Power Snooker 2011 - Day 1

19:13:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Selby -  the first man through the QFs
The first day of what many people like to call “a perfect way for snooker entering the 21st century” (not me, though) saw the same loud crowd taking over, although the people’s manners were a bit less rude than last year. However the live band was there make things worse each time a player was entering the arena.

All things aside, the matches were played in the same professional way that the lads have used us to, some upsets spicing things up a bit (like Gould winning over Trump or Lee beating Williams), while Michaela Tabb’s sexy outfit was making victims in the audience and probably at home as well.

Mark Selby v. Matthew Stevens

Not a good start for Stevens
The first match and the first surprise of the day: Ronnie O'Sullivan taking over the commentary. Now that's a first! But he did a pretty good job.
Back to the match, though, the first who broke the ice was Stevens and although this put him in front of the Leicester-man just by 6 points (47-41), at the moment it seemed enough. They were just warming up.

In the second frame, roles were reversed, but the difference was still a small one, Selby taking the lead 109-90.
But that stopped there, for the next frame saw the world number one firing a break of 89 and closing it leading his opponent by 234-101.
However, Stevens fought back and during the very last minutes of the match he seemed to have a shot at the victory (he was trailing 234-195). But it didn't happen and so Selby got the first spot in the quarter-finals by beating Stevens 241-196.

John Higgins v. Mark Allen

Mark Allen takes down the current world champion
The beautiful, but also hard, task to referee this match was given to the Dutchman Jan Verhaas, who did a spending job considering this was his first Power Snooker match.

The first frame saw "The Pistol" Allen taking the lead by 85-45, but Higgins found the strength to recover and ended the next frame by being just 6 point behind (122-128).
Still, the rules of Power Snooker are pretty cruel and some fouls  that the current world champion committed, brought a much better prepared Allen back to the table, who by hitting in runs of 64 and 26 won the match by 255-177.

Judd Trump v. Martin Gould

Gouldie causes the first upset of the day
This snooker encounter brought yet another surprise: Trump didn't manage to settle in. At all.
Although this year's crowned champion of the China Open is a very fast player and is very well known for being able to take the right decisions in a  shot period of time, this time ... well, his decisions and his cue action weren’t the best.

Everything started with Martin putting his nose in front by 29 points (135-106) and continued in the same way. 
When the third frame ended and Trump saw he is being lead 305-173 it seemed pretty obvious that he's going to lose. Which happened 27 points later when Gould froze the scoreline at 332-229 in his favour. A very good win for "the Pinner Potter".

Shaun Murphy v. Stuart Bingham

It was a tight match, but Bingham managed to win it
The last match of the first session got the privilege to be commentated by the current world champion, John Higgins.

The opener was a bit scrappy, so at the end of it the lads were separated by only 10 points (64-54). But that didn't last on for long, because Bingham's breaks of 67, 28 and 50 in contradiction with Murphy wasting all his chances resulted in a 319-61 lead by the end of the third frame.
A few minutes later the match was over, the 2011 Australian Goldfields Open champion going straight to the quarter-finals after beating the 2011 Brazil Masters champion by 376-112.

Mark Williams v. Stephen Lee

The Bulldog Lee
The first match of the second session can easily be considered the start for a series of very close cues' battles, but this one in particular had the most ingrate final scoreline, if I could say so myself.

Although Lee dominated the first two frames, the third one didn't go as planned for the "Bulldog" of snooker. Williams' break of 62 (or I should better say Will'ms because that's how they spelt his name) took pretty much all the balls into being made. Finally, it seemed like the Welshman will to take the lead, when he unexpectedly missed the last pink, this allowing his opponent to return at the table and close the frame in his favour 171-167.

The last one saw a very determined Williams who was almost there, almost, almost there (aka. 211-216), but sadly for him the time was running out, only 46 seconds were left, and when he committed a 4 points foul, everything seemed lost. In the end Lee potted the brown for a 228-211 victory.

Neil Robertson v. Stephen Maguire

Robbo might have horrible taste for fashion, but he is champ
Since Power Snooker format allows players to dress a bit more casual, Robbo put on some really dreadful white socks in which he stuffed his pants on, according to him paying his respects to Michael Jackson. Horrible!

However, his cue action was beautifully. It's true that his Scottish opponent gave him a lot of chances by missing several important shots, but Robertson’s (also known by the name of Rob'tson) great form can't be overlooked.

So if after the first frame the two lads were separated only by 20 points, after the second one the gap was enlarged at no more than 61! 
It was no surprise then to see the Aussie winning 238-174.

Ali Carter v. Ronnie O'Sullivan

The defending champion is still in action
This was it. The match that everyone was expecting. A great Essex clash between the Captain and the Rocket. And if I may add, it was one of the most beautiful matches of the day too.

The cue battle began with Carter taking the lead 111-8 which was done incredibly fast, but that was going to be history very soon as O’Sullivan's (or O'Sul, as ITV 4 wrote his name) brilliant 127 clearance proved he is indeed the defending champion. That also meant the first century break of the tournament.

Carter, almost there, but not quite
Ali couldn't collect more than 40 points in the next frame, the rest of them (aka. 71) entering into the Rocket's pocket, who was now leading 206-151.

But the battle wasn't over and when Carter hit a great 83 break during the third frame and took plenty of advantage of Ronnie missing the last black, the lads changed seats this time Carter leading 245-231.

In the very last minutes of the last frame, O'Sullivan was buzzing with excitement and all that excitement was transformed into a steady 64 break, which sealed the match at 335-245.

Ding Junhui v. Graeme Dott

Dott grabs the last QFs spot
The day ended in a kind of a scrappy way, both Dott and Ding having difficulty in playing a fluent game.

But with all that scrappiness, Dott managed to dominate the first two frames and even the third one, although Ding was then only 5 points behind (185-180).
The Scot closed the match with a series of 23 and 39 that turned the scoreline into 288-182 in his favour. 
Last year Power Snooker runner-up was out.

Day one list of results:

Mark Selby 241-196 Matthew Stevens
John Higgins 177-255 Mark Allen
Judd Trump 229-332 Martin Gould
Shaun Murphy 112-376 Stuart Bingham
Mark Williams 211-228 Stephen Lee
Neil Robertson 238-174 Stephen Maguire
Ali Carter 245-334 Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ding Junhui 182-288 Graeme Dott

Tomorrow the battle is continuing with the quarter-0finals, semis and of course, the grand final.

QF1 - 13:10 Mark Selby v. Mark Allen
QF2 - 14:00 Martin Gould v. Stuart Bingham
QF3 - 15:00 Stephen Lee v. Neil Robertson
QF4 - 16:00 Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Graeme Dott

SF1 - 18:00 Selby/Allen v. Gould/Bingham
SF2 - 19:00 Lee/Robertson v. O'Sullivan v. Dott

Final - 20:00 

Power Snooker can be watched on ITV 4, but also online at www.sportlemon.tv