Quarter-finals day at the 888 Welsh Open and the field is, as usual, full of familiar faces and brimming with quality.

The stand-out match pits Judd Trump against Ronnie O’Sullivan once again.

After victories over O’Sullivan in the UK Championship and Masters, Trump has every reason to be confident but Ronnie is back in form and seems relaxed and composed.

Trump has gained much of O’Sullivan’s popularity but it will take him a long time to emulate all of his achievements.

These two are audaciously talented snooker players. Let’s hope they serve up another entertaining match – although it’s a shame that people who work during the day always have to miss out because they are scheduled for the BBC’s main afternoon programme.

Shaun Murphy, who plays Mark Allen, has appeared in the quarter-finals at least of all of this season’s five major ranking events plus the Masters.

This is an admirable record of consistency in the business end of the game’s biggest tournaments but has yet to yield a trophy (though he did win the inaugural Brazilian Masters).

Allen is yet to lose a frame, indeed the Northern Irishman has already seen off two former world champions.

Stephen Hendry seemed to be contorted in pain for most of yesterday’s match, certainly after he lost the second frame to Allen’s snooker, free ball and steely clearance.

Allen spends most of his time between matches watching the American drama series 24. Providing his highest break is a lot more than this today then he has every chance of maintaining his impressive recent run of results.

Tonight, Stephen Lee tackles Ding Junhui. Lee started superbly against Tom Ford yesterday, making 129 in the opener, missing the pink with a chance for the highest break, but the match got bogged down thereafter.

Speaking of which, Mark Selby meets Stephen Maguire again in Newport a year after their drawn out semi-final in 2011.

Maguire looks really confident right now. After he lost the 2004 British Open final he immediately won the UK Championship, playing as if he wanted to make amends.

The Scot has of course just lost in the German Masters final.


Anonymous said...

It's a mouth-watering line-up, with Mark Allen the only player without a ranking title to his name. Usually by the QF stage you can narrow the winner down to one or two players but Murphy, Maguire and Trump all seem to be in form; with Ronnie it's not so much form as mood, and he seems to be in a positive frame of mind at the moment. Personally I think the field is too strong for Lee and Allen, and Ding and Selby seem to struggle to raise their games against top players producing their A-games. Anyway I thought Murphy was the 24 fan, and I can't imagine Murphy and Allen hanging out together..

Anonymous said...

mon judd

Richie Segal said...

You have to be in good form to win 7 ranking matches on the trot.

Bigger match for Ronnie, as Dave was saying after the Masters result its not much of a rivalry if one player keeps on winning

jamie brannon said...

I think Trump has developed a marginal psychological hold on O'Sullivan, and for that reason think he will win.

I'm not convinced he has gained too much of O'Sullivan's fanbase. He is very popular, but when he played Monday it was a poor crowd in relation to how many turned up to see Ronnie play.

It is a pity that they can't meet in the evening but as the BBC have not got an extensive evening show then working and non-working people wouldn't see it.

I've enjoyed the BBC Wales coverage, particularly the banter between the commentators. All of the final is on the red button, which is worth noting as Eurosport not bothering with the first session of the final, as other live sport to show.

jamie brannon said...

I've got Maguire to win this event, for the very reasons that Dave states, he seems to have the bit between his teeth.

I've enjoyed the lack of intervals, but don't think we have to introduce it elsewhere.

The variety we have now got in the sport is excellent.

Janie Watkins said...

To 10.12 am

Mark IS the 24 fan.
He and Shaun are great friends and golf buddies off the table.

Anonymous said...


judd has taken the decent fans off of ronnie.

the ones who liked ronnie as a player only, but who seen fit to point out all the stupid things he said and did.

think thats the difference.

147 said...

torch passed ?????????????

Randall Morrison said...

Hey Dave, I think you've confused Allen for Murphy with respect to the American drama series '24'.

Shaun Murphy can't seem to stop talking about it in his own blog and I have a hard time believing that both players are devout Jack Bauer followers. :)

Anonymous said...

We now know how Trump can be defeated: by playing really slow. That's exactly what Ronnie did today.

Dave H said...

Mark watches it as well

Randall Morrison said...

Well then...I sit corrected.

