World Snooker Shoot-Out - The Final

05:10:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Nigel Bond - the 2011 Shoot-Out champion
Wow! What a tournament! This was bloody fantastic! Snooker at full speed, baby! :-)) Impossible not to like it...I mean, even if you are all in for classical snooker, come on! It’s great fun to watch snooker played in this kind of format. Well, I’ve enjoyed it and I must say I’m in for these types of tournaments, more than I’m in for Power Snooker. :-P Anyway, so the last day, huh? The last day always brings a champion to the public and this time, for the premier edition of Shoot-Out that champion is the Bond of the snooker business, the "007 agent" ... Mr. Nigel Bond!!! :-)) I bet no one thought this will end with an "old" player on the top of the world screaming "Yep, I’ve conquered the Shoot-Out trophy!", but here we are peeps and this victory that Bond earned is a totally deserved one.

In the Last 16 round Bond meet up with Rory McLeod, the luckiest boy in town, to play a snooker that was breathtaking - mainly because to see a winner out of that match was such a difficult task. Nigel started the match with a 35 break just before he missed a red (this making him really angry) so Rory came to the table to pot some really amazing balls, play a couple of incredible doubles and score a 38 break. At that moment the score was in favor of McLeod, who was leading just by 3 points. Bond had yet another chance that he very well took advantage off, by potting a red and a yellow to draw at 45-45 and he kept on going until the time ran out and he was in the lead (this time) with two points. "Basildon" was through to the quarter-finals!

Robert Milkins - the 2011 Shoot-out runner-up
Here, he had a very interesting match with Mark King, a match that ended on a 29-23 scoreline. As usual Bond opened the match with a mini-break of 13 points, but King was careful enough to respond in breaks that didn’t overcome 10 points, to bring the score at 14-22 in his favor. Mark tried to clear what was left on the table so he took on a red, but missed the brown, this giving Nigel a perfect opportunity to comeback and score a 15 break (started with an unbelievable red that was potted in a pocket hungry for snooker balls) in the last minute. Once again Nigel was making his way through to the next round.

Marcus Campbell was his opponent for the semi-final, but this time Bond went straight to victory by firing in breaks of 15, 28 and 10 and closing the deal at 55-14. For the first time in 13 years Nigel was in the final of a modern snooker event and he was just one step away from lifting that brand new trophy over his shoulders.
He meet Robert Milkins in the final, the player that sent "Rocket Ronnie" (as obsessively Andy Goldstein keeps on calling O`Sullivan) home by hitting in runs of 19 and 53. Both he and Ronnie had a very scrappy start in that match, but the one who recovered faster was Robert... and now he was in the final.

Ronnie O`Sullivan had a beautiful run
The match wasn’t filled with amazing breaks but was one who kept us quite nervous on our seats. Milkins succeeded in potting a red but he couldn’t continue so Nigel came to the table in order to cash some points. Both players struggled in having a fluent game as the tension was rising and the minutes were magically disappearing, but Bond’s runs of 14 and 38 gave him a pretty good advantage. Robert tried to make use of Nigel’s mistakes, but he was already in need of a snooker and there was only one minute left. So there it was! The final score, the one that made Nigel Bond a champion after 13 years: 58-23! :-)

What an incredible run had Bond! What crazy and twisted matches he played in! My deepest and sincere congratulations go to him for succeeding in showing to the entire world that age doesn’t count in snooker and that anyone can do it! Milkins had a very, very good run and he proved to be one dangerous opponent, but in one frame-match anything could happen - one tiny mistake can throw you out of the match and I know it seems unfair, but these are the rules of the game.

Here are the final results:
Neil Robertson 49-57 Marcus Campbell
Mark King 23-29 Nigel Bond
Ronnie O`Sullivan 94-14 Mike Dunn
Robert Milkins 50-27 Judd Trump
Robert Milkins 72-35 Ronnie O`Sullivan
Nigel Bond 55-14 Marcus Campbell
Nigel Bond 58-23 Robert Milkins

Bottom to the top this Shoot-Out event was a great one! It was first of all so nice to see all 64 players on the telly, second of all to see them having so much fun and communicating with the audience and third of all it was a very entertaining show for all of us. So, good job Barry Hearn, the guys from, SkySports and all the people that worked behind the stage so this event could made our weekend a more beautiful one.

And here is something to end this article, a song that (I think) has many to do with the name of this marvelous snooker event ;-)