UK Championship Snooker day 1: Five tasty first round tips

Lee Gormley | November 23rd, 2015

UK Championship snooker day one tips

  • UK Championship
  • Tuesday, November 24th
  • First break-off: 14:30 GMT
  • Barbican Centre, York

Doherty and Drago duel in intriguing first round

It’s that time of year again, when the world’s best snooker stars arrive at York’s Barbican Centre to compete for the coveted UK Championship crown and, with reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan not involved, it’s an open playing field.

Ahead of Tuesday’s first-round match-ups in the prestigious ranking event’s new straight knockout set-up, Coral bring you five great tips for the opening baize battles.

Doherty to defeat fellow veteran Drago

Snooker - World Championship Qualifying - Day Two - Ponds Forge

In an encounter between two genuine circuit veterans Ken Doherty and Tony Drago, their first meeting in over a decade, it’s the Irishman who is favourite to secure a first-round triumph over his Malta-born opponent, who is more renowned for his exploits on pool tables around Europe.

The potting pair haven’t collide since 2002, though 1997 world champion Doherty has triumphed in their last four meetings stretching back the year of his Crucible triumph, and is 11/2 with Coral for a 6-4 victory, having won by two or more frames in all of those previous match-ups.

Higgins terrific price to thrash Fernandez

Snooker - Betfred World Championship - Day Eight - Crucible Theatre

Legendary cueist Stephen Hendry recently touted his fellow Scottish potter John Higgins as a potential winner at this year’s UK meet and, if the seven-time Crucible king is backing him, it’s definitely worth a punt.

The Wizard of Wishaw first comes up against a new challenger in veteran Leo Fernandez, but has been in excellent form this year, and is even-money to earn a five-frame winning margin over his Irish opponent, or alternatively 12/5 for a 6-1 triumph.

McGill for comfortable victory in Cahill clash

Snooker - Betfred World Championship - Day Seven - Crucible Theatre

Talented Scot Anthony McGill was one of the stars of last season’s UK competition, reaching his first ever quarter-final in the illustrious event after toppling Nigel Bond and compatriot Higgins, before a narrow defeat to eventual victor O’Sullivan.

Hailed by the Rocket as one of the sport’s future leading lights and a practise partner of Alan McManus, this could be McGill’s time to shine, and he is 12/5 to outpot James Cahill 6-3 in their first-round meeting, having won their only other clash.

The big Lisowski needs Surety

Snooker - 2014 Coral UK Championship - Day Seven - Barbican Centre

Clinical Cheltenham cueist Jack Lisowski showed previous glimpses of brilliance in his young career, having reached the UK third-round last time out, where he was overcome by Shaun Murphy, and stated after that defeat that he was still adjusting to the playing atmosphere at major events.

A year on from that loss, the 24-year-old could show his true baize abilities in York, where he is 24/5 to rally to a 4-0 lead over Zak Surety after the opening four frames, following a whitewash over his Essex counterpart in one of only two ever match-ups to date.

Jones to get past Glover

Snooker - World Snooker Championships - Day Eleven - The Crucible Theatre

Welsh break-builder Jamies Jones possesses all the potting talent to eventually clinch his maiden ranking event in the coming years, and he showcased such skills recently at the Australian Goldfields Open. The Neath cueist reached the semi-finals by edging out Mark Davis, thrashing world number one Mark Selby 5-1 and overcoming his friend Michael White, before losing out to Higgins.

Jones has faced veteran Ian Glover on just two occasions before, but secured a comfortable 4-2 win in their most recent encounter, making him 13/4 to only two concede frames again this time out in a 6-2 triumph.


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Coral have every UK Championship Snooker meeting covered, so make sure to follow the action.

Coral’s top tip: Ken Doherty has a habit of toppling Tony Drago by two or more frames in previous meetings, so back the Darling of Dublin to secure a 6-4 victory this time in the UK Championship first-round meeting.