Jason Mohammad introduces highlights from Thursday's quarter-final match at the Masters.
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Good evening and welcome back to Alexandra Palace Under 2017 Dafabet
Masters, were at the quarterfinal stage and we will show you tonight's
match between Marco Fu, 2011 runner-up, taking on Mark Alan from
Northern Ireland. After the saccharine's quarterfinal between
two heavyweights- Ronnie O'Sullivan and Neil Robertson. Out-of-the-box,
the trademark long red by Robertson suggested the Australian was in fine
form. But Ronnie matched his position with a fabulous part to
level proceedings. In frame four, this effort was surely a contender
for the shot of the tournament, all square at the interval. The middle
frames were uncharacteristically erroneous, firstly Ronnie opening
the door for Robertson to take the lead. Before the world number seven
returned the gift in the next frame, 3-3 and little to separate them.
Lady luck favouring the Londoner in his home tournament.
Amazingly, not just once but twice in two frames, the Rocket two up
with three left to play. Another wayward attempt by Robertson opened
the door for O'Sullivan to seal the match and take his place in the last
four for the fourth consecutive year, closing out a 6-3 victory.
Today, it was not a great match but I felt I was competing, I was
physically better in myself, I tried my hardest and it could have been
easy for my hair to go down but I just felt, play every ball. It is so
important until the end. He had several flukes that were crucial and
unfortunately, it was probably the difference in the match today
because I think if I had better luck going into the pack, I would have
made two or three centuries and unfortunately my momentum was
stopped at crucial points with the run of the ball. That is the way it
is, snooker is like that. I just have to take this defeat and move
onto the next one. I cannot chalk this up to a bad performance or
anything like that because I don't think I did a great deal wrong.
Ronnie O'Sullivan, two wins from his seventh Masters title, he will play
the winner of the clash between Marco Fu and Mark Alan, who lost to
Marco Fu in the semifinal in 2011. If you are watching earlier, on BBC
Two, you will have seen Marco Fu taking the first frame comfortably
and in the second frame, Marco was on course for a break of 142 but he
missed this red. He still went on to win the frame. 2-0 Marco Fu, we can
show you frame number three, Allen trailing by six points, commentary
from John Virgo and Steve Davis. Fantastic shot. Where is the cue
ball going? What a tremendous pot that was. If he mis-hit that in any
way, he was going to collide with black or red, it had to be perfect.
Only hitting the red in the pocket was going to find the right line.
Unfortunately for him, he could not play the position as well. This is a
big shot to take on as a pot. This is a tough one.
Wow! He was absolutely delighted with that. You can see after he
played that, that was a character builder for the rest of the match,
even. This black to go five points in the
lead. Which means that he needs these four
reds with colours to clinch the frame at this visit.
It would be nice from Mark Alan if these two red squirrel into the
right middle. Not easy to see from the overhead.
Just checking. He has got to be very precise, if he
plays in the middle, which he has done... And that looks about inch
perfect. Red would be enough to get to the required stage.
Well, he played that with pace, he was trying to develop the other red.
And he has missed that pot. How costly could that we? -- be? The red
goes in if he plays out with less pace but as you say, trying to get
that second red into play, it looks relatively easy, dropping into the
middle pocket... It is always more of an acute angle than it looks on
the TV screen... He will give that utmost care and attention.
The amount of time he is taking to look at this, it is by no means a
certainty, it is close to the pocket, looking on the television it
looks quite easy. I thought he could have been tempted
into playing that a little bit harder to get away from the cushion.
He quickly looked at the blue. I think the fact that he played that
at that pace, he was worried about missing that. He has not dropped
position on the colour, he could pot of the pink but he could not get
position on the reds so he's trying to get the black.
That miss from Mark Alan has not cost him the frame. He might still
have caused the problem. This is arguably a red ball game. A 20 point
lead that Mark has doesn't count for anything if Marco Fu gets the first
chance at this red, he can hit that red but then he could run into the
yellow. That cue ball was very close and
that is not the best safety. So, Marco Fu gets another chance to
steal this frame. It is more difficult because the green has gone
to the side cushion. It is not that difficult.
