April 25, 2012

World Championship Day Five

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:22 am

It’s Day Five from the Crucible and there was further carnage as far as the seeded players were concerned yesterday as the well fancied Stephen Lee came a cropper at the hands of Andrew Higginson, Graeme Dott lies on the brink of a heavy defeat to Joe Perry and Mark Selby and Ding Junhui both find themselves returning today behind to tough opponents.   

In the morning the Press Room was rife with tales of Judd Trump’s constitution, as we were informed that he’d ate some dodgy chicken at a local eatery (who I won’t name and shame for fear of reprisal, but I can confirm it wasn’t Nandos) and was feeling unwell. He didn’t look his usual self it has to be said and will be delighted to get out of his session with Dominic Dale 5-4 up, assuming he is back to full health this afternoon after spending the rest of the day in bed with his collection of teddy bears and copies of The Beano, you’d assume he will finish the job off.

Ding Junhui will be pleased to have won the last frame of his session to keep his match very much alive against Ryan Day who showed as good a form at times as he has for quite a while, that one could still go very close. In the afternoon we witnessed the rare sight of a Dott meltdown in the Crucible Cauldron. Dotty is normally totally in the zone when he arrives here but for whatever reason yesterday he played like he was the one with a case of the Trumps and Joe Perry didn’t have to exert himself to take a commanding 8-1 lead. It might get interesting if Dott can win 4-0 in the first mini-session this morning as Perry can sometimes struggle to kill opponents off and doubts may creep in, but he’ll have to come out in Terrier mode and keep at it with no slip-ups at all.

On the other table Ronnie O’Sullivan completed a workmanlike win over Peter Ebdon. Unlike Mark Allen, Ronnie was on his best behaviour in the Press Conference, but a clearly upset Peter Ebdon broke down when speaking about his late dad and I hope he can get his head in a better place soon. I can empathise with how he’s feeling as I’m sure many people can, it’s a very thought thing to lose a parent you were close to and whatever you think of Peter, he does wear his heart on his sleeve and being at the conference I did feel very sorry for him.

In the evening Andrew Higginson held himself together very well to send Lee packing, Lee will be disappointed to end the season on such a low after a great run of late. Barry Hawkins also gained a strong advantage over Mark Selby and leads 6-3 going into tonight.

Some of you may have been experiencing some problems accessing the site this week for short periods, well, I’m pleased to say that this problem has hopefully now been addressed with the help of a few friends. I would like to thank Tom for his utter expertise (he told me to say that but here’s his website), Snooker Bingo for his hard work and Alfred Homosexual for supplying his man, Hans, to provide massages to both of the above when the going got tough. A real team effort. The only very short term issue at the moment is that I can’t yet add new images to the blog, but it won’t be long until I can. If you have any comments about the look, performance or any other IT (geeky anorak) related topic, please let me know.

Also a brief mention to all the boys at Shapla Indian Restaurant in Sheffield who looked after four drop-outs last night and served up a fine selection of spiced up fayre. It was recommended to me by World Snooker, as they put their reputation on the line and in the hands of four extremely hungry and in one case intoxicated, food critics.

But it is highly recommended and a thumbs up from me, Matt at Pro Snooker Blog, Roland from Snooker Island and that hanger-on The Wizard, who is even thinking of including it in his Crucible Special Wizard Tour package to soon be announced on his forthcoming website. I have of course told him that it’s far too good in there to be included and left him to think about it, I’m sure he’ll find somewhere more suitable around where he is staying in the rough part of town. Careless. But at least unlike the Gloucester Burnt Onion Salad fiasco he stayed awake to finish his meal, so he is making progress slowly but surely.

For anyone who didn’t read Mark Allen’s apology (of sorts) yesterday for his latest attempt to start World War 3 with China, you can get it here.

Anyway, here are today’s matches.


3* Graeme Dott 1-10 Joe Perry
13* Ding Junhui 4-5 Ryan Day


8* Judd Trump 5-4 Dominic Dale
9 Mark Williams v Liu Chuang


7 Ali Carter v Mark Davis
16* Mark Selby 3-6 Barry Hawkins

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  • onestep

    Can only echo your sentiments re Ebdon, very touching press conference.

  • noci

    Skipping School, watching the snooker, bring the noodles

  • Ricardo Pussayshot

    always thought Perry was a very solid underrated player but lost faith in him for constantly falling just short of the winning line. The first time I stopped backing him? Of course it was when he came oh so close to beating Ali for a place in the Crucible final. Hoping for a meltdown combined with a heroic comeback from Dotty today

  • noci

    It seems like Ding will have to be flawless to pull this of. Ryan Day is GOOD.

