First off, well done to Robert Milkins, a player who seemed to have completely fallen away but who yesterday produced arguably the win of his career over Neil Robertson.

This was a tense old afternoon’s snooker. Robertson was unable to dominate early on, grew visibly edgy and Milkins held his nerve to win 10-8.

Second round matches continue this morning but there are also activities going on around the World Championship.

Snooker, as a professional sport enjoying much TV exposure, has a platform by which to reach beyond just blokes potting balls.

Yesterday, World Snooker launched an initiative to get snooker into schools.

Those with a Daily Mail view of the world will tell you nobody under 20 can spell or add up and that this is all down to the fact you can no longer belt kids with, well, a belt and probably colour television as well.

It plainly isn’t true but maybe sport can be about more than physical activity and be used to bolster maths teaching and also pass on the values of sportsmanship and good mental attitude.

Today is ladies day at the Crucible, a new idea to encourage participation from women and girls.

Reanne Evans won her ninth world title a couple of weeks ago. She made two centuries in the final but received just £400.

20 odd years ago a promoter by the name of Barry Hearn got the women’s World Championship on TV with a five figure first prize. Its dominant player Allison Fisher, beat several leading men but, when the game went open, failed to make much impact in ranking tournaments and headed to the USA to play pool.

Back in 1997, the WPBSA took the ladies game under its wing. Major finals were staged during World Snooker tournaments, including at the Crucible.

There were two problems. The conditions were so different to the usual clubs the women played in that they could not produce a very high standard. In turn, public interest was low.

The women were cut adrift in 2003 and have organised themselves since but the number of entries has dwindled this season.

Many women watch snooker, both on TV and live in arenas. However, there has been an historic problem in the UK with participation, largely due to the nature of snooker clubs in years gone by which were distinctly male domains.

Any woman can turn professional. Evans has been on the tour before but struggled. She has entered Q School this year.

Also today, Street Snooker returns to Sheffield in Millennium Square. This is a target practice game that involves kicking or throwing a ball against a snooker-inspired green wall to strike round snooker ball coloured targets, earning varying points. The aim of the game is for players to build a highest break by hitting the red triangle followed by a colour to see who can achieve the highest consecutive score.

The idea is to combine snooker with physical activity and has been played by thousands of people around the UK already. Alfie Burden, himself a former junior footballer, is one of their ambassadors.

On Sunday there will be activities for Paul Hunter Day linked to the Foundation linked to this much missed player’s memory.

All of which is very laudable as this great championship continues. There are many people who have supported snooker so it’s good to see the sport support people who need it.


Anonymous said...

eurosports coverage has been excellent, despite the heavy breathing of mike h.

Anonymous said...

After tipping Robertson to win the tournament, I watched in angst yesterday as he played like a clown and tumbled out. Fair play to Milkins, but he looked equally as poor as the Aussie, but just did enough. Looks as though the big guns are falling over themselves to make it an easy ride for Ronnie.

But can anyone explain why both he and Milkins disappeared from the arena in mid frame, in around the 17th frame? I was watching with the sound off, so could not hear what the commentators were saying. Can't remember the last time I saw both players leave the arena midway through a frame. And when he got back, Milkins didn't look too happy at being kept waiting.

Claus said...

We should not pity the ladies. They can play on the main tour wihtout any restrictions. If you are talented enough you will flourish. That is how it is for everybody.

Are you good enough to win? Then your gender doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

Graeme Dott, 'electrifying' !
Never thought I'd say that !

The Blog said...

Not wishing to be some conspiracy theorist but has anyone else noticed how Ronnie O'Sullivan has been given a big break between his first and second round matches. His fist match was on Saturday 20th April, his second round match is tomorrow, Saturday 27th, giving O'Sullivan *a week* of extra practice. Compare that to Dechawat Poomjaeng. He won his first round match on the 23rd, and started his second round match on the 25th, yesterday. That left him *one day* of extra practice.

Can't see how that's fair. Surely a week of extra practice can help iron out any problems with a player's technique or improve their overall potting or just help them to relax more. This does seem to give the likes of O'Sullivan an unfair advantage.

Matt said...

Who was the last player before Poomejaeng to lose a frame with three misses at the World Championship?

Ray said...

Great initiative to put snooker into schools.Anything that can attract youngsters back to the wonderful game of snooker has to be applauded because interest in snooker has been declining of late. Clubs are closing down while others are greatly reducing the number of tables in favour of pool.