He could not risk playing that slow to keep on the baulk colours so he
had to get up the table. Some more mileage for the cue ball from this
blue. Just about kept away from snookering
himself. He has got the ideal angle to Stan across for the yellow.
Off the yellow for the green. He played that perfectly.
Still leading. Up to and including the black, I always feel the key
shot in this type of clearance is primed to blue, if he gets perfect
on the blue you would think this is a formality. -- brown to the blue.
And that is perfect on the blue. Blue, pink and black. What a steal.
So, Mark Alan did not have much of a chance for the first two frames but
he had plenty of a chance that one. And this, a trick or two and Marco
Fu stretches his lead, 3-0 in front. And this is remarkable stuff from
Marco Fu, in his first round against Judd Trump he was behind but somehow
got himself back into the match to win 6-5. Frame four and he is in
front again. Not easy but has he got it? Great Charter! -- great shot!
Going into the middle pocket, they just drop into the near jaw. That
was a good shot. He needs to make the most of this opportunity.
Particularly with Marco Fu having the first chance. That he can
somehow win the frame at this visit. Fu will go into the dressing room,
albeit 3-1 in front but thinking what could have been, as he is right
now. Nicely judged to get the correct
side of the blue. I think there is only one red available. And then he
has to start looking at spitting the pack, he could go into the pink and
two reds and be aggressive here. He chose not to. I'm not saying that
was the wrong shot at all. But he has to play a shot to split up the
pack, I think. Unless another red goes into the middle of the pack.
Obviously with two reds into the middle, they could also go.
6-point lead to build upon. It is not going to be straightforward. He
needs to open up that little cluster of five reds. If he has any thoughts
on winning at this visit. He doesn't have a good angle on the pink to do
that this time. That red in the middle of the pack of five, if that
goes, if it goes into the corner, I don't think so... Maybe the other
middle. But not from this position. A bit of a misjudgement. He is going
to leave this and hold the spot, I think. The pink was not on the spot.
Desperately looking for a good angle on the black to go into that cluster
of five. He has played that well! It all depends on this cannon. Whatever
you do, don't take your eyes off the pot.
Well, he got the cannon on the red that he wanted to, but Nasr is half
ball on the left-hand side, rather than full. -- but he hit it half
ball. Obviously he did not play the
cannon, he would like to be low on this red, and he is. That would
bring the other three reds into play. He just needs to be wary of in
off in the left middle if he plays it with pace. Is the red going to
cover the path for the blue? Not quite, he is OK, still on to win the
frame at this visit now. He has got to avoid a kiss on the red near the
baulk cushion. That is the only thing that can go wrong with this
shot. Just missed it. And played it well.
Red and black would put him 45 in front with just 43 remaining.
He has got its first frame on the scoreboard now, and Marco Fu will go
in with a 3-1 lead, but disappointed. He should not be
overly disappointed, of course, but when you get in first, in a frame
that could give you a 4-0 lead... He will be a little aggrieved that he
did not clinch it. Well, he has missed it. So but for
three snookers, Mark Allen will be 3-1 behind.
He needed that frame, he is still in it 3-1 at the mid-session interval,
frame five, Allen with a chance to narrow the lead.
This link will put in 32 points in front. -- pink. That means he can
win this frame with the two reds in the open, he doesn't need the two
reds together near the top cushion. Fairly tight on the positional part
of that. Red and pink would put him 46 in front with only 43 remaining.
It looks a formality now, if he has an angle on the pink, he may be able
to serve the reds, but he will be making certain he popped the pink,
that is for sure. -- he pots. So Marco Fu's missed black off the spot
looks to have cost him the frame. That is definitely the case now, no
way back. Just the way he has been striking
the ball, he must have come out after the interval with a little bit
more aggression, getting the cue through a little bit better. Yeah,
in some respects, sometimes when you are behind in a match, you can play
with a little bit more freedom, perhaps the nerves were jangling
right at the start of the match. Quite an interesting matchup between
these two at the best of times, but even more of a matchup, Terry
Griffiths coaching Mark Allen, Wayne Griffiths coaching Marco Fu.
