Hazel Irvine introduces live coverage of the first eight frames of the 2017 Masters final from Alexandra Palace. The eventual winner will pick up a cheque for Â£200,000.
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It's a great win by John Spencer. He becomes the first Benson and hedges
Masters. Terry Griffiths, shot to the top of World Snooker. The first
man to have his name twice on the Masters trophy. Alex "Hurricane"
Higgins. And extraordinary young snooker player. 24-year-old Steve
Davis finally has the one he wanted. And just look at that board.
LAUGHTER words escape me. It was Canadian Cliff Thorburn who
became the master of 86. Still the Masters champion.
CHEERING A tremendous cheer for young Mark
Williams from Wales. Congratulations to Paul Hunter. He wins his third
Masters title. It's Ronnie Sullivan or Joe Perry
for the Paul Hunter trophy. Good afternoon Alexandra Palace has been
pulling in the crowds for over 140 years. Have another full house here
for one of the great occasions in snooker. Masters Sunday. The final
of the Dafabet Masters. Last week has absolutely flown after a quite
brilliant tournament so far. Ronnie O'Sullivan defending champion got
the party last Sunday. Stillbirth. The Rocket still on a trajectory
that could give him the outright record seven Masters titles.
Ronnie O Sullivan, playing his best of the week to take the Masters
title, 1995. Amazing, being in London, being a Londoner. Looking
forward to the future. This has been awesome. No other
word. It looks like his fourth Masters
title now... I love it! Well O'Sullivan was the pre-event
favourite and is now odds-on to be the least fancied player this week,
Joe Perry. But the 42-year-old from Cambridgeshire, gentle man Joe, has
defied all expectation to reach this, one of the finals of snooker's
three majors. But the first time in his 26 year career and for Murphy
showed to come back against good friend Barry Hawkins to win a
decider as we rolled towards midnight. Their previous results
don't make pretty reading for Joe, he's won only two of the matches in
the previous 15 against Ronnie and none for nine years but he will
remember a World Championship classic if you seasons ago when he
took O'Sullivan very close indeed. Perry seems determined not to settle
for second place today. We all take up snooker from watching these
events today, it's going to be an unbelievably difficult task. Just
the fact that I'm Ibe are playing Ronnie in the final of the Masters
is a dream come true. I like to play Joe, he plays the game the right
way, tapping the ball is in, play a bit of safety. He is not a jot
trump, taking about five minutes. He's not a Selby that is going to
tie you up and keep you under wraps, he wants to get amongst the balls
but play safety. You can get involved in the match. Everyone that
plays Ronnie at the Masters is the underdog, nothing new, not going to
be a surprise. I've always spoke highly of Ronnie, I think every
snooker player has the utmost respect for his ability, the
greatest ever in my opinion. But he is beatable. You know. That's what
you have to take into the match, believe you can win, otherwise I
might just call it a day now. Some great matches with Joe, Plato in the
World Championship, 13-11, in the semis of the Welsh last year, 6-3,
one of the best I've played, played so well against him. Played almost
to the very best of my ability, producing something special to beat
him 13-11 on his way to winning the world title. I need to play close to
that again. I just bring my game to the table. I let them worry about me
and if they can play well enough to beat me I shake hands and say you
know what, well done. Otherwise I go there and then, you know what, I am
going to be tough to beat today. I started playing snooker at ten years
old, all I wanted to do was placed in a living. To achieve that would
be the absolute icing on the cake. One day, all my cue up and say, I
had a great career as a snooker player. This afternoon six time
Masters champion Stephen Hendry is facing up to the possibility that
the joint record may be overtaken, how do you feel? Not great, I must
admit. It was inevitable. This tournament has become Ronnie's home.
Ronnie against Joe, tell me what there's been to admire about Joe's
amazing run. Two incredible victories against Bingham and Ding
Junhui, coming back from the dead, 5-2, needing a snooker to clear up
and potting what was the part of the tournament. The favourite against
the man who was the joint outsider, 80-1, we remember the victory did
Ronnie made over Barry Hawkins, what percentage of the snooker world
thinks Joe Perry will win today? Zero, to be blunt. Possibly even Joe
himself, he has got to trust his ability today. Perhaps his family
will believe, obviously. But the snooker world, 0%, will think. Going
to trust his ability and believe in his ability and come out and try and
enjoy this occasion and play his best snooker, if he does that, he
has a chance. With so much expectation on Ronnie does that ring
its own pressure? He has expectation on himself, he wants to win,
tremendous desire to do it, but he will want to do it with style and
that brings its own pressure. A 41-year-old against a 42-year-old,
who said it was a young man's game? It's getting like that. Maybe Steve
Davis will even win. You are getting your QR at for the world stage, but
it might be slightly late for John Parrott and Steve Davis. You know
the stick we get from that woman. Doesn't she know who we used to be?
Once upon a time we were marvellous. After tip gate, how well did he
play? Ronnie O'Sullivan realised he had control of the Kubot and he
upped the play, positional play perfect, he outclassed Marco Fu who
up until then had been the classiest player in the tournament. His focus
for me, you could see the determination, he relished that. I
haven't seen his adrenaline pumping as much as that. The only thing,
might be an anti-climax, if it's possible. You have a theory about
this match today, expand. It's only a theory, Stephen said about 0%,
there was a match in the 80s, it might have been 85, someone was
given no chance and it was a bad outcome! Let it go, Steve. You like
this. We have found interesting -- someone interesting for Ken to talk
to. I am down in the queues, Peter
Terry, the father of Joe, your nerves must been jangling. Really.
When he made that snooker, got that clearance to win the frame, I
thought, he has a chance, he said to me afterwards, if he could do that
and make a big break to go through 5-4, he thought he was back in the
match. But what about that clearance in the last frame? The brown along
the baulk cushion, would you have gone for that? No. I spoke to him
afterwards, he said he had no choice, if he tried to play safe, or
the other balls was, trying to get that safe, go for it, when, or go
home. He saw his chance and he took it. What was he like when he came
off? Must have been buzzing. Electric, couldn't believe it. I
think he had a tweet from Barry this morning, saying... I ain't going to
go into that one. I could only imagine. They are still mates. What
about today. A big occasion. The biggest of his life. How is he
feeling and how are you? I am feeling great, he's had some great
matches with Ronnie over the years, Ronnie come out on top most of them,
but Joe has beaten him. In the USA some years ago, he can do it. He
starts producing what he'd done in the first and second match, the end
of the match, he can win. I hope the nerves hold-up, best of luck.
Cheers, thank you. Peter Perry certainly believe that history is in
the making, Ronnie going for a record seventh Masters title and Joe
hoping to become the oldest first-time winner of this event
since Ray Reardon in 1976. Fascinating. Settle down, here we
go. Rob Walker, it is all yours. Good afternoon, ladies and
gentlemen. This is it, the big one. We started with 16, only two remain.
Welcome to the 20 17th Dafabet Masters final, this could be epic.
They are ready, we are ready. Let's get the boys on the baize.
Please welcome a player who after 26 years as a professional finds
himself in a Triple Crown final but the very worst time. What a way to
do it. From 5-2 down and needing a snooker he climbed back from the
brink with that emotional victory last night and he said in a press
Conference after, standing on this tour is today and hearing his name
being called as a finalist would be the best moment of his career by
far. Ali Talley, let's remind him this is more than a dream, for the
gentle man Joe Perry! And his opponent, a player who has
been snooker's box office draw for more than two decades. His
celebration at the end of the match against Marco Fu yesterday proves he
cares as much about the Sport Today as he did when he first won the
title in 95. Will it be magnificent seven for the Rocket, Ronnie
O'Sullivan? This is one of snooker's three major
titles, the final, the best of 19 frames, eight of them this
afternoon, 11 tonight, Ken Doherty and John Fergal already. One of the
great occasions Good afternoon, Hazel, and good
afternoon everyone. You can tell from the reception both players got,
there is a tremendous atmosphere at Alexandra Palace. It gets you
jangling. Absolutely. The heroes at the back of the neck of both players
must be standing up. Coming down those stairs, what a fantastic
reception. Joel mentioned the biggest match of
his life. How will he hold himself together? That is the big question.
