PTC Grand Finals 2012 (Day 3) - Guodong keeps Ace in pack

23:05:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Xiao in action
The third day here in Galway, Ireland and the surprises keep on coming. Today another youngster and relatively unknown face to the eye of the public, the Chinese Xiao Guodong performed brilliantly in order to cash a great 4-2 victory in front of Judd Trump.

The only Scottish player left in the competition, Stephen Maguire (though far from being on-fire) proved to be a bit too strong for Mark Davis and managed to regain his position in the match after being lead 2-0, in the end closing as the winner, 4-2.

Mark Selby took revenge on the man that "stole" the Welsh Open crown from him a few weeks ago, the Leicester man beating Ding Junhui by 4-1, while Andrew Higginson and Jamie Jones engaged in one of the most interesting and captivating matches of this tournament, with the Englishman surviving it by 4-3.

Trump didn't manage to settle in
Although the day started with the bad news that Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of the event due to his illness (glandular fever), thus Ricky Walden getting a bye for the quarter-finals, the players continued to do their job and honor the public that went there to see them play.

After Jack Lisowski beat Barry Hawkins in the first round and Jamie Jones sent home the current world champion, John Higgins, it was time for another surprise. This time it was received in the form of a "Chinese cookie" also known as Xiao Guodong.

A broken arm doesn't seem to stand in the way of victory
Xiao started his journey in Galway with a broken hand, a broken hand that didn't stop him from winning his first match against Dom Dale by 4-2 and clearly didn't stop him from repeating the performance against the "Ace in the Pack" Judd Trump.

Guodong used breaks of 100 and 44 to go 2-0 up before the Bristol-boy made his first real attempt to get in the match and won the third frame with runs of 37 and 39.

The Chinese was still in the lead, but wasn't feeling pretty safe with Trump being there, just one frame away from him, so he restored the two-frame gap after hitting a 66.

Not on fire, but enough to win his first match
But Trump didn't give up and pulled one back, hopping to cash just one more in order to force the decider.
The last frame saw Xiao breaking off at 63 as he missed frame ball, Trump making the most of what was left on the table and a few penalty points that were awarded after his rival committed several fouls.

26 points later Trump only needed the black to guarantee himself he'll be playing one more frame, but missed the black! Needless to say the lads started to "fight" on it, after a few minutes, world number 51 Xiao Guodong managing to pot it and win the match.

Selby took revenge
On the opposite side, not having any fireworks, we had the Stephen Maguire v. Mark Davis match. A match that had a pretty nervy start, with Davis taking the first two frames, while Maguire took care of the following ones with breaks of 54, 59 and 40.

He was lifting the Welsh Open rocky trophy a few weeks ago after beating Mark Selby, but now it was time for Mark Selby to beat him.

Ding Junhui seemed a bit out of form and besides taking the first frame with a great 75 break, he didn’t manage to do any damage to his green baize rival.

Dinh is heading home
Selby fired in runs of 77, 68 and 92 to secured himself  a place in the quarter-finals and keep his hopes alive that, maybe this time, he'll get lucky and win the tournament.

Last match of the day brought together Andrew Higginson and Jamie Jones in a pretty spectacular match. Even though it had a nervy debut, Higginson made his way though the balls and cleared the table with 120 points to get the first two frames on board.

But "little" Jones wasn't going to let himself impressed by his opponent's ability in potting the balls, replaying with a series of 87 and 35 to level the match at 2-2.

A great snooker show between Higginson and Jones
Higginson put his nose in front with a 73 break being now just one step away from crossing the finish line, but Jones had one more ace to play. The Englishman broke off at 59 after missing a red, Jones coming to the table for a 54, suddenly stopped by missing the black, the black that the Welshman needed to force the decider.

However, Higginson was going to play a poor safety shot leaving the pink on, thus Jones getting his wish fulfilled. Fulfilled but not entirely, as the PTC 5 champion used a great 95 to close the deal at 4-3 during the very next frame and get the last ticket left for the quarter-finals round.

Below you can check the list of results:

15 Stephen Maguire 4-2 Mark Davis
11 Mark Selby 4-1 Ding Junhui
9 Judd Trump 2-4 Xiao Guodong

10 Andrew Higginson 4-3 Jamie Jones
16 Ronnie O'Sullivan w/d Ricky Walden BYE

Tomorrow, the action continues with:

Stephen Maguire v. Ricky Walden
Mark Selby v. Stephen Lee

Xiao Guodong v. Andrew Higginson
Neil Robertson v. Joe Perry 

*all hours are Ireland time

TV coverage:
12:00 - 16:00 British EuroSport 2 (LIVE)
18:00 - 21:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
23:30 - 01:00 British EuroSport 2