2014 World Championship (Day 1) - O'Sullivan finishes Hull

02:35:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The Crucible arena
The most wonderful time of the year has come, and no, I'm not talking about Christmas. Not even about Easter, although it's Easter time. I'm talking about the marvellous World Championship, the event that we've all been waiting for an entire year.

The Crucible arena has been packed and the legend says that the cheering have reached Down Under. No wonder since the snooker virus causes permanent damage to those who are lucky enough to have caught it.

But back to business now! The first day saw the reigning champion, Mr Ronnie O'Sullivan taking on a player that hasn't stepped in the Crucible arena for 12 years, the Finnish Robin Hull.

The Rocket seemed very pleased to be back in Sheffield and started the journey to defend his world tile by hitting in runs of 45, 32, 124 and 69 to go 3-0 ahead before his opponent hit a great 102 in order to grab his first frame of the match.

Reigning champ in action
Needless to say that Twitter was on fire while Ronnie was playing, his name  as well as #snookerworldchampionship trending on Twitter UK. Pretty impressive stuff, if you ask me. Maybe it's not a shock to see O'Sullivan's name trending, but snooker? Well, that's a different story.

The lads returned to the table to finish their first session, this time Hull putting Ronnie in quite some trouble and letting the Essex-man in need of a snooker. However, this wasn't a hard task for the Englishman, who got his snooker and potted an amazing pink to clear the table with a 25 break, to which he added an 81 one during the next frame. The scoreline was 5-1.

Robin tried his best to recover from the Rocket's attack, a break of 60 bringing him a second frame, before Ronnie went on and closed the first session with runs of 45, 60 and 90 for a 7-2 scoreline.

Robin Hull
But interestingly enough when the boys returned to finish their snooker affair, Ronnie seemed quite unfocused and lost more than one chance to wrap up the match quicker than he did in the end.

Robin had an early chance to grab himself a new frame, but unfortunately he missed frame ball on 41, this giving Ronnie the chance to come and win the frame on the black with a 41 clearance.

However, Hull pulled back no less than two consecutive frames with solid breaks of 39, 52 and 68 to trail 8-4.

Although clearly far from his best, O'Sullivan still managed to hit three breaks of 31, 31 and 35 to go one away from victory, finishing off with runs of 41 and 54 for a final 10-4 scoreline.

Twitter trends: Ronnie and #snookerworldchampionship
A very interesting and quite intense match, Ronnie playing the role of the good boy who pots the black each time he has the chance (happened to clear the table no less than seven times during the match), not to mention the fact that John Virgo felt off his chair in the commentary box making The Nugget burst into laugh.

Stuart Bingham met with "The Darling of Dublin" for an equally interesting match, everything starting with Ken entering the arena and kissing the floor, as he usually does.

Stu had a very solid start, runs of 25 and 85 and a third frame won on the black, putting him in charge of the match's faith at 3-0 before Kenny could react and hit a 66 to break the ice and win himself a frame.

After the mid-session interval Doherty continued his good run and added one more frame to his poor collection with a bit of help from breaks of 39 and 34, Bingham responding immediately to restore the two-frame advantage (4-2).

Once again Ken tried to get closer to his opponent and thanks to a great 91 he managed to dangerously approach him at 4-3, but Stu used a scrappy 8th frame to detach himself from his opponent at 5-3.

Kenny kisses the Crucible floor
However, the session ended with Doherty pushing himself to the line and managing to get another frame under his belt for a 5-4 scoreline. The match will resume Sunday from 10 am.

Ali Carter and the Crucible debutant Xiao Guodong have completed their first session also, and landed on the same 5-4 scoreline.

The lads have played intensely and the entire session could be described as a very close crossing of cues, the Captain using breaks like 39 and 45 to break the ice, followed by Xiao's 61 break that was levelling the scoreline at one a piece.

Breaks of 52, 33, 27 and 56 were helping the Captain to fly at 4-1, but the little Chinese fought back furiously and fired in runs of 59 and 73 to draw level at 4-4.

In the end though, Carter put his nose in front after winning a scrappy 9th frame. Their matche will resume on Sunday from 2:30 pm.

Two more matches saw their first session finished: the first featuring the names of Stephen Maguire and Ryan Day, while Shaun Murphy and Jamie Cope took charge of the second one.

Crucible-debutant Xiao Guodong
Maguire took the opening frame with a break of 71, to which the Welshman responded with a brilliant 130 clearance the Scot getting his claws out and adding a 75 break to re-take control of the match. However, the interval was finding the lads all square at 2-2.

After the mini-break, Day's fury was unleashed as the Welshman hit in breaks of 65, 61 to which he added to scrappy frame to make the scoreline go 6-2, before the Scotsman could realise what has just happened and barely managing to pull back a frame and end the first session by trailing 6-3.

At the near table, Cope was the one who took the opening frame by using a top break of 71 points, Murphy answering with a 112 to draw level, before Jamie won a scrappy one and put his nose back in front.

But as in the previous match, the mid-session interval was finding the boys at two apiece, Murphy using a strategically built 70 break to ensure the balance of the match.

The rain of break continued after the interval, as the Smurf fired in runs of 87 and 70 to go 4-2 ahead, but Jamie seemed to cope very well with Murphy's plan, top breaks of 36 and 58 and a crappy frame turning the situation upside down and putting him in the lead, at 5-4.

Both these matches will be concluded Sunday from 7 pm.

Sunday's full programme:

10 am
Stuart Bingham 5-4 Ken Doherty
Joe Perry v. Jamie Burnett

2.30 pm
Ali Carter 5-4 Xiao Guodong
Ding Junhui v. Michael Wasley

7 pm
Stephen Maguire 3-6 Ryan Day
Shaun Murphy 4-5 Jamie Cope