First frame, Ronnie O'Sullivan to break.
But the cameras away, please. Playing for the Paul Hand Trophy, in
memory of the greater champion himself. His mum and dad are here.
-- Paul Hunter. Ronnie has lived about six times. Going for the
magnificent seven. Yes, when Stephen Hendry won it six times, you wonder
whether that could be bettered. -- lifted it. Joe will have something
to say about that. I feel he's got nothing to lose, he may be able to
relax and produce his best snooker. Ronnie will get the first
opportunity. He's just refusing. Didn't think he
would be able to get on a colour. You would have to field, it's an
important start, more so for Joe, to get off to a good start, settle his
nerves. His first major final. One of these big BBC tournaments.
Ronnie was hampered by the yellow, did well to get Kubot bad for back.
I think Stephen Hendry alluded to it, he has got to try and enjoy the
occasion and if he can, then it can bring out the best in you.
Pots like that will certainly settle him down quickly.
Purposely getting on the red below the black, that will free up the
black into the bottom left pocket. Just concentrating a little bit on
the cannon from the red. Unforgivable. Playing the cannon
don't take your eyes off, it was a natural cannon. Cannot afford to
miss. That is for sure. Just played a little cannon, into
the cue ball too much. This is not the red he wanted to be on. A little
work to do with the cue ball. Stunning around the back of the
black. As to find the gap between the red at the top cushion and the
black. The red immediately above the black
is available. Slight angle on the black, can play for that.
Deciding to play for the red along the top cushion.
He has to judge this well. Got to be careful with the split. Played it
superbly. Just had a word with the referee. I
don't know what that was about. Tried to pinch a bit of the pocket.
Joel was trying to avoid the case on the second red. A little bit of a
balance. Whenever he missed it Joe has to take full advantage. When he
missed his red in the corner, he may have thought it cost him the frame
but it hasn't. Just thought I heard Ronnie
mentioned something to Paul Collier about the practice table. Maybe just
the sound of the bolts on the practice table may be to kiss
concentration of slightly. -- may be took his.
That little cannon on the red makes this black more awkward.
Excellent part! As long as he got bad, it was always the red, close to
the yellow pocket, top left-hand corner pocket, was always there.
Under the circumstances, very, very good. Just got to be careful here.
Control the cue ball off the baulk cushion. May have to use a little
bit of left-hand side. But that camera away, please. There is a
light on the front of it. Probably more difficult than this red.
The flick on the brown hasn't hindered him too much.
Concentrate on the pot. He's done, but not perfect on the pink. Can't
play yet to the far right corner or right middle, the right middle is
the easier. Good opportunity. To take the first
frame. Nice angle on the black if he wishes
to disturb the two reds. Get the points on the board.
Leading by 27. He is going to need three more reds with colours.
Another opportunity to play this little cannon. Just looking at the
scoreboard, this will put him 35 points in front. Played the cannon.
Worked out. APPLAUSE
You wouldn't expect a mistake now. Actually looks a bit more relaxed
than he did last night in parts of the match. Started off a bit
nervously, rallied a very, very well.
Looks very, very good this afternoon, relaxed walking around
the table, confident stride. Would be a real confidence boost if he
could make a century. Ronnie now needs two snookers. This
would really be eight secular if he could make a century. -- a secular.
Still a possibility. Ronnie O Sullivan missed an easy
read. Joe Perry gets a frame-winning 72.
Studio-macro Ronnie just having a chat with the referee about
something, fantastic start from Joe and he said last night my plan is to
get in front and stay in front. Go positively and believe I can this.
Mission accomplished. Great theory. It's great. Good to get your hands
on the table and it is nice to see your opponent miss. His contribution
will have settled him right down and let's face it, we're not talking
about someone who has just come off the streets. He is world number
nine, Ronnie is 13. He might be an 80-1 outsider and he's been around
the block a long time. Talking about her special occasion this is but
this is an adept and comparable player, when he's in a positive
frame of mind. Steve... The bookies made Ronnie a strong favourite and
everyone is thinking it will be a one-sided match but you're talking
about this, a player who has quality, class, experience, been on
the road and the ropes plenty of times, played at the World
Championships. Done everything to withstand what is going to be thrown
at him. Interestingly, I don't know... I was putting my head
around, trying to work for the conversation about, rather than
might Ronnie wasn't upset, but he was concerned, Paul Collier has had
a word with one of the organisers, it's something backstage. It appears
to be the noise on the practice table. Ronnie is properly a little
bit worried, who is knocking balls around on tables that are supposed
to be for professionals? I am sure we will get to the bottom of it.
Contrast and start from Joe, he lived ten to did against Barry
Hawkins. For more is a dearth from him.
Absolutely, he needs to get in front. All the players know when you
play Ronnie, if you get behind him, he just runs away from you. You
don't get a foothold in the match so that's why it's so important, the
opening session. In terms of its comfort levels, even the memory of
that brown Joe Perry sank last night to beat Barry Hawkins will give him
confidence because was a very late finish for him. He's not had a huge
amount of time to turn this around. This is a different day and Joe
Perry, chance to get in the final and he may have frozen a bit. He got
over the line in the end. This is different, he is the underdog. It's
a lot easier playing as the underdog. Frame two.
Decent length. Ronnie will take on that red.
At least he stopped short of the baulk line. A fraction too far.
That the idea where he wanted to play that shot. Get it really tight
to the snooker ball. Cut out the easy one-cushion escape and when
he's done that... A delicate touch particularly on these superfine
clots. -- cloths. . Foul and miss. That was a bad misjudgement from
Joe. May elect to take the green here,
screw off the left-hand side cushion if you can. Just two reds above the
pot. Still not going into the pack. Playing the loose one. That is inch
perfect. Couldn't place that much better with his hand. Fantastic
shot. Bringing a couple more reds into play here.
Just hampered slightly with the red. Made it more tricky, particularly
when they are playing with a new tip.
The first round would have irritated Ronnie, missing that straightforward
red. Now Joe is just going to come around
and look at the red above the black spot. Will pot into the bottom
right-hand pocket. I'm sure it will. Now he will pot this and leave a
nice angle on the black. Into the pack here. Good pace.
That's pretty good. It was always going to be on that
red. If you can avoid the blue when he's
plotting this, he could go for the baulk colours, he's OK.
He knew he would always have a chance at the black. Straightforward
pot. A bit of work to do with the cue ball.
Settled for that. That's worked out perfectly. Obviously the priority
was to pot the black. Look at that, inch perfect on this red.
Wiped its feet, that. Into the middle of the pocket.
That could've been a bit better. He's got the red on the left centre
but has been hampered slightly. He can only drop it in. He's got the
blue and black afterwards. No. Just hampered slightly. Made it a bit
more difficult than it could have been. I still fancy him to pot it. I
don't think he has left anything. No attempt at the pot. A very good
cue ball. On the baulk crush on. Although Joe Perry has a 22 point
lead, he's got to be very careful here. He may play the pot here if
you can find a path back to the ball. I don't think he played the
pot in the end. Just concentrating getting the cue ball back to the
baulk and. -- end.
APPLAUSE You've got to be careful if you play
safe down the right-hand side of the table.
There's one or two obstacles in there. But it's natural to play safe
down the right-hand side rather than the left-hand side as we look.
