What a day for Mark Joyce, who after slogging through four qualifying rounds and winning two matches in Telford will be appearing in the quarter-finals of the 12bet.com UK Championship against Mark Williams.

Joyce has enjoyed the best week of his career, proof again that many of the so-called ‘journeymen’ are capable of producing the goods.

Ali Carter did not play well against him but Joyce was strong in dispatching Judd Trump and is now guaranteed £16,450 – by far his biggest ever single cheque. Not bad for someone who earned around £21,000 during the whole of last season.

Part of Joyce’s success comes from his ability to think clearly. He has been consulting a sports psychologist to talk through some of the feelings and anxieties he has while playing.

Snooker is a game played over long periods and while it’s relatively easy to go into a match feeling positive, things can very quickly go wrong and players often beat themselves when dejection sets in.

Joyce always was a clever chap. He went to a grammar school in his native Walsall. I attended a comprehensive just down the road from it, which is probably why I’m writing a snooker blog at 8.30 in the morning.

We used to hate their school but I wish Mark all the best today. I hope he enjoys the experience and, if Williams plays anything like he did against Stephen Hendry, he has every chance of progressing even further.

The other quarter-final has the potential to be a great match, pitting as it does world champion Neil Robertson against Shaun Murphy, the 2008 UK champion.

Murphy came through 9-8 on the pink against Ryan Day after a typically poised clearance in the deciding frame.

Robertson has played superbly so far but hasn’t been pushed yet. That should change today.


Matt said...

Well done Joyce, hope he gives Williams a good run for his money. Hope Allen beats Higgins in the semis. Robertson and Murphy will be a good match,

Anonymous said...

BBC commentators competition. Who can say "hes missed a trick there", the most times.

Anonymous said...

101, its better than mike my apologies hallet

Anonymous said...

most boring tournament ever. multi session matches have to be done away with.

jamie brannon said...

What amazes me was when I said Hendry should retire and not sully his legacy with the poor stuff he has been serving up for three to four years now, I was met with derision.

I find it said to see any great champion struggling, there is a media career awaiting, he should take it, can't see the point in him playing on.

Steve Davis carries on as he re-evaluated what success is in his twilight years, this is something that Stephen Hendry wouldn't be able to square with his conscience, he still needs to be in the winners enclosure, as this won't happen in a major tournament again then why put himself through the misery of playing nowhere near his peak, when he could have almost anyone for his breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Dave, your mentioning of the sports psychologist couldn't be more relevant. Being 4-0 down against Mark Williams should break the spirits of any qualifier but he just earned even more respect than he has already gotten.

Well done Mark Joyce! Good luck tonight.

Leon MonĨiunskas said...

Very clever headline that I understand!! Good work to the bloging person Dave Hindon.

Poor crowd again today. Many more would show up in Lithuania.

Betty Logan said...

Hmmm, anyone who can make a living out of watching and writing about snooker hasn't done too badly out of their bog standard comprehensive education...

RichP said...

Yes agree with Betty, to be able to write and broadcast about your favourite sport when there are so many others wishing to do the same isn't such a bad achievement, beats stacking shelves.

On the subject of Joyce, I don't think he's your average 'journeyman' snooker player. He's actually got a very good cue action which basically suggests his lack of success until now probably is probably mind related. It's going to be very interesting, now he's gained some confidence from this event, how the rest of his season pans out. He could potentially be a draw nobody wants in the qualifiers...we shall see.

Dave H said...

Note to self: don't use humour in the future

RichP said...

Hadn't noticed you had Dave!