Saturday, 8 December 2012

UK Championship 2012 - the quarter-finals

The tense quarter-finals are over, four players prevailing the test of endurance and earning a spot in the next round: Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter, Mark Selby and Mark Davis.

All of them had to go through a lot during this week and although there's still much to be done until one of them grabs that "Holy Grail", entertainment is a guarantee this end of week.

Davis wins again
Mark Davis v Matthew Stevens

It must be Davis' week of winnings and this match proved it once more, as the English player succeeded to put an end to Matthew Stevens' run and get himself a place in the semi-final.

The start of the match was a balanced one, as Stevens used breaks of 81 and 52 to go 2-0 up, while Davis used just a top break of 101 to draw level as the mid-session interval was kicking off.

By the time the players re-entered into the arena the roles switched and this time, was Davis' turn to take the lead, breaks of 98 and 80 offering him a two frames advantage.

Still, Stevens fought back like a lion and equalised the situation at hand at four apiece, but this didn't seem to make much difference to Mark's state of mind that was set on the victory.

So with a top break of 70, the OnQ Promotions player won by 6-4 and got a place in Saturday's semi-final.

Shaun Murphy v Luca Brecel

Murphy reaches the semis
It's been a wonderful week for Belgium's Luca Brecel and surely one of the best of his life as a professional snooker player, but this match went in favour of the Magician.

Still that doesn't mean it wasn't one hell of a battle, the players going hand in hand up until 5-5, Murphy making his way through the last frame with a notable 122, while Brecel applied breaks of 39, 44 and 64.

It must be said though that Brecel was pretty unlucky to missed the chance of winning 6-4, when he missed the pink, thus giving Murphy the chance to force the decider, and also in the last frame, when Murphy got a horrible kick at 42, Brecel sending the pink into  pocket that refused with all its powers to take it in.

But Luca's bad luck was Murphy's luck, to which he added a lot of confidence and great snooker skills that helped him win 6-5.

Ali Carter v Stuart Bingham

Carter is flying high
A wonderful Carter seems to be reborn from his very own ashes, as he beat Stu by 6-4, in order to set up a meeting with Murphy in the first semi-final.

Even though Bingham broke the ice with a 74 to conquer the first frame, it was Carter and his 134 that was setting the scoreline at 3-1 as the interval was starting.

After the break Bingham pulled one back, but Carter was sure to restore the two frames difference with the first chance he got, and when the Premier League champion managed to perform a great comeback for a 4-4 scoreline, Ali stormed in and got to the finish line first.

Mark Selby v Neil Robertson

Comeback of the tournament, performed by Mark Selby
Incredible win for Mark Selby over the Australian player, as he had to come back from 4-0 down, for a 6-4 victory. Typically Selby, if I may say so.

With two runs, of 65 and 105, Robertson was flying 4-0 up in what seemed to be a one-way street for the Australian to reach the semi-finals stage, but when Selby started his comeback his opponent froze.

Breaks of 58 and 106 were sure to get him a great start, as the scoreboard was indicating now 4-4, while a frame decided by the colours was sending Selby one step away from a a place in the next round.

So with just one frame needed, Mark hit a great 101 break to put an end to Robertson's UK Championship dream, by 6-4.


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