Played it well, but there's a red going towards the corner. And it's
not covered. Now will try to get the red out into
the right That was a nearly one. The red
didn't go into the heart of the pocket. The green is not on the
spot. Makes this a little bit easier.
The problem is, with this red, the left corner Ronnie is looking at, I
don't think the black goes into that same pocket. The black in the
opposite corner, it's not an easy task.
Yeah, didn't have the greatest angle on the blue. Tried to power it
through the baulk area and the kiss on the greenhouse cup is
chance. Ronnie has to show a bit of patience as well. He doesn't want to
force the issue much and give Joe too many easy chances to get
settled. A bit thick with that one. That's why he's not gone past the
baulk line. Slightly awkward cueing for Ronnie here. There is another
red, but his playing this one. Can eat you pass the yellow? If he
can't, he will have to put some side on their yellow. That's why the
straight one... There's a bit more pressure on this one. He would like
to play the one in the middle of the table but the yellow is helping him
slightly. He's playing this one. Good cueing.
So things not working out quite as planned for Ronnie at the moment.
Just a couple of reds, a couple of colours away from winning the second
frame, Joe Perry. If he parts of this red now, he will
go 44 ahead with just 43 remaining. -- if he pots this red now, he will
go 44 ahead with just 43 remaining. That should mean that Ronnie should
not bother coming back to the table. You have to say, this is just the
start that Joe needed. Yes, absolutely. Settling in nicely.
Looks to be enjoying himself at there. It's very important for him
to get off to a good start. This final, of course, two sessions,
best of 19, first to 10. He's not bothered about the black.
43 from Joe Perry there. He now takes a 2-0 lead over defending
champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. Last year we were remembering that Barry
Hawkins won the first frame last year and an winner frame afterwards.
Already has great friend Joe Perry has made great strides against
Ronnie than he did at this early stage and this is good stuff from
him so far. With hindsight, this many certainties in sport but before
the start, there's not many at all and the history of sports betting I
would imagine is littered with people who've put all their eggs in
one Ascot, lumbered on a very short priced and lived to tell the tale a
lot poorer. You mention that betting for this. 10-3 for Ronnie was the
most popular punt outside. Absolutely it was. Most people seem
to think it was going to be a cakewalk but it's not prove to be at
the moment but the funny thing is, I'm always into these things, how
people get to the final. Last Sunday, Ronnie O'Sullivan should not
be here. Remember this one? I hope Liang is not watching because this
was to knock him out last week. Frame ten and Ronnie came back and
made a century to knock him out but the margin is terribly small. Joe
Perry last night with probably the sort of the tournament. He makes a
clearance after being 50 behind and potted a brown which was superb.
Back we go. Ronnie, 2-0 behind. Break up shop. Leaving that
obligatory red in the right corner. It's a nice angle to get round the
back of the black. Courted to fix. If you are going to miss them, don't
catch them thick. This is a chance now for Ronnie.
First frame, he missed the black, that frame he was hampered.
A little bit too far. Two straight on the blue. He will have two stun
it in. He found an angle. To get closer to the red. This is what he
was always going to play for. That pink is not available. Back-up for
blue. He did have a look. He's always looking to get the black into
play. I'm wondering whether that read to the left of the black and he
can get on it? If, of course, he gets that red, it could go both
corners. Just a cannon, though here. Without moving the black.
Purposely staying low on this red now. He's going for the top this
time. Bringing two reds into play. He struck that absolutely
beautifully. When you consider he had a new tip on yesterday, there
didn't seem to be anything wrong to me. A bit of left-hand side now.
Lovely angle. Getting through the cue ball beautifully. No problems
getting through the black here. OK, he's not entered up in the left-hand
corner pocket, but he was knocking one or two reds towards the right
centre. They both pot. He will be very eager to try to win
this frame from this visit, just to settle his own nerves he may be
feeling. It would have been a shock to the system to miss in the first
round. The Blackie missed the second frame. -- black he missed in the
second I think he played for a choice of
two reds there. Just to the left of the pink. If you can kiss on the
black, it shouldn't be a problem. Full stretch, though. Yes, stop
himself. . The extension. -- yes, stopped himself. Got the extension.
Played the soft screw. Could be the pink goes in. Definitely the red to
the left as you can see. So he will play for that red. He needs to get
into this, though. Offer side cushion. -- off the side cushion.
He would like the cue ball to travel into the middle of the table six or
eight inches, but he is still OK. Now he needs an angle. Doesn't have
it on the green. Doesn't have it on the brown. And looks like he doesn't
have it on the yellow. It's not great. They're still 75 points
remaining. He will have to disturb something to keep this break going.
He's got a slight angle on the green but to put top spin, come off the
side cushion into the reds, that's a big ask. Don't get me wrong, he's
got the cue power to play it. Is there any value in potting one of
these baulk colours and playing a safety shot? I'm not sure here. He
has got the rest out which tells me is going to play the brown. Is not
going to play the pot. Yes, clever shot. No real value
potting the green there. Wasn't going to get any more points so have
a bit of insurance, put the brown say. He knows if Joe Perry is going
to win this frame commies going to need that brown, so made it more
difficult. What has he spotted here, a
three-ball plant? I think it might push to the left as
we look. Oh no it didn't. Into the pocket.
He might not have got tight, as we watch that plan to gain. Well
spotted. It will be difficult for Joe Perry to get this say. There's
always a gap. Between the yellow and blue. He can't get the cue ball back
to the baulk and. Is got to somehow that it say. And he needs to get it
say. Ronnie is only looking for one more red.
There is a read up into the green pocket here. He only needs one red.
He decided against it. Nice shot. And beautiful. Lovely control. Yes,
I think you alluded to it before, he's got to play at right.
Obviously, is never going to panic. He's got to treat Joe with respect
here. That is a good escape. Well played. Good shot.
Yes, he was a bit disappointed with that.
He was up straightaway. This is a chance for Joe. Close.
But he's not left an easy chance for Ronnie to close the frame.
Is Ronnie thinking of a possible plant? The only needs a red. Only 59
remaining. No plant. Just a safety and a pretty
good one. When you look at the table now.
A couple of interesting spectators. The keyboard players of the Kaiser
Chiefs. -- player. And of course Paul Martin from flog it, kept his
tickets, obviously didn't flog it. Ronnie's attempt didn't go in. Now
the chance for the counterattack, not an easy one, he made the save
shot a few ago, got red leather side cushion, particularly by the right
hands so a lot of work to do for Joe here. He's just about on this
thread, 53 points behind, 59 available, he has points to spare
but doesn't want to be playing too many low value colours. Just about
on the green. Play that nicely. 49 behind, 51
remaining. Off these last three reds he can afford one pink.
Now he has a slight angle on the black, you try to disturb the red
will try to dropping behind it? His choice. Disturbed it and it couldn't
have worked out much better than that.
A little bit low on the black, if it was a bit slower it'd be easier than
this but if you swing sets roundabout to conditions then he's
not certain to finish that good on the yellow. Forgot the black.
Didn't see that one coming. I think that will secure this first frame
for him and reduce the deficit. That was a golden opportunity for Joe
Perry. Because that is what joker played had he had that opportunity.
