45 players entered from as far afield as Widnes, Carlisle, Blackpool and Burnley to play in the northern section of the competition in Lancaster.
The 8 qualifiers were –
- Mark Salmon
- Leo Fernandez
- Jason Tart
- Danny Hicks
- Andy Milliard
- Mike Nixon
- Paul Deaville
- Robert Marshall
Ex-pros Marshall, Nixon, Milliard and Fernandez all had fairly easy passages to the final stages. Fernandez was particularly impressive, with several breaks over 50.
The performance of the tournament was by Robert Marshall who made breaks of 100, 119 and 62 in a first-round win over Mike Cousins.
Among the other qualifiers, Jason Tart was impressive with two 3-0 wins. Junior player Paul Deaville qualified from the Lancaster event for the second year running. Mark Salmon, a newcomer, did well to qualify and keeping up local interest was Lancaster’s Danny Hicks.
Other centuries were made by two local players; former winner Trevor Lamb made a 102 clearance and James Silverwood had a run of 112.
The live results reporting by Michael Waring went down very well with the players and spectators.
Everyone is now looking forward to a high quality finals day in Liverpool on 7 April. Spectators are more than welcome