2016 Masters (Day Five) - Rocket Ronnie lands in semi-final

10:23:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Another brilliant day here at Ally Pally as Ronnie O'Sullivan put on quite a glamorous snooker show in beating his old-time rival Mark Selby by 6-3 in a pretty thrilling match.

The evening came with another surprise, Barry Hawkins recording his second Masters win under the form a great 6-2 scoreline in front of an outplayed Mark Allen.

The big clash of this Masters edition was surely the snooker encounter between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby, and in all due honesty it was quite a superb match.

O'Sullivan was the first in, but missed frame ball on 63, this giving his opponent a lifeline to break the ice. But Selby lost position quite soon and despite being awarded no less than 22 points in penalty, he wasn't able to capitalise, thus "The Rocket" retuned to seal the frame.

The history seemed to repeat itself down on frame two when Ronnie missed yet again frame ball at 51, with the only difference that this time Selby grabbed the bull by its horns and got a great 56 clearance to win the second frame on the black.

Still, the interval was finding O'Sullivan in charge of the match's faith breaks of 69, 54 and 58 giving him a 3-1 lead.

When returning into the arena, 15 minutes later, Selby was sure to reduce the gap at just one frame, although he missed frame ball (a bit of a leitmotiv of this match really) at 61. The scoreline was 3-2.

Frame six came and with it the first century break of the match, a perfectly cued 100 one, baring the signature of O'Sullivan, to which the same Rocket added a scrappy 6th frame to go just one away from victory, at 5-2.

Clearly not at his best, but still trying, Selby managed to get another frame under his belt thanks to a 68 break, but in the end it was Ronnie who got the best of the 9th frame.

Despite the fact that Selby was the first one in and made a perfectly respectable 70 break before losing position after missing the cannon of reds, O'Sullivan found enough composure to clear the table and steal the frame and match on the black with a brilliant 73!

Less flamboyant, but equally snooker-ish the evening match featured a very strong & determined Barry Hawking which ended Mark Allen's dream of reaching the semi-final, with a 6-2 final result.

Although Allen got the opening frame with a smartly cued 109 break, the next four were entering "The Hawk's" pocket thanks to a myriad of breaks (81, 68 and 53).

The pride of Northern-Ireland did manage to stop the rot and won frame six with a top break of 58, but Barry made the most of a scrappy 6th frame affair to which he raised the bar with a 52 break to get pass the finish-line.

Two more matches are to be played today before we shall know the final line-up for the semis, so good luck to these four lads:

Judd Trump v. Neil Robertson

John Higgins v. Stuart Bingham

*all hours are UK time

Photos 3 & 4 by Monique Limbos