-- Joe could have played. I think he over contemplated that black. Just
confuse himself a little. Was thinking about how he can get
perfect on the yellow but you never take your eyes off the pot which is
what he did. He played it very well but Joe Perry
will be very disappointed that he had the chance to take a 3-0
advantage. STUDIO: O'Sullivan off the mark in
his fourth Masters final which is an extraordinary record in itself. Joe
Mr black and seem to second-guess himself? And nightmare shots for
Joe, he had a few ways to get on the yellow but this is the classic
example of somebody who as a coach you would say right OK before you
get down to play the shot, make sure you know what shots you're going to
play. They teach every golfer in the book, before you go to the routine,
you know exactly what you're going to do. Snooker is not like golf
stopping and starting, it is more fluid so sometimes you think on the
hoof so to speak. On a shot like that you have to stand up again,
make your mind up and then get down. Impression so far, it's not gone the
way many people anticipated and as a spectacle it is all about it for
that? It is intriguing. You couldn't really expect him to play to the
standard of yesterday. It's interesting, that was a very big
mess on the black, a bit of indecision and Steve said it. Your
routine is your routine, you have to stick to it and if it's not right
get back and start again. Mentioned rawness performance yesterday and
the Peak performance and how much it takes out of you, could that be a
factor? The only thing I would say is Joe had the same thing us last
night. He knows the situation, I don't think in that one today, if it
had come after two or three performances like Neil Robertson a
few years ago where he played unbelievable snooker but not after
one performance. Almost got to the final and had nothing left and was
beaten 10-2 by Shaun Murphy. In terms of Joe's performance so far, I
know Stephen Hendrie along with many people had much of a chance, it's a
positive thing for him and he appears to be in a positive frame of
mind as he attacks this. That's the first thing that went wrong all day
long so I suppose of somebody said three frames you would be 2-1 in
front, he would've bitten the handoff because you don't know what
will happen at start of a match. Joe has done that and now we are in the
second phase of the match really, we passed the part of the manoeuvring
part in getting down to seeing who has the bigger guns. You made a
point about a certain 1985 and final but being in a World Championship
final in 2015, Stuart Bingham had a fairy tale together and many people
thought Murphy would have the better of him but fairy tales definitely
happen in the sport. The mid-session interval will come
after this frame. It's an important one. Joe would love to have a two
frame advantage going into that mid-session interval.
For someone who has had a few bets over the years, the only uncertainty
I know is after the one. He was 80-1 before the beginning of the week Joe
Perry. Try to hold for the black but at
that distance playing below centre, it gets off-line. Ronnie had a look
to see what he's got left, he hasn't left an individual pots but is there
a plant? A bit of distance between the two reds but one he could
certainly make. There is a gap to go off the pack as well to get the cue
ball back up in the middle as well. Very well played.
That's a poor shot. He really wanted to be up higher on the cue ball.
Just dropping it in for the black. The previous shot was a very poor
positional shot and he had so much room for error here.
You don't get many opportunities against the likes of O'Sullivan but
he is in top form, when you do get the easy chances you have to make
more of them. And as you said no excuse for coming up short. Plenty
of margin for error. I don't think he can miss going back to the ball
unless he decides he has seen enough of the red to pass the pot. Decides
to play the containing safety. Safe enough.
That was a magnificent shot. He has had a bit of trouble there. The
judge has perfectly missed the black on the way down. Back up towards the
ball cushion behind the green. Always a possibility when you hit
the pack that hard that something will go over a corner pockets, has
he covered it? This looks like a certain plant into this pocket.
You think it's a plan to put if it was a straightforward plant I would
play the one near the middle pocket on to it. Because then he would be
guaranteed position on the blue. If he comes off the side cushion and
makes the plant then he's not certain to be on a collar. It's
something like that the angle, that's what he'll try to achieve, a
cushion first -- colour. Let's see how this looks. It's not bad.
CROWD CLAPPING I wondered how he would get off the
colour on that. He will be pleased with the outcome. Looks like one of
your trick shots that John. He will be very pleased with that.
Absolutely. Now the position at the moment, the black is not available
to either corner pocket you would've thought. See you would think the red
over the right corner, gets rid of that but it's one of those when it's
close to the cushion like that, you can't inject a lot of place so he
may just settle for a few blues here.
I think now he would play for the red over the right corner.
Definitely play for it now. It's one of these, because he's so close, you
don't have to hit it hard, you can hit it harder than half and the way
to play it is to play below centre, just strike it below centre. Play
with top and you can banana the shot. He will settle for that. He's
on the green. The pink I'm sure is available into
the bottom right-hand corner pocket, he has to be pretty precise with his
position. He is held at nicely. The little kiss on the road, trying
to get the red in the same pocket as the pink. I suppose he'll is new he
had the left corner but surprised it is not still in play for the red in
the middle. Andrew with the blue not being on its spots, wasn't that easy
to get a good position. A good shot here on the green. He
can cut the blue, a lot of work to do with the cue ball. Does he flick
it off on the red? Not quite. Because of the fin contact he needed
the pace. Just came a little bit narrow. Got the flick on the pink.
He will be disappointed with that safety. This thread just below the
pink does pot. -- Reid. The chance now for Joe
Perry. A big frame this now. Both players have chances.
This black will take Joe Perry four points in front. Leave this for
remaining reds with high values, it doesn't look too difficult. Just has
to keep the cue ball under close
control here. Ronnie will be kicking himself that he didn't make that
opportunity. A good performance so far with Joe
Perry in this first session. He has held himself together very well.
This frame would be a great steel. The great confidence booster.
This black will put 28 points ahead so we just need the red after this
black. Wonderful. Good stuff. You get the feeling he
would always get a chance or two, that's the nature of the game but if
he would take them. Honestly I didn't see him getting this many
chances. Fair play and he will go into the interval on a high you
would think. Not many people gave him a chance in this match.
74 break from Joe Perry. And now leads the defending champion 3-1.
Fascinating story and not the one many predicted. 3-1 to the underdog.
In terms of the break, 74, 72 and this is much better than what we saw
from Joe in the final. I agree with commentary, I didn't think you'd be
getting this many chances. Ronnie is not there, but difficult two days on
the spin. Joe will be sitting there are very happy with a 3-1 lead. How
big a task is this for people just coming into this match, objectively
speaking, for Joe Perry to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final
today? The task gets greater as he gets closer to the finishing line.
These are the early exchanges so he has done as well as he could ask for
and I think from Ronnie O'Sullivan's perspective and Joe's, its levels of
expectation, where does he go after this performance after Marco Fu, Joe
can't do any worse than the last, he scraped over the line, he can't play
any worse than that really. Therefore perhaps the writing was on
the wall that Joe would play with more freedom and perhaps that Ronnie
Wood possibly have too much expectation on himself and there is
the possibility that this is Ronnie's 12 final at the Masters and
he has won six, if he would lose this, his strike rate of finals is
50% which is not as good as normal champions so it's a strange
situation. It is and even stranger when you think about the levels of
belief that Joe Perry will have to summon today. As we said at the
start, he has only beaten him twice in 15 attempts and not since 2008 so
we are going back an awful long time to summon that feeling again. The
last seven matches have all been Ronnie. I don't understand where it
has come from. This is why as a snooker player just punch and hang
on in. He turned up and I think he lost his last five matches turning
up, he won a 6-1, got against Barry Hawkins and a couple of weeks ago he
was thinking about packing in, you have to keep playing and practising
and sometimes when you least expect it it goes your way. Funnily enough
he said it had stopped his thoughts of quitting the game after beating
Bingham, he said he fell out of love with the game and suddenly as John
said this comes out, and incredible patch. If you think about what
happened to Mark King recently. You get somebody bashing against a brick
wall for seems like a long time having some success but failure as
well. Then down the line it all clicks into place. As long as you
are optimistic enough then you have a chance and that is what has
happened today. It doesn't sound like Joe Perry has tweaked anything
in his game, he has just plucked away. He sure is and has produced a
trickle to this week. Speaking of tricks, you probably remember last
Sunday when we showed you one of the most incredible trick shots we have
scenes. We've edited this upper bits because it does run over two
minutes. It was at the all stars club in Bristol. This took four
hours to set up. It was set up at closing time in the club and they
kept tinkering until about dawn when the cleaners were about to come in.
