Premier League 2011 (week three) - Thunder from Down Under strikes in Scotland

14:16:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Quality cue action from Robertson
After suffering an early exit during Premier league's first week of cue action, Neil Robertson rocked around the snooker table in Scotland's Motherwell last night. Starting his evening with a perfect 3-0 over the current world champion John Higgins, "The Thunder from Down Under" hammered China's Ding Junhui 3-1 in the most spectacular final of this year's Premier League.

It was Premier League's first stop when the 2010 world champion was whitewashed 3-0 by the Welshman Matthew Stevens, this meaning that he didn't earn any points, so when the opportunity show itself again, the Australian knew what needed to be done. 
Although he had a bit of trouble with the shot-clock (we all know Robbo is not very fond of it), he didn't let it get in his way. Neil played each frame with his chin up and took every chance to clear for victory.

Ding takes a good start
Facing the current world champion in his homeland it wasn't going to easy, but go figure! Higgins was doomed to sit in his chair while the blond Australian hit in breaks of 69, 87, 34 and 31 to crash him down at 3-0. It's not a secret that "The Wizard from Wishaw" is a bit rusty, as he himself said it so many times, but this time it wasn't his fault. He didn't have the chance to visit the table more than once or twice per frame, for Robertson was potting one ball after another.

The next stop for Robbo was taking on Ding Junhui; a very well prepared Ding Junhui that was at his first appearance in this year's Premier League.
The final started with Ding taking the opener after a re-spotted black. And what a black that was! Pure genius this little Chinese fellow (and believe me when I say is not a hyperbole).
But from that moment on the balls were under Robertson's command. With beautiful breaks of 140 and 109 the Australian secured his victory at 3-1. This was his night ... completely.

Not enough magic from the Wizard of Wishaw
However, it would be unfair not to mention another cracking match that took place last night in the town of Motherwell. Yes, I'm talking about the second semi-final, the one given between Ding Junhui and Shaun Murphy. 
It was practically the second cue battle that saw its fate decided by the "sudden death shoot-out" frame. That's how good both players were.

The first to break the ice was Ding, whose 92 clearance proved he's ready for the kill, but Murphy wasn't going to disappoint the audience either. The fresh crowned king of Brazil Masters performed two great carbon-copy clearances of 98 to take the lead 2-1.
Still, a nice and steady 87 break from Ding was forcing the match to end on a decider, decider that he easily won by collecting 80 points of the table.

Murphy almost made it to the final
After last night, Neil Robertson goes up in the provisional rankings with his well deserved 6 points, next to Matthew Stevens, Mark Williams and Shaun Murphy. On second place we have Ding Junhui and his first 4 points, closely followed by John Higgins with 3 points, Ronnie O'Sullivan with 2 points and Jimmy White with ... unfortunately zero points.

The next stop for the Premier League will be Doncaster, on September 29 when we shall see the king of this competition, Ronnie O'Sullivan, taking on Matthew Stevens and Ding Junhui facing the Captain Ali Carter.