2016 European Masters (Day Three)

10:41:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The forth day of the European Masters and tension and pressure are starting to add up a couple of notches. More balanced matches, more drama and more twist and turns.

John Higgins survived quite a scare from Tom Ford, "The Wizard of Wishaw" having to play all seven frames in order to book his place in the quarter-finals.

Although the five-time world champion was the one to break the ice, Ford came back and hit in breaks of 61 and 72 to take the lead, 2-1.

Higgins made the most of a forth frame with just a top break of 40, but Ford put his nose back in front with a 79, being now one away from victory.

Still, the Scotsman pulled a rabbit out of his hat (aka. break of 71) just in time to force the decider, which he finally won.

Alfie Burden and Ricky Walden got together in a pretty scrappy match, which saw Alfie as the winner by 4-3, his biggest contribution being a break of 64, while ironically Walden had a set of 73, 49 and 69.

A very intense match was the one between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Allen, match ended with the Rocket's victory, 4-2.

Allen opened with a tremendous break of 121 and he really seemed to had found his rhythm when, during the second frame, he missed a ball on 65 Ronnie coming to the table to clear with a 64 and win on the black.

The following frame was a strange case of  "copy and paste", Allen making a 55 after missing the black and O'Sullivan clearing with a 60 to win (again, on the black!) and go 2-1 up.

On they went into a genuine thriller (also known as frame four) which Allen was relieved to win, but when O'Sullivan hit back with breaks of 77, 46 and 80 things were pretty clear - "The Rocket" was landing in the quarter-finals.

The last match of the day featured the names of Neil Robertson and Rhys Clark (a sweet, sweet 22-years-old Scottish player with real potential).

Robertson was the first one in, thanks to a break of 82, but his opponent fought back right away with a great 73 to draw level at one apiece.

A pretty decisive moment came during frame three, when Robertson made a 61 after missing a red with the rest, Rhys having a real chance to steal the frame. Sadly for him though, he missed the last pink down on 36, this allowing his opponent to go 2-1 up.

The last two frames were indubitably dominated by the Aussie thanks to breaks of 103 and 67, for a clear 4-1 victory.

Today the cue battles continue, as it follows:

Mark Davis v. Liang Wenbo

Anthony McGill v. Scott Donaldson

Andrew Higginson v. Judd Trump

Mark Selby v. Barry Hawkins

*all hours are Romania time

Photos credit: Lewis Ward