8.12.12

ON YOUR MARKS

Well the best of 17s certainly came into their own last night as Shaun Murphy produced a quite remarkable comeback to beat Ali Carter 9-8 from 8-4 down.

This was as good as anything Stephen Hendry could have produced in his heyday: positive, attacking snooker with long pots flying in, big breaks being made and plenty of guts being displayed.

Murphy was simply sensational. His attack-first approach had always been his great strength – it’s how he played in 2005 to become world champion – and he clearly always believed he could still win the match.

It’s a very bitter pill for Carter to swallow. He had played well to lead 8-4 but turned a couple of pots down. Of course, he may never have potted them. He tried to keep things tight but Murphy played like a man possessed and forced openings from unlikely positions.

This was world class snooker and Murphy can enjoy his day off watching Mark Selby against Mark Davis.

Today’s UK Championship semi-final is the biggest match of Davis’s 21-year professional career. He has been a late bloomer. Up until this season he hadn’t been in a ranking tournament semi-final. He is now in his third.

Davis himself has commented on the fact that he isn’t as used to the one table set up as the other semi-finalists in York but he is playing well and needs to remain positive.

Selby is tough as old boots, as he proved with his comeback win over Neil Robertson, and is capable of mixing attack and defence with the best of them.

His only other UK semi-final came five years ago when Ronnie O’Sullivan made a maximum in their deciding frame. Selby has made slow starts in his last two matches, falling 3-0 and 4-0 behind, but this is a longer match.

He starts as favourite but Davis is full of confidence and another close finish appears likely.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suppose the question remains, would Davis have got this far if the matches had been two sessons all the way through? The format appears to have weakened the test. John Parrott would argue that single sessions give you a result, but it has no value if it is the wrong result. A journeyman in the final might be the perfect antidote to this devalued competition.

Anonymous said...

As there are only about 4 rows of seats on the sides of the table in York surely the one table set up won't make much difference to Dark Mavis?

There is one thing that slightly bothers me about York. People slag off the Newport Centre and go on about how awful it is, but the Barbican is basically the same - a Sports Hall in a Leisure centre with moveable banks of seating. The only difference is that the foyer is bigger. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Loving the longer matches! Dave can you confirm whether Mark Davis is the oldest player to break into the top 16 for the first time?

kildare cueman said...

Good to see Murphy playing well. Hope he keeps it up now.
Davis has a realistic chance of upsetting Selby - A year ago that would have been considered unthinkable.

I'm disappointed with the players left. No Judd, Ron, Allen etc. Might have a bet for interest. Don't think today's match will attract much interest outside snookers hardcore.

kildare cueman said...

10.59, I think Cliff Wilson was in his 50s when he broke in.

Janie Watkins said...

Good luck DARK MAVIS.

Crystal Gayle said...

Ali Carter has only himself to blame for throwing away a 4 frame lead. Up to 8-4, he was eagerly playing positive attacking snooker. Then he decided it was time to show the kind of anti-snooker tactics he had learned from Ebdonminator by switching into defensive snooker mode.
When there was a chance of a shot to nothing or even just a straightforward long pot on, he decided to play a safety instead that had even Dennis Taylor and Stephen Hendry in the BBC box scratching their heads. Shaun Murphy was aggressive and simply took a chance when he saw a long pot was on; some of them more difficult that the ones Carter had declined in favor of a safety. Credit to him, he nailed almost every single one in the last 5 frames; some of them serious contenders for shot of the tournament.
If Ali wants to win a big 3 trophy, he needs to ditch a lot of what he has learned from Ebdon and try to play positive attacking snooker throughout and not try to play hide-and-seek with the cue ball especially when the finishing line is within sight. Because his attacking play is right up there with the best but it is a shame he decided to go negative near the end and ultimately handed the momentum and a place in the UK’s final to Shaun.


jamie brannon said...

I've to disagree about this being a tight one, the head to head record, Selby's greater pedigree and experience, and Davis actually realising the magnitude of the occasion point to a comfortable victory for the Leicester cueman.

You'll probably end up being right about ten o'clock, and I'll end up missing Match of the Day to watch the tense, dramatic finish!

Anonymous said...

We should be grateful for small mercies. Could you just imagine a final between Carter (copying Ebdon) and Selby (out-Ebdoning Ebdon).

Anonymous said...

10:46, in the interests of balance although the games are shorter the fact that there are only 2 tables arguably evens this up?

There are a few players (i.e. Peter Lines, Mark Joyce, Matthew Couch) who have made a UK quarter final and then never done anything else, and I think I'm right in saying that these 3 made the quarters playing all their matches on the 'outside' tables, then melted under the TV lights. At least this year conditions have been the same for all the players.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Davis is a nice guy, but is there a shiftier looking bloke on the circuit? He has the face of a burglar, so he's fortunate he can play snooker because he wouldn't get a job working the till in a shop.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Carter broke down in tears when arriving at the post match press conference after his loss from 8-4 up.
I don't recall too much sympathy for Judd Trump when he beat him at Sheffield. Carter seemed ready to condemn and slate Trump and still call him lucky despite beating him.
No class from Carter but nothing new there.

Dave H said...

Harsh. Ali wasn't crying about the result, it was when he was asked about his Crohn's disease.

Anonymous said...

Can Snooker get any more BORING?

Anonymous said...

Kildare, im upset too. no Hendry left, no reardon left....

Anonymous said...

Matthew Selt's blog is causing a worldwide storm.

Anonymous said...

So Tump was no1 for a whole month!

And now Selby finally has a chance to claim the spot properly: with an actual tiltle.

Won't happen though .. Murphy will crush him.

Anonymous said...

610 obviously a bitter ron fan