Ben Harrison PTC9&10

by Roland Cox

(Cont’d from PTC8 blog)

Antwerp was a really good venue, and when the pros got there it was a brilliant crowd (photos by Monique Limbos)

PTC9: Antwerp, Belgium

Dates: 10-13/11/11

4-0 Brian Beekers
3-4 Ryan Causton

PTC10: Sheffield Academy

Dates: 27-30/11/11

4-3 Liam Monk
1-4 Nigel Bond

Points: 600

Table position: 101

4-0 Brian Beekers
He didn’t play well at all to be honest. I could tell he could play because in the last frame he had a 35 but by that time I’d completely lost concentration and just wanted to get out of there. I thought I had another qualifier after that and would play Ryan Causton the next day but I had him straight after this match at the venue. The Beekers match was in a club which I was annoyed about because when you pay £100 entry you think you’re going to play in a venue so I didn’t think it was on really, but it’s the same for everyone I suppose.

3-4 Ryan Causton
I went 2-0 up not playing well, I think he made 3 good 50 breaks to go 3-2 ahead and somehow I got back to 3-3 and then he had 59 in the decider. I battled back and I think I needed a snooker on the brown and got it and then I missed a long brown and he potted brown and blue.

4-3 Liam Monk
I’d not seen him play but I’ve seen him around and he’s a really nice chap and when I looked I saw he’d had a few good results – he beat Michael Wasley and then obviously Gary Wilson in this PTC and he can really play actually. When he gets going he can really score.

The match was weird because we were both missing a lot but there was a break of 50 in each frame. I won the first then in the next I was bridging over a red and as I potted the red on I fouled the red I was bridging over to let him in and he started potting from that point and knocking the long ones in and I thought I could be in trouble here!

Overall my safety wasn’t very good because I’d not had much match practice for a while but I potted ok. In the decider I think we were both on 20 and then the balls went awkward and I remember potting a good long red then a difficult black and made a 60 break from there. That gave me a little confidence boost and I felt great afterwards.

1-4 Nigel Bond
Oh dear! (laughs) I really fancied myself in this match to be honest, I really got myself up for it and was looking forward to it but it just didn’t happen. The first frame I had loads of chances, it was one of those grim early starts (9am) and I felt in control of it and he nicked it on the black. That pushed me back a bit because you really want to get off to a good start against the pros.

In the next frame he made a really good 70 and you can’t really do anything about that. In the third I remember potting a good long red and going into the pack from blue and hitting it perfect and then I sped up and made an 80 in about a minute and a half or something stupid like that!

I started to feel really good and I got in again in the next frame, and then I played a shot left-handed when I really should have used the rest, I ran out of position from a really careless shot which I didn’t concentrate enough on. After that I remember he fluked frame ball. He was 30 ahead on the last red and I had him in a snooker and he came off a cushion and potted the red!

In the last I was on about 20 and missed an easy black off the spot. I was trying to play it with loads of side because it was straight, and I tried to generate loads of spin and missed the pot. The table was horrendous because we had to go on one of the practice tables. The day before I was practicing on the one that had just been recovered and it was beautiful but the one me and Nigel played on there was no reaction. The pockets were so tight because when the tables have just been done, all the balls slide in nicely and on the table we were on I was playing shots that had been going in the day before but this table just wasn’t having it, they kept jawing. That’s what happens when the cloth is old. I can’t blame the table but that shot on the black I had to hit really hard because there was no bite on the cloth.

But on the whole my match game wasn’t good enough. My safety was poor and I missed far too many balls. Adam (Wicheard) and Stephen (Lee) were away so I didn’t have the usual match practice and when you’re playing on your own you can’t generate the match situations so my safety just wasn’t there and I couldn’t see the shot. So Nigel was doing me in the safety department and with him you know if you can get in you’re going to match him for scoring, but he’s a very good match player obviously being a World Finalist in his day. So I was disappointed but you’ve just got to get on with the next one really.

How was the Antwerp experience?
Well I can’t really count it as a proper tournament. We went there early, it was half past 3 in the morning when we set off, and I thought I would have time for a nap when we got there. I was playing at 4pm but we got stuck in traffic in Belgium and it was half 12 by the time we arrived so it was too close to the match and I knew if I tried to sleep I’d feel worse when I got up so I stayed up and tried to get through the first match. I wasn’t feeling well from a couple of days before we got there and unfortunately I just deteriorated as the day went on! I was just about to be called on in the Ryan Causton match and I had to run off the toilet and was throwing up everywhere! I had to text my mate Nick to let him know I needed a few minutes and when I came out Ryan looked at me and said “Are you alright, you don’t look very well!”

Ben during his match with Ryan Causton at PTC 9 in Antwerp

You were in fear of being docked a couple of frames weren’t you?
Yes I saw a table become free and knew I’d be next on but I couldn’t do anything about it, I had to go!

What about the venue?
It was a really good venue, and when the pros got there it was a brilliant crowd. I just wish I was well enough and not had a disgusting bug, but I’m looking forward to it next year.

And PTC 10?
I had a 147 a few days before so I was feeling good but then in the matches I didn’t feel great, didn’t think I was cueing that well. But that’s how it goes sometimes with this game!

Sometimes you can feel you played badly but actually it doesn’t appear that way to the viewer. Take Ronnie, he’s always saying he played rubbish and you’re thinking “but you only missed two balls”!
Yes that’s true, after the Liam Monk game I said to Nick that I played rubbish and he said that if you look at the match, I had 4 breaks over 50 so you haven’t played that bad but you know when you’re not hitting it right and feel like you’re struggling.

What are your plans for the next PTCs because the qualifiers are played over the same weekend for PTC 11 and 12 aren’t they?
Well I know I’ve got James Cahill on Saturday and the winner of that plays Ding and I imagine that’s got a good chance of going on Eurosport. I can’t take him for granted because even though I beat him in an earlier PTC I know he can play because he beat Mitchell Mann last week. Then in PTC 12 I’m straight through to the last 128 where I play Stephen Hendry and I can’t wait!

(Click for PTC11&12 blog)

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

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