On another matter, I've got to say it again Dave - these big bounces on the Star tables are totally unacceptable.These players are punching their tripe out trying to become World Champion and they have to contend with these big bounces all the time.There is no excuse why this should be happening on such a regular basis.I'd suggest that Barry Hearn, as well as writing to the BBC this week, should also contact the table manufacturers to express his concern at the poor quality of the cushions.We shouldn't have to put up with this poor quality.

Anonymous said...


The reigning champion always plays two sessions to a finish on day one.
Not something that has been specially engineered for Ronnie.
It makes little difference. Supposing Ronnie lost his cue, had another one made, didn't practice with it, he will still demolish the rest of a field who look as though they've only been playing the game for six months.

Anonymous said...

That's funny sounds like he's enjoying watching michaela tabb lol

Anonymous said...

I think it was Alex Higgins against Steve davis in the 80s

Anonymous said...

There probably isn't any need for a separate women's tour. Its not like tennis or football where the physical differences between the average male and female competitor is too wide to allow for a combined tour.

Would be interesting to see if Reanne Evans does attempt to rejoin the tour and try to make inroads into the top 64.


Hi David. aA fine morning session, in my view.

Murphy .V. Dott. Session two. Resuming 6-2 down, Dott, required a good start. He got it, by winning the session's first two frames. 6-4, to Murphy. A fine 65 break from Murphy, made it 7-4 despite dott playing on, for snooer's. An unscheduelled mid-session interval, followed, as Dott was gettin electric scock form the table, and carpet. Water was spayed on the floor to prevent this hapening again. Dott won the following three frames. Murphy, looking unsettled. 7-7. Murphy played wellin the next frame, to win it, and lead, 8-7. Dott, won a tactical last frame of the session. 8-8, going into tonight's final session.

Selby .V. Hawkins - Session one. the first two frames were shared. 1-1. Selby made a great 101 break, in the third, to lead, 2-1. It was 2-2. Selby, won the next wo frames, to gain a 4-2 lead. Hawkins, won the next ne. 4-3. Selby, won a tight, last frame of the session, on the final black, to gain a 5-3, over-night lead, going into this evening's second session.

Anonymous said...

wheres the fine art guy?


Hi David. Afternoon session. Session 2, White .V.Poomjaeng. White did well, to win six of this sessions eight frames, The last, with a century, to win, 13-3, with a session to spare, and be the first playr, into the Quarter-Final.

Trump .V. Fu. Session one. 2-all, at the mid session interval. Trump wins the next four, century breaks, included, to lead, 6-2, going into tomorrow afternoon's second session.


Hi David. If I can briefly, go back to session one, o Selby .V. Hawkins, I think Isaid it was frame three, in which Selby got a century break. It was, indeed, the fourth.

A great evening session, in my view.

Selby .V. Hawkins. Session 2. Selby, 5-3 up, at the start of this session. A good quality Session fom both, shared, at 4-4. Selby leads, 9-7, going into tomorrow afternoon's final session.

Murphy .V.Dott. Third and final session. 8-8, at the re-start. Murphy started well, to lead, 9-8. 9-9, 10-9, to Dott. Murphy levels, at 10-10, at the mid-session interval. A near 57 minute 21st frame. A re-spotted black. Dott plays a bad one. Murphy leads, 11-10. He went 12-10 infront, also. Dott made it 12-11. An edgy 24th frame. In it, both have chances. A good safety exchange. Dott, makes an error. Murphy, pots a great long-red, lands on the pink, and, does enough, to win the frame, Cclaim a 13-11 win, and no Scot, in in the event's Quarter-Finals, for the first time, in 25 years, since 1988. Murphy, is the second man through to this year's Quarter-Finals.

I can not wait for more, tomorrow.

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adamtuck said...

I think Neil Robertson decided he needed the toilet half way through a frame. I don't think Milkins was too happy because at one point they came back from the 15 min interval, played one frame which lasted about 10 mins, and Neil went out to the toilet again while Robert sat there waiting. I like Neil, but I have seen him do that a few times in matches, thankfully not to the extent of Peter Ebdon.

adamtuck said...

I think someone on Twitter (May have been Dave Hendon) said there was 2 instances in the 90's where it happened, one with Ken Doherty and one with John Parrot. But I may be wrong.