It involved stairs and snooker tables and two American pool tables
and 60 notable tables and it's definitely worth seeing again
because it's an extraordinary thing. It is nice to know there's a level
beakers that cue ball could have rolled off early and we would have
to get the fitters in and all sorts. Great use of all of these. And it's
obviously not the same ball that goes into the hole at the end that
started out but is nonetheless a feat of engineering and here it
comes. The ball has travelled over 500 feet. I believe they are already
planning on topping that the man responsible for that, Shane O'Hara
from Bristol is with Dennis trying to pass on some tips. That is one of
the finest trick shots I have ever seen, how long did it take you to
set that up? I will never get tired watching it that's for sure. It took
me nine hours start to finish. I used to manage a snooker club, you
close at 11 and open at half mindset how did you manage it? That was
pretty much it, you can see the clean air in the background waiting
to claim and I to shove out the way and get finished. Where was the
club? All-stars in Bristol. To be fair the lot of reason why it works
is because it is a spectacular venue. If it was a bit rougher it
might not work. Are you a snooker player or a bit of pull? I'm a bad
pool player and it even worse snooker player. How did you even
think about the shot? Just a bit of marketing and it was a slow news
week so it has taken off because there wasn't a lot of going on in
the world. To get over 100 million people watching it is something
special. I'm going to put you under real pressure here because I've
trick shot setup and its live so you can't not, you have one go at it.
You can borrow my cute. No pressure here. Live is not my friend but I
will have a lash at it. I'm shaking, is that normal.
What about the 80 cakes do I get them? You only get the one it take
for that. You show me how to do it. Have we got the white ball? Here we
go. There will be 100 million people
happy to see me niss that up. Well done guys. We've had 23 centuries,
five final frame deciders, two near misses in maximums and in other
words, plenty of opportunities and indeed contenders for the shot of
the tournament 2017. What is he going to attempt here on
the green? Something special? He is. Look at the action on that cue ball.
What a positional shot that is, by the way. Oh my goodness. What a
shock but is. To get the work on that around the angles, what a shot.
He has got it this time and he has got away with it.
Easy safety, but the pot wins you the frame.
What a pot that was! Listen to the raw.
A little bit strange. He's got the wrong angle on the yellow. One thing
he has got is an abundance of cue power, Stuart Bingham. Watch the
white spin. Well played. Unbelievable amount of side on that.
Come on Ding. There is the cue ball. Flicked on the brown. It looks
really good. What a shot! He couldn't have put it better than
that. A big smile. Look at this for a shot. Absolutely
delightful. He knew he could not force that one in because of the red
on the cushion, but we have seen him knock a few of those in but that
cannon was exquisite. I tell you what, what an effort to
that is. I mean, that is as good a positional shot as you will ever
see. Loads of top spin there. That was a bit special.
Not often Ronnie thinks about a shot this length of time, but it very
understandable here. It was worth waiting for. I said he
would do well to find a path down the table, and he found a pot and
he's on a brown to get back up to the reds.
Even if he got to the right-hand side he has got the blue to miss,
the green, to miss, good luck. Good luck. Good luck with this one! Great
shot! What a shot! To vote for your favourite, go to
the website. We will announce the winner
receiving. That escape was part of the high drama last night in the
semifinal win over Barry Hawkins and it's the underdog who holds a 3-1
advantage and let's get the view from the Kerry camp at the moment.
Great excitement, I'm sure. I'm here with Joe's father Peter, and his
good friend Barry. What a fantastic start from Joe Perry. Brilliant,
yet. To be quite honest, he was pretty nervous, but he's not firing
as well as he did in his first two matches but he's getting there. He
looks a lot more calm and confidence and more sure of himself, even
walking around the table. The semifinal in his eyes is the match
to the final, win it, brilliant, come second, brilliant. You know
what I mean? That's why he is a lot,. Is that what you would have
said to them, he's got nothing to lose? Everyone is expecting Ronnie
to win but he is the underdog and he's got nothing to lose. No, he's
made a great achievement to get this far. He's got to go out there, enjoy
it, try and relax, and played the best he can. And hopefully that will
be good enough. Peter, tell me about Joe's mother. She can't watch it.
She won't even be watching at home? She works at Barnardos, she works
there during the day and recorded obviously live. She won't watch it.
If I ring up and give her a good result, she might watch it because
she knows the result, but she said give Hazel ring because anybody will
know I gave birth to him. His younger brother is coming down
tonight. OK, the nerves will be jangling but a great start for Joe
Perry. Lots to look forward to in the second half of the match. And
there's lots of work forlornly to do at this stage. The best of 19, the
first 210 and this evening's session to come. He's got some work to do to
change the order in terms of snooker 's majors. We've been showing you
this graphic over the last couple of days which indicates the state of
play in snooker's three major titles, and O Sullivan has a chance
to get the most number of wins in the Masters, he currently shares
with Stephen Hendry, but for the first time in 18 years, there could
be a revision of the record books in snooker's record books because not
since Stephen Hendry overtook Steve Davis and Ray Reardon has somebody
set a new benchmark in these events, and you have been in this situation,
Steve, and I wonder how significant it could be in terms of snooker? I'm
not too sure the players, when they're competing in the tournament
at that moment, think about it, but when you look back over your career,
it's something to be proud of so it matters. As we know full well, from
the amount of disappointment Stephen Hendry has felt when some of his
records have been broken, it does hurt. It shows they are far too
greedy. You wanted all of those tournaments, let someone else when.
We have got another four frames this afternoon in the final of this
Masters. Lets remind you of what the story has been in the first four so
far. At the start of the 2017 final, odds-on favourite against 8-1
outsider, Ronnie missed this in frame one and Perry grabbed the
lead, 72. A foul from Ronnie gave Joe another chance and he stepped in
for a second frame. 53. A 2-0 lead for the outsider. In frame three,
Ronnie made a 58 break that Joe was on the chase with a chance of a
steel before missing that black and Ronnie wins his first frame and his
12th final. And then, in frame for, another clearance of 72 for Perry
with this long red has given Job and unexpected very, very unexpectedly
-- Joel. Four more to play this afternoon and
we will enjoy them in the company of Dennis Taylor and Stephen Hendry now
in the commentary box. Good afternoon, Hazel. Great reception
for both players. A lot of this Alexandra Palace crowd went
expecting to see 3-1 to Joe Perry, but Joel and his fans will be quite
pleased forth I spoke to his dad before the interview, and he was
very optimistic. He's hoping for great things from his son. Ronnie
O'Sullivan to break. As we always know, things can be changed around.
Yes, Joe has got to be expecting an onslaught at some stage. He's got to
keep believing. I think, if he can keep unforced errors to an extreme
minimum, when he's got the lead in a match, it could happen.
Four more frames in this afternoon's session. He could have a lead going
into tonight 's session. If he keeps saying good safety shots like that,
he will get chances. We know Ronnie is a terrific tactical player as
well, but he needs a good return here.
That's not the return he was after. The cannon on the yellow has left a
straight red for him. A slight angle. It looks to be dead straight.
Now you see it. It's been interesting in the first
four frames, his body language, complaining about things, getting
agitated. Is almost trying too hard. That's a very good point, Stephen.
He would take a record away from you, second Masters title, looking
forward, but sometimes if you do try that little bit too hard, it makes
things much more difficult. Just lost the cue ball. Depends on
the angle he has got on the Akrotiri.
He will have to come in and out of baulk.
Enough left-hand side to avoid coming back and catching the green.
Played that very nicely. Something very, very relaxing about Joe out
there this afternoon. Beautiful touch player, Joe Perry. Very rarely
see him hit the ball too hard. Carrying on from where he left off
before the mid-session interval. He had a break of 74 to go into a 3-1
lead. Every chance now of clinching this fifth frame with this visit.
