The middle Sunday of the Betfred.com World Championship marks the midway point of the Crucible marathon.

There will no finishes today but perhaps everyone needs a breather after a momentous Saturday which proved, once again, what a fascinating sporting event this is.

Steve Davis's 13-11 victory over John Higgins will go down as one of the most memorable wins in the 83-year history of the championship.

I'm not sure anyone - including Steve himself - quite believed he could actually do it until he potted that final pink.

He wept tears of joy afterwards. This is a player people have said should have retired years ago. But they don't understand the pure love he has for snooker or the visceral thrill he derives from the heat of competition.

Next up, Neil Robertson produced a stunning comeback to deny Martin Gould in a decider.

Robertson dodged a bullet and it often follows that a player who makes a great escape like that goes on to lift the trophy. But we're over a week away from finding out whether this will happen.

Graeme Dott's 13-6 victory over Stephen Maguire went almost unnoticed but he played possibly his best ever snooker at the Crucible - even including the year he won the title.

His advantage is that he knows he can win the whole thing. Mark Allen will be a tough quarter-final opponent but Glasgow's pocket dynamo has played as well as anyone in the tournament.


Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hi Dave
How are you! Thanks for the posts Lad. With Eurosport otherwise engaged I plugged into BBC and “Hazel’s Corner” to watch the Selby v Hendry match and heard some rubbish talk by a long time aunty commentator.

Stephen had just missed a sitter on the Green ball and the reasons were repeated and forcible were wrongly given about side spin for the blotched shot.

Please inform the Eurosport viewers Dave that applying a touch of side “Does Not Ever” causes a fault or a “Missed Pot”.
The reason for that Miss and many others is the Cue Going out the side door. The particular shot by Mr Hendry was really “The cue came out the “Sky light”.

This copyright material is for your and Eurosports ears only Dave. Mr Hey you

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the 'side door' mr hey you but i know you talk our of your back door ;)

Anonymous said...

one out of 2 there mr a u

yeah the cause of the miss was the cue going up in the air


applying a touch of side “Does Not Ever” causes a fault or a “Missed Pot”

is just a pile of steaming urine and could not be further from the truth.

thanks for the blogs dave, though the comments arent up to much

Greg P said...

If people head over to Pro Snooker Blog they'll find a report including a great picture of Gould shortly after the match, joking around outside the Crucible. I'm astonished to see anyone taking such a defeat so well. It shows great character.

Anyway, we should all count ourselves lucky that Davis and Robertson have time to recharge their batteries before the quarter-final. Let's hope they can deliver another classic.

Betty Logan said...

The second round is certainly producing some great ties - half of these matches would be worthy finals! The Ronnie/Williams match is shaping up to be a classic, and I'd love to see another Ronnie/Hendry match at The Crucible, but Ronnie's got a real fight on his hands to reach the quarters. I would expect Hendry to pull away from Selby at some point though if he starts scoring consistently, but if he doesn't that one could go to the wire. I think Dott will pull through without any major troubles - probably a 13-8/13-9 scoreline in that one. Mark Allen is overrated - his entire reputation is built on last year's run to the semis but he hasn't done anything before or since.

I'm already salivating at the Davis/Robertson tie - it's taken top class performances to stop Robertson in his tracks this season in the major events and I don't think this tournament will be any different. I think Robbo will beat Davis by a comfortable margin but I think he will make a scrap out of it.

Anonymous said...

Selby's safety play was spectacular today. I really, really wished Hendry could have gone 5-2 up but Selby left him no chance to escape that frame.
Tomorrow will be quite a day!

Fingers crossed Hendry fans.

Anonymous said...

I can only see one winner now from the Selby/Hendry match and that's Selby. Hendry let him off the hook and should of won that session comfortably, what was he thinking of going up and down the table to get out of that snooker, when he could of used the side cushion. Selby can't play that poorly again and Hendry has missed the boat.

Anonymous said...

Get well soon Jamie Brannon!

Anonymous said...

M.Allen is over-rated? He's played in 4 ranking event Semi Finals, including here, and hit a 146 a few days ago. He is also 9th in the provisional rankings - this from a player who only turned pro six years ago.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Messer’s 4/06 and 27, Hi Dave
As always, thanks for the post. It’s great to know that so many fellow bloggers have read and agree completely with this new snooker knowledge.

