There’s a story, possibly apocryphal, about the actress Shelley Winters in which she was asked late in her career to audition for a film role and the director told her he was unsure about her acting style.

Winters is said to have delved into her handbag, pulled out the two Oscars she had won and then asked if her acting style was still an issue.

Were anyone stupid enough to query the snooker playing credentials of Stephen Hendry and John Higgins the two Scots could point to the World Championship trophy. Between them they have won the title 11 times in the last 22 years.

Remarkably, their second round meeting today is the first time they have played each other at the Crucible.

Higgins comes into the match below par while Hendry played some of his best snooker for some time in the first session of his match against Stuart Bingham.

This is a bona fide meeting of two snooker legends. Indeed, throw the Mark Williams v Ronnie O’Sullivan match into the mix and you have two last 16 matches featuring 16 world titles.

Predictions in this tournament have been fraught, with more egg on face than that time John Prescott went to Wales during the election campaign and ended up slugging some bloke.

Personally, I expect Higgins to play better than he did against Liang Wenbo and will be surprised if Hendry can quite keep up the standard he showed against Bingham for all three sessions.

Higgins lost at this stage two years ago to another all time great, Steve Davis, who he did not expect to play as well as he did.

I suspect he will be more ready for what Hendry will attempt to throw at him, but this is an intriguing match-up, at long last, between Scotland’s two greatest cuemen.

Williams hasn’t beaten O’Sullivan in a ranking event for ten years. He showed his contrition backstage at the Crucible by apologising to theatre staff for his widely reported disparaging Twitter comments.

But it is on table where he will be most under pressure against O’Sullivan, whose run of success against him goes on and on.

Cao Yupeng has been the real surprise package so far, beating Mark Allen in the first round.

Allen’s reaction to this defeat gained all the headlines and overshadowed what was an assured performance by Cao on his Crucible debut.

He is still an unknown quantity and may have expected to play his compatriot, Ding Junhui, but Ding was of course undone by Ryan Day, whose rally from 9-6 down puts the Welshman through to his first ranking event last 16 of the entire campaign.

Down to 35th in the world rankings, this was exactly what Day needed. The pressure now stems from the fact he is favourite to reach a third Crucible quarter-final.

If anyone reading this now honestly predicted the second round line-up then congratulations are in order.

Personally I got nine out of the 16 winners correct, and I’ll take that as a result after an unpredictable opening six days to what has become a fascinating World Championship.


Anonymous said...

Knowing Williams he's probably just paranoid about some jobsworth gobbing in his water.

Anonymous said...

hendry the greatest ever, by any measurable means.

Anonymous said...

dave, on es i can here ladies voices "under" the commentators...

are they commentating from the es canteen?

Anonymous said...

Hendry and Higgins seem to have caught the 'shiteness'. It's been going around my club recently too.


Hi David. Another great day's play, in my view.

Higgins .V. Hendry - session 1 - Both looked sharp early on. Hendry recovers from 2-0 down, to lead, 5-3.

Robertson .V. Gilbert - session 2 - Gilbert played his part. Solid break-making and all-round play, was shown by Robertson. 10-6, to Robertson.

Day .V. Cao - nervous play by cao. More consistent, by Ryan Day. Day leads, 6-2, over-night.

Maguire .V. Perry - Session 2 - A few Maguire errors, not as many as those of Perry. Maguire leads 11-5, over-night.

Higgins . V. Hendry - session 2 - Hendry, 5-3, up. Higgins errors. Hendry dominance. 12-4, to Hendry, over-night. A great Hendry display.

Robertson .V. Gilbert - session 3- Robertson, 10-6, up. Agreat Robertson start, 11-6. Great response by Gilbert, 11-8, with a 121 break, by Gilbert. Robertson wins, 13-9. Robertson in the first man in the last 8 of this 2012 World Championship.

Stat's Yes - Stat's Of The Day-

Today, is 27-4-2012. It's Len Ganley's 69th birthday. Happy 69th birthday to him. I am sure, he is still watching the snooker, from above.

Today, is also, the 17th anniversary, to the day, that Stephen Hendry made his first Crucible, 147 break. This was done on 27-4-1995, in the semi-final, against Jimmy White. This, was refereed, by Len Ganley.

Anonymous said...

that guy roland on your twitter page seems to be suggesting you made up the juddernaut name.

i called judd the juddernaut on your comments pages when he beat ronnie in glasgow a few years ago.

im not saying i was the first, but just letting roland know, if he reads here.

maybe he was just tring to bumlick you ;)