The Judd Trump-Ronnie O'Sullivan match lived up to its billing with a wonderful afternoon's entertainment.

It seems whenever these two meet there simply aren't enough frames to savour the majestic potting, break-building and drama they serve up between them.

O'Sullivan was unlucky to suffer that kick in the deciding frame because it looked like we were heading for a re-spot finish.

Afterwards there was another retirement threat from O'Sullivan, who first said he would quit the game after losing to Ken Doherty in the 1994 UK Championship quarter-finals at the age of 18.

I've heard it many times since but one thing I would say is that whenever Ronnie has said it, I think he has believed it.

He may well want to walk away but perhaps the fear is this: if he does quit and still doesn't find what he's looking for without snooker, what then?

He talked about the lonely life on the snooker circuit, which it certainly can be. After the best part of 20 years slogging around I can well understand why Ronnie isn't looking forward to more of the same.

Something tells me he won't be short of offers as he searches for a partner, though.

Trump has ridden his luck this week - as often happens to players who end up winning the title.

The same could be said for Ding Junhui, who survived a second successive deciding frame finish to see off Matthew Stevens, who was nicely in during the last but missed a black off its spot.

At night, John Higgins didn't look his old self but Stephen Maguire was superb in building a 5-1 lead. Higgins started to come back at him but Maguire held on well to win 6-4.

It's about time he won another major title. His last was three and a half years ago but Maguire looks highly tuned in this week.

Neil Robertson is having a cracking season and did for Graeme Dott 6-3 in last night's other match.

The second round is completed today. Mark Williams stuttered against Joe Jogia and faces in Ricky Walden a player who has seen his confidence return.

Shaun Murphy will have to contain Martin Gould, for whom confidence is at an all time high having joined the top 16 and won £25,000 in the recent Power Snooker.

Mark Selby will be favourite against Marco Fu but Ali Carter v Mark Allen is harder to call.

Meanwhile all the off-table nonsense continues to swirl around. Mark Allen has been reported to the WPBSA's disciplinary committee following his outburst on Monday, not for his comments but for the language he used.

If every player who swore in press conferences, interviews or on social media was fined then World Snooker could fund at least one full ranking event.

And I'm always a little wary of the old catch-all charge 'bringing the game into disrepute.'

I've been waiting years for someone to bring snooker into repute.


kildare cueman said...

The players voted for Hearn and now they must allow him to do his job.

Hearn has said he is working on a five year plan and is currently on year 2. He has emphasised that he needs the players to play and he will rebuild the game.

During this process some players are going to see their status diminished somewhat, mostly top 16 and particularly top 16ers that were part of 110 sport, whose clients enjoyed a special status due to Lee Doyles position as board member/manager.

I feel Allen believed that once he got into the top 16 he could sit back and enjoy wealth and fame ad infinitum.

Now he has to muck out and play in unpalatable events to maintain his position and he is, understandably a bit aggrieved with the changes.

He doesn't like travelling and suffers from depression(an illness that Hearn ignorantly sees as feeling sorry for yourself), but by slagging off Hearn publicly he is creating an impression amongst the uninformed that snooker is still the chaotic shambles that existed for the last two decades.
This can have an effect on future sponsorship and slow the growth in the game.

Allen should voice his complaints to the SPA and not be feeding the subhuman tabloid hacks with material that will further denigrade the game. Do your talking on the table lad and come back when you've won something.

Anonymous said...

mike, my appologies, hallet

enough said

thankfully you were on the sofa too dave

mon the hendoN

Anonymous said...

lol dave, id love ricky to play a safety, stay on 98% and mjw clear up everything.

ricky wouldnt win then...

Anonymous said...

Mark Williams would have paid over at least £1 million by now.

The Blog said...

They say there are two things certain in life..

Death and taxes.

But that is wrong. It's actually....

Death, taxes *and* Ronnie O'Sullivan threatening to quit snooker.


Betty Logan said...

That pot by Gould from the Chinese snooker was just ridiculous. A pot of gold!

Anonymous said...

Has Hearn got William Hill on a deal where they pay him for every mention the tournament gets in the papers or on TV - as he seems to be doing everything he can to drag the maximum amount of publicity possible out of this daft spat.

Hearn has brought extra tournaments and prize money, but there is no need for him to rub people's faces in it by personally insulting the players.

Would be a good story if Allen was to win the tournament - but I think that is pretty unlikely even with the shortened format.

The Blog said...

I think Hearn is good for the game in the sense he's given it more tournaments but I think is comments about the players do show he's

A) an egomaniac,

B) believes he's superior to the players.

Even if people don't think Allen was right to speak out he's rattled Hearn. Hearn was asking for criticism when he came out with "I don't give a **** what the players think" which is more or less what he said in his last interview. I think Allen did snooker a favour by speaking out even if most people believe Hearn is right guy to be running Snooker. He may be the best man for the job but it doesn't mean he has the God given right to look down at the players and make disparaging comments about them.

Maisie said...

I do hope it's a level playing field for all players. If Allen is getting done for swearing then so should ROS,under the disrepute rule,for making lewd and inappropriate facial actions to camera,at the conclusion of one of the frames yesterday.
The trouble with Hearn is he likes giving it out but can't take it. Loads of players have sworn under this regime and nothing has been done. It must be the case that it's one rule for some and another rule for others.

Anonymous said...

On another issue, Is that Greg Davis son of Legend Steve, in PTC 12?


jibjib said...

Given the Allen saga and the WPBSA's warnings about conduct on social media in the past, it will be interesting to see what they make of Mark Williams' Twitter musings today.

Personally, I found them quite amusing (I'm a schoolboy at heart), but I can imagine some people might not feel the same.

Gerard said...

Maisie, 4.58, I completely agree with what you said about swearing and O'Sullivans lewd and inappropriate facial actions to camera.

And what a shame bbc cut off Trump - O’Sullivan at the most important time of the match! How on earth is this good for the viewers?

Great match though. And a great event, if you just focus on the snooker.

Betty Logan said...

And what a shame bbc cut off Trump - O’Sullivan at the most important time of the match! How on earth is this good for the viewers?

I guess they're not too fussed about having a result every session after all! I really don't know how you can justify leaving the match in the deciding frame for a repeat of Flog It. Just wouldn't happen with Wimbledon, so why does snooker get treated so shabbily, especially when its audience figures are higher than tennis?

Betty Logan said...

Jesus, another Fuke by Flu there. I'm beginning to wonder if the BBC is adding in special effects this week!

Anonymous said...

I fear for the future of snooker with a group of players who believe they are either the equivalent to golfers/tennis players or in some cases rock stars.
The fact is that snooker is the poor relation of those sports because of the distain the players have for the public and officialdom.
I am not however, worried for the future of Barry Hearn, he is sure to be fine as he is a very clever man.
Do the maths Mark Allen and Ronnie O'Sullivan, then bore off.

Anonymous said...

Mark Williams is an arrogant waste of space. What was he doing tweeting during the match? He should be disciplined as much as Mark Allen. Disgraceful behaviour Williams.

Janie Watkins said...

Yes. Greg Davis is Nugget Junior

Anonymous said...

200am obviously doesnt know mjw

arrogant is one thing hes not. at least not more so than the average 'joe'

Anonymous said...

I've never been so appalled as I was by the behaviour of Mark J Williams on twitter. I hope his actions are punished with a lengthy ban during his summer hols.

Anonymous said...

ive never been so appalled as i was by the post @ 1134pm on this blog. its plain its a fan of a player who is regularly in trouble and theyre trying to balance up the scales....