It was another day of terrific entertainment at the Barbican in York as the williamhill.com UK Championship once again provided value for money.

Mark Selby did for Ryan Day in no time at all, winning an edgy first frame and then motoring as Day struggled.

Ronnie O’Sullivan played some sublime stuff in dispatching legend Steve Davis 6-1, potting a yellow in one frame with the cue ball in the jaws of a baulk corner pocket which had to be seen to be believed.

The first, and so far only, top 16 casualty was Stuart Bingham, beaten 6-4 by Marco Fu. The key frame here was the sixth in which Fu was called for a foul when leading by 61 with 59 on, meaning Bingham could win.

The Aussie Open champ set about clearing up but lost prime position from green to brown, missed the brown and a grateful Fu made it 3-3.

Buoyed by confidence, he went for his shots and his eventual victory was not a huge upset given his record.

Ali Carter v Robert Milkins wasn’t great fare but victory clearly meant a lot to Carter. At night, Martin Gould came through against Peter Lines and Shaun Murphy survived a bit of a mid match scare against an obviously promising Li Yan.

The first round concludes today. Centre stage in the afternoon session are Judd Trump and Dominic Dale, who will be hoping to continue the recent form he showed in reaching the final of PTC10.

Mark Allen would be expected to come through against Adrian Gunnell, as would Mark Williams against Joe Jogia.

However, Stephen Lee’s match with Ricky Walden could well be much closer. Walden looks to have come back into form and, like Fu beating Bingham, it would not be a big shock if he triumphed.

Crowd support has been terrific, although some people have commented on the Barbican’s squeaky stairs.

Off table noise is always a bone of contention in snooker because it is quiet most of the time.

There was once a match at the Crucible where an elderly couple were sat in the front row, the wife eating a bag of sweets.

It led the late, great referee, John Street, to turn to the husband and remark: ‘Sir, could you please keep that bag quiet.’

Thankfully no offence was taken.


Witz78 said...

A great tournament so far and the arena looks good. The lack of a curtain is a big positive too IMO. Infact my only gripe is prob over the ridiculous amount of flukes thus far. Ive never seen so many in 2 days play before. From Ding and Higgins x2 decisive flukes in deciding frames, theres been a constant stream since, Maguire, Ronnie, Davis, Murphy, Yan all instantly spring to mind. Almost one a frame it seems actually.

Anonymous said...

regarding the removal of the partition.

i am thinking that a partition of about 1.4 metres (or slightly less) would be high enough so that if a player is down on a shot he wouldnt see a 1.65m high man on the other table walking around (unless that player was walking right alongside the partition), due to the angle.

if this was the case, then perhaps viewers of the other table, sitting in the seats 10 rows from the front would be able to see over it.

depends on the size of the venue, but at the barbican id say that was possible.


Anonymous said...

What a shame the format has been shortened. The better players would have gone through if it was best of 17.

Anonymous said...

I was at the barbican for the first staging and the only main grumble from the spectators then was the squeaky stairs-it was embarrassing going in and out as you knew you were making noise that could distract players on the other table (in those days behind a partition!)- we suggested then a bit of carpet down them as it was the stairs themselves and not the support that was making the noise.!

Keith said...

Great tournament with only positive changes in my opinion. Only the BBC2 schedule to complain about as usual. We've even lost the 7pm slot for the first part of the week. More cooking?

Betty Logan said...

I love the BBC headline on their site "Allen refreshed after depression"—they make it sound like a holiday on the Costa Del Sol.

Anonymous said...

ronnie sublime?

playing davis for him is like a penalty kick.

no wonder he played well

Anonymous said...

Witz78 you are constantly insulting Dave Hendon and this blog on that silly snooker island forum and yet you just can't stay away and spare us from your typical Ronnie Fanboy comments.

Sparky said...

With last 16 and last 8 played with only 2 sessions a day, they could have made these rounds best-of-13, whole match played in 1 session.

That way, the BBC and the audience would get a "result in every session", but it would still feel much different from an ordinary ranker. The stamina of the players would be certainly be tested over a session of 13 frames, with a mid-session interval after 6 frames (or 2 intervals after frame 4 and 8).

And there is plenty of time in the day to play, with only 2 sessions.

The five rounds would then be played over 11-13-13-17-19 frames, which would give it a feel of "half a world championship".

Anonymous said...

At the Barbican yesterday and totally agree about the stair noise, it was very distracting. Otherwise I enjoyed the day being able to see both tables easily from around the arena so your interest
was always held and to get a result in one session was good if you can only get to one session.

NewsBrain said...

im watching mainly on the web but sad to hear about scheduling times as this does not help promote the game. Thanks BBC!

kimball said...

Mr. Murphy "the analyser" quipped
that " Li Yan certainly is the most
natural talent in China".
Forgot abou Ding, or the pshykemacine

Witz78 said...

Ronnie Fanboy what a loada tosh Anon 3.04pm

i even cited Ronnie as one of the beneficaries of the flukes.

Nothing can be done re: flukes but it cant have escaped anyone half observant that theres been more than a fair share of flukes this year so far and some at critical points which is a bit of a pity.

As for the Silly Snooker Island, if its that silly, what are you doing on it in the first place.

Yes ill admit ive disagreed with a lot of Daves opinions in the past and also regrettably publicly voicing my displeasure. I blame the influence of Wild rubbing off on me, but in future you wont hear a bad word about Good Ole Dave from me.