Got enough angle on the blue, not a problem. For the next red. I say no
problem, he could've played that better. He's hampered this one to
the left corner. A slight lapse therein concentration. He's got to
be careful with this one. Doesn't matter how good you are. If
you are sitting in the seat, you can't do much about it.
Not going to be easy to make a century break, the way the balls
have situated. Disturb the two every chance of doing that. This will be
the 24th century, 28 if he can get one. This is tricky. If it's tight
on the question, a better chance of rolling it into the pocket.
Just about. He hit the cushion halfway.
This is a fantastic performance in this frame. And never looked in any
danger from the first pot. Absolutely fantastic. Joe Perry.
Terratec reception in this packed audience here. # terrific reception.
That was Joe's fourth century in this year's Masters. Good timing.
141 is still the highest. Marco Fu have that. Doesn't matter about the
cannon on the brown. Can clear the lot. He has done more than enough.
Surely he couldn't cut this in? Not quite. A good start after the
mid-session interval. Joe Perry got one chance. He made a century break
and he now leads Ronnie O'Sullivan by 4-1. If it hadn't been for that
on the brown, you might have had a better angle on the yellow because
he was on for 142 and the highest break of the championship so far. It
is the 24th of the week, and in this current format of the Masters, a
wild card round, 28, so will it be beaten? We shall see. I'm sure Joe
was absolutely delighted with his fourth century of the week. This is
great stuff from Joe. Yes, it is. I'm not going to disagree with what
Stephen Hendry said at the top of the show because a lot of people
felt there was only one winner today. But I would be interested,
I'm not having a laugh, but what Stephen thinks. What percentage of
people now think Joe has a chance? It has gone up a bit. A fair bit I
would imagine. We were discussing the fact that Ronnie has, by his own
admission, being in a losing habit in the final. Since October, is lost
three finals. The cell B1 was an unbelievable match. You don't want
that to become habit -- Selby one. It wouldn't be the seismic shock of
Leicester win the Premier League. But it would be a shock if he won
because one is the favourite. Joe Perry is a very accomplished player
full of confidence at the moment. Steve made a very good point.
Sometimes being the underdog takes the pressure off. More cliches
coming out as well. Everyone has got a marathon in them. A good book in
them, whatever, and maybe this is Joe's moment. Expected nothing of
himself this week when he came to Ally Pally. He beat Stuart Bingham,
6-1 and struggled to get past John Higgins, 6-5, but he is flying here
in this final. Just picking up from what Steve
Davis was saying, I don't think the snooker world expect him to win.
Some of those people will certainly be having doubts. Even at 4-1 down.
If Joe can just believe in his ability, he can win this match.
This will really open up the frame, this next shot. Careful on the cue
ball. He has hit it far too hard. If it goes to the middle, that would be
a bonus, but a little bit of adrenaline there. He misjudged that
one completely. If it goes to the middle, it will get him out of
trouble here. Is it there? It is not. A little bit of frustration
that there. The shot from the black to the red
he was disgusted with, a very loose shot. That screw shot, he's
brilliant at, Ronnie O'Sullivan. I mean, this was clumsy, really.
The black is their easy enough. That was a wee bit careless.
You can't let up for a minute in this competition. Unforced errors,
you can't afford any. If he's going to win this match. The only
consolation for Joe there is that the black one is safe and he did not
get on the red as he intended. Having a 4-1 advantage, he's knows
he's going into this evening 's play, you can't be behind. Anything
else now would be a nice bonus for Joe. And keep the pressure on his
opponent. A little bit of an awkward frame
with the pink tied up and the black certainly tied up on the side
question. Joe would love to bring the black
into play here but if you place off that red and he's got to be careful
he doesn't get the double-kiss on the way back down, change of plan. A
change of plan. But wasn't the plan that he had in mind. He planned to
screw their white back into the baulk area. Just wobbling in the
jaws is what he was after. He's doing remarkably well, Joe, a
player after 25 years going for his first major title. His one ranking
event, 2015. But this would be some win for gentleman Joe.
An awful long way to go. You can see Ronnie's plan there. Get the black
back up on its own spot. Never looked like missing anything
like that in the semifinal against Marco Fu. There's a little bit of
pressure on the six time champion here.
You play the cue ball into the area, he could play for one of the two
ripples the right side corner or the left. He played for the one read to
the left corner. -- Reid. That one John to Little but it's OK.
Just giving the black a clean there. It's not a straightforward run to
the winning line in this frame, they are not completely out of position
these last two reds. That's pretty good. Just drop on the
pink here. Joe Perry 33. As soon as it hits the
cushion you know it's not going to drop. You can see it's just going to
the right slightly. The little head movement there, not the smoothest
stroke in the world. In the best of 19 there is going to
be little twists and turns in turning points. And this could be a
big one. Joe had a chance there to go 5-1 in front.
Just needs the blue to make absolutely sure but that's unnatural
angle to come back out for the pink anyway.
This might just relax Ronnie O'Sullivan this. He looked a little
on edge. And he looked as though he could lose the frame. I opened the
door for Ronnie O'Sullivan and he walked right through it. That was a
frame he badly needed but is still two behind. 4-2 to Joe Perry. A
couple of loose shots and that when you are saying perversely the
realisation of the scoreline kicks in at this point. It's a funny
thing, he would just think give me a good start, he goes for - one ahead
and he has that red. You have to hit the file draw with those, if you
don't hit the near one they don't go in and I hate to be pernickety about
it but when you get the best players, they know a part of the
match that is so important that they jump over the chance that is given.
There is weakness being shown by Ronnie today, he's not playing his
best and you can bet your bottom dollar that Stephen would be all
over that knowing it was the chance drive home. In agreement with that
because it difficult part of the match, you have a healthy lead and
feel good and then suddenly you know who is behind you. Going back to the
levels of expectation, it's easy to play as the underdog and 4-1 looks
like 5-1 and you think you are the favourite and clinching it is a
different matter. The finishing line for Joe Perry has come a lot earlier
than we would have expected that that is the sign of what can happen
when you see the potential for a massive lead. The other thing is you
know you will be in front for the evening session, that's why it is
more important, you go five and you know you are into the night with a
lead. How vulnerable is O Sullivan today? Not so vulnerable now he won
the frame but that can change because a player in the ascendancy
doesn't take much before one relaxes and the other freezes or stalls.
They bit of panic sets in and so many things happen when you sit in
that chair. All of the twists and turns.
People like Steve Davis, Stephen Hendrie, they are used to winning,
this is the biggest day of his professional career Joe. If he could
lift the Masters. It is putting that in the back of your mind and getting
on with the game. He's caught that all wrong. An early
chance for Ronnie. Although saying an early chance, as we showed you
the safety shot, the black is available into the left corner and
of the White was a little bit of a left it would be easy to hold for
the black. He had to go all the way around the back there because he
didn't have the angle to hold for the black to the left corner so it
wasn't straightforward. In fact it might only be a safety shot now.
Good shape the shots from both players. -- safety.
That is coming up a bit short but looking at the red to the left
corner, he could cannon into the black so not a lot of value in that,
can find another way back down the table again.
The excellent length of the safety shot from Solomon. -- O'Sullivan.
He could drop this dead weight and finish on the black, this is a tough
shot. Brilliant pot. It didn't look as though that was on but the pace
he played attacks, he made the angle, just a little trace of the
right-hand side helped. What superb cueing that was. It's not going to
be easy to get in here with the awkward pink, the black fairly
awkward. If you can find a way to get on the
black then you can play the black and play for the red closest to the
black now and then you don't have too played black at any pace. So
possibly has been thinking about that for two or three shots time,
this red isn't a gimmick. Wide. Disappointing visits to the table
for Joe Perry. As some boys were saying in the studio this is such an
important time in the match for Joe Perry. He doesn't want to get in the
mindset that it can be 4-4, he has to keep lead. I think you mentioned
Ronnie was trying a bit too hard, I think it's a case that Joe is trying
a bit too hard at the moment. And Ronnie is looking much more relaxed.
