For a second night running the Bendigo crowd were treated to some great entertainment as Mark Williams showed just why he is world no.1 with the way he finished off against Dominic Dale.

Displaying a trademark steely nerve, Williams drew level at 4-4 before compiling a 142 total clearance in the decider, his third century of the match.

Floating around the table as if he was down the club, Williams provided a masterclass in how to hold your nerve in a high pressure situation.

Dale had won his own thriller against Neil Robertson on Thursday and couldn’t have done much more to get himself into the semis.

Williams really is as he seems: laconic, carefree and composed, but you don’t get to the top of the world in your chosen sport without also possessing an iron will to win.

He’s the favourite to land the title this weekend.

Shaun Murphy stuttered a little before playing a good final frame to put away Matt Selt 5-3.

Selt fell 3-0 adrift but produced a 137 total clearance in the fourth frame and fought well before Murphy’s class told.

Stuart Bingham won the ‘grudge match’ with Mark Allen, who ill advisedly repeated his attack on the Basildon man afterwards rather than choosing contrition.

Allen’s comments only make himself look bad, not Bingham. Indeed, they backfired in a pretty big way as Bingham showed plenty of bottle, making back-to-back centuries and finishing off with a 96.

As I wrote yesterday, I defend the players for speaking their minds but that doesn’t mean you have to agree with what they say.

Not that Stuart could care less. He’s through to his first ranking event semi-final, a reward for a good guy who loves his snooker and has always made an effort to find tournaments to play in, big and small.

This one is pretty big and he has every reason to feel confident ahead of his clash with Murphy.

Meanwhile Ken Doherty’s resurgence continues with his 5-3 defeat of Mark Selby. This vein of good form is somewhat unexpected given that Doherty struggled at the World Cup.

But it’s good to see because Ken is another of snooker’s good guys, someone who has put in many years of service, and not just playing. He’s a fine ambassador for the sport and it didn’t surprise me that he apologised in public for his comments about Liang Wenbo last week, which stemmed from the disappointment of defeat.

Doherty knows Williams will be a handful in the semis because he always has been but I’m sure he’s just delighted to be through to the last four of a ranking event for the first time since the 2006 China Open.


Anonymous said...

The mask has slipped yet again with Allen. He also had a spat a few yrs ago with ken doherty. Not doing himself any favours at all.

Anonymous said...

As much as it's nice to see snooker's 'good guys' winning again - particularly 'Crafty Ken' - like you say Dave, a bit of spice and controversy is the main way Snooker will reach out to the masses. Though extra tournaments clearly helps.

Players like Ronnie and Judd are always going to be your standouts though. Their personalities and and style are the big draws, and whether they're brill people to share a pint with or not, they'd be the ones I'd turn over to snooker to watch still (not that I need any excuse - but you get the picture).

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain why the chinese events award 40 percent more ranking points than the Australian, German and Welsh?
Does not make one bit of sense.
Win the Shanghai masters and reach the last 32 of a PTC and youve earned more points than you would from winnng the UK.

wild said...

Can anyone explain why the chinese events award 40 percent more ranking points than the Australian, German and Welsh?
Does not make one bit of sense.
Win the Shanghai masters and reach the last 32 of a PTC and youve earned more points than you would from winnng the UK.

in fact you would need to reach the QF of a PTC but its stupid that you have to win Australia and a PTC to reach the points for winning Shanghai or China.

they are same standard and the way things are Going the UK Should come down from 8,000 to 7,000 to correspond with less frames needed to win it now.

Anonymous said...

A great semis line up, always good to see a few surprises. Great to see Ken back on form.

Anonymous said...

Form is temporary and class is permanent.
Allen lacks class.

jamie brannon said...

To be fair, Allen is suffering with depression and having experienced it myself you can some stuff you don't mean. Doesn't excuse his attitude this week towards Bingham, but helps me perhaps to understand it.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese events award more money, ergo they award more points. It's how it should be, since there is more at stake and hence more of an achievement for a player to hold themselves together and win. The UK should stay as it is unless the prize money comes down, unless you are one of those who think the mickey mouse PTCs should award the same amount of points.

kildare cueman said...

Points for the Chinese and all other tournament were increased a few years back when the circuit was reduced from 8 tourns to 6.
This was to ensure that the 2 year ranking cycle wasn't imbalanced in favour of year one.

Funny that last year the opposite happened and last years imbalance(in favour of year 2), is far more pronounced than the original one.

Thats neither here nor there though, and the point is that the season after the points were increased, the Chinese stayed the same. I don't know what the story is regarding the apparent inferiority of the Welsh, but the German and Australian events are equally as good if not better than the Chinese events, yet have the same lower tariffs as the Welsh.

I think WS should get the finger out on this one. Not only does it add to an event's credibility when it offers decent points, but it disincentivises players to stay at home or not bother too hard when they arrive.

Anonymous said...

The snooker management, sadly, still gives in to ridiculous chinese demands such as unfair wild cards and ranking points out of proportion. At least I hope it is a demand and not something done voluntarily.

Let China prove their respect and love for snooker, not the other way around. For the first time ever we have a chance to truly develop and nourish the european snooker interest and instead we are going full throttle towards handing over the game to Asia. Silly as can be.

And the Mark Allen comments afterwards were greatly entertaining. Perhaps not the smartest of moves but certainly fanning the flames and giving us something to chat about.

Anonymous said...

Ben Harrison on Twitter calls for Allen to be fined, then slaughters Allen, himself.


Anonymous said...

Mark may be upsetting a lot of people with his comments/attitude towards other players but, he will always be my Cutie of the Championship.