March 7, 2010

Monday 10am starts

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:19 pm

I hope she hasn't been keeping Judd awake at night. Apparently she read what it said on his T-Shirt and may have taken it literally.

After a triumphant return to the Crucible was booked for the Nugget last night we move to another crop of hopefuls who start and finish on Monday including former world finalist and Licensed to Pot, Nigel Bond, former winner against former semi-finalist Doherty and the Outlaw Joe Swail as well as young hopeful Judd ‘Haircut 100’ Trump, of whom great things are expected by some.

The following matches start at 10am and finish later on in the afternoon.

The head to heads are in brackets.

Nigel Bond v Martin Gould (0-1)

Nigel recently put what has been a poor season so far behind him by qualifying for the China Open with a timely victory over Adrian Gunnell last month. Prior to that the World Games Champion had been really struggling to beat anyone of any note. He lost to an in-form Martin Gould 5-4 in the 2009 Welsh Open when the man with the pointless spectacles went on a bit of a run and appeared on the telly for the first time. His own win over Bjorn Haneever in the last round again proving timely after a rather dodgy spell of results. This is all down to who brings the form to the table and since I saw the draw I’ve thought Nigel would be vulnerable in this section, so I’ll side with Martin Gould (11/10 Skybet). RESULT: Gould 10-4.

Joe Swail v Ken Doherty (5-8)

(I can’t seem to stop this from appearing in bold, I’m not shouting because Joe is a bit deaf)

Two of the nicest blokes on the snooker circuit lock horns here for a place at the Crucible where they have both enjoyed some of the greatest moments of their respective careers. Ken by all accounts didn’t enjoy having to give Jimmy a pasting in the last round. He now faces another mate in Swail, who recently played a bit better than he has been of late at Crondon Park but the difference between that and this is like comparing Jedward to Joy Division, unless some of you have the strangest musical tastes and like them both then what I am trying to say is that the two events are very different. I’ve fancied Ken getting through since I saw the draw, he has only found Graeme Dott too good for him in recent ranking events whilst Joe was walloped by Wattana to be sent packing (or rather unpacking) his bags for the China Open. Joe is a fighter but so is Ken and there is only one winner here for me and that is Ken.

Recommended: Ken Doherty (8/13 Skybet). RESULT: Ken marches on 10-1.

Rob Walker

Tom Ford

Judd Trump v Tom Ford (1-0)

Judd beat the Rob Walker lookalike, Ford 5-1 in last months China Open to qualify and a run in that and in this might just see the young protegé advance further up the rankings into the top 16, to the delight of his band of female groupies who now feel it’s time to move on from High School Musical and grow up a bit. Having failed to qualify for this last year Trump will be eager to set that right here and claim his place amongst what in a couple of years time may prove to be his peers. Young Juddly to me still has to change his game a bit to truly be a top 16 or top 8 stalwart, he takes far too many chances and plays against the percentages far too often, but we were all young once…..he should beat Tom here though, by virtue of his high scoring single visits alone, still not providing us with the opportunity to see him and Rob standing next to each other for a Crucible special game of ‘Spot the Difference’.

Recommended: Trump (4/9 Sportingbet) RESULT: Highly impressive from Ford, he wins 10-3. Jodie bins Trump and is now on the prowl for Rob Walker lookalikes.


Barry Hawkins v Ian McCulloch  (4-1)

The ‘original’ Hawkeye, until Mark Allen stole his nickname and then became the Pistol anyway, comes fresh from his Pro-Challenge victory and from a comfortable qualification for China. He is on the verge of challenging for a top 16 place if he wins a few more matches, this is a golden opportunity for him to advance here. Although McCulloch obviously showed a bit of form in ending Tony Drago’s long and courageous winning run and quest to make the big stage you’d have to fancy Barry here. RESULT: Hawkins 10-7.

Recommended: Hawkins (8/13 Sportingbet).

The Hitman.

Michael Holt v David Morris  (1-0)

I certainly didn’t expect to find Morris at this stage (he must be dancing with delight). Nothing he has done in the past could be taken as a sign that he would beat Burnett, but he did just that and now earns a tilt at the inconsistent Michael Holt for a visit to the Crucible for the first time. Holt won their only previous encounter 5-0 in 2008, but he could easily lose this one 10-0 given his level of inconsistency and mood swings. Hitman Holt recently made the final of the (it turns out last ever) axed Pro-Challenge Series in Liverpool, beaten by Hawkins so he has had a bit of practice since crashing out of the China Open last month to Rob Milkins, all but ending any hope he had of making the top 16, which once looked a distinct possibility. Morris on the other hand is one of those just above the top 64 who looks like keeping his place on the tour so can now relax a bit. Holt (1/2 Totesport) is undoubtedly the better player of the two but not one to stake your house on. RESULT: Holt 10-6.

I reckon the best bets of the matches remaining now are Doherty and Trump today and McLeod, Cope and Dott tomorrow, so a final accumulator at just over 5/1 with Boyles is my last throw of the dice in terms of multiples this week, after Matthew Stevens decided to lose the decider last night, I knew I should have trusted the Nugget over him!

That’s it for the second lot, a reminder that we have one more day of these and that the draw for the final stages happens on Thursday.

For anyone that doesn’t know who Joy Division are this will explain

For anyone that doesn’t know who Jedward are, just thank your lucky stars and don’t get curious.

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