Maybe there's something about watching Kiefer Sutherland that inspires world-class snooker in these folks--I guess I'll go buy the DVDs and give it a try.

Or six tries.

Preferably three reds and three blacks.

Anonymous said...

147 said...
torch passed ?????????????

3:43 PM

1 win out of the last 4 isnt bad i suppose for someone as lowly ranked as ronnie, especially seeing as hes retired 1082082528508 times.

Colin M said...

Dave - it's highly annoying that the best matches are on during the day. I know it's luck of the draw and all that..but some people have to work! I think it's time the tournament director looked at order of play, as they do in Wimbledon. The best match-ups should be shown at primetime to maximise the audience and therefore advertising revenues. Oh and it would keep the fans happy.

Anonymous said...

If Lee and Maguire win tonight we will have the same semi-finalists two tournaments in a row. Has that ever happened before?

147 said...

anonymous 4:33 Could you enlighten us as to the reason you formed the opinion that the rocket played slow it would help your argument if you could make available his average shot time just to see if what you were saying was diatribe or not.

Anonymous said...

It's not the luck of the draw Colin, it is the BBC blatantly ignoring the needs of the working man. They don't even have the decency to stream the evening footage on the website. Technically it is BBC Wales, but I'm pretty sure the UK licence payer pays for it so the BBC could do the decent thing and stream it. Time for this lazy, elitist corporation to stand on its own two feet and face the market forces like all the other channels.

Anonymous said...

ronnie needed to get back up in the rankings and guess what he did . its always been in is own hands . must upset certain players who cant win at will when they need to.some who criticise him cant even get close .u know who u are .

Anonymous said...

"I think Trump has developed a marginal psychological hold on O'Sullivan, and for that reason think he will win."

"I've got Maguire to win this event"

Jamie bang on the money. NOT!!

Anonymous said...

Let me say one thing.... Selby is now the new Peter Ebdon.... Every match Selby plays in, he drags it into a big tactical bore with his negative pessimistic shot selection and over-analysis.... I cannot watch this guy play anymore.

Anonymous said...

147, Ronnie playing slow comment was sarcasm and frustration long overdue from when Trump (unjustly) accused Robertson of slow play. He wasn't able to blame that factor this time, so he'll have to face facts: he's not the new Hendry and he's got only himself to blame. In time Judd will grow and win more, but he won't be as dominant as some people (himself incuded) predicted.

Anonymous said...

1142, I allmost completely agree, apart from the fact that I do enjoy watching Ebdon.

jamie brannon said...

The criticism that the BBC is lazy and elitist is more nonsense, which doesn't even deserve a riposte. At least not until it is substantiated with a cogent argument.

Talking of the BBC, there was an interesting edition of Panorama recently concentrating on internet trolls, basically people who come into online forums to make personal attacks on people that they don't know.

At it's worst, it can lead to people even contemplating suicide.

I'm asking for trouble even writing this, but I'm fed up with anytime I make a comment you get a volley of vitriol aimed at me that, at times, seems to be just an effort to insult me.

I've go not problem with people disagreeing with me, I'd do it with others and Dave on here. However, I always feel that I'm fair minded, constructive and not resorting to cheap abuse or infantile mocking.

I've never got why so many in society when the debate begins to get heated have to behave so immaturely.

As for the Wimbledon, the BBC actually have screened Murray matches in the daytime. There are things known as video recorders and i-player services.

Any other free to air channel would show these matches in the afternoon apart from on the final weekend.

Of course, Sky would show it in the evening. However, would love to hear how that would be maximising the audience? A lot of working people can't even afford it.

Gerard said...

If you post on fora you know that sort of thing can happen. And it does.

But certain types of posts are more likely to cause reactions than others. Stating wrong 'facts' for example.

That has nothing to do with different opinions, it's people trying to correct others, which is fair or even a must.

Don't take the internet so seriosly.

Don't take the BBC so seriosly.

Don't take YOURSELF so seriously.

Anonymous said...

Jamie going on about internet trolls, WOW 3 words POT,KETTLE,BLACK.

147 said...

7:32 fair enough :)

Anonymous said...

If you love the BBC that much, Jamie, then you can't argue against making it a subscription service that YOU can then make the decision to pay for. The rest of us who don't think it's value for money can be free of this shite channel that offers sub-Channel 5 fare.