  • Ricardo Pussayshot

    in that form perry will get slaughtered by maguire in the next round

  • Davide

    Hello mr snookerbacker, I always really enjoy reading your blog and have done since the very early days before your rise to fame. However lately I have felt like your blog has been increasingly all about your jolly days out and what a lovely time you’ve been having courtesy of world snooker etc. I am sure I speak for many on here when I say that whilst I love to here about back stage gossip and your chats with Clive, what I’m really interested in is betting on snooker and whilst you have written your usual championship preview you have barely mentioned betting since! Just a bit of constructive feedback for you as I find your betting insights very useful and I miss them! Kind regards, Davide

    • snookerbacker

      @Davide – I have previewed all the first round matches previously and try to mix it up with some behind the scenes stuff, some like it some won’t, can’t please everyone! Now the second round line up is almost complete the previews will take centre stage again. Any betting talk during Round 1 would just be duplication, it was exactly the same last year. I have also had a lot of IT problems this week and there’s been a lot happening in the background to sort these issues out. But thanks for the comment.

  • noci

    @Ricardo Pussayshot: High break:59, massive compared to 37 from Dott.

  • noci

    Kimball is accusing the british commentators of beeing intoxicated when he is witnessing a white line drawn by computer on the screen

  • harry grout

    im taking my dad today to watch williams ,he has a blue badge so is there anywhere close by i can park ?

    • snookerbacker

      @harry – not sure, it’s quite pedestrianised – best trying behind the Crucible, think there is a bus station there – around that area probably your best bet.

  • snookerbacker

    @noci: Kimball is the man!!!

  • @harry grout: I seem to remember that the tickets had parking info on the back of them, or in the pack they came in? Might be details on there.

  • Ricardo Pussayshot

    @noci I know he played better than dott but both missed plenty of balls and I dont think maguire will be as wasteful if he gets as many free chances

  • lolo

    @noci, I’m getting more & more motivated to improve my basic ‘scandinavian’ and somehow manage to put out my eurosport ru commentary and put in yours 🙂

  • Chris

    Probably seems a bit selfish but arriving in Sheffield on Sunday (flying over from Kazakhstan) to watch snooker live for the first time and feeling a bit gutted by the fact that the likes of Allen, Ding, Murphy etc are out. Wasn’t planning on watching a bottom quarter that potentially reads Day, Cao, Hawkins and Stevens. Of course it’ll be quality watching anyone, but for the first trip I’d love to see as many of the so called ‘bigger’ players. Opening up nicely for Robertson and Trump that’s for sure!

  • noci

    @lolo: Thats nice to hear, but right now nothing can console me. Ive never seen Ding loose from 4 frames up before. He made very uncharacteristic misses in every frame, like the failed role up behind the black. the Worlds is over for me now. Maybe.Not.

  • venga1

    Afternoon all; back from Sheffield now and have to say was probably my favourite trip down ever even though it was shorter than usual; ultimate 1st day action with Hendry 147 and then Higgins finish; some truly memorable banter and incidents such as interview for Belgian TV and meeting likes of Higgins, Hendry, Brecel, Chuang, Gilbert, Fu, Lee, Gouldy and Allen (both as usual) and best of all probably Jones who was tremendous chat plus countless other figures such as all the referees and Mike Ganley – the Graduate was best ever this year post snooker I think. This mornings match another unreal game, only 1 more shock (selby tonight?) and the record is equalled – anyone who has up betting wise for the tournament must be a genuis.

  • kildare cueman

    whats the story with bbc red button? I pushed williams match and they have Dale vTrump on both buttons

  • @Chris excuse my nosiness but why are you in Kazakhstan?. Soldiering?.

    Also @venga1 are you in the media?. Interview on Belgian tv and meeting all those listed players, how did that come about?.

  • venga1

    @rounders123: nah, you cant help meeting folk down there, thats part of what makes it probably the best sporting event to go too, all the players and officials pretty much mingle away in the pubs and arena area during the event

  • Sounds great, sounds like you had a great time.

  • barjaktar

    Is this the wierdest Cruicible ever? Incredible results so far, onyl Robbo, Ronnie and Mags ended expectedly, everything else is very very strange.

  • lolo

    who’s commenting mjw-liu chuang on bbc? (should be bbc on bet365 stream)

  • lolo

    What’s the secret of qualifiers this year in WC? (Were they all inspired by a qualifier Hendry so much! :O )

    Anyways, the more seeds out, the higher chance for Ronnie to lift the trophy 😛

  • comeonkauto

    Selby’s a goner. Isn’t playing well enough to win from 7-3 up, never mind 7-3 behind. Very frustrating to see such good players missing such simple simple shots.

  • beeman147

    One of my favourite sights in snooker – Selby in his seat wearing a frown…

  • lolo

    Wow Ali! Looks like back to his usual self with that hardish-sounding hitting of balls, and series rolling in no problem.

    Used to not like him too much, but feels kinda good to see someone familiar playing like he can play 🙂

    Could be because World Champ’s R2 looks a lot like some qualifying round line-up (which has some taste that includes boredom & grey-ish-ness spices..).

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