Snooker World Cup 2011 - Day 5

00:35:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Wales' Dragons will face Australian's wizards of Oz
Here we are! The players have survived the cracking round-robin stage that lasted no more than four days and I'm absolutely delighted to tell you more about the teams that will go further in the competition, as into the knock-out stage.

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
The first match of the day was the one given between the United Arabs Emirates and Australia, a match that was counting more for the second mentioned team, rather than for the first one. I'm saying this because UAE had only three points so no matter what result would have obtain today, it really wouldn't matter. However, Australia took the occasion as to earn itself more points and consolidate its position in the Group B. With a 4-1 result over UAE they are guaranteed a place into the next round.

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
Thailand 2 made a pretty good job in winning the battle against Poland by 4-1 but as well as their predecessors they had to wait and see if Hong Kong will cash more than just one frame. Again, time and luck will not stand by the local team's side.

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
Scotland's John Higgins and Stephen Maguire beat Hong Kong's team of players 3-2 but still, due to those two won frames, Marco Fu and Fung Kwok Wai got a place into the knock-out stage ending on second place with 11 points in Group D after ... well, Scotland they’re the leaders, with 14 mighty points.

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
Wales 14 China 13 England 14 Scotland 13
Egypt 6 Thailand 1 8 Brazil 6 Thailand 2 10
Pakistan 10UAE 4India 9Afghanistan9
Germany 9Malta 12Belgium 8Poland 7
Ireland 11Australia 13N. Ireland 13Hong 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

TV coverage:
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: