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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