Australian Goldfields Open 2011 - Day 5

22:20:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Shaun Murphy seems invincible
It's pouring with unexpected results here in Bendigo, as today the quarter-finals saw the powerful Pistol Mark Allen being eliminated by the eager to win Stuart Bingham 5-3, the "World Champions crasher" Matt Selt experienced the same treatment from Shaun Murphy, while "The Darling of Dublin", Ken Doherty put quite a spectacular show and ended Mark Selby's run with the same result.

The first quarter-finals match was the one between Matt Selt and Shaun Murphy. Once again Matt was facing a world champion, the 2005 one, but this time things went not so good for the Romford man. Although he managed to defeat John Higgins and Stephen Hendry, Shaun Murphy had other plans and that was easy to see from the very beginning of their cue battle.

The Magician won the first three frames as to go 3-0 up, but Selt pulled two back, by hitting a marvellous 137 break. At that particular moment it was the highest break of the tournament.
However, Murphy used his magic cue for a 72 break to go 4-2 up and although his opponent succeeded to win himself another frame, the last one was cashed by Shaun, as well as the victory.

You don't mess with a determined man - Stu Bingham
At table number two, Mark Allen and Stuart Bingham were ready to start their battle, a battle that had "I want to prove my genuine snooker skills to you" written all over it. It's no secret that Allen declared some time ago that Stu doesn't play well under pressure, a statement that the Englishman wasn't very fond of. So, if Ding Junhui paid for defeating him at the 2011 World Championship, Mark Allen was next in line.

It was crystal clear that Stuart was aiming for that spot from the semis and with breaks like 66, 118, 112 and 96 it was going to easily secure it. It was almost like a one way match, although Allen performed rather well. But the force that Bingham had today was from another world. He was trying to make a point and he did it in the best possible way - by winning 5-3.

Potting like a machine, Mark Williams
An absolute pleasure to watch - that's how I would describe the match that Dominic Dale and his fellow-country, Mark Williams had to play. It was one of the most balanced matches of this tournament and it had it all: fast frames, long frames, marvellous breaks but scrappy affairs as well.

With runs of 46, 25 and 38 Dominic was clearing his way towards a 2-0 result, but as the mid-interval session kicked in, Williams was levelling the match already, by hitting a 118 and a wonderful 140. The Welsh Potting Machine was not giving in on fighting.

Sadly, for Dominic the tournament ends here
After a few minutes for tea and biscuits, Dominic put his nose in front again, only to see his opponent drawing at 3-3 by taking the next frame with a break of 61. Once again the one who was taking the lead was the ex-resident from Vienna, and just like before Williams was responding fully with a 78 break to force the decider.
About this last frame there's really not much to be told, because it had Mark Williams' name on it and the outstanding break that he hit (142) was giving his well deserved spot in the semis. Pure class! Oh, and that’s the highest break of this tournament, by the way! ;-)

And this brings us to the last quarter-finals match, a true delight that unfortunately wasn't covered by any television. I have one word for that: "Booooooooo!"
It was the battle between Mark Selby and the legendary Ken Doherty, a revived Doherty if I can put it this way.

Kenny Doherty for the kill
It was the Irishman, the one that broke the ice with a break of 73, but Selby responded with a 53 to tie at 1-1. However, from this point on it was Doherty's way of doing business :-)) "The Darling of Dublin" hit in breaks of 94, 56 and 29 to go 4-1 up, while the Jester from Leicester was struggling to keep his faith alive. He did succeed to pull two consecutive frames back, but there were scrappy and very hard fought.

Considering his Australian Open's history with comebacks, most of us thought that from being just one point behind Kenny, 3-4 it will be just a matter of time before the match will end up on a decider. But it wasn't. With 58 points in his pocket, Selby had to watch his opponent potting one ball after another as to clear the table with a 59 break and defeat him 5-3.
Well, I don't know how you feel about that last break that Ken made, but I happen to think it was his best clearance in the last two years or even more. Brilliant performance! Absolutely brilliant!

Tomorrow, the semis will kick in so you better keep an eye on the boys, for they need your support. The rule at hand is "the best of 11" and at state is a place in the grand final.

From 04:00 (UK time)
SF1 - Shaun Murphy v. Stuart Bingham

From 10:30 (UK time)
SF2 - Ken Doherty v. Mark Williams

TV coverage:
09:00 - 13:30 British EuroSport 2