UK Championship - Day 3

16:42:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The Captain is out of the tournament
Lots of exciting matches, lot of tension and drama were the main ingredients of yesterday’s third day of snooker made in Telford. With eight more matches to be disputed in order that eight players to reach the next stage (last 16) and four more for those who already did it, the day was all packed up and ready to satisfy the needs of every snooker lover out there.
This time, the ones who were commentating in the BBC 2 quarters were Steve Davis and John Parrott, both of them really enjoying every moment of what was going on in the not so overcrowded arena. No butterflies incidents were reported yesterday, still the bunny had some really twisted surprises for us. ;-)

The Hong Kong cue man, Marco Fu and Barry Hawkins opened the day, although their match wasn’t covered by any television, on the same foot 4-4. Fu rushed in on a 6-4 lead, only to see Barry taking things towards a more balanced result as he knocked in breaks of 31 and 74 and even taking the lead by winning the fifth frame of the second session with another 74 break. At 7-6 in favor of the Englishman things, looked pretty nice as that remarkable comeback gave him some confidence....but Fu had other plans so he won three frames on a row to made it to the finish line and enter the next round. Final score: 9-7 for Marco.

Hendry stopped the Wind`s run
One of the biggest surprises of the day was yet to come, as Ali Carter was meeting Mark Joyce in their second session. Started with an equitable 4-4 scoreline, the match seemed to be a constant struggle for the Captain who didn’t succeed in "entering the zone" and start building big breaks. So Mark took plenty advantage of Carter’s poor form as he won the first two frames. The next one was however won by Ali with what soon turned up to be his biggest break of the day, a 58. At 6-5 things could have gone either way, so Mark took his chance and stormed in taking the lead one step further as he hit a series of mini-break to get to 8-5. Ali gave one more sign of recovering, as he won the next frame, but that was going to be it, for the Captain - this young man who was at his first TV appearance while playing snooker, Mark Joyce, closing the deal with a break of 68 for a final result of 9-6.

From one surprise to another, the next match in line was the clash of titans that we all have been waiting for even since the draw for this year’s UK Championship was made public - Stephen Hendry was going to take on Jimmy White. After a first session ended on a draw 4-4, with the first two frames both containing century breaks (cashed by each player), the match turned up to be a bit of a disappointment for most of the fans.

The Welsh potting machine goes forward
But there was still hope of seeing more improved techniques in yesterday’s session .... or not. The match continued about the same way, with Stephen missing shots and losing his position more then once and Jimmy being very nervous, unfocused and quite overwhelmed by the whole situation.
The two have never been more then one frame apart, the top class snooker not being delivered by any of them, when all of the sudden the seven-time world champion seemed to be waken up! By the end of the match, Hendry succeeded in leveling things up after being lead 8-7 and win with the final score of 9-8. The Wind was gutted and seemed not to believe his eyes. Both players have struggled enormously and that was pretty clear, still this didn’t make the match less fascinating.

Another cubicle match, the one between Mark Williams and Mark Davis, ended very quickly as the Welsh was leading 6-2 from the previous session. Davis just won one frame, while Williams went all the way through by closing with a superb 9-3 lead.

The Rocket didn`t fly last night
A very similar match to that where Hendry and White were the main stars, was the one were Ronnie` O`Sullivan and Stuart Bingham had played. With a first session that ended up on a 4-4, after the Rocket was lead 4-2, the fans hoped for a more eager to win Ronnie, but things weren’t going to go that way.
However, O`Sullivan started the match in a pretty decent form, as he won the first two frames with breaks of 62 and 77, but that was about it for him. Unfortunately while Bingham seemed to be more attentive with the balls and more careful in potting them, Ronnie was becoming more and more unfocused, and started biting his nail obsessively. The final result showed who was the man of that match, as Stuart won it 9-6 to reach the Last 16 round and prove the entire world how he beat a tremendous, yet too distracted player.
After the match, the Rocket admitted he didn’t deserve to win as Stuart took part in all the PTC events, while he didn’t, so the standard was pretty high. Still, I dare in believe that with or without taking part in the PTC series Ronnie could have make it in the next round if he had the right attitude. But as we all know, when things go rough and he is very unhappy about the way he plays, Ronnie decides to just give up :-(

The Magician worked his way through the Last 16
On the other hand, maybe one of the clearest examples of "I want to win this!" was Patrick Wallace. Although his match against Shaun Murphy wasn’t the best, he was very eager to win, very determinate to prove a point. Shaun was leading 6-3 after their first encounter, and after a very scrappy first frame won it also by the Magician, Patrick did his thing as he brought the match on a 7-5 scoreline. Still a long way to go for him, as Shaun didn’t waste any time in hitting a 83 break in order to take the lead one step forward. The last frame (the score being 8-5) seemed to take forever, as Patrick just didn’t want to give up. With three snookers needed, he returned to the table and started to hit those balls in a very strategically way. Still, in the end he had to admit that Murphy played better (although not very brightly) and cash his defeat at a final 9-5 scoreline.

Last to reach the Last 16 round was Ryan Day, after a constant and endlessly battle against Mark King. Although Ryan was leading 5-3 from the previous session, Mark started to win one frame at a time and the match continued with the boys being one frame apart most of the time. A very loooong match, as I’ve said it before, that ended with the victory of Ryan 9-8.

The first session for the players who reached the Last 16 round kicked off yesterday, the results being:
Ding Junhui 2-6 Mark Allen
Stephen Maguire 5-3 Mark Selby
Graeme Dott 4-4 John Higgins (covered on TV)
Andrew Higginson 1-7 Neil Robertson (covered on TV)
*the second session will start today from 2:00 pm (UK time)

Today is a very important day, as we will find out who’s going to be entertaining us in the quarter finals.

From 12:30 pm and from 19:00 pm (UK time)
Marco Fu v. Stuart Bingham
Mark Joyce v. Judd Trump
Stephen Hendry v. Mark Williams (covered on TV)
Shaun Murphy v. Ryan Day (covered on TV)

TV coverage
12:00 - 12:30 (British EuroSport)
12:30 - 16:30 (Biritsh EuroSport)
12:30 – 16:30 (BBC 2)
12:30 - 17:00 (British EuroSport 2)
19:00 – 20:00 (BBC 2)
19:00 - 22:00 (British EuroSport)
19:00 - 22:00 (Birtish EuroSport 2)
23:20 – 00:10 (BBC 2)
00:10 – 02:10 Snooker Extra (BBC 2)