EPTC 2 - the last day

05:38:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The modern Merlin is into snooker
Sunday was a beautiful day, although the weather here is getting colder and colder and as one of my friends once said on this kind of weather one must stay indoors and make children :-)) Well, or you can just watch snooker or a bad film...or snooker! :-P And if you don’t have live streaming, then you’ll just have to follow the live scoring. Now, at least you have that! :-)) Or if you don’t want to do any of those, maybe you should pay a visit to my blog and see how was the last day of the EPTC 2 event. :-P

Being the last day and all, it was a crazy one, meaning four matches were played by the runner-up and the winner. Tough business this snooker, I tell you! :-P Anyway, so if the mini-tournament ended, that must mean that we have a winner! Yes, indeed! And the winner is Shaun Murphy! The mighty Merlin, king’s Arthur "Magician" (don’t ask me who’s playing Arthur, the casting is still open :-P) lifted the trophy (which by the way is absolutely adorable) and the 10,000 euros check, along with 2,000 points to add to his ranking collection. :-)

The day started with Shaun Murphy and ended with him, and you shall see why. The last 16 round made its debut with the match between "The Magician" and Jimmy Robertson. And what a match that was! Jimmy, who was on fire in the first day of the tournament was totally crashed with a 4-0 score by Shaun.

Mark Williams, potting his way through the semis
Next in line, we had three tight matches. Belgium’s Bjorn Haneveer beat Alfie Burden 4-3, Martin Gould took his revenge for being defeated a week ago during the World Open tournament by Peter Ebdon (4-3) and the most odd "couple" from the snooker business, Mark Williams and Ding Junhui fought as usual for a place into the next round, in the end "The Welsh Potting Machine" winning by a 4-3 scoreline. It wasn’t an easy victory though, and it had its ups and downs, like for example Mark was warned for concealing too easily the fifth round. The score was 52-7 for Ding and on the table were still 67 points to cash.
The last Chinese left in the competition (after Ding’s defeat) Liang Wenbo won 4-1 over PTC 3 winner Tom Ford, the Irish Fergal O’Brien beat Stuart Bingham 4-2 and Matthew Couch hammered the one who made quite an impression on the first day of this tournament, Daniel Wells.
The ambitious Fergal O`Brien
Saving the “best” for last, one of the biggest surprises of yesterday was the defeat that Mark Selby suffered; 4-1 with Ricky Walden. Now, tell me you saw that coming and I won’t believe you! Selby was really on the good track, so this was totally unexpected, I must admit.

The quarter-finals meant the end of the road for Bjorn Haneveer who was defeated 4-3 (after leading 3-1) by Shaun Murphy and the "farewell" note for Martin Gould, who lost 4-2 to Mark Williams.
O’Brien send home Liang Wenbo with a 4-1 scoreline and Matthew Couch kicked out Ricky Walden by 4-2.
Both semis were filled with tension, both ended by the same scoreline and both were very tight battles for the final. First one was the battle between the Englishman Murphy and the Welsh Williams. Being lead 3-1 (yeah, again!), "The Magician" fought back and took the lead...meaning he won the match 4-3. It’s funny, for Shaun’s engine starts to function when the pressure is way high and one more frame could mean losing his place into the next round.
Matthew Couch - EPTC2 runner-up
By the same pattern, the match between Fergal O’Brien and Matthew Couch ended on a 4-3 scoreline, in favor of Matt. Although, Fergal was on his way to victory, by leading 3-1, Matt recovered quite well and booked himself a nice place in the final.

So, here we were - the big final. Like I’ve told you, the day started with Shaun and ended with him :-) The match was opened by Matt who won the first frame, only to see Murphy win the next. He fired in breaks of 58 and 70 to make it to a 3-1 scoreline in his favor, when Matt won the fifth frame to reduce his handicap. But his effort couldn’t overcome Shaun’s 104 break from the last frame, break that also meant the victory. Final score: 4-2 for Shaun Murphy, who becomes the second player, after Judd Trump to win an EPTC event.

To be honest I would have liked to see a final between Murphy and Williams or Murphy and O’Brien, for it would’ve been more interesting. I know that the first version was a reality, but the final is way more special that the semi-final and the dates are completely different.
Shaun Murphy, the EPTC2 event winner
Anyway, like it or not, even if you are his biggest fan or you really hate his guts, Shaun Murphy won. And he did it properly! There were some nasty rumors that the guy has lost his touch and he is not playing good anymore. Well, here’s your proof! He is still kicking. Not that I’m his no.1 fan, but the guy is good. You can’t deny that! And if you say is crap than pick a cue and let’s see you enter the professional circuit and reach the top 16. It’s not that easy!
After seeing him play in the Premier League against Marco Fu, after all that "I’m so close to win this....oh, wait...I’ve missed it", Shaun seemed a bit more prepared, more precautious and more eager to win. Although the event was not televised, you can tell by the scores that the guy was really into this tournament. I mean, how many successful comebacks can one person make in one day? :-)) And again, I’m not his top fan (God knows I’ve fancied another player to win this tournament), but I appreciate his talent, capacity and the way he played. I would be mad to deny the fact that he played good and that he is a great player!

The Plate competition also picked his winner, in the person of Luca Brecel, who won 3-2 over PTC 4`s king, Barry Pinches. So, Belgium’s prodigy cashed a pretty generous check of 1,500 euros.

Yesterday’s century breaks were: Shaun Murphy (104,106,113) and Fergal O’Brien (126,132).

Congratulations to Merlin "The Magician" for a beautiful victory and to all the other contestants for living up to this snooker marathon. :-)