UK Championship - Day 5

17:13:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

What a day! What a day was yesterday! Top class snooker all the way as four players fought as hell for a place in the first semi-final. After being so disappointed with some of the players performances, it was such a nice touch to see snooker back again and no offence but yesterday matches were pure class, pure was such a pleasure to watch them. When the standard is so high and players are practically flying around the table, kicking the balls so smoothly and "speaking fluent snooker" :-)) it’s sad that there can only be one winner per match. :-P

Dennis Taylor and John Virgo were the ones in charge of commentating the Stephen Maguire v. John Higgins match. A beautiful clash, between two great names and also two great Scots :-)). It was a very balanced match and it’s interesting to see that the first session and the second one were practically identical as the two shared frames until one of them stepped up and took the lead (dhaa, logically!).
The first frame was filled with breaks of 46, 40 and 53 (all Maguire’s style) and 68, 76, 97 and 94 (all Higgins` style), breaks that meant the "Wizard of Wishaw" will have taken the lead 5-3.
In the evening session, while John Virgo was replaced with Ken Doherty, the boys were playing high class snooker, as usual, following the same pattern as in their first encounter.

A classical match of snooker between Higgins and Maguire
Stephen was two frames being at this point and that was something he didn’t settle with, as he rushed in breaks of 137 and 40 to level things up and take the score to 5-5; moreover, he even took the lead by winning the next frame with a series of 22, 20 and 76. The battle was now on!
John as a genuine wizard hit some magical breaks of 82, 80 and 70 to make it 8-6, when Maguire hit back with a 106 to minimize the gap at just one frame. At 8-7 things were pretty tense, the one who succeeded in winning it, being Higgins with the help of a 29 and a 45 break. Final score 9-7. Sitting in his chair Maguire seemed devastated, as he worked so hard to get to this points and he fought so damn good during his staying in Telford. It was horrible to see him like that, but I have to give it to John as he was the best. He led 5-3 in the first session and 9-7 in the second, nothing to commentate about his beautiful performance.

Mark Allen and Stuart Bingham fighting for a place in the semis
The second match due to also pick a winner for the first semi-final was the one between Mark Allen and Stuart Bingham. Another wonderful match that made snooker honor. Commentated by Willie Thorne and John Parrot, the match wasn’t too different from the one I’ve just told you about, for the scores were the same.
The first session ended 5-3 in favor of Allen as he hit some marvelous breaks of 105, 57, 67 and 46. But, please don’t get me wrong as Stuart also put quite a show with breaks of 51, 58 and 99. ;-)

In the evening session, that’s were things started to get hot, for Bingham won the first frame with a 40 break only to see Allen bringing the things one step further with a 73 break. Still, the one who sent home "The Rocket" didn’t give up so easily and tied with his opponent by firing in breaks of 42 and 142 (break also hit by Jamie Cope during this tournament). What happened next was that the two shared a couple of frames bringing the score to 7-7. As I always say, at this points things can go either way, this time the way being Allen’s as he secured himself a place in the next round with breaks of 30 and 45. Final score 9-7.

Today we shall find out the other two names that will delight us in the second semi-final.

From 12:30 pm and from 7:00 pm (UK time)
Mark Joyce 4-4 Mark Williams
Shaun Murphy 4-4 Neil Robertson
*updated after the first session

TV coverage
12:30 - 15:30 (British EuroSport)
12:30 - 15:30 (British EuroSport 2)
12:30 – 16:30 (BBC 2)
19:00 – 20:00 (BBC 2)
19:00 - 22:00 (British EuroSport)
19:00 - 22:00 (British EuroSport 2)
00:00 – 00:50 (BBC 2)

Enjoy snooker dears and see you tomorrow! :-)