We're halfway through the Betfred.com World Championship - I trust everyone has been pacing themselves.

It seems like an age since Jamie Jones beat Shaun Murphy. The young Welshman has since been out-quiffed by the dependably hirsute Ronnie O'Sullivan but returns to action today for a second round encounter with Andrew Higginson.

This is an interesting one because they have both played well thus far and will both be fancying their chances.

Neither is playing a top seed and I think this will be a good, close game.

Jones seemed surprised that all the hotels in Sheffield were booked up this weekend. This is touchingly naive for an unassuming and dedicated professional currently playing the best snooker of his career.

Higginson has been around longer but this is still the first best of 25 frame match he has played as a pro.

The other start - no finishes today, rather ridiculously - features Matthew Stevens against Barry Hawkins.

It was difficult for Hawkins to gauge precisely how well he was playing in the first round because Mark Selby was clearly struggling with the after effects of the trapped nerve which forced him to withdraw from the China Open.

Stevens is more of a veteran of long Crucible matches. He has an excellent record at the Crucible despite never having won the title.

Matthew was best mates with Paul Hunter, who came so close to reaching the world final in 2003.

He would still have been one of the favourites to win the title, perhaps would have done by now, had the appalling disease which killed him not intervened.

Out of the tragedy of his early death has come a positive: the Paul Hunter Foundation is doing important work with disadvantaged youngsters with the support of prominent members of the snooker community.

Some of them, including Steve Davis, Peter Ebdon, Michael Holt and Shaun Murphy, are running the Sheffield half marathon for the charity next month.

And today is Paul Hunter Day at the Crucible, with activities organised by the Foundation, set up both in tribute and remembrance to a much missed player.


Anonymous said...

Firstly congrats to the regular season ticket holder who got engaged yesterday - not sure if it was shown on TV.
Bit of Crucible gossip from the paying public yesterday (who like myself pay at least £20 a seat)
1. Mutterings abour poor standard of play in some sessions this year (I would agree)
2. Mutterings about how you no longer can pedict who you are going to see when you buy your tickets (because the seeding changes long after the tickets go on sale). A few no shows as a result (but we used to have no shows when we COULD predict to an extent)
However sport wouldn't be sport without a bit of moaning. Nobody I spoke to said they wouldn't be back next year. I've often moaned since I started going in 1981 but I stil go back every year :)

Anonymous said...

rip paul. class player and person.

Anonymous said...

can still hear a random woman talking over the es commentators. she was counting down earlier. it wasnt on ronnies game so it wasnt for lift off.


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

Stevens .V. Hawkins - Session 1 - Hawkins, very good in leading 3-0. Stevens did well to level, 3-all. Hawkins won the next two frames, to lead, 5-3.

Session 2 - Hawkins went 6-3 up. Stevens shaded the session. 8-all, over-night.

Higginson .V. Jones - session 1 - Higginson led 20- and 4-2. Jones did well to level at 4-all.

Sesion 2 - Jones goes 7-4 and 9-5 up. Higginson respond's well. 9-7 to Jones, over-night.

Williams .V. O'Sullivan - Session 2 - 5-3 up, O'Sullivan played superb, to lead, 11-3, with century breaks included. Williams wins the next two frames. O'Sullivan leads, 11-5, over-night.

Trump .V. Carter - Session 2 - Resuming 5-3 down, Trump played great to dominate the session, and win it, 6-2, to lead, 9-7, over-night.

Stat Of The Day -

Today, is29-4-2012. At 12.19 a.m. on, 29-4-1985, Dennis Taylor, woon the 1985 world title, beating Steve Davis, 18-17, in the final frame, on the final black.

This, is the 27th anniversary, to the day, of that happening.

Anonymous said...

can still hear a random woman talking over the es commentators.

I've always suspected Eurosport broadcast from the local pub.


Gi David. Of course, Joneswas 10-6 gown to Hawkins, over-night.