November 30, 2018

The UK Championship – The BBC comes to town

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:31 am


It’s that time of year again when Joe Public in the UK thinks the snooker season starts. Yes, the first BBC coverage of the six month old season gets underway tomorrow in York with the last 64 of the UK Championship.

I’ve had a lovely time this week, we’ve just rescued another hound so I’ve decided to stay at home for the duration of this event, apart from a couple of days next week when I’m heading there, and I’ve been watching the excellent live streaming on Eurosport Player.

The reason it’s been so enjoyable is because firstly, there is no commentary, just the relaxing clicking of the balls and polite audience applause and secondly, they leave the cameras rolling all day so you really get a sense of what it’s like to be there.

If I could wish one thing it would be that they did this for all events; that we at least had the option of watching and listening and just interpreting the action on our own instead of being subjected at times to inane babbling and daft catchphrases and jokes as old as Anthony Hamilton’s trousers. That’s what I want for Christmas.

But for all that, I do still look forward to the BBC coming back, granted my sense of heightened anticipation is more or less done the minute Dennis opens his mouth but there’s still something nostalgic about it all, like slipping on a comfy old pair of fluffy slippers and having a mug of tea while listening to Val Doonican’s greatest hits, we all love a bit of nostalgia don’t we? No? Just me then? Oh well.

The first round has thrown up two big shocks, firstly Mark Selby continuing his ongoing York-based nightmare and getting pumped by James Cahill and secondly, the woefully out of form Shaun Murphy falling to the Chinese player Chen Feilong. Both big surprises and even more so when you see that Murphy was seemingly coasting at 3-1 up then managed to lose five on the bounce.

This prompted one particular poster on Twitter to suggest that Shaun pursue a different career, which I’d suggest is a little harsh given he’s made quite a bit of bunce out of knocking balls around with a stick, he’s even got one of those mowers that you sit down on, that’s how you know life is going well. Anyway, I’m sure Shaun won’t follow this well-meaning chap’s advice, instead he’ll probably double his effort in an attempt to silence the critics. Failing that he can always wave to them from his sit-down mower. 

All the other big names are through though Anthony McGill counted himself out of the race to The Masters with a defeat, with Jack Lisowski still in the driving seat for the 16th spot as things stand and the likes of Ali Carter, Marco Fu, Joe Perry and Dave Gilbert in hot pursuit and Maguire, Brecel and Day (also out) still not certain of their starting place at Ally Pally.

I’ll be posting match bets on Twitter and anyone who has been following will know that it’s been a pretty good week on the punting front, particularly yesterday, we were also just one frame shy of landing a whopper from the main preview, I’ll be having stern words with Eden Sharav next time I see him. The main acca only missed out because Ken Doherty rolled back the years and he now meets Ronnie on Sunday afternoon, I wonder if he can raise his game again?

Here is also a look at the latest standings in the Tipster Contest, the exit of Selby hitting a lot of those involved with a hammer blow.

The match schedule can be found here. Over to you Hazel….


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