Well, Luca Brecel did it after a right old slog at the Barbican Centre last night, beating Ricky Walden 6-5 in a late night burn-up in York.

This was a match whose quality gradually dipped, which had the effect of increasing the dramatic tension. Snooker often does this and it’s one of the reasons the sport has been so successful on television. It can deliver different kinds of matches.

For instance, you could only marvel at Neil Robertson’s exhibition snooker in making four centuries to dismiss Tom Ford 6-1. This was the game played at the highest standard.

But a right old grind when the nerves are jangling – even if the standard is much lower – is also compulsive viewing.

Brecel was right to be jubilant at the win. It’s a good one. He may still be a little raw but he seems to relish being out there. It all bodes well for the future.

He plays Mark King next after the Romford man beat a below par Mark Williams 6-3.

Williams was disgusted with his own performance. He seems to be lacking confidence. It shows how hard a game snooker is if even the true greats can struggle for self belief.

But King was impressive. He has quietly had some good results in the run-in to this tournament, qualifying for both the European Tour event in Munich in January and the German Masters.

Poor Dominic Dale looked wretched and fears he may have shingles. Credit to him for even turning up, but he was turned over, 6-1 by Matthew Stevens.

The last 16 gets underway today with Stevens up against Marco Fu and Ali Carter taking on Mark Joyce this afternoon.

Tonight it’s Stephen Maguire against Stuart Bingham and Shaun Murphy against the man who replaced him as world champion in 2006, Graeme Dott.

Will the winner come from this octet?

Well, Stevens, Maguire and Murphy have all won the UK title before and only Joyce has failed to win a ranking title.

He beat Carter in the UK Championship two years ago but this was after Ali had been in hospital undergoing treatment for Crohn’s disease.

Carter has hopefully weathered this storm. It affected him so badly last season that he threatened retirement but he stuck at it and of course went on to reach a second world final.

Maguire v Bingham could well prove to be the match of the day. The Scot made three successive centuries during his first round match and Bingham is super-confident with the run he’s been on.


Anonymous said...

He is 17. (and not sweet!) ;)

Anonymous said...

Ah, you'Re talking about the Last16. I thought it was about Brecel. What a pity.

Anonymous said...

It was obvious from the TV that poor Dominic had shingles - and was probably infectious.

Facial shingles can be very tricky, it can get in your eyes (it did me) - see a doctor now.

tchobello said...

Luca was impressive.
he called a foul on himself at 4-4.
his defense game is very good for a 17 yo guy.
his clearance in the fourth was great.
the way he took the reds in the last frame was astonishing.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I'm wrong but the quality of play in this tournament has been, well, a bit poor? Seems so.

Anonymous said...

They need more tournaments to get match fit.

Anonymous said...

Christ do we really need a running commentary on Shaun Murphy's hairstyles down the years?

Anonymous said...

the tournament has been dire so far i dont want to sound negative but thats how i feel and anyone i spoke to seems to agree.

Anonymous said...

Really sorry to ask but I've been prompted by Matt Selt's blog on the World Snooker website - have World Snooker confirmed that the defending champion hasn't entered the Worlds (as the deadline for entries has passed now)?

Matt has some interesting things to say about Judd (interesting for a blog on the official website of the governing body anyway) - the candour makes a nice change though!

Dave H said...

The closing date is in the new year

Graeme said...

What's with the obsession of, having missed a pot, zooming in on the player, following him back to his seat, close up of his face trying to determine hs reaction....whereas, all we are interested in is what he has left for his opponent.
Does the producer play snooker ?

Anonymous said...

what is the exact date of the closing date, dave?

Anonymous said...



Dave H said...

'The New Year' is all anyone seems to know

Anonymous said...

thanks dave

it strikes me that having a yearly map of events and their dates, then the entry deadline for them should be concrete.

I don't see any reason for it not to be!