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Hello again. It's been nonstop action and nonstop drama here at the
Crucible today. Only half an hour ago we were with you to see the
defending Champion, Mark Selby, get over the line in what was quite a
contest against Ding Junhui. Forget Klitschko Joshua this was a
heavyweight contest. He came from three frames behind to just one
before missing a blue to the centre pocket and allowing Selby the chance
to cross the line with a closing break of 72. What relief he showed,
thumping the table and punching his way to a fourth Crucible final.
Since 2007. Ken Doherty and John Parrott know
the thrill of making it to the biggest occasion in your sport.
Thats with a heck of a contest. One of the greatest matches any of us
have seen here? I feel really sorry for Ding.
He put in a monumental effort in that match. As good as I saw him
compete. All round he was brilliant. Needing to win the last four frames
the effort was great. Missed that blue that let in Selby. What a
clearance. What a contribution to get over the line. Ding played
superb safety. Made four centuries in that match. Let us be honest, he
nearly did a Selby on Selby? They were trading blows you talking about
the Bocking, they were going blow to blow from word go. Like John, I feel
sorry for Ding. He has done everything put win that match. What
a performance from Mark Selby, his match play, determination and his
champion instincts. Have you to scrape him off that table. Ding
Junhui he has shown here, again, this year. He is the real deal. Pure
box National Audit Office this sport? No doubt about. It he went up
in everybody's estimations. Stephen said he went up in his estimations.
We know what it's like out in the pit. He hasn't always gave
everything. We know that. He came out with every single bit of
concentration and will and determination was there on the
table. It was great. We are still very much buzzing after that, I must
say. Tonight, we will find out who Mark will be playing. After the
morning's play, John Higgins has one foot in the final, again. A huge
session of snooker coming up. An edgy start. That is a lapse in
concentration. He has had three golden chances now
to win this frame. He cannot hit the ball this morning. It looked as if
Barry Hawkins could have got within three. He's now five behind at 12-7.
It will be a very tough black. The four fiems former world champion has
pinched that frame from Barry Hawkins. -- times. Can he get this
with a special to spare. He's out there to do a job. Playing for pride
at the moment, is Barry Hawkins. A terrific cheer for Barry Hawkins.
It's not all over just yet. But John Higgins needs one frame to get
through to his sixth final. 41-year-old Higgins enjoyed that fix
frame run this morning. Barry Hawkins dug deep with a session to
spare. We are back tonight. Higgins seeking one more frame to book a
spot in his sixth world final and his first for six years. Ken, is
this something of a formality tonight? You would say so. Maybe
15-9 or 14-10 you would say Barry has a chance. One Graham against the
four-time champion, previous champion here, with that bags of
experience he has, John Higgins, one of the toughest players and greatest
players that graced the game, very slim. OK. John Higgins could
probably have done with the night off this evening, in truth. It paut
new tip on the cue last night. Tell us about his eventful Friday evening
I stuck a tip on initially. We had a few shots, said it was too hard. He
drove to Southport. Had a tip put on. The motorway was closed because
it's being dug up. He came through the back roads. He was wondering if
he was ever going to get back here. He got back at 4.00am and went to
bed. He had to play shots with it and
break it in. He seems happy with it. The proof is in the pudding. He
played so well this morning. . He certainly has. The biggest comeback
was achieved by a certain Ken Doherty to win against Paul Hunter.
We could be in for a short evening or, there again... Rob Walker is
ready and waiting. Thank you. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This
is the very last session of snooker before tomorrow's Betfred world
Snooker Championship Final. The crowd are ready to deliver a massive
reception at The Crucible. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Please welcome, a player who has done brilliantly here at the
Crucible in recent years making four of the last five semi-finals. Since
winning his first ranking title in 2012. He hasened looked back. He
will come out tonight determined to show his class. Come on The
Crucible, raise the roof for The Hawk, Barry Hawkins.
MUSIC: My Love by Kele Le Roc. His opponent, now of course just one
frame away from a sixth World Championship final. He won the first
of his four world crowns 18 yearsing ago and has en massed 28 ranking
titles of all. One of the finest sportsmen Scotland has ever
produced. Here comes John Higgins. Barry appears to have the crowd with
him. They want to see semi-final snooker tonight, don't they. All
right we can hand over to our commentary box. Mark Selby with his
feet up, he lies in wait. COMMENTATOR: Thank you, Hazel a
typical Crucible reception for what we can only describe, not at the
start of the match, but now the underdog. John Higgins, he'll
appreciate the backing that Barry Hawkins has got. Thank you. Frame
25, Barry Hawkins to break. COMMENTATOR: Can't afford a mistake.
He's playing for pride at the moment. No thoughts of winning the
match. But pride is a big thing. I know you were on this match this
morning, Willie. Is there any possible way that bare could give
him a run for his money? Well, I mean, obviously, we would love to
get the match to the interval to put John Higgins under some sort of
pressure. For Barry's supporters he's not played in this match. John
Higgins in fairness has not played. It's been a poor match. Whoever wins
this match, it looks like John Higgins, he will have to improve an
awful lot to beat Mark Selby. Obviously, Higgins is that good he
could improve, obviously. Maybe a plant here than have the balls put
back. There's the pot success for this
match. Both players below 90%. Only 1% difference pot success. Eight
frames behind, Barry Hawkins. For the tournament, John Higgins
92%, Barry Hawkins 90%. That is what you need to be.
