Premier League - a Mark "The Shark" tale

06:55:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Mark "The Shark" was on top
Yesterday evening the snooker fans, from Preston but also from all around the world were in for a special snooker treat, for the third round of the Premier League had six big names in its list. "The Hong Kong cue-man" was going to meet "The Magician", "The Chinese Sensation" was to fight "The Welsh Potting Machine" and "The Thunder from Down Under" was to play against "The Jester from Leicester".
Maybe they weren’t the best matches from the Premier League, but snooker on TV is something very rare these days, so you better not complain, ok? Just kidding! :-P Anyway, from this moment on the Premier League caravan will come to your town sooner than you are expecting it, because the matches will be held every week, ("the two weeks apart" is old history) until the end of November when we shall find out the winner of this tournament.

The first match of the evening was the one between Marco Fu and the defending champion, Shaun Murphy. "The Magician" started his way to victory very confident as he hit a 55 break, but he was inconsistent and a series of safety shots brought Fu to the table, who won the first frame with a break of 76. Shaun wasn’t very happy about it, so he won the next frame 84-0, but also the second after that with a break of 77, for a 2-1 scoreline.
Although in the forth frame, Murphy potted a beautiful long red into the superior left pocket and another one into the middle one, after a semi-battle of safety shots he missed to pot the yellow, this giving Marco a perfect opportunity to regain his position into the match and make it 2-2. With his confidence up, “Cue man Fu”, won the last two frames, ending the match at 4-2 and winning 2 precious points, by doing so.
Our contemporary Merlin was playing pretty good, despite of what some people say, but it seemed like every time he was close to make it, so close to the victory, he made a huge mistake that brought Fu back into the game.

The Chinese Ding Junhui
The Welsh, Mark Williams and the Chinese, Ding Junhui were next on line to fight for some points. These two have a recent history together due to the World Open quarter-finals so I think they were not very happy to see each other so soon. Especially Ding who lost the last time. :-P
The Welsh Mark Williams
Mark was the one who opened the score, even if the first frame was filled with technical mistakes from both sides, and he also hit a 73 break to make it 2-0. A very good start...still things were about to change, for the little Chinese won the next two frames to take the match into a draw (2-2).
It seemed like the history was about to repeat itself (the World Open pattern) but it was just an illusion for no one was going to take the lead and maintain it; the last two frames were split between Ding and Mark. So, the final score was 3-3.

The last match of the evening and probably the most expected one, reunited the world champion Neil Robertson and the Masters champion Mark Selby in a very exciting and interesting match!
Although both players dominated the first frame (almost) equally, Mark was the one who won it, opening the score in his favor. The next frame was going to be cashed by Robbo, with a 69 break after the two players "sabotaged" themselves hitting very soft the cue ball into the reds` load. And since both of them were playing the same shot over and over again and no one was getting anywhere with that :-P, the ref Paul Collier restored the balls to their initial position and started the second frame again.
Mark Selby is back in business!
The third and forth frame, were definitely dominated by Selby. He won them both, hitting a beautiful break of 104 in the first one and taking the lead 3-1. Neil won just one more frame because the last one was Mark’s! And since Mark is a very offensive player (no wonder he’s a Shark :-P) he ended the match covered in glory, with a spectacular 119. The second century break of the evening! What a great performance!

It was really nice to see Mark back in business again, for he was in a poor shape lately. He lost important matches in the Shanghai Masters tournament, in the Premier League’s second round and let’s not forget the recent defeat from the World Open. Yesterday night, we had the chance to see him regain his strength and confidence and attacking the victory in his own particular way. It’s true that Neil was playing softer and he was more relaxed, but that doesn’t put in question Selby’s victory. He played well, much better than Neil! Hopefully this victory will re-open his appetite for winning more matches in the near future. :-)

So, the Premier League is packing (again) and heading to the city of Brentwood in Essex. And since the caravan will reach this beautiful town, I’m wondering if a certain big figure from the snooker world will make his appearance into the next round as a guest and commentator? I’m not telling you’ll just have to wait and see! :-P