SNOOKER / CAT TELECOM-HUA HIN THAILAND CHALLENGE 2007
Ratchapol, Issara survive test


HANIF HASSAN

Hua Hin _ Snooker star Ratchapol Pu-Ob-Orm and national No 1 Issara Kachaiwong both struggled yesterday before crawling into the quarter-finals of the CAT Telecom-Hua Hin Thailand Challenge 2007. Ratchapol, now No 33 in the world professional rankings, had to work hard to clinch a 4-3 victory over young Jessada Posukarn, while Issara had trouble taming Surathep Phoochalam to win his last 16 round match by the same margin at the Hua Hin Grand Hotel.
Jessada, a 19-year-old ward at the Sports Authority of Thailand-funded Asian Centre of Excellence, started off well with a break of 50 and then quickly widened the margin to 2-0.
Ratchapol got going in the third and took the frame with ease before a break of 59 in the fourth earned him a 2-2 tie. Jessada got the better of his illustrated opponent in close-fought fifth.
Jessada had Ratchapol on the ropes in the sixth but then attempted a suicidal pot on the last green and that tipped the favour in Ratchapol's way, who obliged with a clearance of 25 points following a successful snooker to level the score 3-3.
As Jessada showed nerves, Ratchapol had it easy going in the deciding frame, which he won with the help of a break of 52.
Ratchapol now faces former Asian champion Anan Terananon in the quarter-finals today.
Issara, the 2006 Asian champion, also found Surathep to be a tough nut to crack.
Surathep, known for his sharp potting, matched Issara in every department of the game, but eventually lost the battle because of his inability to convert his runs into big breaks in the match.
Issara's quarter-final round opponent will be Thepchaiya Un-nooh, who upset Noppadol Sangnil on Tuesday.
FRAME SCORES Last 16 round: Praprut Chaithanasakul beat Vorawit Suriyasriwan 4-3 (35-80, 90-14, 83(50)-1, 13-58, 39-47, 81(80)-7, 71-14); Issara Kachaiwong beat Surathep Phoochalam (58-50, 48-65, 20-58, 58-42, 77-25, 29-53, 65-5); Ratchapol Pu-Ob-Orm beat Jessada Posukarn 4-3 (40-68(50), 55-63, 72-36, 88(59)-6, 32-46, 63-49, 64(52)-25)

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