Anonymous said...

i agree 739

jamie wants it

we dont

if he loves it and is fair, as he says, then surely in the interest of fairness those that dont want it should have the choice not to have it.

which we dont

which isnt fair

which jamie and every person in the world with a brain cell would know is fair

but, most wont say it on here after jamies post, in case jamie gets upset.

yer right.

if i talk rubbish and post opinion as facts, or wrong facts, then when corrected im man enough to take it.

i then try not to do it again.

i ertainly dont make a habit of it and then play the little old me gets abused card when im fed up being rightly corrected.

daves blog is class.

i know you mean well, but youre biased, and when youre biased people point that out. no harm there. im fairly sure the posts with general abuse arent let through (quite rightly) by dave.

he IS a fair minded and not biased human being.

Anonymous said...

You know, I think pretty much everyone who has taken a pop at Jamie on here would probably have a drink with him if they ran into him at a tournament. What gets on people's nerves is that his opinion is sometimes very biased, which in itself isn't a problem, but some of the fact twisting can wind me up sometimes. I don't want to knock his dreams, but if he wants to be a journalist he's going to have to learn to present his thoughts a little bit more neutrally unless he's planning on getting a job with Al Jazeera.

Anonymous said...


a year ago i would have agreed, but i think his nonsense winds people up to the point theyd want to pour the drink over him, or worse.

this is a guy who can argue that from february one year to november the previous year is A FULL YEAR

cos, if you take one years number from the following years it leaves you with 1.

you couldnt make it up.

jamie brannon said...

I'm actually signed up for a PGCE course, so have no intentions of being a print journalist, I wouldn't be good enough anyway.

I used to hold ambitions about working on the broadcast side, but realised that it wasn't realistic and have opted for the teaching route instead.

I know what happens with forums and knew that my words but futile but thought it might as well be said.

I take the BBC seriously as it is the shining light amongst the mediocrity of British television.

The loss of licence fee would see a major weakening in the content that the BBC produce. I'm sure Dave and everyone else is sick of tired of me defending the BBC, but I feel it is one of the best things this country has to offer, and refuse to bow down to the right-wing media who like to criticise it regularly.

I reject any claim that I'm biased. Yes, Ronnie O'Sullivan is someone I admire hugely and support with strong intent, but have on a number of occasions been critical of him if the situation demands it. However, if I'm the fan of a player, it is quite likely that I will be saying more positive things than negative ones.

jamie brannon said...

Don't think Dave is stopping any posts, I'm now being threatened with hot drinks!

I actually admit that given it was a record I should have been more precise with the dates, but you do hear people in everyday life say this happened a six years ago and it probably did happen in 2006, but not in the exact month? We've all done it.

Anonymous said...

However, if I'm the fan of a player, it is quite likely that I will be saying more positive things than negative ones.


not if you are, as you claim, not biased.

did you re-read what you typed before submition?

Anonymous said...

jamie brannon said...
Don't think Dave is stopping any posts, I'm now being threatened with hot drinks!

I actually admit that given it was a record I should have been more precise with the dates, but you do hear people in everyday life say this happened a six years ago and it probably did happen in 2006, but not in the exact month? We've all done it.

2:36 PM

first off, it was my post and i never mentioned HOT drinks.

some journalist / teacher you are going to be. you seem to invent a lot of things. maybe you should be an inventor instead.

wrt your other point, maybe most people have done it, but id bet we havent ALL done it.

anyway, the point was that it wasnt a record and despite numerous people making a few posts you still dug your heels in saying you were correct. you werent. end of!

Anonymous said...

Word of advice Jamie. I'd rethink the whole teaching thing because from what I read Michael Gove is going to be an absolute c*** to the profession. He says 25% of teachers are incompetent, which I hardly believe is true, but if it is that's a problem with the colleges or government policy which they'll never admit to—classic buck passing tactic by government. I'd steer well clear of that job, no teacher I've ever met has been happy. If you think you'll be safe because you get decent grades, just remember every teacher needs a decent degree to get into the job so they can't be stupid. Get a bad class in a bad school and government is basically saying it's your problem, and they'll finish your career if you don't get the results.