So another go at this. Just misjudged it. He wants to slide past
them. There is loose reds on the right hand side of the table here.
He's hit the pink again. That's all because he's frightened of slipping
by them. That plant looks easier this time. I wonder whether he will
take the plant on. No, still doesn't fancy that. Surely those two reds
are set. The 12 points doesn't mean anything
at all. Obviously, you would rather keep it in the pink rather than
leave him an easy red on. This is a straight-forward escape to the side
of the reds. I wouldn't expect someone of John Higgins' class to
miss it three times on the trot. Beginning to doubt he's got the
right line. He doesn't want to over compensate. Perfect that time.
. Too thick on that. He needs that cue
ball to go near the cushion to make this red difficult for John Higgins.
He's gone close. He may have to dig down on it, but he needs to player
better safety than that. Ah, right in the heart of the
pocket. Good shot. APPLAUSE
Well, decided he couldn't play for that one loose red. He thought he
could get behind it and go into the cluster. Misjudged it.
He can see the edge of this red. He can't see it thin enough to get back
into balk. He's got to be careful he doesn't career into the pack, if he
plays it thin. So it looks like he's trying to find the back cushion.
He's played it with with a lot of check side. Has he missed the pack?
No, he didn't. Why didn't he have that kind of look in the
first-sessions. This is not the time to get a good look now, Barry.
There's just a gap. It oh, he's hit it too thin, caught the pink. Now
the red, just above the pink spot, is available. But, once again, that
cue ball going closes to cushion makes this red a little bit more
difficult. Yeah, refused the red because of the
close-proximity. Played an excellent safety there. Safety success. Well,
I like to see 90%. A little bit below that. There's a gap here.
Just a fraction out. But that's all it takes.
John Higgins would love to win the last frame of the morning Serbs not
to play this evening, he won't get a better chance than this, to close
the match out. Yes. We were hearing in the studio
about tip trouble. Not trouble, but he tried a couple before he found
one he liked. What John Higgins has got to do, if he gets to the final,
which looks very likely, he's just got to think back. Not that long
ago, in his performance against Mark Allen, that was as good snooker we
have seen at the Crucible this year? He was scoring, he will win this
match. I think once he gets to the final he may relax. He will be
second favourite against Mark Selby. He under hit that by a foot. Yes.
The red, drop the blue in and play for, the one below the blue, I don't
think it goes to the corner. He has to run through a little bit further,
wrong side of the So now he's got this three-ball pot.
Doesn't have to do much with the cue ball, pot the red, bound to be on
the black. The middle of three reds he'd like
to hit full-ball. He played that very nicely. Keep an eye on this
contact he made here. He caught the second red. If he hit it slightly
thicker the white would have run in baulk. He knows now this is the
chance. Overrun that. Still OK. Should be
able to play this red to the right middle and hole for the blue, in the
same pocket. Choice of reds, the one just below
the pink or the one to the left corner.
Deciding on the one for the left corner. Just off straight. Barry
Hawkins may feel that he's played his last shot of this year's Betfred
World Championship. Not ideal on the pink. He will have
to come on and off the cushion. It pots in the same pocket as the pink.
This is probably Barry Hawkins last hope. If he gets on this next red
perfectly, he should score enough points to win frame and match.
Obviously, there's a red the middle of that, of the five. It goes. Found
the gap. Well, it's tight. Over run it a fraction.
APPLAUSE Nicely played.
Just one more good positional shot needed. Play for the red in the same
pocket as the black. Inch-perfect. Red, black, red, for a place in the
final. So there you see it, 60 ahead, 67
remaining. Not for long. This red will put him 61 ahead with only 59
remaining. In it goes. APPLAUSE
This is the kind of form he needs to show tomorrow. He hasn't made a
century break I think for 30 frames, John. He's not made a century. It's
amazing, isn't it? The fact he's his tip change, maybe he wasn't happy
with it. --. He'd love love to finish this
off with a century. Run round the back of the black.
APPLAUSE There's the family all watching,
John. Wife, son, daughter - fantastic. He's there, again.
Nicely on the blue. He's already made 124 century breaks at the
Crucible. He's made five so far. He needs a
red and a black to make it six. This is tricky this red. Dead weight. It
should drop. Get in, you beauty. Get in, you beauty! Plus plus
To finish the match off in style, the black fork the century.
Wonderful. Wonderful. Finished that with ease. Tonne up. The wizard of
Wishaw's got his supporters here and he'll have them for the next two
days come the final. You would never count him out, Willie, could you?
Not at all. He's the perfect match player. Very interesting to see some
of the safety battles we are going to get in the final. Yes. He can
compete with anybody. If he can score like this, and this will give
him confidence, always nice to finish on a high.
