Late Night in Sheffield

John Higgins and Neil Robertson are the only Top 16 members through to the fourth round of PTC 5 in Sheffield so far following an elongated day’s snooker.

At the time of writing (2am), Michael White, who had earlier edged Anthony McGill 4-2 in a marathon that finished past midnight, is still competing with Thailand’s Dechawat Poomjaeng for a round of 16 place.

Stuart Bingham could make it a trio of Top 16 players if he can get over the line ahead of Barry Hawkins – the pair are locked in a deciding frame scrap at the moment.

It isn’t uncommon for Players Tour Championship events to both conjure up a succession of shocks and go on late into the night such is the nature of the format and set-up.

However, questions will be raised about the World Snooker Academy as other venues have had fewer problems so far this season.

A reason for the delays is that there are less tables than a lot of the other venues used but, at this stage, it would not be a surprise if this is the last campaign that we see the setting used for anything other than the ranking event qualifiers.

Additionally, the fact that there are no facilities to cater for crowds is detrimental to its cause and the atmosphere garnered from the South West Snooker Academy and in Germany has far outperformed the PTC events held in Sheffield in the last few months.

Nevertheless, there was still a bombardment of snooker today as players attempt to grab what ranking points are available before the first official cut-off point in October.

John Higgins followed up victories over David Grace and amateur Michael Wasley with a third successive wine against Alan McManus and will meet Ryan Day tomorrow for a place in the quarter-finals.

China’s Li Yan perhaps pulled off the shock of the day by ousting Judd Trump 4-1 but there are no real surprises at this stage with the best of seven format and the nature of there being so many competitive players on the circuit.

The 19 year-old will meet 2010 world champion Neil Robertson next with Martin Gould and Michael Holt joining them in the last 16.

Yesterday, the top half of the draw saw even more lower ranked players coming through than today.

It really is very difficult to predict who will emerge victorious but the opportunity is there for young hotshot Jack Lisowski to stake a claim for his ambitions in the sport by capturing his first piece of silverware.

The Englishman takes on countryman David Gilbert and will feel confident having scraped past Peter Lines last night 4-3.

The draw can be viewed by clicking here.

Update: Michael White beat Dechawat Poomjaeng 4-1 and Barry Hawkins edged Stuart Bingham 4-3 on the final black.

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