One could split her. He could be in business. If this red comes past the
green it might block the path up into the right corner, he was
looking at that, the one between the pink and the blue would pot up into
the corner but that red has come off the cushion and block the path for
that. So the cannon didn't work at this time.
Just a little screw on it that brought it backwards. That been that
horrific shot had he picked it off but it was a bit of a free shot,
this red cuts into the right middle but that was very difficult.
Should be easy enough not to leave anything here.
The first four frames set the target, possibly winning 3-1 and if
you can get that advantage you would look at the second mini-session at
3-1 but if you share that and you know you're still in the driving
seat. Joe knows if he can get to five NES lead going into this
evening and that adds a little bit of pressure. Certainly to the
players who are not used to winning the majors.
Wants to avoid the double case, the red has turned out as a pretty
decent safety shot. He is looking at the possibility of
cutting this into the middle pocket and finishing on the black believe
it or not, he has to be careful who doesn't leave that one almost near
the middle but this would be some shot if he could put this and get on
the black. Without the cannon of the blue he
would have finished on the black, he thought he would slide past the blue
puts what a great opening pot there, is he going to be taking on the
pressure green? Now he has a chance. Just making absolute certainty what
he wants to do, no point playing the shots when you have a little bit of
indecision. Struck that well. Best break so far for Ronnie
O'Sullivan 58, not many finals he has played six frames and that is
his highest break. This could be a frame when the next
shot. Already 40 in France. -- front. A couple of the reds are
available so no need to play a cannon there. Just be careful you
don't screw back to the middle pocket.
Has he got enough angle? He's pretty straight on this.
That might be tight. Just enough room. A bit of distance between the
reds but I think he could make it. That was a nice little bonus to have
that available to him once he got straight on the blue. One more frame
to be played in the session. Doesn't matter about that.
That would have made absolutely sure of the frame but Joe is still in
with a glimmer of hope. A couple of snooker is needed
though. Not often you get a snooker with
three reds on the table spread out like that but he is snooker on them
all. -- snookered. I didn't see the match last evening
but neither did Barry Hawkins otherwise he would have gone out
6-2, he got the snooker and went on to win the match, what a win that
was for Joe. I was in studio for that match and
had never seen such a change in body language in a player, it was
phenomenal once he pinched the frame to go 5-3.
Still needs to snooker so he's OK taking the pink there.
Joe needs to four point snooker is, to reds, to blacks, a tall order
when the black is out of commission. He needs to get up to the pink here
from this red. Only 35 remaining as you can see, 44
behind. That's one way of getting four
points. Very unlucky there. You could stand there all day and
not get that shot again. He has miss it this one completely,
should have been tight in behind the brand. -- brown. But he did bring
the black interplay which may help his cause. But still two snooker is
needed. This is a good one. That's a little
beauty that is. He would have loved that red to come a bit further away
from the cushion though. This is still a very tough snooker to hurt.
At least three cushions he would think. Might be able to achieve it
off to. If he goes all the way around its three cushions, has to go
around the back of the green then. It might even hit... What an escape
that is. He would do well to find another
snooker as good as that one. He has to be a bit careful coming
off the side cushion, it's so easy just to clip the green. Well judged.
That seemed to jump a little bit otherwise, about halfway through the
next frame. He knew Ronnie Wood pot the red.
Ronnie O'Sullivan on his way back. 4-1 down and now just 4-3 and one
left to play. STUDIO: Two on the bounce for Ronnie O'Sullivan and
great tactical stuff. Enjoyable when you have clever snookers and
fantastic escapes. Ronnie O'Sullivan had more adrenaline in the early
part of the frame and smelt a bit of blood. A little nick from Joe Perry
and pounced more. He will be feeling happier and the favourite to win the
last frame, not a massive favourite, but the favourite. A very important
frame. If you are Joe Perry and you come out of this 4-4 after leading
4-1 and your opponent is off his game you will be kicking yourself
because the opening session has been a chance to stamp his authority. If
you come with it, great, if he doesn't, he will be disappointed.
The heavy scoring from Joe Perry making a century and a couple of 70
plus breaks. 58 the high break from Ronnie. Is he just warming up? What
is your take? He had a tough start to the match and he has played catch
up, which is not easy when you are. He is doing his job well. He has not
shown frustration, he has waited for chances and they have started to
come and if he comes out for - for he will be philosophical. He has
passed the point of trying to win looking pretty only more, he enjoys
different challenges in the game. He has talked about being a fierce
competitor and he has worked on mental skills with Dr Steve Peters
and seems to enjoy the fight. Against Marco Fu, perhaps this
trying to come back from a position of adversity, particularly with the
tip against Marco Fu and this situation, 4-1, seems to be grist to
his mill. Sometimes you need to challenge. He has been around a long
time. Sometimes you need something different, a challenge, and he has
not been great today but his matchplay has been fine, he has
played the right shots. You cannot have your best form every session
you play. He is hanging in. Will it be 5-3 to Joe, or will it be for-
four? Let's find out. DENNIS TAYLOR: Once again, a very good length of
the break-off shot. I agree with John Parrott. Joe Perry
has missed an opportunity this afternoon. He may still win the
frame and have a lead. But maybe his lack of experience in big finals,
not recognising that you can win long matches in the afternoon
session, or go a long way towards winning them.
When you have your opponent down, Dennis, you stamp on them.
Yes, I could not agree more. Joe needs a thin contact here. Well,
that is a thin contact. The days are long gone when Ronnie
O'Sullivan loses his cool, he has not done that for a number of years
and as Hazel said, he works with heaters, a sports psychiatrist, who
keeps him in quite a happy place mentally.
I have never seen Ronnie... Well, he was buzzing after the semifinal. You
have a highlys and come-down after the match, and you have to get
yourself up for the next match. It is a tough old game. It looks like
his will to win has overtaken the need to entertain. Winning has
become the most important thing. Even over playing well, just get the
result. This is a gem of a shot he has
played here. Almost got in behind the green, but
that was a tough shot. He hit it thin, and also finding the gap.
There is a gap for Joe. He has hit this a bit too thin. He might be OK
and might have covered the one to the left corner. Maybe he has not. I
think Ronnie has the angle to swing it around the table and get onto the
blue. Pink might be available but that is the gap for this one.
Again, not pinpoint position. The positional play we have come to
expect. But still on the red. That is a terrific recovery shot. It
is worth another look. I think the pink might also now be available.
He's on the red to the left of the pink.
Not available to the left corner, the pink. Might be available into
the right corner. Clearly enough room.
If he does not have a good angle to stay on the pink, no problem getting
back for the blue. Looks almost the natural angle to
follow through to the black and red, but you are not guaranteed a red
after that shot, so... Not 100% guaranteed where the cue
ball is going. He would settle for that.
Have a look at the reds, where they finished.
What a chance now to knock a sizeable contribution. It always
looked inevitable, as soon as he got in in this frame, what was going to
happen. You get a sense, when a player is upping his game, finding
another gear. The players will have about three
hours to get themselves ready for this evening's session at 7pm. Joe,
well, he will be a bit disappointed if it is four each, that is an
understatement, after leading 4-1. Ronnie is not safe in this frame
yet. All it takes is one little lapse in concentration.