Terry Griffiths, it is like Mini-Me, isn't it? Like the Lion King, the
circle of life, Wayne coming up on the inside. Yes, Wayne Griffiths,
who works at the academy in Hong Kong. He comes over for all the
major tournaments with Marco. So in goes the pink, and Marco Fu will be
disappointed, he looked like he could be 4-0 at the mid-session
interval, he is now only one in front.
A quarterfinal tie on our hands, can Mark Allen draw level? Early stages
of the next frame. Well, he has left a pot on here.
Nicely knocked in. This will be a test of Marco's cue
power. Most players here would try to get on the red that is just above
the black. He looks to have the angle on the yellow to screw back
and get there, but has he got it in his armoury?
Well, he has played through the gap, assuming the second red goes and the
first one didn't. If they both go, then that was easy-peasy, really,
wasn't it? He didn't have to screw back off the red. No, I didn't
realise both of them would go. Easy-peasy, Lemon squeezy!
Not too sure where it is going to go once it is potted.
It looks like it will go back on its spot.
Well, I think he is on a red to the left middle.
He is not the greatest power player in the game, sort of launching
himself, the cue goes up in the air a bit. But he has got enough cue
power for these cloths. You might be found out a little bit more on a
slower cloth against a player with a range shots, I don't know, only an.
Yeah, I think it is if there was. -- only an observation. He used all the
pocket there but struggled it in, nicely on the red.
He would be delighted to right the wrongs of the last frame, make a
frame-winning contribution here. I think perhaps it is worthwhile going
the pack here. I think a hard stun into the apex of the red might reap
rewards. Screwed it a bit, but looks good.
Yes, he is on a red - the only thing is the red to the left middle, which
would be his choice, is hampered. It just makes cueing a little bit
awkward, but has he found an alternative?
He has got a cut red into the right middle, but he would much rather
play the straight red into the left middle, other than the fact, as you
said, John, he's cueing over the top of that red. And it is not one he
can just rot in, he has got to put a little bit of pace on it to get the
angle on the pink. Good reasons to go for the cut red to the middle
pocket, this is a lot tougher. He has got to be happy with that.
Yeah, I suppose, by dropping it in, by virtue of the fact that he has a
red close to the right middle, he did not have to get the potting
angle on the pink. Didn't mind going up into the baulk end, because this
red was always going to be available, Andy Redwood nicely
spread. He has got a good lead, he does not have to bother with the
ones on the side cushions. -- and the reds are nicely spread. A bit of
a bounce off the top cushion, he thought he was perfect on the black.
Just went that extra couple of inches.
Played that nicely. This cue action, he basically just points the cube, a
couple of little waggles and then delivers it, ideal for these
situations where you just play little stuns and screws.
This blue will put him 62 points in front, 75 remaining, so a couple of
reds, a couple of colours required. It is a big watch, that, isn't it?!
In my day you never bought a watch on your left wrist because it could
get reflection from the lights. That could be off-putting. -- never wore.
In goes the black, everybody knows that Mark Allen needs snookers. The
red has gone in and that will be followed by the black. There is no
way back to the table for the man from Northern Ireland.
May be put to blue in and go for the red that is near the ball line. --
may be put. He try to get closer to that. And he misjudged that.
But we might still see a century here. Good pot.
