Be honest, it's good to have ranking event snooker back, isn't it?

That's not to disparage either the Wuxi Classic or the World Cup but the first day of the Australian Goldfields Open was a return to what snooker does best.

Like a US TV drama, everywhere you looked there were subplots and intrigue, even before a ball was struck: how would Judd Trump fare on his first TV appearance since the Crucible? Would Stephen Hendry find any form? Would anyone turn up to watch?

Trump lost 5-3 to Mark Davis. If you've been following his tweets during the summer you'll know he's been enjoying himself since the end of last season.

Good for him. Otherwise, what's the point of all that effort?

But it's now back to school time and, for Trump, back to reality. The game is as hard as it ever was and Mark Davis started brilliantly, with three sizeable breaks to lead 3-0.

Davis, with all his experience, wasn't going to let the Juddernaut's reputation get to him and went on to complete the win.

It's a long season and Trump will have many titles to contest, but not in Bendigo this week.

Hendry always seems to start well, even after floating the idea of retirement at the World Championship.

From watching his match against Martin Gould yesterday it's clear that his game hasn't gone but it does go walkabout.

He lost the sixth frame on the black, which made it 3-3 rather than 4-2 in his favour, but instead of capitulating found his best form of the match, knocking in a brilliant 120 break and then clearing stylishly for his 5-3 win. There's life in this old snooker dog yet.

The crowds were encouraging for this brand new tournament and they will surely be out in force later today for the local hero, Neil Robertson.


kildare cueman said...

Trump would want to start putting in the hours now and putting the partying on hold for a while.

The run he had at the end of the season has him nicely poised to further climb the rankings, giving him favourable draws and easier runs to the semis and finals.

He also has the chance now to get the fear factor, where players will get edgy against him. It only takes 3 or 4 early defeats to have players wanting to draw him.

Its not a huge surprise for Davis to beat him. Hes a tough opponent in the early rounds, dogged and consistent, a bit like Joe Perry.

It is nice, as you say, to have a ranker back on, but if this was the third ranker in July we would be yearning for something different. I think the early season mix is about right.

While Im not a huge fan of the methodical Robinson, I hope he's still around at the weekend. It would be fantastic for him, The Aussies and the game as a whole if he had a good run in his home event.

This will really test his nerve though. Non UK players can find themselves under a lot of pressure in their home events (Ken and Ding for example), while to everyone else its just another day in the office. Robbo is pretty tough though, and as long as he doesn't bog himself down through too much thinking and grinding, he should be ok.

stuartfanning said...

Pity That Eurosport isn't giving us more comprehensive coverage. Eurosport 2 has just joined the Higgins match with the final frame in progress. The whole match has been available live online.

jamie brannon said...

Is that not going to be a reflective piece on the World Cup and whether it was a success? Didn't get the opportunity to watch it so just curious about how it went down.

Urindragon said...

Dave you are a genius for suggesting the rolling 147 prize, at last WS have introduces one.

Sonny said...

Jesus will people stop moaning about Eurosport!

Anonymous said...

Sonny said...
Jesus will people stop moaning about Eurosport!


will they? no?

is it justified? yes in some cases they shot themselves in the foot.

i am sure those posting having a go at es appreciate the channel and the effort they put in, but like everyone they are entitled to applaud as well as castigate where they see fit to.

Claus said...

Delightful to have Hendry go through to the next round. Possible title contener anyone?

And to Kildare Cueman: nice post, especially your take on Judd. The buzz from his China Open and WC efforts could vanish.

I'm not on twitter so I don't know what he's been doing since the WC but I hope he realizes that it's back to business.

tatannes XI said...

good win for Hendo.
Gould was a difficult draw.

Stephen scored many points and Martin needed to be 100% in order to capitalize on his opponent's mistakes.
He wasn't & Hendry deserved to win.

Next opponent : Matt Selt.

Anonymous said...

look I just think Eurosport sing of their own hym sheet but I will say the eurosport player is excellent for any snooker fan but they dont seem to be showing the two tables this week..there isnt commentry but after a while you dont even notice and you get all the matches on demand..

Concerning Australia its great and i was impressed with hendry i thought gould would beat him,,in john higgins defence he did look really tired so did robertson..I think Ding is the man to beat this week he looked solid at the world cup..I would loe to see Hendry lift the title though even though I hated him in the 90s for beating the whirlwind in 5 world finals..

