Norwich’s Barry Pinches ready for Ronnie O’Sullivan challenge at Snooker’s Welsh Open

Ronnie O'Sullivan awaits Norwich's Barry Pinches in the second round of the Welsh Open at Newport on Tuesday night. Ronnie O'Sullivan awaits Norwich's Barry Pinches in the second round of the Welsh Open at Newport on Tuesday night.

Monday, February 24, 2014
6:47 PM

Old Catton professional Barry Pinches will be aiming to upset the odds when he takes on world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the second round of the Welsh Open on Tuesday night (7pm).

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Old Catton professional Barry Pinches is enjoying his recent run of good form on the snooker tour.Old Catton professional Barry Pinches is enjoying his recent run of good form on the snooker tour.

The 43-year-old is 8/1 to shock the Rocket at Newport in the best of seven frames encounter.

Pinches beat former World Championship finalist Nigel Bond 4-1 in his opening tie, and while the Norwich star knows the task that lies ahead, he is looking forward to it – backed by some of his own good form of late.

“They’re all difficult matches, but obviously playing Ronnie is something special,” said Pinches. “He’s a special player isn’t he?

“I’ve known him for so many years, since he was a kid, that I perhaps wouldn’t be as overawed as maybe a youngster coming into the game who’s only seen him on telly. But I know how good he is and how tough it will be.

“I pretty much play the same all the time, whoever it’s against. I’m a percentage player and I’ve got a decent defensive game. And my scoring has been a bit better lately – quite a bit better. I’ve been on a decent run of later.

“Settling early is a big thing in these best-of-seven games. If you can do that, then you’re in with a shout.”

Pinches is battling for his own place in snooker’s hierarchy, as he tries to get his world ranking down from 70 to inside the top 64 – or at least maintain his current standing in the PTC Order of Merit. He has two trips to China next month to help him on his way to those goals.

Pinches added: “I’m still sweating a little bit on my place on the main tour, but I’ve won six of my last seven matches so I will go in there against Ronnie confident and I’ll enjoy playing him.”

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