To make that century he is going to have to sort out this difficult,
what will be the difficult last red on the side cushion. He has got the
angle, can he disturb this and bring it into play? He has! Very well
played. Dear me! It doesn't matter. He has
got his two frame advantage back again, it is now 4-2. Marco Fu two
frames away from a Saturday afternoon semifinal showdown with
Ronnie Sullivan. -- Ronnie O'Sullivan. Frame seven, Allen to
play and there is no score. He has to be careful with this safety shot,
he cannot guarantee playing this if he can keep all of the reds away
from the right corner. It could be that the red threads its way through
the pack. He played that extra thin because of
that. There was far too much pace on the cue ball. Although I think he
has got away with it. Or is there a plant? Not the dreaded plant! The
longer he looks at this, the more it is on. It is on! It is guaranteed,
as well! That is when you know it is not your night. Marco has
apologised, I don't know why. Was he saying, you were unlucky? It did not
flick off the other red, it went into the pocket. What is that about?
I mean, there is friendly and friendly.
Unless he is just saying, unlucky that you left the plant? I suppose
that is all that it was, yes. It is not ideal, he is short of pace. He
has to play that back-up for the blue and he has done that very well.
Inch perfect. You get the feeling normal service has been resumed from
the perspective of Marco Fu. But for a couple of awkward positional
shots, this is a great chance, he has to pick out the right red and he
has spotted the one that opens it up, if he gets straight onto this
and trundles through... He is on the black and it opens up. OK, he would
have liked that to be a little bit straighter but not much difference.
The red he would love to play for is to the left of the black. He can
stun from the cushion for that, the reason I say that JC could have
caused the position for the black to be blocked but with the black in the
open, nicely available to both corners. He is usually very good in
these positions. Pot success from both is very good,
92% from Mark Allen, that is nothing to be ashamed of. He could elect
going into the pack, playing both reds with some screw back, that
would be guaranteed to be on a ball and he would open up the reds
further as well. He chooses not to do that, I suppose
it could have gone wrong but that was an option. At some stage he does
need to go into those pack of five or six reds. Perhaps from this one?
Well, he would be unlucky not to be on the red on the same pocket as the
black. Yes, he has played it and the timing was perfect. He has opened up
all the reds, the frame is at his mercy.
We have all of the stats but we look at and I think one of the telling
ones that I have noticed and this is how the player gets in, it is safety
success. If you look at the safety success of both players, 95% for
Marco Fu. 76% for Mark Allen. That is why Marco is getting these
opportunities. Mark's safety has just not been good enough. Not so
far. He had a chance earlier this evening
to better the high break of 113 and, held by Mark Selby. -- 139. ?10,000
prize for that, if he takes black through the remaining reds, there is
a possible 143. No think Mark Allen can do. He knows this frame is gone.
This red will clinch it. No attempt to get to the right side
of the blue, there. Our possible 141, if he takes lax with his
remaining reds and there is no reason why he should not attempt
that. You assume that he knows what the highest breakers and if he has
done the Marbs, it is not guaranteed that he has... -- the Marbs. -- the
mathematics. He just wants to get on with it. Will he ask the referee but
the highest breakers? If he can get 140 with the pink... Can he tell
him? If he asks him. Yes. He would tell him, wouldn't he? He is asking
him. Still 139? He is asking. The referee didn't know! He is asking
somebody else! That is good mathematics from Marco,
you have to pay the pink otherwise you cannot get 113. -- 139. Still
on. Stuart Bingham, sitting at home right now... Yes, he helped that
with 132, Mark Selby beating that with 139. Possible 140. Well, busy
on any red? Can he avoid the kiss on the green? He played it!
APPLAUSE That is for the century. Can he
corrupt? And get the highest break? -- clear up. He is running around
the table. He took no time in sorting that red into the pocket and
you fancy he is going to pot these. Five remaining colours. To set the
new high break of 140. And put himself in line for the ?10,000
prize. Ooh from the crowd and quite like --
quite rightly! Superb! Absolutely superb, that
second last red was brilliant. And it took him and has given him the
5-2 lead with the highest break so far, 140. One frame away from a
place in the semifinal. Listen to the crowd, they enjoyed that.
Fantastic to watch, it was a joy to be there and see Marco Fu getting
that 140. Into the next frame and Mark Allen is fighting for his
Masters life. Mark Allen comes to the table, 28 points behind. He will
play no mistakes snooker from here on in.