That is a little further than he intended. He will have to cannon the
pink. If he had not been straight on the red, it would have been
straightforward. He is all over the table with this
effort. Keep getting position. Has he got the right side of the
blue? I think he is straight again. Absolutely dead straight! This has
been hard work, but a very important visit to the table. It is a frame
that will get them all square at four frames each after being 4-1
down. That helps. The cannon on the yellow
has left him perfectly on the brown. He would have been on the green
without the kiss on the yellow but that was better, easier to get these
two reds. I suppose you would have to say it
is an all-round good break that will take him level because he has been
all over the table with this effort. Oh. Why did he hit it so slowly? I
know he was near the cushion, but that is the first real bit of
frustration we have seen this afternoon. After working so hard. He
is still a strong favour at the way the reds are, but...
If you have the angle to you risk going into the pink and still hoping
to be on the black? He has done. Good shot.
Ronnie was odds-on to level at 4-4 and now there is a glimmer of hope
for Joe Perry. To take a 5-3 lead, but an awful lot to do. The angle is
there and he can move the difficult last red. He does not want to hit it
too hard, does not want to send it past the middle pocket if he gets
the cannon, but keep your eye on the black. He didn't. He put everything
into the cannon. He hit the red perfectly but forgot to keep his eye
on the black. Amazing the number of times that happens. He concentrated
solely on the cannon. What a chance he has let slip. As I mentioned he
has three hours to recover, and if someone said you will be 4-4 with
Ronnie O'Sullivan at the mid-session, he would have taken
that, but to show you the black again, he missed it by a long way.
He has to take the positive out of this session. For- four with the six
times Masters champion. For - one up, he had a golden chance to extend
his lead. Not bothering with the black. Not
the best session Ronnie O'Sullivan has ever played with his highest
break 58, but he will go to the interval delighted, from 4-1, he has
got him back to all square. STUDIO: There will be positives to take out
of the first session from Joe's perspective, but will he be ruling
the miss in frame six which might have given him a 5-1 lead? The red
down the rail was the first sign of Joe seeing the winning line and not
pulling the trigger as he would have liked. We have all been in that
situation. He let a big fish off the hook. He will never see him again,
is sometimes how it pans out. Stephen Hendry said if your opponent
is down you had to stamp on him. You know as a player, you know when your
opponent is struggling, you think it is time to press home the advantage
and a chance comes up and you don't take it. We had a black off the spot
in the last frame, which he would never miss in practice, but he
looked at the cannon, took his eye off the black. The expectation of
being in front and doing damage to Ronnie in that session. For- four,
two or three hours to wait and walk out again as the underdog. He is
back to square one. It is not terrible because he will probably
play with more freedom at the start of the next session. He has to take
heart in the way he has played. The people around him, they have to say
that is a great start, you are for- four with Ronnie O'Sullivan. They
have to forget he was 4-1 up. They have to say, it is a good start in
the final, you are in there. It is a good final. It has been interesting.
I am not sure Ronnie will see it in those terms because he has not got
into his scoring group. But he will have been mentally stimulated by the
session, because it is not always about breezing through the frame is,
different mental challenges the players get. He was alerted the end
of that. Sometimes we see him in his chair and he looks bored, not
engaging, that was not the case. If he comes in after and says it is not
the best game he played, he will have enjoyed it in his own way. We
spoke about Ronnie's losing habit and he spoke about going deep into
tournaments and the satisfaction but he says that nothing brings you the
satisfaction of lifting silverware, and he will be hungry after three
big losses in three finals. The last final, he lost to Mark Selby, but
there is a weight of expectation. Everybody expects him to win. There
was merit in his performance, he was nowhere near his best but he has got
out level. Before we go off air, because we will come back at 7pm,
there is a second chance to mull over options in our shot of the
tournament you cast your vote. What was he attempt on the green? Is
he going to try something special? Look at the action on that cue ball!
What a positional shot. Oh, my goodness, oh my goodness, what a
shot Batty is. To get the work on that with the side around the
angles, what a shot. He has got it this time and he has
got away with it. Easy safety, but the pot wins you
the frame. The pot wins you the frame, what a
pot that was! He has the wrong angle on the
yellow. Too far for the brown into the same pocket. But he has an
abundance of Duke Power, Stuart Bingham.
-- cue power. Unbelievable amount of side on that.
One good shot. Come on, how is the cue ball? It looks very good. What
they shot! Look at this for a shot. Absolutely
delightful. He knew he could not force that one in because of the red
on the cushion. We have seen him knock a few of those in but not so
much the pot. The cannon was exquisite.
The reason he played for the black to the left corner.
I'll tell you what, what an effort that is. That is as good a
positional shot you will ever see. Loads of top spin. That was a bit
special. Not often Ronnie thinks about a shot
this length of time but it is understandable here.
It was worth waiting on. I said he would do well to find a path down
the table. He found the pot and the way back down the table and he is on
the brown to get back up to the reds.
Even if he got the right hand side cushion he has the blue to miss, the
yellow to miss, the green. Good luck. Good luck. Good luck with this
one! Great shot. What a shot! LAUGHTER.
STUDIO: That may be your favourite but which ever what it is, go to the
website and click on the shot of your choice. The voting closes at
7pm just in time to go back on air and we will announce the winning
shot in the evening session programme this evening. Interesting
to see what you choose. There is a ?200,000 first prize on offer for
either Ronnie or Joe. The side issue is the high break prize of ?10,000
and that moment Marco Fu is on tenterhooks because he owns it after
a superlatives effort in the semifinal against a certain Ronnie
O'Sullivan. If you did not see it, it is worth watching in the closing
stages and we join now. DENNIS TAYLOR: He is in line for the
high break prize in The Masters. He has had five centuries so far this
week. STEPHEN HENDRY: I think he made 11, 12 in winning the Scottish
open just before Christmas. He is turning into a scoring machine. It
is the biggest attribute you can have as a top player to win frames
in one visit like this on a regular basis.
From a psychological point, after watching Ronnie win the last frame
with a 95 break and a new tip, this is what the doctor ordered for Marco
Fu. Also, how quickly is he playing? It helps when you are in perfect
position every shot. Brilliant. Absolutely superb from Marco Fu. The
22nd century so far this week. Look at that. It is not often
somebody has a quicker shot time on Ronnie O'Sullivan, but down to the
fact he has the cue ball on a string. It is not down to his coach!
His coaches Wayne Griffiths, but originally he was with Terry
Griffiths, so he did not get the 16 seconds shot selection from Terry.
He could beat his own high break by one point. What an effort.
He made absolutely sure of the black. What a response from Marco
Fu. He quietly gets the ball is out of the pocket but he has just
cleared the table with a magnificent break of 141. STUDIO: That is the
target. Marco Fu was one of the success stories of the week, a
pleasure to watch him play. Not just this week, but the past few weeks,
24, 25 centuries in the past few weeks but was not there when Ronnie
turned up the afterburners in the semifinal. That is what it took to
beat him. 60-1 for the World Championship and backing him for 28.
And the Mark Selby slammed that was not to be, he would have been only
the fifth man to hold all major titles in snooker at the same time.
He hit a brick wall and did not get going in the tournament. For a few
players, with the build-up to the World Championship, they have
questions to ask. They are not necessarily in the best of form.
Lots to come, but the only issue to sort out is who will be the 2017
Masters champion? At 5:15pm we have highlights of the Australian Open
tennis. Andy Murray and Dan Evans inaction. And we will see you for
the final session in this Masters final at 7pm. Goodbye for now.
Hazel Irvine introduces live coverage of the first eight frames of the 2017 Masters final from Alexandra Palace. The eventual winner will pick up a cheque for Â£200,000. In 2016, Ronnie O'Sullivan won a record-equalling sixth Masters title with an emphatic 10-1 win over Barry Hawkins.