April 27, 2013

World Championship Day 8

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:21 am
Footy Shirt Man (left) and Ronnie (right)

Footy Shirt Man (left) and Ronnie (right)

Day 8 at the Crucible sees the return of the defending champion, a full week after he won his opening match. If Ronnie is going to win this great championship he will be playing every day from this point onwards, as would his opponent today Ali Carter.

Yesterday saw the first two names into the Quarter Finals as Michael White finished his match against a more understated Dechawat Poomjaeng a session early by winning six of the eight frames they played to win 13-3.

White must be living the dream at the moment and who is to say that he can’t make all the way to the one table set up the way he is playing? He faces Rob Milkins or Ricky Walden to do just that so we are bound to see at least one new face in the semi-finals this year. There must be a small part of him that is daring to dream of winning this and wouldn’t it be ironic if after the 6 times runner-up tag of his famous namesake, he can etch the name of White on the trophy at last at the very first time of asking?

“I’m thrilled,” he beamed afterwards “I had to keep in the zone and keep concentrating and I thought I dealt with that pretty well throughout the game. Last night, he was joking around a lot but I held it together pretty well”.

“At 10-2 I thought I could win with a session to spare. I was delighted in the end to get a couple of breaks and finish him off. I think it’s definitely an advantage to have an extra day off, I can relax now and go and practise for a couple of days and just enjoy the result.”

Last night saw a real epic between Shaun Murphy and Graeme Dott who earlier in the day had gone all prima donna on us and insisted that the Crucible carpet be ‘watered’ to counter the static shocks that he, but nobody else was getting.

It’s fair to say that the level of scientific knowledge on display both on the BBC and on Twitter left a little to be desired. Willie suggested that Graeme might have had something metal in his pocket and that maybe this was to blame, that’s a new one on me I have to say. Others concluded that the problem wasn’t with the carpet but with Dotty himself which would seem the most logical conclusion, but nevertheless Dotty’s crackpot request to mix water with electricity was granted and the Crucible Carpet Gardener was awoken from his shed for the first time since 1977 to do his thing. The knowledgable Crucible crowd showed their appreciation and scientific nouse by giving snooker’s very own Percy Thrower a little clap while he set about tending to his shagpile.

Whatever he did, it incredibly seemed to work, though we weren’t told whether Dotty has also changed his shoes, but Graeme appeared to return in terrier mode and fought in a similar vein all day but it was Murphy who took command at the end of the match and eventually rode out the 13-11 winner and now has a few days off to rest and recharge.

“The whole point of being a snooker player is for those moments,” said Smurf afterwards. “I’ve had my share of late night drama at the Crucible, won some and lost some. No matter how many hours of practice you put in, you can’t simulate those emotions. I’m just relieved to have won in the end. Even at 6-2 up after the first session I knew Graeme would have a run at me because he’s that type of player and he’s got a very good record here.”

In the other matches on show Mark Selby leads 9-7 over Barry Hawkins going into the final session today, Hawkins refusing to be shaken off by the Jester so far so there might still be a bit of snooker left in that one.

Judd - Attention all Pockets.

Judd – Attention all Pockets.

Judd Trump started his second round match against Marco Fu in superb form, he was bashing balls all over the place and this time they were mostly going where he was telling them to. The black at the end of the session was ferocious with Judd knocking it in at such a pace that the cue ball bounced several times on the bed of the table as if stunned and begging for submission. Judd leads 6-2 in that one and we look forward to more of the same today.

As for us, Mrs SB had an eventful birthday. She decided to have her hair done and was in there for ages as the meticulous crimper got to grips with her golden locks. It did result in a slight delay to our (my) travel plans and we didn’t arrive in Sheffield until around 3pm, by which time the owners of the Bed and Breakfast that we’d booked into 2 miles outside of Sheffield had decided to go for a day out, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we might seek alternative accommodation rather than stand outside their house for the afternoon.

So we decided to stump up a bit (a lot) more at the last minute and stay closer to the venue and a few gin and tonics and a good chat with a blog regular followed by a sub-standard Italian meal later it was a walk back in the rain that awaited the first lady of the baize on her big day. She even stood up poor old Paul Collier who was waiting in the bar with a Mojito in his gloved hand to present to her while she was nodding off after a long day.

We have filed yesterday under the category of ‘careless’ and now look forward to an eventful day on the baize and a chance to catch some of the action in the arena. I also caught wind that there is a massive (free) champagne reception planned very near the Crucible later for Amir Khan the boxer who is fighting in Sheffield tonight so we’re going to try and gatecrash that in the time-honoured Scouse fashion, I’ve already been rehearsing my ‘I’m with Abdul’ line in the mirror this morning. We’ve got to find some way of clawing back the hotel bill.

You can read my match by match second round betting preview here


Marco Fu 2-6 Judd Trump


Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ali Carter
Barry Hawkins 7-9 Mark Selby*


Marco Fu v Judd Trump*
Mark King v Ding Junhui

*Denotes Match Conclusion

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Thanks as ever to Monique for the main image, you can view her Facebook album from day seven here.

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