Cecil Dillon approaches next week’s Swedish Masters by topping the Short Mat Players’ Tour rankings.
The West Down man has been clocking up the seeding points, finishing third in the World Masters – won by Mid Ulster’s Alan Paul – back in April, before settling for a runners-up spot to England’s Chris Mann in the European Masters in October.
Dillon heads the ratings on 149 points, with Belgium’s Dimitri Payne 11 behind. Armagh’s Joe Beattie is in third place (109) followed by Jonathan Payne (Belgium) and Mann, who are both on 108.
With 84 players on the starting grid for the £500 top prize, Dillon will be joined by 12 other Irish hopefuls at Stromstad on January 11.
Beattie has already previously savoured success on the tour, having won the UK singles title in September. He defeated his Armagh team mate, Jal Richardson, in the final at Bromsgrove, England.
It’s no surprise that Richardson’s name is again in the hat. Also included are Foyle’s Mark Beattie, winner of the UK Open back in August, Noel Donnell, Kyle Lynch, Gary Moore and Simon Dunaghy; Cecil Dillon and Robert Kidd, from West Down; Lisa Douglas (North West), Armagh’s Pauline Beattie --Joe’s wife -- and Emma Colgan (Oriel).
Mid Antrim’s William Morrison completes the Irish line-up.
“Cecil Dillon still tops the rankings and I’m sure he’ll be out to say there,” said Short Mat Tour director, Phil Mills.
“The number one ranked player, after the points for the World Masters Singles, , have been added will receive the Henselite Order of Merit trophy, plus £250.”