Anonymous said...

ok im just after reading matthew selts interview at world snooker in which he said "John Higgins is the greatest player of all time and Stephen Hendry is the greatest winner of all time"..

now i know davis said similar during the world championships but I disagree..Davis or hendry are the greatest of all time..Alex higgins and ronnie and jimmy are prob the greatest natural talents..this is just my opinion and dont get me wrong john higgins is up there but to be calling him the greatest player of all time is just a bit to soon to make such statments..what do people think..??personally its either Davis or hendry for me..Hendry has been in 8 world finals AND WON SIX OF THEM and lost 18-17 to peter ebdon in 2002..A final i dont hear many talk about but it was a classic

Dave H said...

Regarding Eurosport, today the snooker overran its slot and thus delayed the next programme. I don't know what that was but you can guarantee someone will be on a forum somewhere deriding Eurosport for staying with the snooker.

It's a sports channel and when there's live sport has to take decisions that will not please everyone, particularly when there is more live sport than available channels.

tatannes XI said...

We hear about GOATs in every sport by now.
is there a need to say we, readers, are lucky to witness the greatest time with the greatest sportsmen ?

first, perhaps those writers think we are really dumb and need this extravaganza to be interested in their paper.

second, those writers might be not good enough to talk about the sport itself.

Anonymous said...

if Hendry had won less than Higgins he would still be the greatest player of all time.

its not what you win or how much you win that defies how great a player you are but the way you achieved it.

Stephen Hendry was different class in the way he went about winning tournaments.

he just happens to be the best winner as well.

Claus said...

If this has morphed into a 'greatest player ever' discussion there is no discussion to be had.

It is Stephen Hendry.

Thank you. Back to business.

Anonymous said...

Higgins has a right to be considered the greatest, look what he was up against. Hendry only really had a Jimmy (a great talent but a lesser player in every way) whereas Higgins has had to face down equals in Ronnie and Williams this decade. If those two hadn't been born he would definitely have won in 2000, and probably 2001 too, so he would have been on six titles now. It's not how you do it, it's who you do it to.

tatannes XI said...

this GOAT thing is useless like in tennis, football or any sport.

more over, snooker is very dynamic nowadays and there are lots of things to say about it.

Anonymous said...


Higgins did not have a in form Hendry to try and do it to During the last 5 years so that means he won 3 titles how lucky is that.


Hi David. I very much agree with you. It is great to have ranking event snooker back.

Hendry Looked great in spells against Gould. I was particularly immpressed with the manner in which he compiled a century break in the match. This one being the 758th in his Professional tournament playing career. A good win for him.

Judd Trump did appear below parr in his 5-3 defat, in my view, at the hands of Mark Davis.

Anonymous said...

Snooker The © Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
ISBN 0 9517089 0 2
Hi Dave
How are you! Thanks for the post lad it’s nice to talk snooker sometime as opposed to idle chatter on how competitions should or should not be run.
About young Judd Trump! The lad is a nice wee player and the possibility of him reaching another final has the same odds as every player in the top ten.

There’s this rubbish talk about the lad having to settle down to some hard work! Mr Trump like all nearly men that get there turn of luck (when in form) will have to wait for another lucky spell when in form. ( Form by the way Dave is the product and result of blind practice)

Form is what the game is all about Dave as there is not one player that plays on the knowledge of what they are doing and is merely acquiring snooker habits good and bad.
Players should never practice break building; long potting, short potting etc. Practice should be confined to practicing the “Technique” that creates the skill factor.

This opinion Dave will be branded as rubbish but maybe one or two youngsters will listen and learn something.
The Technique to practice “Long Potting” or any other branch of technique is to understand the words of a ten or twelve word sentence before you approach the table. Mr Hey You

Anonymous said...

an unwelcome return by the fine fart man.

now every good blog post will be blighted by garbage about the fine art crap.

Anonymous said...

Snooker The Fine Art Method
Hello Mary
How are you love. I see you have changed your disguise again.
There are no hard feelings lassy we all have limitations.

I wish you would tell me why you dont love me any more. Mr Hey you or Daniel Marner@Mrheyyou in twitter.

Anonymous said...

ive never liked you fart.

the reason being you talk rubbish and mention the fine fart method in every blog, without reason.