The great thing about sport is the opportunity it affords for redemption for past follies.

Take Rory McIlroy. He collapsed during the final round of the US Masters earlier this year but then won the next major, the US Open.

Stuart Pearce missed a penalty for England against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals but scored one against Spain in the quarter-finals of Euro ’96 six years later.

Stuart Bingham today gained a small measure of revenge for his 13-12 defeat to Ding Junhui from 12-9 up in last season’s World Championship.

Leading 4-1, Bingham sat out a Ding century, the second the Chinese had made, but, when the chance came in the next, the Essex man took it in style, running out with 86 to record a win that would have given him more satisfaction than most.

Bingham is now a top 16 player. In the latest official list he is 15th but of course needs to remain there at the next seedings cut-off point to reap the benefits.

Another player heading in the right direction is Matt Selt, who followed up his first round victory over John Higgins with a swift 5-1 dismissal of another legend, Stephen Hendry.

Selt’s game must have been brought on by not only the practice opponents but the general atmosphere of The Grove in Romford, also the base for the likes of Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jack Lisowski.

People often take inspiration from those in the world who have achieved against the odds but we are also more often than not inspired by those around us. Selt has seen the success his pals are having and thought, right, I’ll have some of that.

Mark Selby’s highest break was only 46 but his aptitude for the fight could not be faulted as he recovered from 3-0 down to beat Joe Perry 5-3.

Perry was brilliant early on but the whole match turned on a single shot, his botched safety when leading by 41 with 43 on in the fourth.

Selby cleared up to win it on the black, leaving Perry to rue the missed opportunity to lead 4-0 at the interval. You really don’t want 15 minutes to allow negative thoughts to creep in when something like happens.

But they did, Selby won another black ball frame and after that looked like the only player in the match. It was another fine triumph in adversity.

Mark Williams roundly rubbished his performance against Barry Pinches but it would be a big shock if he went out to Dave Gilbert.

Of interest tomorrow is Ken Doherty, who played well to beat Stephen Maguire, against Liang Wenbo, who was on for a maximum until the super-fast table caught him out from 15th black to yellow, where he snookered himself behind the green.

Of course, Doherty had a go last week in Thailand because Liang didn’t wear a bowtie in one frame. Ken said this wasn’t sour grapes. Obviously it was and such comments are understandable in defeat, but it adds a little extra spice for their last 16 encounter.


Anonymous said...

cmon ken send wenbo home.im very surprised ding lost today but didnt stuart bingham play well ive never seen him as confident. im not sure whether he has ever won a tournament but like dominic dale when on form he is definitally a tournament winner material.really excited as a fan about this season.

Anonymous said...

i hope when liang is clearing up and well past the snookers required stage in the last frame that he takes off his bow tie and twirls it above his head shouting "woop woop".

Anonymous said...

is he contemplating the cross double (on the blue)?

no mike. he may have been contemplating a double to the middle.

learn what a cross double is!

Anonymous said...

Good run by Selt. With Lisowskis debut season and Trumps triumphs at the WC, the Grove seems to be the place for sharpening up young pros.

Anonymous said...

Hallett; "Amazing how we say something and something else happens".
Wouldn't have anything to do with you saying the wrong thing, would it Mike?

jamie brannon said...

And next for the Basildon pro is a clash against his bitter rival Mark Allen, who has criticised him for lacking bottle.

Anonymous said...


mike finally gets it right

the double nr tried on the final yellow was a cross double (unpotted)

jamie brannon said...

Who is Mike Smith? Was he an ex-pro?

Rob said...

I don't think so. He was a snooker MC in the 80s as far as I know.

jamie brannon said...

A strange choice to commentate!

Actually saw my first snooker of the season today in a Coral shop. I was impressed with the manner in which Williams stepped it up at the end.

This is the difference between the top players and the pretenders - they have a knack of raising their game at critical junctures.

Anonymous said...

ken isnt a pretender

he was a top 8 player for a good while

hes older and isnt as good as he was....

to call him a pretender is sheer stupidity

jamie brannon said...

I was talking about Dominic Dale, who despite being a two-time ranking event winner is not one of the regular contenders.

Anonymous said...

nice bactktracking again there jamie

common theme with you!