Premier League arrives in Stoke

15:59:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The city of Stoke
The fast and furious snooker caravan, also known as Premier League, is stopping this evening in the city of Stoke. This is the six week of cue action of this year's snooker competition, which means there are only four more stops and the final stages will kick off. The countdown has begun.

The Biddulph Leisure Centre will welcome snooker today, four players trying their best to "wow" the present audience and also get some points for the road.
Tonight's matches will see the Welshman Mark Williams taking on the "Captain" Ali Carter and the legendary Jimmy White facing the "Chinese Sensation", Ding Junhui.

Mark Williams is currently occupying the third place in the provisional Premier League rankings with 7 points. Although he took a pretty good start by winning the second week of cue action (3-0 against Jimmy White and 3-1 against Shaun Murphy), last week at Weston-Super-Mare, things didn't go too great for him. 

Mark Williams will meet Ali Carter in the first semi-final
The "Welsh Potting Machine" lost the semi-final being hammered 3-1 by Judd Trump. It was a good match that saw both players having equal chances to win it, but still Williams missed in cashing more than just one point from it.
With only two more apparitions left (including the one from tonight), Williams will need to rock around the snooker table a bit in order to maintain his chances to reach the final stages.

His opponent, Ali Carter had a very weird start. Why? Simple, because he started with making a perfect entrance during Premier League's week four and ended it with missing to take the victory. He managed to crash Ding Junhui 3-0 in order to book himself a place into the final. There, the mighty Ronnie O'Sullivan was waiting. 

Although both of them had a brilliant performance during the semis, the standard suddenly dropped as they were facing each other. Scrappiness was the name of the game, but the lads were equally prepared to win the final. That until Carter missed to touch a red ball three times on a row although more than one red ball was available to be potted. And so he practically lost the crucial frame: the forth one, the scoreline freezing at 3-1 in favour of O'Sullivan.

This has left Ali with only 4 points and the need for a closure. Will he take his chances tonight?

Jimmy White to face Ding Junhui
Moving on the second semi-final of the evening, we have Jimmy White in the camera lights. Unfortunately for the "Whirlwind" although he took part in two weeks of Premier League (week one and week three) he didn't win one single match. His bag is sadly empty with zero points and I really don't see any chance for him to get into the final stages.

Still, if there's something snooker has taught us, is never say never. Yes, he won’t qualify for the grand semi-finals, but he can still provoke upsets. So let's not write him off and give the champ a big cheer for he definitely needs it.

The Masters champion, Ding Junhui has 4 points in his pocket, as well as Ali Carter. Week three marked his debut on this year's Premier League and it wasn’t a bad start, let me tell you.
Ding beat Shaun Murphy 3-2 after a great decider and got a place in the final, by doing so. Unfortunately for him, Neil Robertson was in the mood for "dancing" and so with a 3-1 scoreline, Ding lost the chance to win the final match of the night.

A week after that we saw Ding struggle in front of Carter who whitewashed him cruelly 3-0, this meaning that after two participations the Chinese player needs a serious victory ... or should I say victories? What's certain is that he needs to act quickly if he wants a chance to reach the final stages.

That being said, I invite you this evening from 7.30pm (UK time) to tune in on SkySports 2 for your weekly share of fast snooker.

SF1: Mark Williams v. Ali Carter
SF2: Jimmy White v. Ding Junhui
Final: Williams/Carter v. White/Ding

Useful link to watch the lads in action: