Time was when Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jimmy White would set the pulses racing.

It still appeals but on current form is a mismatch, even over the best of five frames.

White has only beaten O'Sullivan once in a ranking event and not at all for five years.

He was edgy against Paul Davison whereas O'Sullivan produced the good, the bad and the ugly during his 3-0 dismissal of Mark King.

Ronnie greatly respects Jimmy. For this reason I expect he will treat him and the match will all due reverence and come through the winner.

They are two great crowd favourites but will they draw a crowd? If they can't nobody can.

Marco Fu and Andrew Higginson have had the longest wait of all, making their bows on day six of nine.

Higginson has two wins over Fu under his belt, both at Newport. Fu won the 2007 Grand Prix when it was played under the short form round robin format and was also winner of last season's Championship League, which was best of fives. Perhaps this is an omen.

The last 16 starts with Ding Junhui against Marcus Campbell, a great fighter but a player who rarely produces his best on television.

Tonight, Peter Ebdon will look to bring his vast experience to the fore against Liu Song, who is only in the tournament because of John Higgins's suspension.

Yesterday I heard some BBC commentary by Stephen Hendry. Not all great sportsmen make great analysts but I thought Hendry was excellent: clear, direct and only speaking when he had something to add.

His willingness to tell it how it is was refreshing and although he would like to remain a top player a little while longer, he will be a much valued member of the TV team for years to come if he wants to follow a career in the media.

After all, who is going to argue with what he says?


John H said...

Hendry was refreshing to listen to. It would be great to hear him alongside Clive Everton as I think their styles would world exceptionally well together

Anonymous said...

wheres the thursday quiz?

Dave H said...

The Thursday quiz will return next, er, Thursday

I definitely hadn't forgotten

shaun said...

defo agree about hendry and jimmy got be worth a tenner at odds of 7 to 2 in a 2 horse race.also fancy williams for the tournement but can u tell me dave if its best of 5 all way through tournement

Anonymous said...

Willie Thorne last night: 'Maguire has beaten the teenage sensation'

Trump is 21. get rid of these old folk, they belong on last of the summer wine.

Dave H said...

It's best of five until the semis. The final is best of nine.

Anonymous said...

id rather not hear any comments at all than if stephen had to be paired with crap-at-commentary clive.

stephen was excellent yesterday, but its not the first time hes done commentary

it wont be the last either ;)

Dan Smith said...

Why is O'Sullivan v White being played at 12:30pm on a Thursday? Surely an evening start would be better for tv and better for selling tickets at the venue?

Anonymous said...

I thought Hendry displayed a dry sense of humour, combined with thoughtful comments. Really enjoyed listening to him. Current professionals have a better grasp of a game that has changed a great deal since the Taylor/Virgo/Thorne era, though I understand why they have their appeal to many.

Executor said...

Totally off-topic, but:

The details of the Q School have been announced yeasterday on worldsnooker.com.

Dave I would really like to read your opinion or some sort of analysis about this, not only as a matter of reply in this comment section but as a full post on your blog. (And I guess I am not the only one.)

Seems like quite a controversional concept to me but in the end who knows?

Keith said...

With two commentators, what happened to the idea of having a 'front man' with an expert alongside him? Steve Davis is very good in the expert role, particularly in tactical frames, but he's very under-used.

kildare cueman said...

Im sick of the rubbish commentary thats out there now. Very ordinary ex players criticizing the shot selections of great players and moaning joyously when the shot goes wrong.

Hallett, Virgo, Johnson and Taylor namely.

Is there no process for observing commentary standards? Obviously the guys that pick the commentators have no clue, as they're tv people and not snooker people.

Wouldn't it be a perfect job for Clive to vet the quality and standards deemed necessary to do the job? A sort of commentary guru, a bit like Griffiths is to coaching.

Someone could also have a chat with directors and let them know that we'd rather see the path the cueball is taking rather than a close up of the player.

Dave H said...

I'll discuss the Q School next week

Anonymous said...

Having two players doesn't really work because they're doing the same thing. You need a good broadcaster/journalist and a player.

Clive and Stephen Hendry would be perfect.

Anonymous said...

Clive is a former player albeit mainly at billiards and never reached any great professional standard at snooker- but he a former professional snooker player.

Anonymous said...

I was pleasantly surprised by Hendry's commentary in the Maguire/Trump match, I thought he was gonna join Thorne in bitching and moaning about every missed shot (and the good old days of the 80s) but on the evidence of last night I'd love to hear him in the commentary box again, preferably alongside anyone apart from Thorne or Taylor.
Correct me if i'm wrong but didn't Mike Smith once say he used to play billiards?


Anonymous said...

Doesn't commentate like one though and doesn't ramble on about how he fared at golf that morning

Anonymous said...

Can't shut Ronnie up in this interview.

Betty Logan said...

No Neal Foulds this year? That's a shame.

Anonymous said...

10.52, - Mr Everton to you.

jamie brannon said...

I liked Hendry's style, and definitely think their is a future for him in the media, although he was still guilty of over-using the word great, do commentators not know any other superlatives!

I fancy Williams to win this title, I think he is playing as well as 2003.

John McBride said...

I'd listen to Stephen Hendry talk about Snooker all day long.

I Love listening to Clive Everton too. You only have to listen to Clive on any of the 'old' recordings to hear how much sense the man talks about the game.

I'm pleased Jimmy showed some of his form, the man was struggling to find any rhythm early on. Shame he finished straight on the black on his 88 break & the yellow was on the cushion. I would have loved to see him knock another century in.

Ronnie O'Sullivan's interview afterwards was class. Nice to see some of his true personality coming across.

When Alex Higgins was in his prime, even tho he burnt the 'cross' a few times, I still always, somehow, found it in me to admire him. Now he's gone, I'm glad I did.

I remember them thoughts that I had about Alex when I watch & listen to Ronnie O'Sullivan. The guy is a wonder on the table, a beautiful effortless player that brings us so much enjoyment. Sheer class. Listening to him today I kinda' felt relieved that he showed some of that class off the table.

As they say, he's not a bad lad.

Anonymous said...

Right now thats out of the way it's time for the latest renewal of one of the great sporting rivarlys of our time. Ah the memories........

kildare cueman said...

Don't think I've ever seen as many match balls missed as I have this week.

The tension is palpable, unsurprisingly I suppose, considering that players are probably thinking, if they can win the match in hand, they've every chance of winning the next match as well, with it being best of 5.

A major factor contributing to the tension, is the ranking cut off point, which looms around the corner. Seven players were involved in the tussle for the bottom four spots in the top 16, a spot, which at this juncture, would win a place in the masters, and with it, a minimum bonus of £10,000.

There were also issues at the 32 stage, with a couple of players nipping at Mike Dunns position.

Some of these battles will continue at the EPTC next week, although Ebdon, King and Cope are safe.

Stevens could replace Fu in the event of him winnning the tournament assuming Fu loses his first match.

But with the spots that matter, more or less decided, one could the standard to be high from here on in.


Hi David. This match was a match of great entertainment value, in my view.