EPTC 5 - the last day

04:01:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

John Higgins, the EPTC 5 event champion
Yep, the last day of the EPTC 5 event and what a day this was! I don’t know were to start :-)) Well, as many of you already know, the biggest surprise of this event was John Higgins. But not just because he was at his first ranking tournament, after a six-month ban, or because he hadn’t played snooker in a long time, but because he won the EPTC 5 event title! And he did it as a true champion, with grace and a lot of hard work.
But let me tell you the short story of how was the last day, ok?

As usual, I’m going to start with the Last 16 round. Six previous EPTC/PTC champions had qualified for this round, but unfortunately only two of them made it through the quarter-finals; Barry Pinches and Shaun Murphy being the ones who won their battles, first over Robert Milkins (4-1) and the second over Marcus Campbell (4-2). As for Judd Trump, he was crushed by Graeme Dott 4-0, Stephen Lee was sent home by Mark Allen 4-2 and Tom Ford lost in a very tight match played against John Higgins, 4-3.
The last three to see their names on the victory list were, Anthony Hamilton, who beat Ricky Walden 4-3, Peter Lines, who whitewashed Jimmy Michie 4-0 and Paul Davison who ended on a 4-3 score, the match with Joe Perry.

The quarter-finals were quite relaxed, but I’m not saying that because tension was not part of the equation, but because the scores were very clear and it was very easy to see who dominated the run.
So, Graeme Dott defeated Barry Pinches 4-1, John Higgins won 4-2 over Anthony Hamilton (after being lead 2-0), Mark Allen hammered Peter Lines 4-0 and Shaun Murphy cleared his way to the next round as he beat Paul Davison by 4-1.
Both semi-finals ended on the same result, 4-1 as John Higgins closed the match with Graeme Dott in his favor and Shaun Murphy saw himself in the final after the match played against Mark Allen.

A day that most of us never though it would come...so quickly! :-)) John Higgins was in the final and was do to fight the EPTC 2 winner, Shaun Murphy. What a crazy thing, right? :-P
The match started with the Scot taking the lead 2-0, by hitting a marvelous 132 break in the first frame and a 66 in the second, but Shaun fought back to make it 2-2. This was getting interesting! Still, Higgins wasn’t about to give up that easily so he made a 95 break, enough to secure him the lead of the match and make it easier in the next frame; but as the we were preparing to see if this will end up on a decider, the three-times champion hit a 53 break to seal his victory with a 4-2 scoreline. "The Wizard of Wishaw" is again champion! After all this time!

Shaun Murphy, the EPTC 5 event runner-up
After the match, he said: "It was a good final, I only really missed one ball, when I should have gone 3-1 up. I just came here hoping to get a few matches under my belt, so I'm delighted to win it. Winning here gives me some confidence but there's a long way to go, I would have felt that whatever happened here. It has no real bearing on the rest of the season."

A very realistic statement, if you ask me. He seemed very happy about his achievement, but also still nervous about his future in snooker. Now, drawing the line I know many of you are happy with the result, many of you are furious, but let’s take a minute and think just about his performance. To come back after five months of "sitting on your couch", with few time for practice and with your confidence made ashes by everything that happened lately, and to put on that show of snooker...that’s something!
Sure, we can always find reasons to throw rocks at someone but objectively specking the guy is a terrific snooker player and these past few day he demonstrated that he still is.

The Plate competition was won by Jamie Cope, who beat Joe Swail by 3-2, to cash his check of 1,500 Euros. However the final was pretty odd, as both semis weren`t held. This was because Jamie opponent didn`t show up, as for Joe`s, he appeared very confused about two hours later, when everything was over and the players were on their way home :-P My sincere thanks to Monique Limbos for this inside story! :-)
Here you can check the latest results.

In the end I would like to congratulate, as I always do, all the players who invested time and a lot of hard work into this tournament. Congratulation to Shaun Murphy for almost being the first player to win two EPTC`s events but also to John Higgins for his remarkable comeback and for his victory. :-)
The next and last EPTC event, starts at the end of this week in Prague, Czech Republic.