The race for top spot in the WLBS ranking list is hotting up as long-time number one Reanne Evans and closest challenger Ng On Yee are set to battle it out over the coming months.
As with the professional circuit, the women’s rankings operate on a two-year rolling basis, with points earned at this season’s tournaments replacing those earned during the 2015/16 campaign.
So far this term we have seen the titles shared between the top two, Dudley’s Evans having defeated On Yee 4-1 in the final of the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic in August, before the Hong Kong player reversed the scoreline a month later to win the UK Women’s Championship in Leeds.
The result is that Evans currently leads her nearest challenger by 6,800 points at the top of the ranking list, with the Eden Women’s Masters fast-approaching at Gloucester’s South West Snooker Academy later this month.
Crucially however, during the remainder of this season Evans is set to see a further 30,000 points deducted from her total, a legacy of having ended the 2015/16 season with a perfect four-tournament winning streak, culminating in her record 11th world women’s title in April 2016.
By comparison, On Yee will be defending just 17,750 points for the remainder of this season, having reached two finals and one quarter-final during the same period two years ago. This means that the reigning world women’s champion has a real opportunity to potentially narrow the gap and possibly even rise to top spot for the first time in her career.
Evans looks likely to remain at the top of the list through to the end of 2017, with a quarter-final run at the Eden Women’s Masters later this month enough to put her mathematically beyond the reach of On Yee at the end of the event. Following that however, On Yee will gain 5,000 points early next year following the removal of points earned at the 2016 Connie Gough Trophy, which was won by Evans in her absence.
As a result, the pair could head into the second half of the season virtually level and with everything to play for, adding yet another intriguing dimension to their rivalry at the top of the women’s game.