Good news folks - the best of 17 UK Championship starts here!

And what a great first semi-final, pitting Neil Robertson against Judd Trump, a battle of the left-handers.

They met of course on the first day of last season's World Championship but that was an entirely different scenario. Robertson was under massive pressure as a first time defending champion and Trump was full of confidence after winning the China Open.

Trump should still be full of confidence after his three centuries yesterday against Stephen Maguire. This was his brand of 'naughty snooker' which I suppose is a bit like sexy football in that you know it when you see it.

Robertson looked very relaxed against Ding Junhui and is having a good, solid season of it so far.

He has the long potting prowess of Trump but is generally more measured. It may all come down to the extent to which young Trump pushes the boat out and how successful he is at this strategy.

He will surely be right to play his natural game and to his own strengths.

Robertson is a big occasion player. He has never lost a TV final from the eight played and this will feel like one: 17 frames in a one table setting against an exciting talent such as Trump.

The stage is set for a potential classic, and the good news is that we get two sessions of it.

Ricky Walden's great run continues and if he wins the title he is in line for a Masters wildcard, as it was stipulated a qualifier would get an invite to the game's leading invitation event if they landed the UK crown.

Mark Allen produced a brilliant finish in a tense and absorbing contest against Marco Fu to reach the sixth ranking event semi-final of his career.

He plays Walden on Saturday in what represents a big chance for a player with a lower profile than many in the game to earn a place in one of snooker's showpiece occasions.


Anonymous said...

would love to see a trump allen final

happy if trump won it

and happy if allen won it for standing up to bully boy

Colin M said...

The Allen vs Fu match was awesome last night - a real thriller. Fu had a shocker of a start but then really got going. He's a class act. I agreed with Dennis' final remark that he lacked a tiny bit of killer instinct at the end. This match proved that there is a very fine line between winning and losing.

I am looking forward to the rest of the tournament.

Anonymous said...

A Mark Allen v Judd Trump final would be great for the sport. Both young exciting players. Is Barry in York on Sunday? ;)

The Blog said...

I think Judd Trump is the best player since Higgins and O'Sullivan appeared back in the 1990s but he can be a tad reckless and his positional play can let him down a wee bit but when he's on form he's sensational. What a talent! If he can pull a few frames away from Robertson I think he has a very good chance of winning.

Trump is the most exciting player I've seen since O'Sullivan. Hearn should thank the Snooker Gods (lol) Judd Trump managed to elevate his game and show his true potential because this player has given Snooker, in general, a new lease of life. Prior to the World Championships, Judd had failed to live up to his promise. But what a difference a few months make. Astonishing transformation. Similar to how Mark Selby changed his cue action, won more matches, and then become an amazing player. A few players have that magic gift of elevating their form and achieving greatness. Judd is one such player. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, Judd is such a player.

However, Mark Selby is not. Yes he became an amazing player for a while, but then went on to becoming a very negative-style player who should and could have won more if he went for hist chances!

Betty Logan said...

The outcome of this match doesn't matter that much, because Neil pulls off pots just as amazing as Trump. In fact, Judd is the player Neil was 3/4 years ago. The way Neil is playing I'd expect his superior tactical game to tell the story at the end of this match but I reckon there will be no more than a couple of frames in it and I'd be happy for either player to go through.

The outcome of the other match will have a bigger effect on the tournament. Walden isn't the fastest of players, or the most exciting, and the final would be an anticlimax if he came through; Allen against Robertson or Trmup would be a fitting climax.

Allen does realise that with each win his fine is going up, doesn't he?

Anonymous said...

i fancy watching a tag team wrestling match between mark allen / mike dunn V barry hearn and stu bingham....

Betty Logan said...

Wow, Robertson was a bit of a nob there wasn't he?

The Blog said...

Mr Trump won 9:7 over Mr Robertson. Not even Roberton's impromptu wee-wee break could stop the Juddinator from terminating the opposition.

They did miss a lot of balls and the positional play wasn't that great. Both players were playing their B game (and a few times it felt like their C game :P).

Steve Davis said earlier today that modern players are better than older ones and he was sitting next to Stephen 'most wins ever' Hendry at the time. Not sure Steve is right when he says modern players are better than the likes of Hendry in his prime although the standard is high in most modern matches. Oh well, it's all subjective.

Betty Logan said...

I am now on Twitter if if you want to give me a follow.


jamie brannon said...

It was a bit bogged down last night, but the immediacy of what was on offer still made for some pretty compelling viewing.

A lot of the close frames were hugely exciting, the only time it got a little turgid was the middle of the evening session where for about 20 minutes we saw no telling safety or pots.

Betty Logan said...

Very funny fake Betty. I won't be giving out my real Twitter because I don't want stalkers!

Anyway, the standard in the afternoon was good, in the evening it was all a bit dire Maguire. Lots of easy balls missed, very poor positional play and the safety was only second rate too. Neither of them deserved to win in the end.

Steve Davis was talking bollocks too. We all know that the highest standard the game ever saw was 1998–2004, when it was dominated by the big 4, and Stephen Hendry was a member of that group. He reached two world finals during that time, won one and really should have won the other. I don't believe the Hendry of the mid 90s would have dominated like he did during the 98-04 period, but the idea that he wouldn't live with today's players is an absolute joke. We all know he would have served Trump and Robertson up for breakfast last night. I can't believe he just sits there and takes it from him. I think Davis does himself an injustice too, because while I believe that he would have to take more chances than he did while playing in the 80s, his 80s style of play was only a notch below Hendry's 90s play. It wasn't so long ago he was still a top 16 player, and the standard has hardly zoomed up since then. So playing exactly as they did at their peaks (without even allowing for the integration of modern tactics into their play), Hendry would still be top 4 and Davis would easily be top 8 in my view, and if Davis was willing to adopt the more aggressive style of modern play then he'd probably be top 4 too!

kildare cueman said...

Have to agree with Betty. I see Davis more of an eccentric these days than a source of wisdom.

Thought Robbo adopted a few of Ebdons tactics last night with the slow play. Fortunately it didnt work.