28.4.12

1992 AND ALL THAT

There's been much talk of the 1992 World Championship during this year's event, largely due to the fact that it's been 20 years since eight seeds lost in the first round.

Snooker Scene of June 1992 called that year's tournament event a "vintage championship." It was packed with incident, new and old faces doing well, and ended with a thrilling final.

There were 25 centuries made in the whole championship, a mark we have long since passed this year.

A total of 20 players have made centuries at the Crucible already. In 1992, only 11 did. Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White, the finalists, made six apiece and so accounted for just about half of all the tons made.

So we can already deduce that the overall standard has risen and that more players are capable of better performances.

Hendry in fact did not make a century in the 1992 World Championship until the 12th frame of his semi-final against Terry Griffiths but compiled four more in the final, three of which came in the final session.

There was a real international flavour to the championship 20 years ago with 11 nationalities represented.

Of these, New Zealand's Dene O'Kane reached the quarter-finals for a second time. He had trailed Steve James 9-6 in the first round but beaten him 10-9 before a 13-10 victory over Chris Small, then an 18 year-old who had won eight matches to qualify before beating Doug Mountjoy in the first round.

Another ex-quarter-finalist, Jim Wych of Canada, made it through to the last eight again with wins over Dean Reynolds and Willie Thorne.

The first day saw an historic win for John Parrott, the defending champion who defeated Eddie Charlton 10-0. This remains the Crucible's only whitewash.

Dennis Taylor was beaten by a debutant, Mick Price, in a match best remembered for a dispute Taylor had with the referee, Len Ganley, over the miss rule, which had not long since changed to the version we know today.

But the most infamous first round match in1992 saw Peter Ebdon, a 21 year-old with a ponytail and fast, free flowing style of play, beat Steve Davis, who had won the last of his six world titles three years earlier, 10-4.

This was a sensational debut from an assured newcomer clearly confident in the heat of the Crucible.

Ebdon defeated Martin Clark in the second round but his run was ended by a resurgent Griffiths, 44 years old and evoking memories of his heyday.

Alas, Griffiths would be drubbed 16-4 by Hendry, who in fact led 10-0 before the veteran Welshman won a black ball frame to stave off the dreaded whitewash.

White found it difficult to shake off Alain Robidoux in the second round, eventually winning 13-11, but otherwise made reasonably serene progress to a fourth world final.

The highlight of the championship for White had come in the opening round when he made the second Crucible 147 against Tony Drago.

This was not shown live on the BBC. There was no red button, no Eurosport coverage, no online stream. The break was shown hours later on Sportsnight. Back then TV coverage was piecemeal: you got what you were given with no alternative options.

Hendry opened a much anticipated final with a century, 105, but trailed 4-3 at the conclusion of the session and lost a black ball frame to kick off the evening.

By the end of the night he was 10-6 down and White was heading for his heart's desire.

What could possibly go wrong?

Not much, it would seem, when they resumed on bank holiday Monday for the grand finale. Hendry did not pot a ball in the first two frames as White arrived at 12-6 with the aid of a 134 break.

At 14-8, it looked all over, but Hendry won the next before a pivotal final frame of the afternoon.

Hendry potted a brown at the end of this frame which almost defines his career: it was do or die, it was audacious, it was brave, it was brilliant.

Furthermore, it made the difference between a 15-9 lead for White - surely insurmountable - and 14-10.

The first two frames of the evening session were close and Hendry won them both. As the pressure grew, the Scot became stronger while White, seeing his lead eroded, was able to make only one half century break all evening.

Another century, 128, brought Hendry level at 14-14, he dominated the next two frames and finished with efforts of 134 and 112.

This completed a ten frame winning streak, an awesome run which gave him a second world title and planted serious mental scars in White, which would become apparent when the pair met again in the final the following two years.

The 1992 World Championship is generally remembered for this final and for Hendry's comeback.

It capped a fascinating 17 days in Sheffield. Hard to believe, then, that 20 years on the man who won is still creating more memories at the most hallowed venue of them all.


This was the BBC's musical montage of the 1992 championship, one of the best they ever put together.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Dave, I just watched it and got quite misty eyed! Brilliant.

