February 18, 2015

Welsh Open Last 32

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:16 am
We're down to 4 tables now.

We’re down to 4 tables now.

It’s Last 32 day over in Cardiff today as we get down to a 4 table set up at the car boot sale. Yesterday was slightly less eventful on the table as the fall out continued from Ronnie’s comments from day one, with some players and predictably the Chairman hitting back and praising the venue.

I also discovered yesterday that Rory McLeod had decided to block me on Twitter, this possibly followed the furore that I admit I created in jest on Monday night, but poor old Rory obviously failed to see the funny side or grasp my rather twisted sense of humour, believing instead presumably that I actually believed that he was sponsored by a load of froth-mouthed, brainwashed, bloodthirsty savages and not by an investment company, who I must say are doing quite well for publicity out of this.

For clarification, Rory is NOT sponsored by a load of fanatics in Syria and any misunderstanding on anyone’s part that he was is more to do with their own stupidity than anything I have done.

Maybe he just blocked me because I’m an atheist and he posts links from a muslim site that attacks the likes of us and in very grown up fashion blots out the faces of famous unbelievers such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, thus encouraging adult and informed debate.

Anyway, back to the snooker and there was still some criticism yesterday, not this time about the venue, more about that old chestnut, the playing conditions, with Rob Milkins claiming they were the worst he’s ever encountered.

This led to a twitter chat again and I was rather surprised when Mark Allen revealed that at one venue, when he complained about the lighting he was told that it was more important that the spectators got to see the action than the players playing in acceptable conditions, this came from a prominent figure in World Snooker. I suppose that’s what happens when you have a regime that values entertainment over sport.

LesTalking of entertainment, the bloke in the studio at BBC Wales is providing us with plenty. It’s becoming something of a surprise when he gets one of the players names right, yesterday he proclaimed that Stephen McManus had just won, which was kind of right as they both had but I’m sure Alan Maguire was left feeling a little aggrieved.

At least he has Dom Dale there to help him along, Dom’s a very demonstrative character and uses his hands a lot when he speaks, I noticed yesterday that he quite liked moving them into a position akin to the cupping of female breasts, in a kind of 1970’s Les Dawson style. I don’t know if this is subconscious but for any deaf viewers watching who can’t lip-read they must wonder what he’s going on about.

On the table, there was another awful performance by Ding Junhui, who is now getting to the point where the whole season is looking like a write-off, credit to local boy Lee Walker for his performance as it’s a long time since he’s been on the big stage but Ding seems to have totally lost his way this season. All very peculiar.

In fact it wasn’t a great day for China at all as it was announced that the Wuxi Classic is to join the World Open on the snooker scrapheap. Is the love affair with snooker in China coming to a messy end? It’s probably too early to say that but word on the street is that pool is quickly overtaking snooker in the hearts of the Chinese people, perhaps the snooker revolution is fizzling out, we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out as Bazza and Jason scour the globe for new markets. I’d try Russia personally.

Bettingwise, we still have 3 of the 4 recommended outrights left in, after the misguided punt on Ding, so hopefully they won’t all be sent packing today.

Here’s the schedule for today.

Matt Selt v Ali Carter
Joe Perry v Gary Wilson

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Matthew Stevens
Mark Allen v Ben Woollaston

NB 2pm
Michael Georgiou v Graeme Dott
Martin Gould v Ricky Walden
Peter Ebdon v Mark Selby
Jamie Cope v Neil Robertson

Alan McManus v Aditya Mehta
Luca Brecel v Oliver Brown
Liang Wenbo v John Higgins
Jamie Jones v Mark Williams

NB 8pm
Stephen Maguire v Sam Baird
Stuart Bingham v Michael White
Ashley Carty v Marco Fu
Michael Wasley v Judd Trump


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