|Wales' Dragons will face Australian's wizards of Oz|
The firth day was a genuine battle of cues, as I like to call it, for more than one team was not sure about getting a spot into the quarter-finals and needed to give its best in order to obtain the necessary points.
|England will meet the team of Hong Kong|
At the near table another dead match was going on, India and Brazil not having enough points to hope for a place into the quarters. Still, India ended its run in style, with a 4-1 scoreline against the "samba dancers" from Brazil. Kidding, they are fine players! ;-)
Pakistan succeeded in beating Egypt by 3-2, this putting it with 10 points in a kind of favourable position into Group A. I say kind of favourable, because they had to wait until the end of the day to see if their "enemies" (aka. The Republic of Ireland) will gain enough points to overcome theirs. Time will show itself against the Asian team.
|The powerful China will take on the lucky Irish team|
One of the most important matches of the day was the one between Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The Welshmen were already in the quarter-finals, but Ireland ... well, we weren’t very sure of them. With Pakistan's 10 points, Ireland needed to score two frames in order to collect 11 points and be sure of its place into the next round.
The match was long and each frame was hard fought, in the end Ken Doherty managing to win the needed frame with runs of 23 and 37, although losing 2-3 to Wales. But it didn't matter, since the teams are getting points per each frame they win. So, this puts Ireland second in Group A, after Wales.
|Scotland and Nothern Ireland, announces to be a real cracker|
China was terrific! Absolutely terrific! The team formed by Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo needed exactly four points in order to qualify further and what do you know? They hammered 4-1 Thailand 1. Brilliant recovery for the little Chinese.
In the end, a thrill to watch, England and Northern Ireland, although already through to the quarter-finals, took this chance to show us how they play snooker. And they did it wonderfully well. So well that Mark Allen and Gerard Greene hit the very first century as they were playing the doubles. A beautiful 110 that stands as a genuine testimony, for one of the most compact teams of this tournament (my opinion, of course).
So, at the end of the round-robin stage, here are the final results:
|Group A||Points||Group B||Points||Group C||Points||Group D||Points|
|Egypt||6||Thailand 1||8||Brazil||6||Thailand 2||10|
|Ireland||11||Australia||13||N. Ireland||13||Hong Kong||11|
Tomorrow the knock-out stage will begin. This means that the rule will be "the best of 7 frames" with the first two frames being singles, the third as doubles, forth and fifth as reverse singles, six as doubles and seven as death single.
My sincere congratulations to all eight teams that managed to reach the quarter-finals and best of luck for the next coming matches. The marathon isn't over yet!
Quarter-finals list of matches:
From 07:00 (UK time)
QF1: Wales v. Australia
QF2: England v. Hong Kong
QF3: China v. Rep. of Ireland
QF4: Scotland v. Northern Ireland
07:00 - 09:30 British EuroSport 2
22:00 - the highlights on British EuroSport 2
The best place to follow the matches when they aren't on TV: www.fromsportcom.com