Amazingly this “miss-information” has been peddled around for nearly fifty years as the word of the snooker professional has been almost Sacrosanct.
If the great Steve Davis was to state that high breaks cannot be made on Tuesdays afternoons most clubs would have Tuesday half day closing.

Amazingly even World Champions and all top players retain this daft patter as if aware of a secret branch of snooker technique.
There is nothing new in snooker coaching or the knowledge would be recorded in an article or on the computer with automatic time and date plus a copyright symbol. Mr hey you

PS. To mister 27! Now that the “Fine Art” has exposed this “Touch of Side” sham; you will find this dogma will disappear and be soon forgotten just like the silly “Don’t forget to follow through” that has misled youngsters and all beginners for almost seventy years. DM

colinmcd said...

Hi Dave,

I love your blogs...but I feel that the momentous events on Saturday (Steve beating John) are deserving of a few more lines if not a dedicated blog at least!

Keep up the good work !

Dave H said...

I agree but I'm commentating on every session so time is limited


What game is Betty Logan watching?
How could she expect Hendry to pull away from Selby?

While Im not a Selby fan, theres no doubt that these days, he is in a different class to Hendry, and it would be a huge shock, were Hendry to overturn him.

As for Allen being overrated, he is probably snookers hottest prospect at the moment. I have him backed to win outright and will eat my hat if he loses to Dott.

On a different topic, some of the commentators are driving me mad.

The BBC lads just repeat the same old stuff, Foulds being an honourable exception.

Every good shot to Dennis Taylor is "special" and with Willie Thorne, every time something better than the norm occurs, its "the best hes ever seen".

Indeed, during one of Perry's matches, he piped up;
"Thats the best I've ever seen Joe cueing for a couple of years now"

The eurosport team throw up a couple of stumors as well.

You're fine as is Joe Johnson but that chap that rolls his R's is more concerned with whats happening on the other table rather than the one he is on.

Today it was;
JOE; This is a tricky situation for Ding, he may have to take on a pot here.

Other lad; On the other table Mark Selby is going to compile a century.

Joe; What a great pot by Din.......

other lad; sorry joe, Mark Selbys just made his hundred and umpteenth century and....

joe; and Ding is perfect on the black, and this will hurt Sean Murphy who has...

other lad; and that great century gives Mark Selby a 7-4 lead....

Hilarious. Where do they get them from?

Anonymous said...

mr hey you is obviously a failed snooker player who tried to have a go when the game openened up and u could turn pro if u had 2ooo to spare.this guy does not know what he is talking about.if he is a coach then i feel sorry for the people wasting thier money paying him to be taught his so called methods.i think i have an idea who it is there cannot be that many insane people about.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Neal Foulds has turned into a great commentator. His voice doesn't grate at all, he knows his stuff, and best of all he doesn't feel the need to talk non-stop.

Greg P said...

Willie Thorne commentating on the 1985 world final:

"Well there's many ways Davis could play this black he could play up and down safety or perhaps quarter ball cut into the corner pocket, sometimes you deserve what you get when you play them like that, perhaps he could make this into a shot to nothing..."

CHRISK5 said...

Greg P - That was hilarious & genuinely funny!

Next,you should try doing a parallel universe Willie Thorne -commentating on the 1983 maximum by Cliff Thorburn.

WT can go through the 6 or 7 varied options the 'Grinder' had on that very complicated shot!

'Good Luck mate' - True classic!

Betty Logan said...

I think we'd all agree in saying that Hendry's season has been diabolical, but Selby's has been even worse on the ranking front, he needs to make the final to accumulate more points than Hendry this season, so I find the faith in him slightly misplaced. His Masters win salvaged the season for him but I can't even remember when he last contested a ranking final - surely it can't be the Welsh Open he won in 2008?? Both players had a great opportunity to reach the quarters, and it was Selby that took it; moot point now though because Ronnie looks like he's building up a head of steam and isn't going to want his balls shaved by Selby again like at Wembley!

Coming to Sheffield Allen had an even worse season than Hendry and to be fair Dott is his first tester, and Dott's style of matchplay certainly comes into its own in longer matches. Do you people actually check out the form guide before making your predictions, or do you pin tails on a donkey??

Anonymous said...


are you calling ronnie a donkey?


Anonymous said...

Betty - one poorish season doesn't make a player a poor player, and Mark did reach the SF in China. I'm not saying he will beat Graeme, but I'm not sure how he can be considered over-rated. He's a genuine threat in all events now, although he hasn't won one yet (ranking event that is)

CHRISK5 said...

