Official Fergal O'Brien Website

Season Review

Losing 10 - 7 to Marco Fu to qualify for the Crucible,
in the World Championships,
was a very disappointing end to my season.

I played well in the first session to lead 6 - 2, including two century breaks.
The first frame of the evening session proved crucial.
I had three chances to take it but I eventually lost the frame.
This seemed to settle Marco down and from then on he played to a very high standard.
Despite getting a 65 break to go 7 - 4 ahead, I could not turn the tide and Marco went on to take a 9 - 7 lead.
I should have won the last frame but Marco cleared up in two visits to clinch it on the black.
After watching him reach the semi-final in Sheffield I to saw him continue his good form and he is playing well.

To miss out on the Crucible is a terrible blow.
Having to to wait and watch others play there is very hard
but it makes me more determined than ever to qualify next season.
Looking back over the season I felt my results did not always reflect how I was playing or how I felt.
There is a very fine line between winning and losing, especially in best of 9 frame matches.

My first tournament of the season proved to be a great start to the year for me.
I qualified for the Grand Prix in Preston by beating Judd Trump 5 -2
and was drawn against Mark Williams for the first round proper which was televised by the BBC.
I had a great win against Mark, beating him 5 - 3 before losing out to Stuart Bingham in the next round.

Reaching the semi-finals of the VC Poker Irish Professional Championships,
and losing 5 - 4 to Ken Doherty, was also a big disappointment.
It was a match that I felt I should really have won
and it would have been lovely to play Joe Swail in the final of our national title.
However it was great to see this competition back on the calendar after a 12 year absence.

Losing 9 - 4 to Ding Junhui in my first match in the UK Championships did not help my rankings
as it has the second highest number of ranking points available for any tournament.
This was no disgrace considering how well he played.
I watched him go on and win the tournament and continue to play well.

I went to Prestatyn for the masters qualifying and felt reasonably confident of winning.
I was playing quite well but lost 5 - 4 to Ali Carter in the quarter-finals which ended my hopes in that event.
There were some very positive things for me in this event.
I had some great wins on the way to the quarter-finals, including a 140 break,
my highest in tournament play for quite some time.

I still have to finish the Irish professional league.
I will play Ken Doherty in the final of this and look forward to the possibility of my first win in
a tournament for professionals, for quite a while. I expect to play this match in July or early August.

I will continue to answer all e-mails and will be adding to the practice page during the summer.
Following repeated requests a merchandising page will be added to the website
and I will be working on setting up a fan club.
I am also currently writing a book about my career up to now and preparing a coaching manual.

I am currently taking a break from snooker and after my holidays
I will be getting back to the practice table in preparation for next season.
As with every season there are lessons to be learned and from practice to preparation
I feel I have more knowledge and experience to benefit me next season.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my fans for the good wishes, e-mails,
visits to the website (now over 300,000 hits) and general support that I have received throughout the season.
I hope to repay you all with a good season this coming year.


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