Day 5 sees the final remaining Round 1 matches underway and the conclusions to three further first round matches before Thursday sees the beginning of the second round.
Yesterday was very much about China and both Ding and Liang came through to set up their second round clash.
However, the unlikely story of the day for the snooker statisticians came in the form of Grimsby’s Stuart Carrington who became the exclusive member of a club consisting of only John Higgins, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson as the only players in Crucible history to hit 3 successive centuries. This assures him of forever being in the jackpot round that nobody ever wins at the local pub quiz for many years to come.
As well as this, John Higgins came through against Martin Gould to set up a second round tie with Mark Allen and two further round one matches got underway. Tournament joint-favourite Judd Trump looked to be on his way to a comfortable session cushion when taking a 4-0 lead on Rory McLeod only for Rory to somehow take the remaining five frames of the session to start this morning’s concluding session in front.
Rory definitely sped up and almost transformed before our very eyes from the one dimensional, negative plodder to a flowing, attacking predator. I think Judd will have to start treating Rory with a little more respect this morning or there is only one way he is heading come around 1pm and it ain’t into the second round.
Last night Ali Carter started out against Crucible specialist and former champion Graeme Dott. Dotty was at his typical terrier like self for much of the session though Ali did almost salvage 5-4 from being 4-0 down and struggling. At 6-3 to Dott you’d say he was now favourite, but having watched Ali at this place down the years I still have a feeling that one has some life left in it personally.
Today sees Ryan Day and Xiao Guodong play both their sessions and start outs for seeds Robbo and The Hawk against their respective opponents. They conclude tomorrow when the second round gets under way with amongst the starting ties the first session of Ronnie against Shaun Murphy. Remember there is no snooker tomorrow morning so you can safely leave the house/TV room/sofa/arsedent for the first time for an hour or so if you wish. You might even want to perhaps have a wash, after all, nature does tend to take its course even if you don’t particularly notice or care that you now live alone (if you don’t count the accumulating flies).
As for Ronnie, obviously fearing that it was at least 15 minutes since he’d last been talked about, he decided to release a statement last night to coincide as chance would have it with the start of transmission on BBC and Eurosport. The statement didn’t really say anything so I won’t bother repeating it on here. I’m sure you will find it if you are interested.
The start of the second round preview will be available later today. The big R1 acca is now in the balance after Judd’s meltdown yesterday. Only a win of 6-1 or better this morning for him will salvage it after it was looking in the bag.