Alex lely said...

beautiful article.great to see Hendry having refound his mojo. something MJW needs desperately against Rocket.
Robbo to me, looking like the man to beat.
keep up the god work!

squeakymom said...

1992 must be the only time Peter Ebdon's playing style has been described as "fast & free-flowing"! Something happened when he cut his hair off.

Anonymous said...

Maguire will destroy hendry . Higgins is cannon fodder this year . Liang should have put him out on day 1

Claus said...

Hendry only made a handful of unexpected misses, potted over 90% and showed how comfortable he is dominating a weak opponent.

He takes his chances, goes for the glory and I don't think Maguire will have an easy time.

Hendry is just slightly better this season and this year, perhaps for the last time, he will have a realistic chance of being a semifinalist.

And if Hendry takes the crown I will be calling upon the Angel of Death to slay me because I have seen all I need to see in this life. Or I'll just have a drink. Either way is fine.

Anonymous said...

I would say this is more an opportunity for Maguire than Hendry. Hendry won't get past Trump, Maguire possibly can. I feel it's make or break this year for Maguire, because how many better chances will he have to make the final? He's not the best player around, but he's been in form this season and he can beat the top players. This tournament's dark horse?

Anonymous said...

Has to be said but these pockets at this years championships are VERY, VERY forgiving!

Anonymous said...

Ronnie is giving Terry Griffiths a run for his money in the bouffant stakes.

JAMIE O'REILLY said...

Hi David. Another great days play, so far. in my view. Higgins .V. Hendry -session 3- Hendry, wastes no time, in leading 12-4, to win, 13-4.

Williams .V. O'Sullivan. Entertianing. Both had the upper-hand at times. O'Sullivan leads 5-3, overnight.

Maguire .V. Perry - session 3- Perry played well, from 11-5 down, Maguire, the stronger, to win,13-7.

Day .v. Cao - session 2 - Leading 5-3 Day, also led 9-6. Now He's 10-6 up.

I will post about tonight's session's tomorrow.

Stat Of The Day - Tday, is 28-4-2012. Terry Griffiths, won the 1979 World title, on, 28-4-1979. 33 years ago, to the day, today.

William Callaghan said...

If Hendry plays against Maguire as he has done so far, then it Maguire will have no chance, you have to fancy Hendry for the title now.

Anonymous said...

11.18 and others
Posting sweeping statements is silly,how many have been proved wrong this year ? Higgins will blow Hendry away,etc.Hhmmm,look what happened.No one can say owt for sure.

kildare cueman said...

Maguire is a huge favourite against Hendry but he is not a certainty.

I think if they played this match four or five times Hendry would win at least one, so whos to say this one wont be the one.

Hendry has to play well and Mags has to play below his best. I've seen Hendry play magnificently in recent times then turn in a turgid performance in the next round. He was fortunate that Higgins was desperate. We know Maguire is in good form recently and is a serious title contender.

I fancied Carter to win or do well against Trump, and made a nice few bob backing him in frame betting on Betfair. Also backed him for the match at 5-2 and was able to back Trump at near evens this morning so have a free bet now.

Assuming they both get through, Robbo and Ronnie looks like the big one. This might well decide the winner, particularly if Trump fails to make the final.

Rob Segerink said...

Are the pockets bigger this year? I see many balls which touch the jaws of the pocket but still go in. Especially in the Higgins - Hendry match.

Anonymous said...

yeah ron, the made the pockets 20% bigger this year.

surprised you havent seen it mentioned on snooker websites or heard it on the tv.

JAMIE O'REILLY said...

Hi David.
Trump .V. Carter - Carter did well, to lead, over-night, 5-3

Day .V. Cao - session 3 -Resuming 9-7 up, Day won, 13-7. Great stuff. He, is in the last eight.

Witz78 said...

Where have the years gone?

that '92 tournament still seems so fresh in the memory, it truly was one of the passing of the guard moments in snooker as the tour had opened up and so many new faces emerged at expense of the old guard.

Why dont the Beeb do montages like this anymore, this and the shot of the championship were always great highlights every year, but it seems these days the same old tired features and drivel is done, instead of these pieces that all fans loved.