|Ryan is targeting the victory|
Just before the play-offs began, Ryan was situated second in line with four points, just one step away from the leader of the group Mark Allen, who had 5 points. Since during the first day Ryan disputed four matches (two victories and two defeats), yesterday he only had two more battles to cope with and he did it in his own special way, by hammering Ding Junhui 3-1 (breaks of 93 and 50 being part of the victory) and ending on a very tight 3-2 (break of 56 and 59 included) the match played against Ricky Walden.
Just like him, Allen had two points from the other day but from three matches, so he had one more chance to prove the world his snooker skills. As usual, when the Northern-Ireland’s boy puts his mind on something he blows his rivals away, so yesterday he won all three matches, crashing Ricky Walden 3-0 by hitting in runs of 115, 66 and 61, ending on a tight 3-2 with China’s golden boy Ding and performing yet another whitewash, this time against Mark King with breaks of 54 and 56.
Mark King, Matthew Stevens and Liang Wenbo all had three points each just before the semis, so we needed to look very carefully at the frames they won during these two days of competition. Drawing the line, Wenbo had 14, King had 13 and Stevens only 9; this meaning that while the first two were allowed to go further in the competition, Matthew Stevens was the first to team up with Group 6 gang.
As for Ding Junhui and Ricky Walden, things didn’t look to nice because both of them lost all their second day matches; so with just two points cashed by "The Chinese Sensation" and only one by Chester’s boy the elimination was a sure thing, unfortunately. :-(
|Allen not quite there...this time|
Mark Allen took on the other Mark left in the competition - King Mark, their match being a classical case of "twisted snooker". :-)) While Allen took the lead by hitting some marvelous breaks of 120 and 101 to go 2-0, King hit a 66 and a 63 to draw and bring the match into a decider. But King didn’t succeed in scoring any points during that last frame a break of 67 bringing Allen into Group’s 5 final.
At table number two things were a bit more different although they had the same final score 3-2. Ryan Day was facing Liang Wenbo a very eager to compete player who knows to make himself respected by the other players. The boys shared frames until they reached the famous decider, a frame that wasn’t very easy and captured very well the essence of this tight match; ended on a 67-40, the cues battle showed us that the match was a tight one. Very well played!
The final...what can I say? There isn’t too much to tell, really! Oh, come on! It is, of course it is! So, we had Northern-Ireland on one side and Wales on the other and I remind you that Allen was for the second time in the final and was very eager to win it. Unfortunately for him, although he played it more than well he was crashed by Ryan with a 3-0 scoreline. It wasn’t a very easy task for the Welshman as the first frame was a very tricky one, him winning it just by 12 points (64-52), but the following breaks of 63 and 57 brought him the victory and a place in the Groups Final.
Still, there is much work to be done as Group 6 enters the battle today ;-)
Table 1 (all times are approximate)
10.30am Mark Allen v. Liang Wenbo
11.45am Judd Trump v. Mark Davis
Not before 1.30pm Liang Wenbo v. Mark King
2.45pm Mark Davis v. Stephen Lee
Not before 5.30pm Liang Wenbo v. Matthew Stevens
6.45pm Mark King v. Stephen Lee
Table 2 (all times are approximate)
10.30am Mark King v. Matthew Stevens
11.45am Stephen Lee v. Mark Allen
Not before 1.30pm Matthew Stevens v. Judd Trump
2.45pm Mark Allen v. Mark King
Not before 5.30pm Judd Trump v. Stephen Lee
6.45pm Mark Davis v. Matthew Stevens*all hours are UK time
So good luck to the lads and please keep an eye on them if you like, would you? :-))