UK Championship - Day 7

05:00:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The first semi-final is over and boy was that a genuine battle of snooker, or what? :-P Although in the second part things weren’t so balanced as in the first part and many of us were a bit disappointed that the match didn’t have a decider at 8-8, it was still good stuff. But what am I saying here, it was brilliant! The ones who watched the baize’s boys know what I’m talking about as in this sort of situations (I mean final stages of a really big tournament) the pressure is on and under it many players act differently; some of them are quite motivated and don’t lose their grip, some of them are overwhelmed and start missing easy shots. And you all know what happens when you start missing the easy ones - you start losing your confidence, in yourself and in your game.

Having said that, it’s time to make a proper introduction. All the way from Scotland, "The Wizard of Wishaw" - John Higgins will take on the Northern Ireland boy, "The Mighty Pistol" - Mark Allen. Well, you get the idea. :P

The Scot reached the final
On duty for the first session, the two "Johns" of snooker, John Virgo and John Parrott were ready to follow every move made by the two players in what was going to be one hell of a semi-final. :-)
The match started with the first frame being won by John with a break of 96, in replay Mark hitting a marvelous 130 to level up the score. A bit of a confusion was in the air as the referee Brendan Moore called a free ball (generated by a foul and a miss made by Allen) in the third frame, as John didn’t quite agree with him on that one, even if he was advantaged by the call.
In the end, with a break of 64 and one of 37, the Scot took the lead 2-1, but his supremacy wasn’t` going to last too much as the next frame was won by Allen with a break of 79. A group of 72 and 37 (all hit by Mark) and another of 40 and 47 (hit by John) ended their first encounter on a draw 4-4.

While Willie Thorne and Dennis Taylor were taking over the "John" gang, the second session kicked off. And what a session it was! Pure madness, as "The Wizard of Wishaw" rushed in to take the first two frames with a 52 top break, but Allen fought back with an identical one to reduce the gap at just one frame.
But unfortunately his wonderful cue action that we’ve witnessed in the first session wasn’t the same as a series of mistakes put him on the spot. In the ninth frame he missed in potting a black that was hit too hard and nearly flied of the table and from that moment on his confidence seemed to start shaking. Also in the 12th frame, when he returned at the table in need of a snooker, he started pretty good but missed in potting the pink into the right middle pocket - another slap on the face of this very talented and eager to win player.
Allen`s run in this year`s UK Championship is over

Meanwhile John continued in potting one ball after another, hitting a wonderful 100 break and sealing his victory with a 72 one. Final score 9-5.

Without any doubt this match started with two great names and ended in the same way. It’s true, John’s performance was more constant than Mark’s but that doesn’t erase the fact that we saw a genuine battle of cues. :-)

Today the second semi-final will start, this meaning that by the end of the day we shall find out the second name that completes the final due to take place on Sunday.

From 1:30 pm and from 7:00 pm (UK time)
Mark Williams 5-3 Shaun Murphy (TV)
*updated after the first session

TV coverage
13:30 - 16:00 (British EuroSport 2)
13:30 – 16:30 (BBC 1)
16:30 – 17:30 (BBC 2)
19:00 – 21:30 (BBC 2)
19:00 - 22:00 (British EuroSport)
00:30 – 01:20 (BBC 2)