UK Championship - The Final

18:02:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

John Higgins - the winner of the 2010 UK Championship
You know that song, from the film “Dirty Dancing" that starts with “Now, I’ve had the time of my life, no I never felt like this before...."? Well, something like that happened to me yesterday, while watching the UK Championship 2010 final! :-)) It was pure madness! So dramatic, so full of life, so entertaining, so breathtaking! And I would need more then one adjective to say how it really was! :-P
It was, without doubt one of the most incredible and spectacular final that I’ve ever seen! Two heavy names, two legends of snooker, two mighty knights in shiny armor had fought like dark angels for that trophy, but only one prevailed. And as you already know, that person was John Higgins, who now has four UK Championship trophies in his pocket....he must have some really big pockets, for those trophies are huge! :-)))

The madness started around 2:00 pm (UK time), when the players were introduced to the public and Ken Doherty and Dennis Taylor were the men in charge of commentating the first session. John "The Wizard of Wishaw" Higgins was going to take on Mark "The Welsh Potting Machine" Williams in what was going to be one of the most thrilling matches of the season!
Williams opened the match with an 83 break to take the first frame, but Higgins responded back in the next one with a 40 to make things tight. Breaks of 39 and 28 made Williams take the lead once more, but Higgins leveled up quickly enough in the following frame. But that’s how far things went for the Scot as he was unable to win any other frame in that first session. Logically, all the remaining ones were won by the Welshman, who was now leading 6-2! This had victory written all over it!

Higgins is potting his way through the victory
Good old Willie Thorne was taking over Ken Doherty, while Dennis Taylor was still "second-chair" in the commentary box, when the second session kicked off! And what a session that was! Pure madness, bottom to the top!
The first frame was kind of a scrappy one, but Mark succeeded in wining it with a 40 break, although the balls were all over the table and the pink and black were practically glued to the right cushion. Tremendous effort!
What followed was similar with "the return from the dead", for Higgins took over the next two frames, by firing in breaks of 91 and 94! He wasn’t going to make it any easier for Mark, who was now three frames ahead. But Mark wasn’t feeling safe at only three frames ahead, so he put his mind to work, well actually his cue :-P and won the next frame with a 70 break. The score was now: 8-4 in favor of the Welshman, who could enjoy the 20 minutes break and his cup of tea, while Higgins had a lot to think about.

After the break, Ken Doherty and John Virgo were now the commentators of the match and they were also going to be the ones who will scream the winner’s name, later on in the show.
"The Wizard of Wishaw" took over the13th frame with a marvelous 105 break as many of his fans were biting their nails and believe he will start a comeback with that frame in front. But it wasn’t anything like that...not yet, at least! ;-) After a cruel battle, Williams succeeded in wining the next frame, frame that was taking him at a 9-5 lead and just one step away from the victory! He was there, that’s how I though back then! He was going to win it; there was no doubt about it! Or maybe, I was wrong? Time was going to prove me so, as the Scot made that comeback, that remarkable comeback when no one was expecting him to do it. He won one frame after another with breaks of 45, 23, 30 and 75 to make it 9-7!

Mark Williams - the mighty runner-up
During the 17th frame, Williams made a beautiful 61 break, but missed the frame ball, that bloody and annoying red that was having its way with the players’ minds. So John came to the table for a 40 break. A battle of safety shots and snookers was in order as the score was 44-59 in favor of Mark’s. But the tension was high and some safety shots weren’t as good as they would have been when you haven’t had such a tremendous pressure over your shoulders, so John was able to pot the colors and stay in the match, as the score was reaching to 9-8.

Was this going to be the last frame? Or we were going to have a decider? Well, we were! Mark started to build himself a nice and hopefully winning break, but he missed the blue and stopped at only 18 points, so John came to the table for a 52 one, a break interrupted by missing a red. The Welsh was now in need of a snooker, so he snookered Higgins in the best possible way...John pots the cue ball, Mark has a tremendous kick and loses position and everything changes when John pots the red and wins the frame to make it 9-9!!!!

This was unbelievable! This was unbelievable! Williams was so close and yet so far away and now the victory was going to be decided on a last frame. The players shook hands and the frame started.
Williams made a 13 break, and then came the 66 hit by Higgins, as he had a massive kick and had to take on a difficult red, which by the way, was frame ball....Mark returned for a 30 break, the match being drawn to a safety shots battle as the score was 66-46, in favor of the Scot. With only the brown, the blue, pink and black on the table the boys snookered themselves a lot, when all of the sudden, I don’t know how it happened Higgins succeeded in potting the brown by playing a double! It was amazing! It was such an incredible shot! He punched the air as he took on the blue, the pink and....the victory!!! John Higgins was the champion! And he had done it in the best possible way! That brown says it all!

The BBC crew: John Parrott, Steve Davis and Hazel Irvine
Drawing the line it was such a blast this final! It had all the right elements to be a total success and it was pure entertainment bottom to the top! Both players were at their best and I feel so sorry that Mark Williams lost, for his game was a brilliant one. I was telling you the other day that if he keeps up his good form and maybe add some more to it, he will be favorite to win. Well, he did it! He played wonderfully but unfortunately the victory didn’t happen...but for me he is as much of a champion as Higgins is. They both deserved that trophy and for me both of them won it. :-)

John Higgins was clearly over the moon with his new victory, almost tearful when he said he wants to give his thanks to his dad, who’s at home. It was a victory that he deserved, as he played wonderful! Top class snooker all the way! Can’t argue with that if you know snooker!

Congratulations to both players: Mark - you are still the man for the champion job! John - a take a bow in front of that brown you potted! :-)
And here’s a song to finish with, I think many of you know why I picked it. I’ve just changed the band, for I like the Smokie version better ;-)