Day 5 Masters Snooker Highlights

Day 5

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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.


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