Monday, 14 January 2008

Snooker: Shock On The First Day

Ronnie's out! What's more, Ronnie's nerves got the better of him.

Maguire played much better than in the UK championships before Christmas, but Ronnie's form had dipped a bit. He couldn't really get himself into top gear.

Maguire went 4-1 up with breaks of 64, 103 and 84. He was playing pretty solidly although the snooker wasn't scintillating. Ronnie saw the danger, upped his game through sheer necessity and managed to claw back to 5-5 with breaks of 112, 72, 66 and 64.

The match went into a decider and the crowd was buzzing. Maguire had the initial chance but ended up letting Ronnie in. He was on the way to a magnificent clearance, it would have been a real classic. Ronnie had to play the final blue with the rest, it was a pretty simple shot. The problem was, to get position on the pink, which he needed, he had to punch the blue in and stun the white on and off the cushion. I thought he played the blue a little quick, regardless, he missed it, the blue ran up and down the table and Ronnie had left it for Maguire who also needed the blue and pink for the match. Maguire calmly knocked them both in to the disbelief of the crowd who were clearly backing Ronnie. Ronnie walked despondently out of the arena and Maguire followed him with a look of disbelief, and the hint of a smile, on his face.

Earlier in the day, Murphy beat Ali Carter 6-3. Murphy was 2-0 down and looked to be struggling, but as Carter was out of the arena for a comfort break, the look on Murphy's face seemed to harden, he looked a lot more focused for the rest of the match. Ali Carter didn't play great snooker and looked under pressure. Eventually, Murphy ran out with a well deserved 6-3 win.

Barry Hawkins couldn't get his game together at all against Welshman Ryan Day in the wildcard round. Day always looked too strong throughout the match and came though 6-2 to put him in the first round against Peter Ebdon.

I can't imagine delivering many more reports through the tournament as I won't have much more time to see the matches. But when I watch one, I'll deliver on the blog.

I think the Masters is now wide open though, there's something like 8 World Champions left in the draw. Keep watching!


Douglas said...

Ronnie didnt need to punch the blue in and come off the cushion. he could have played it more delicately and screwed back from the blue to leave an easy pink. He missed it cos he played the shot as if he had his hand on the table where he often plays these super-hard punch shots. he didnt need perfect pos on the pink. he just rushed it and missed, in fact, as he cued it up, i saw that he was trying to punch it and he barely had any angle on it, i wondered why he was playing it that way and feared the worst... so who knows how many 147s he would have made, he's gone and so is a lot of great snooker from the tournament.

andy said...

Yeah I guess it's difficult to say. Maybe I should be bowing to your superior snooker skills but I saw it slightly differently. I guess the only person who knows for sure is Ronnie himself.

Douglas said...

Well I saw it pretty clearly, and before he played the shot ;) and yes, you should be bowing to my superior snooker skills !

Wow, a compliment from Andy, yippee! first time for everything, etc... now next task is to get him to buy a round of drinks :)