Premier League 2011 (Week One) - Dragon Stevens unleashed

01:41:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Matt Stevens - the smile of a winner
The first week of the new Premier League has brought to life a sleeping dragon - the Welshman Matthew Stevens succeeding to be the winner of the first final. With a perfect 3-0 scored in front of the 2010 world champion Neil Robertson in the semi-final and another 3-0 carefully applied to the current world champion John Higgins, Stevens proves he is ready for the kill.

The pockets were hungry for balls - that's how I would like to describe this first week of the Premier League. Although we didn't have any deciders, the whitewashes have surely done the trick. However, we did hear a lot of "beep, beep" from the shot-clock, this meaning that maybe the move to reduce the time per shot from 25 seconds to 20, wasn't the best ever idea. Still, this is only the first week, so the players have plenty of time to get used to the new format (and so do we).

John Higgins still rusty
The evening started with the match were John Higgins and Jimmy White were the main names. It didn't have any fireworks, both players struggling, but in the end with breaks of 42, 105 and 30, Higgins managed to win 3-0 over White.
However, the scoreline could have easily been different, for the last frame was dominated by "The Whirlwind". It was 57-57 when Jimmy missed the pink and committed a seven points foul, but the Goddess Fortuna seemed quite impressed with the Englishman's effort to get a first frame under his belt and so, when John committed a six points foul, the opportunity was there for grabs. The score was 64-63 in favour of the Scotsman, when White potted the pink and the black ... and the cue ball for that matter. It was unbelievable! So close to avoid being crashed and yet so far away. Very unlucky.

The Whirwind being interviewed before his match
The second match featured the likes of Neil Robertson and Matthew Stevens and it ended very quickly. With runs of 35, 42, 34 and 82 the Welshman was setting a meeting with John Higgins for the first final of this year's Premier League.
Robertson seemed a bit lost between a faster shot-clock and maintaining his turn at the table, always taking a good start, but missing crucial balls soon after that. Hopefully he'll be in a better form next time.

And the final arrived, a final that saw a flying Matthew Stevens and a still very rusty John Higgins. With an outstanding series of 91, 95 and 35, the "Welsh Dragon" conquered the victory, beating Higgins 3-0. Not much of a surprise, if you ask me, as Stevens was the best player of this week, by far.

Not such a great start for Neil Robertson
At the end of the first Premier League's night out in the world (this time in Skegness), Matthew Stevens collected 6 points, John Higgins 3 points, while Jimmy White and Neil Robertson none. Also, Higgins hit the highest break of the night (105), so he goes home with ₤1,000 in his pocket. Pretty good for a consolation prize :-P

Next stop will be on September 1st, when the Premier League caravan will reach Guildford, the cue battles being given between Jimmy White v. Mark Williams and Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Shaun Murphy.