February 17, 2015

Welsh Open Day 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:04 am
Ronnie doesn't like the new venue.

Ronnie doesn’t like the new venue.

It’s Day 2 in Cardiff and as ever it was a certain Mr O’Sullivan who dominated the headlines yesterday, this time more for his off the table comments than on the table genius.

On finishing his first match against Vinnie Calabrese, he charged to the BBC Wales studio to declare the venue ‘substandard’, ‘like a shopping mall’, ‘like playing in a car boot sale’ and ‘like an aircraft hangar’. I think that means he doesn’t like it.

Terry Griffiths, not a man known for outbursts, if you discount that time he called Judd Trump a cunt live on air, sat next to the rather erratic Rocket looking slightly uncomfortable. This after all, is the big event in Wales and snooker’s biggest name was putting the boot in to this choice of new venue. You can watch it here.

This was a particularly different Ronnie than we are used to seeing of late. Short hair which looked a bit like he’d cut it himself when he was bored, cocky body language and smirky grins being a far cry from the Steve Peters model professional he has been for the past three seasons. The chimp was definitely out of its box yesterday and last night he looked bored out of his skull as the hapless Rory McLeod snatched defeat from the gaping jaws of victory to ensure we get to see the errant Rocket again tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but I’ve rather missed barnpot Ronnie and it’s nice to see that he’s still in there somewhere, if only in short bursts.



Rory himself caused quite a stir over on Twitter by virtue of some shit-stirrer (me) tweeting a picture of his sponsors logo, the unfortunately named 1SIS, and being re-tweeted quite a few times. Rory being a devout Muslim and striding out proudly sporting this logo being one of the more unfortunate coincidences in the history of our great sport. But I suppose you don’t bite the hand that feeds and in the spirit of our great chairman, if the bunce is on the table, you shouldn’t go worrying your little head about where it came from. It’s bizznizz after all.

Anyway, back to the set up and format, as all of you know by now I think this tournament is a shadow of what it used to be. This idiotic race to have all the players at the venue is backfiring quicker than Rory’s logo choice and it’s clear that the venue, when it can cope (here), is as unsuitable for top level snooker, as it is when it can’t cope (York).

Also, according to those who were there yesterday, it’s bloody freezing with an arctic wind being blasted at the faithful fans in the stands who sit there shivering in their bobble hats and anoraks, braving this harsh, hostile climate until the last bus home at 10 o’clock. Poor sods.

I don’t disagree with the flat 128 structure and fully support the reward at the end of the season being a Crucible spot for the top 16, but there is nothing wrong with playing 2 rounds of qualifiers elsewhere and taking 32 to the venue. It’s still the same for everyone and would make the early matches a far more appealing TV spectacle than we saw yesterday, that’s of course if any station actually decides to air all the TV table matches, perhaps the crew needed to catch the bus last night too. They could also make the matches a bit longer then too.

Here is the order of play today. Rant over, for now.

Ryan Day v Noppon Saengkham
Stephen Maguire v Duane Jones
John Higgins v Michael Leslie
Graeme Dott v Zak Surety
Andrew Higginson v Chris Wakelin
Liang Wenbo v Cao Xin Long
Gerard Greene v Daniel Wells
Jamie Burnett v Alex Borg
Kurt Maflin v Liam Highfield
Robbie Williams v Dave Harold
Fergal O’Brien v Sam Baird

NB 12pm
Mark Selby v Alex Davies
Michael White v Ross Muir
Stuart Bingham v Chuan Leong Thor
Robert Milkins v Luca Brecel
Peter Lines v Michael Georgiou
Alan McManus v Jamie Clarke
Anthony Hamilton v Ahmed Saif
Aditya Mehta v Sydney Wilson
Kyren Wilson v Robin Hull
Nigel Bond v Chris Melling
Marcus Campbell v Stuart Carrington

NB 2.30pm
Ding Junhui v Lee Walker
Barry Hawkins v Scott Donaldson
Ricky Walden v Lu Ning
Peter Ebdon v Tony Drago
Martin Gould v Jak Jones
Rod Lawler v Hammad Miah
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Mitchell Mann
Mike Dunn v Oliver Brown
Jimmy Robertson v Igor Figueiredo
Tom Ford v Tian Pengfei

Marcus Campbell/Stuart Carrington v Mark Selby/Alex Davies
Andrew Higginson/Chris Wakelin v Graeme Dott/Zak Surety
Liang Wenbo/Cao Xin Long v Gerard Greene/Daniel Wells
Jamie Burnett/Alex Borg v John Higgins/Michael Leslie
Stephen Maguire/Duane Jones v Kurt Maflin/Liam Highfield
Robbie Williams/Dave Harold v Fergal O’Brien/Sam Baird
Alan McManus/Jamie Rhys Clarke v Anthony Hamilton/Ahmed Saif
Stuart Bingham/Chuan Leong Thor v Kyren Wilson/Robin Hull

NB 8pm
Ding Junhui/Lee Walker v Peter Lines/Michael Georgiou
Aditya Mehta/Sydney Wilson v Barry Hawkins/Scott Donaldson
Nigel Bond/Chris Melling v Michael White/Ross Muir
Martin Gould/Jak Jones v Rod Lawler/Hammad Miah
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh/Mitchell Mann v Ricky Walden/Lu Ning
Robert Milkins/Luca Brecel v Tom Ford/Tian Pengfei
Mike Dunn/Oliver Brown v Ryan Day/Noppon Saengkham
Peter Ebdon/Tony Drago v Jimmy Robertson/Igor Figueiredo

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