World Seniors Championship 2011 - Day 1

01:44:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Steve Davis, happy to get first in the QFs
The tournament where the "walking snooker encyclopaedias" are playing is underway and during its first day we had a few surprises here and there. But none can be compared with Dennis Taylor's victory over Nigel Bond.

The 1985 world champion had the chance to re-make that "rising-my-cue" and "pointing-my-finger" thing (his signature move actually) as he beat the 2011 Shoot-Put champion 2-0.
A very nervous Jimmy White managed to win his first match and so keep his beloved champion crown a bit longer, while Steve Davis knock down "Tornado" Drago after a great opening match.

Tony Drago v. Steve Davis

The Tornado - Tony Drago
"Snooker loopy, nuts are we. Me and him and them and me. We'll show you what we can do with a load of balls and a snooker cue..." That's the song the lads walked on as they safety landed in the arena. There, the ref in charge, John Williams, was  ready to start refereeing the first match of the tournament.

And since we are talking about two players that are still actively involved on the Main Tour, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see Drago hitting a 62 break as he was practically leaving dust behind him. I mean, he was playing fast. 

Davis fought back with runs of 22 and 20 to avoid being whitewashed and forced the decider. This would be the first one, but surely not the last one of the day.
The third frame didn't last too long as the six-time world champion secured his victory with a great 70 break. Steve Davis was the first name through to the quarter-finals.

Dene O'Kane v. Neal Foulds

Foulds and O'Kane offered us a battle of cues
These two lads offered us one hell of a cues battle. Although Foulds stubbornly says he is not playing good and although he lost the battle against O'Kane, those of you who saw him in action know he's way too modest. Throughout the entire match it was impossible not to spot this player's geniality and the fact that he still has that "killer" instinct.

But O'Kane didn't let down his fans either. New Zeeland's man was responsible for some really cracking shots, shots that brought him a 2-1 victory over Neal.
In the end, it was a great match to watch and I must confess that their walk-on song "That's the way (I like it) by KC and the Sunshine band sums it pretty well: "That's the way we like our snooker".

Karl Townsend v. Steve Ventham

Karl Townsend
John Williams was once again the ref in charge, but this time the two lads that were coming into the arena on "Go your own way" were Townsend and Ventham. Both players needed to qualify for the event.

Even though it wasn’t a match were fireworks could be seen (the highest breaks were 22 and 34), it was a typical clash of styles and actually, the first whitewash of the day, because Karl won 2-0.

John Parrott v. Joe Johnson

Joe (in his fancy suit) and John, talking with Andy
The last snooker encounter from the first session was given between two great names of the green baize. And again, we went all the way to the last frame.

The two snooker gladiators made their appearance on "All day & all night" song as Jan Verhaas was sitting patiently in the arena for the match to start.

It was Parrott the one who would break the ice and take over the opener, but Joe used runs of 20, 15 and 12 to level the match and get one more chance for the victory.
Unfortunately for him, Parrott was in the mood for dancing and he obtained a well deserved victory after hitting in runs of 31 and 20.

Jimmy White v. Tony Knowles

White's a bit nervous about defending his title
The second session started in a very rock-ish way: with White and Knowles entering in the arena on Rolling Stones' "Start me up" song. The defending champion was now about to give his first test. Will he pass it?
Fortunately, although as he will admited later on, he was very nervous, he managed to produce the second whitewash of the day by hitting in breaks of 62 and 59.

However, the match wasn't a very short one, mainly because the first frame saw Knowles clearing the table in order to get some practice after his opponent secured his first victory and the history would repeat itself during the very next frame, when Tony, although in need of five snookers, kept on playing for the art's sake.

Nigel Bond v. Dennis Taylor

This sign feels familiar ... I wonder why?!
Watch this space ... Dennis Taylor is the man! Yes, sir! The first upset of the tournament was produced by the 1985 world champion.

With a brilliant 46 clearance during the first frame and with a very gentle way of potting the right balls one after another during the second one, Taylor successfully beat Bond by 2-0 to grab a place in the quarter-finals.

He was over the moon. The crowd was over the moon. A snooker legend never rests.

Garry Wilkinson v. Darren Morgan

Wilkinson (left) and Morgan (right) ready for the fight
We all know what Morgan is capable of and he demonstrated he is still on for the kill after crashing his opponent, Gary Wilkinson 2-0.

By hitting in breaks of 40 and 83 (the highest break of the tournament, so far), Morgan secured himself a place into the next round along with a warm round of applauses from the stunned audience. That's how you play snooker!

Cliff Thorburn v. Doug Mountjoy

Thorburn takes the last  QFs spot
Another pair of legends, another match that kept us glued to our television's screens. 
Entering on "Twisting the night away", the lads did exactly that: they performed a beautiful dance of snooker around the "green, green baize of hoooooome".

The first frame wore Mountjoy's name, breaks of 20 and 23 being responsible for the win, while the second one was a genuine battle for the colors. 

At one moment the scoreline went 46-52 in favour of Doug and he seemed like the winner. But he missed the brown down to the right middle pocket and so the safety shots battle started. However, the one who won that battle was Canada's Cliff and so the last match of he day ended on a decider, decider that was cashed by the 1980 world champion.

Here's Day 1 list of results:

Tony Drago 1-2 Steve Davis
Dene O'Kane 2-1 Neal Foulds
Karl Townsend 2-0 Steve Ventham
John Parrott 2-1 Joe Johnson
Jimmy White 2-0 Tony Knowles
Nigel Bond 0-2 Dennis Taylor
Gary Wilkinson 0-2 Darren Morgan
Cliff Thorburn 2-1 Doug Mountjoy

Tomorrow the quarter-finals, semis and final will take place so be sure to follow the lads' performance on Sky Sports 4 all day long.
Below you can check the match schedule:

1pm - the quarter-finals

Dene O'Kane v. Steve Davis
Darren Morgan v. CLiff Thorburn
Dennis Taylor v. Jimmy White
John Parrott v. Karl Townsend

7pm - the semis and the final
*all hours are UK time