And believe me, he can do that, I have seen him do that, I have seen
him stringing friends together with big breaks on numerous occasions. --
stringing big breaks. Can he produced this tonight?
That is your answer, I'm afraid. Well, he was short of pace on the
red, which was a little bit of an unforgivable mistake. He had a lot
of room for error the other way and he left himself with a very thin cut
Brian. Another ideal opportunity for Marco Fu. He should convert this. He
is already 34 points in front. The pink. Nicely in the open. Four reds
and the high colours and he is over the line.
I cannot see him slipping up, already this evening with breaks of
140, 97, 83, 74... Just one more good contribution and he is in the
semifinal. He just held that a little bit too
much but that should not cause so much of a problem, already has the
42 point lead, those three reds below the pink or be enough to get
to snookers required. -- would be enough. It will help if he can get
through the gap and apart from that blip in the middle and a spirited
recovery from Mark Allen, it has been very much the Marco Fu show
tonight. Nothing like a bit of confidence after that win in
Scotland, that certainly seems to have risen his stock. I suppose,
should he convert this chance... The questions become, not are you
playing well enough to win events, it is, are you playing well enough
to win the Masters? And how do you feel about the Welsh Championship?
All of those questions will make him very good. -- the World
Championship. The next time Mark Allen gets out of his seat it'll be
shake the hand of Marco Fu. Interesting, for many years we have
considered that Ding Junhui will be the first Asian player possibly to
win the World Championship but if Marco Fu wins the Masters playing
the best snooker at his career... Puts himself in the frame, he is
turning over some good players at the moment. He did get to the finals
of this great tournament. Andy played Ding Junhui in the final. He
finished runner-up. But he certainly is playing at the top of his game at
the moment. APPLAUSE
Disappointing for Mark Allen. His safety play has not been tight
enough. He missed one or two chances you would not expect. And with Marco
Fu in this form... It was always going to be difficult. Leaving him
too many chances. He cannot make the century here, not
enough points on. But he has certainly shown some tremendous
break-building here this evening. And of course he will leave the
arena with the highest break of the tournament so far, 140. Well,
whatever, somebody shouted, Mark Allen warmly congratulate him, Mark
Allen will be disappointed, he was no match for Marco Fu tonight, who
continues the role, he is in confident mood, Marco, and he
certainly is one of the men to beat. What a matchup with Ronnie
O'Sullivan Saturday afternoon, he runs at a very comfortable winner,
6-2, he is in the semifinal. I played very well right from the
start, I went 3-0 up, and I could have gone 4-0, but I missed a couple
of chances, but overall very happy with the way I was playing, any time
I got in the balls, I was scoring heavily, didn't miss any easy shots.
I wasn't thinking of the highest break until the frame was won,
because the first priority is to win the frame, but when the frame was
won, I could play with more freedom, less pressure, and everything worked
out really well. The highest break is a bonus, the first priority is to
win the match. I have played Ronnie in the past at the Masters,
everybody knows what the atmosphere is going to be like, and I am under
pressure because I am playing the play and the crowd. The semifinal of
the Masters playing Ronnie, it doesn't get much bigger than that, I
am looking forward to another great match. Yes, you are superb tonight,
they are both through, they meet on Saturday afternoon, what a match
that promises to be. That is it from us, another terrific
day at the Masters 2017, Hazel is up next with extended highlights of
Ronnie O'Sullivan, from all other sea, bye for now. -- from all of us
here. Returning soon to BBC Two -
Insert Name Here, a comedy panel show
all about people. Each week, everyone we talk about
will share the same name. Our captains and panellists of
course have different names. Promise. It's very simple
and not at all confusing. So, join me, Sue Perkins... Me, Sue
Widdicombe... And me, Sue Osman. If they have a fear of water,
God help them.
Jason Mohammad introduces highlights from Thursday's quarter-final match at the Masters.