Another year of Ding Junhui flattering to decieve at the Crucible.

In any event - Ding will still have his highest ranking ever & has had a rebuilding season - though more was expected of him this time at the Worlds.

Credit to Murphy - In the prematch interview he looked really up for this match & having that bit more desire & determination than Ding probably made the difference in this contest of two equal players.

Now we are down to the Quarter Finals stage - It's all shaping up very nicely!

Mal said...

Betty Logan - Allen had a worse season than Hendry in terms of ranking points (until now), but the season has only six ranking events and winning the first round matches gives a boost of sometimes 1500 - 2500 points, whereas winning the following match (obviously tougher) can only give 600 - 1200 points!

Allen hasn't played well this season, but has still made two quarter finals to Hendrys' none - He was very impressive in the champions league against the top players and nearly won it. He also won the Jiangsu Classic (an invitational, but with 10 top 16 players) at the start of the season beating Murphy 5-2 in the semis and Ding 6-0 in the final, so I think he has been more impressive.

He has made 4 semis in a very short career and has less years experience as a pro than any other player in the top 16. He only became a pro in 2005 - so less than five years ago he was still an amateur! His amateur record is better than most and was at a young age.

He is one of a select band of players who has made it into the top 16 in three years since 1985 there has been only Hendry, O'Sullivan, Swail and Ding along with Allen.

He has played Dott twice and ... beat him twice. Dott is playing well - In fact, I think he has been consistently as good as anyone, but I would say the same about Allen and Selby. In terms of those who have impressed me, I'd say they are the top 3, then Ronnie, then Robertson, Davism Carter and Murphy in that order.

Allen is definitely a player for the big occasion - there is no doubt about that - from his WC debut vs Doherty 3 years ago to his first pro tournament wheh he beat John Higgins and Steve Davis, to how he played last year. He has played well in the masters each year on TV, just losing out on a decider to Selby. The matches he has lost in first round (such as against Stephen Lee in UK) have without fail all been untelevised and he openly admits that he needs to motivate himself more for these.

He is a big occasion player and will not let his fans down against Graeme Dott. I take him to win 13-7

Anonymous said...

"Do you people actually check out the form guide before making your predictions, or do you pin tails on a donkey??"

What did you use to come to the conclusion that Hendry would pull away from Selby at some point?

Anonymous said...

betty, if you want to look at statistics, then hendry is about number 9th in the world on one year ranking points so far this season, with very few matches left.

so, no, i wouldnt use the word diabolical, if (currently) only 8 people out of millions who play the game worldwide have managed to make it pro and to get more points than he has.

"average" or unconvincing, but not diabolical.

Mal said...

This should follow on from my last comment which hasn't been posted yet - Allen has made 1 semi final and 3 quarter finals (including this one). He has won 9 matches including ranking matches against Maguire, Hendry and only lost 5. He has also beat Higgins in the masters, Murphy and Ding in Jiangsu not including the champions league wins. Hendry may have had more point, but had only won 6 matches and lost 6 - the ranking systems rewards winning your first round match much more.

Dott may be his biggest test thus far, but he is definitely Dott's toughest match. And although Dott may like the longer matches, I can tell you for a fact that Allen thrives on them.

jamie brannon said...

Every session Dave? Is that not against the law?! As I think you could end up doing ten hours a day on some days. You must be eating, sleeping and drinking snooker! There was a bit by Simon Barnes in the Times yesterday about Steve Davis.

Also there was a documentary on radio 4 yesterday about the Chinese snooker revolution. It is on the BBC i player.

Im not unwell, but my time is limited too as I am watching snooker, football and soaking up the election build-up. Added to the fact I go out occasionally just so I don't go snooker loopy!

Greg P said...

This must be the first time you've followed an election if you call this a "build-up". I've seen less apathy at a Nirvana gig.

jamie brannon said...

I like the TV coverage of the election although not when it has cut into the snooker slots.

Just watched Grame Dott produce not just tenacious snooker, but classy snooker to come from behind against Allen. He is playing so much better than four years ago, he is becoming increasingly watchable.

Why is that some spectators seem to be in the same seats every day? The Crucible told me that it is randomnly done. There is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter who seems positioned in exactly the same spot every year.

Anonymous said...

KILDARE CUEMAN would you like chip's with that hat your eating ;)