For those of you – and there are far more than the media would have you believe – with little or no interest in the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Betfred.com World Championship offers a respite.

There’s not much pomp and ceremony at the Crucible but there is a chance to be part of snooker history.

For Judd Trump and Ding Junhui, there is a chance to become world champion for the first time.

I was wondering yesterday if it would finally dawn on Trump just what he is involved in, or rather whether he would be overawed by it.

Well, he wasn’t. He knocked in some terrific balls and at times seemed to be channelling the great Alex Higgins in some of his shot-making.

Trump leads 5-3. Ding was unhappy with his own performance and needed the session to end but, of course, these are long matches and he is quite capable of turning it on.

Ding could do with a good start this morning, though. You feel he needs to win the session to clip Trump’s wings.

Mark Williams proved that snooker isn’t all about big breaks as he took a 5-3 lead over John Higgins last night.

Williams, at his best, has a big match temperament, responding to the importance of the occasion. Like all the greats of the game he relishes the pressure and doesn't fear the winning line.

But then the same can be said of Higgins and this match has the potential to be very close indeed.

Long before I was working in snooker I thought the semi-finals were too long but I do also agree with Shaun Murphy, who in an interview for Eurosport said that the format of the World Championship shouldn’t change because every champion in the modern age has had to pass the same test (give or take the odd frame here and there).

The attention of much of the world may be diverted elsewhere this morning but that test is what sorts out the greats from the also-rans and it remains as fascinating as ever.


kildare cueman said...

Trump reminds me of a young Hendry rather than Alex Higgins. He looks incapable of missing except when he takes an easy pot for granted while concentrating on position.

What an advantage to be able to consistently knock in the first long red. Its akin to a 40 or 50 start in each frame. Higgins is pretty good at it too and Williams will have to be careful with his break off.

Although I have backed both Williams and Higgins to win outright from a few months back, I would sacrifice my potential winnings to see the winner of the wonderkids' semi, triumph in the final.

A Ding or Trump victory would be so good for the game and would create a new superstar, catching the attention of the young fans.

Good international line up.
England, Scotland, China and Wales. Would like to see a couple of Irish lads in the latter stages and a couple less in the commentary box.

Doherty is disappointing. He sounds as if he studied past commentators and tried to copy their mannerisms and cliches, instead of just being himself.

I thought Ebbo was a good commentator in the oldies tournament. He has the voice and the knowledge to be an effective presence in the box. Why are people like him not utilised instead of irksome utterers like Hallet and Taylor?

Dave H said...

I agree he resembled a young Hendry in his general approach, but I thought some of the more outlandish shots were Higginsesque

Anonymous said...

his demeanor is young hendo
his cuepower is jimmy white
his shotmaking is alex higgins

David Caulfield said...

Yeah he reminds me more of Jimmy and, hence, Alex.

As for the format, I agree that the semi-finals should be an enormous test but three days is long...for players and viewers.

With regard timing and general and the finishing on Sunday instead of Bank Holiday Monday plan, three days this Championships 10am starts were not used. That would free up a day. Or also, as you previously suggested, begin the event on a Friday.

Anonymous said...

keep the exact same format but start it on a friday so that it keeps the same format and finishes on the sunday night (late) prior to most people being off on the moday to recover.

on the two free mornings that the tables havent just been moved, hold some sort of fun events and give those who have spent over ** on tickets a free ticket and charge £5 a head otherwise for charity.

slight difference, each champ going thru the same as the rest since 77. same meat, different gravy.

Betty Logan said...

All these floaters coming from Mark Williams, you wouldn't want to go to the bathroom after him.

Anonymous said...

Ding, ding, ding. The bells toll for thee.

Go on Judd.

TazMania said...

the semi should i think be reduced slightly to best of 31 like it used to be or best of 29. Saving energy of players will help the quality in the final. There was clear evidence players were massively tired in the last years tournament.


Hi David. Yet again, another great day's play today. I wish to congratulate you on you're chioce of title, for this post, "ADVANTAGE PRINCE WILLIAMS" wELL DONE, I like it.

Back to snooker matters.

Higgins .v. Williams - A great second session. Resuming 5-3 ahead, Williams seemed the more relaxed and dominant player, having gained a 7-4 lead. Higgins won a great 12th frame, from 62 points behind, 7-5.

Williams seemed to be in full flight, again, building a 9-5 lead. Two century breaks from Williams in the session. How would Higgins respond, having being, seemingly. outplayed in the session? The answer -With his uual, great grit and tanasaty, to win the last two frams, making a vital clearance, in the first of these frames.

Williams, at one tage, could have been 10-5 up at one point. He only, however, holds a 9-7 overnight lead. All to play for tomorrow.

Ding .v. Trump - session 2 - Resuming 5-3 up, Trump lead 7-4, having had a great run of the ball, and desent play. From there Ding found another gear, winning five stright frames, with great play allround, to turn a 7-4 defacit, into a 9-7 lead, going into session 3.

Session 3 - Ding took the first frame, to win 6 in a row, and go 10-7 up. From there, Trump played superbly, 2 centuries,and great play all-round, helped Trump take a 12-11 lead. Ding rsponded well, to take the final frame of a great session from booth, a 60 break, or above, in all of tonight's frames. 12 all overnight. All to play for Tomorrow, in this match aswell.

Well done to all players in today's sessions.

I can not wait for tomorrow's play.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Jamie on the Williams /Higgins game.

I think Higgins has had a poor run of the ball, and the seemingly, perpetually fortunate Williams, always seemed to have plenty of luck, he cartainly needed planty of chances to win most of the frames anyway......

If it hadnt been for a couple of vital clearances from Higgins he could have easily been 11-5 behind.
I think 9-7 isnt too bad, and all to play for.

I think that the player who wins the 2nd semi final is at a serious disadvantage when playing in the final, but to tiredness reasons, especially if they have a very close / late finish.

Please can we have both finalists have a full day off aftr the semi's so that there is NO fatigue disadvantage to either player.

Betty Logan is thicker than the instruction manual for Judds hairdo said...

So what do we all think of the BBC commentators embarrassing themselves in this "Classic shots" sequence? I think its a very poor substitute for the "Crucible classics" series. I was hoping to see more of that.

Betty Logan said...

Did Ray Reardon need a day off before his best-of-75 final after winning a best-of-45 semi-final in 1973? In just two matches he almost played as much snooker as these muppets do across the whole tournament. Could you just imagine Ronnie in the 1970s ha ha?

There is a simple solution actually, play the 1st and 2nd quarters of the draw simultaneously on the two tables, and the 3rd and 4th simultaneously, meaning that QF1 and QF2 only have one session left on the Wednesday. You can then play three sessions on the Thursday and Friday, meaning there is only one session left to play in each semi on the Saturday, which you could do in teh moring and afternoon giving the players the evening off. That would help reduce the fatigue of the second finalist. And before anyone pipes up about needing the Thursday morning to set up the table, they can set it up in the night! SO WHO IS THICK NOW, ANON? I bet your brain would go into meltdown if it tried to come up with that.

Anonymous said...

How is Dennis Taylor getting away with advertising the legends tour constantly on the BBC during a major championship. The free advertising must be worth tens of thousands. Its getting a bit tedious now. Hes been doing it for a couple of years and its annoying when your trying to watch a match. The reason you pay a licence fee is so you dont have to listen to ads.

Anonymous said...


email the bbc and complain

much that daves opinion has a lot of ears in snooker, your port of call must be there (and if you have done so, say so here)