything of it and then a couple of days later my neck was really bad and then my back started hurting and then I caught a virus, flu symptoms, so it all came at once!

I went to my doctors and he gave me something for it and I thought I’d be ok in time for PTC6, but my back was hurting so much I couldn’t practice. And then on the day I was meant to be leaving I woke up and my back felt even worse so I decided to stay at home and rest it and give myself a chance to be ready for PTC7 in Gloucester.

PTC7: South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester

Dates: 5-9/10/11

4-3 Stephen Craigie
4-3 Darren Bond
4-2 Luca Brecel
4-2 Yu Delu
2-4 Matthew Stevens

Points: 600

Table position: T94

4-3 Stephen Craigie
Although I’d lost to him the last few times I played him, it’s not like I was bad, he played really well and I didn’t have a chance to get into the match. This time I made a good start and got the first frame on the board. After that I don’t remember anything about individual frames, just that it was really hard to get into a rhythm because there were a lot of safety battles and it was tough match play, and then I made a really nice 77 from 40 behind in the decider.

When you came to the table it looked like you’d do well to make a 30 or 40 break.
I remember that there were 5 reds on cushions, and as I was making the break I was telling myself not to look at the score and just keep potting balls. I enjoyed the match and it was a massive confidence boost to win.

4-3 Darren Bond
This was a weird match because I had an 80, 131* and a couple of 50’s and I think he had one break over 40 and with a bit of good match play he got it to 3-3. I got a bit unlucky when I was 3-2 up to leave a red over the middle but he got stuck in and played some really good match stuff. I made an important 60 in the decider and I was pleased with that because I know Darren’s a good player. A lot of people don’t know who Darren is but I know he’s a good player because I’ve practiced with him and he used to be an England International and we used to play in the Pontins tour together and the Premier tour. So it was a nasty little qualifier and especially after having to play Stephen Craigie first, it was like winning a mini-tournament to get into the tournament!
*watch the 131 break here

Ben and Luca Brecel shake hands at the start of their match (click to enlarge)

4-2 Luca Brecel
I know they’re all big matches but this was a big match for me. Instead of a seasoned pro in round 1, I had a rookie and he’s young. I knew he was going to be attacking and so am I but early on it just went weird, I didn’t really know what was happening, I was getting dragged in to the way he plays! I felt like I was the more experienced player and when I lost the first 2 frames which I really should have won, I went to the toilet and gave myself a bit of a slap and sorted myself out.

From 2-0 down I nicked one to go 2-1, then I had 80, 60 and finished with a century. I don’t know where it came from but I was leaving him tempters and he kept smashing them and in the end I got the chances and made the most of them. And I knocked in a good long red to start the century in the last frame.

Ben getting things under way against Yu Delu in the round of the last 64

4-2 Yu Delu
I missed a really easy red to lose the first frame so I tried to get that out of my mind really and told myself not to panic. I think I had a 60 or 70 in the second frame and from then on I felt in control of the match. I played good match snooker and picked off the balls he left and put balls safe when I got a lead, so it was good. He played a silly shot at 3-2, took on a tough black when all he had to do was snooker me behind the pink and the fame would’ve been his. In the end I made a good clearance on the colours and won 4-2. It was a good clearance because the pressure was on and it was a big ranking match for me so it meant a lot to win.

That match was as good as I’ve seen you hit the ball.
Yes at times I was getting so much reaction I was finding it quite hard to control the white, but it is a nice feeling when you’re playing like that.

referee replacing the white after a failed attempt from Matthew Stevens to hit the brown. The 5th frame came down to the black.

2-4 Matthew Stevens
I got in first in the first couple of frames and just landed wrong on the blue but he was just on autopilot and didn’t miss when he got in. So at 2-0 down I thought what do I do now? I’m playing Matthew Stevens at his best! Then I played some good safety and took my chances and got it back to 2-2, and I was really proud of myself because I could have let my head drop. Then he nicked the 5th on the black after a long battle on the colours. It was a massive frame because we were both tired and it was late on, and I felt if I could have taken it I would’ve won the match. But because he won it he went back on autopilot and knocked in a 70 odd to win.

Overall performance at PTC7:
9/10. I could have scored a little bit heavier but playing Stevens in top form I did alright and couldn’t really have done that much more.

How was the experience?
I had a good time; I enjoyed all the matches (maybe not the first two frames against Luca so much!) and it was good having it in pink which was for a good cause. I much prefer playing in polo shirts, I’ve got to be honest. I know it looks casual, but it’s a lot more comfortable.

Next PTC in Killarney, Ireland
I’ve never been to Killarney, I was going to play in the 6-reds when it was on but financially at the time I couldn’t afford it. Everyone keeps saying how lovely it is over there so I’m really looking forward to going and hopefully I can get a few good results.

Ben is at last on the PTC points table with 600 points for reaching the last 32. This puts him in a tie for 94th place. He is currently joint 10th highest amateur on the list alongside Chen Zhe and David Singh, with 3 just above them on 800 points (Stephen Craigie, Patrick Wallace and Ian Burns). However for the provisional tour places as things stand he is 1600 adrift of Liam Highfield who currently occupies the last qualifying spot with 2200 points. This is the equivalent of reaching the last 8 (plus another 100 points), or reaching the last 16 and the last 32 in two separate events. Liam is 67th on the current professional ranking list so his position will change based on how he performs in full ranking tournaments such as the upcoming UK, and then it will fall to the next pro outside the 64 or next highest amateur if he climbs into the top 64. To stay up to speed with the movers and shakers on the PTC money list as the events unfold, visit

You can follow Ben on Twitter as well as Snooker Island for the latest up to date progress in the PTCs.

(Click for PTC8 blog)

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