Oh, little exhibition shot for you there.
Testing the tip. What a marvellous way to finish a match. Barry Hawkins
will be disappointed, didn't get his best in the semi-final. But what a
final we get to look forward to. Five-time champion of the world,
we'll see if he can make it, he's got four, he's one behind Ronnie
O'Sullivan, but he's a big ace against Mark Selby, the world number
one. What a mouth-watering prospect that will be, John Higgins wins the
semi-final comfortably by 17-8. Watched by the whole clan I think.
Not sure if his oldest son is here actually but most of the clan
Higgins are up there. I wonder how meaningful that will be for him to
finish that with a century. I don't subscribe to that, sometimes the
stats can lie. If you made an 80 every time, it doesn't matter. I
fully agree that he has to score but I think he will do. Anyone who
discounts John Higgins out for winning the Championship of the
world when he's already won four is out of their mind. Here he is.
Congratulations. The sixth final and you have waited a long time to get
back here six years. How special is it to be back here? Can't wait. It
was nerve-racking, the semi-final. It wasn't the best standard. Can't
believe the standard Barry played. I was expecting him to be playing the
way he's played the last few years. He'll be disappointed. He didn't
even play. I didn't play that great and came out 10-6. I was struggling
with my tip and was all over the place for the first two sessions.
Then I was up all night. LAUGHTER. Travelling to Les Dodd's
club. Unbelievable, honestly! I didn't get back in the apartment
until about 3. 30, 4. How many hours sleep did you have? Two hours. So,
I'm away to sleep tonight. You will need that rest. We were wondering,
you know, you talk about changing the tip, what were you searching for
and, did you really genuinely have a technical problem? The way I played
against Mark Allen, I knew the tip was low but I played good against
Mark Allen. Against Kyren Wilson, same again, then obviously there,
the first two sessions I knew if I kept that tip on I couldn't win the
World Championship. The thing is, you know it's a difficult balancing
act to get a tip that you come here with, do all the practise, play all
the matches, if you get to the latter stages, to have it pollutely
perfect all the way through. It's hard to time that. The fella that
made my cue put the last tip on so I blame him for not having it lasting
longer. But thanks to big Les last night he kept his club open and he
let me have a wee practise for half an hour in there and I jumped back
in the car and it was a good tip so cheers Les. You have had a special
season, won three titles, made an eighth maximum break, runner-up in
the Scottish Open but you talked in a feature about your ambition still
being to win a fifth world title. What is it about this driving
ambition that's kept you going because it's been a long time since
you have made it into a major, the Triple Crown final, John? Yes, it's
been a long time but I just think, you just can't beat the feeling
coming out here. The atmosphere was electric, so it was. A few boos from
Barry's side there, but no, playing out there, it's just unbelievable.
When you are playing well, it's unbelievable. We wondered about your
age, can I mention your age, 41. Yes. Only Ray Reardon's won into his
40s. This is the first time you have been back to the one-table stage for
quite a while. How punishing is it as you get older to make progress in
this Championship? I feel fine, honestly, absolutely fine. People
might say different things but the only thing that was scrambling my
brain was the tip. That was getting me flustered in the first few
sessions because I knew it wasn't right and I couldn't play decent
snooker. Tonight, the third session today I thought I had the ball good.
I missed a couple but I felt as if I was going a lot better with the tip.
We were remarking that clan Higgins is here in force. How many do you
reckon you have got with you, John? About 16. There'll be more coming
so... But they've been here interestingly
for fr more or less ball one. Denise and the kids were here. They came
down last weekend obviously they are off school so came down and shouted
me on with Mark Allen then they are back up the road in school, now they
are back down. That's been very special, as indeed was this moment
as you beat Barry to get into that. There they are, growing up very fast
obviously. John, it's great to see you in another final and it's a
rerun of one Ten years ago and a lot of water under the bridge since you
last played Mark Selby. What do you think of the man? I have every
admiration for him. I said last time I knew he was going to go on to win.
He's proved that he's won it. Going for a third, he's a special player,
and I'm going to have to play my best to give him a game. But I think
I can do that. There is a chance you might. I'm looking forward to it. We
are too. It's going to be a great two-day game and John, well done,
you've done it again. Well done, pal. If you go into that practise
room, most of the time if John is not practising you will see Mark
Selby in there working and grafting away and his Wingman, Bobby Lee, is
always there. This fella's very much a part of Team Selby here.
Hi, I'm Bobby Lee and I'm one part of Team Selby and have been coming
here for the last three years. I think psychologically I can give a
bit of input and pressure. It's very serious what we do, we try to
approach it in a like relaxed kind of way. That's my job really, try to
make him laugh, not too serious. We all know it's a big match, they all
want to win. If you hear the same things all the time "you want to
win", that's the added pressure, let's take that pressure away, make
him happy, get as much rest as possible. That means taking your
mind off things, watching the football or go for a stroll in town,
normal things. We always share a room. We like to keep the costs down
so it's not too expensive. Knowing how I am, Iover think things so if I
was going back to the room after a bad session I'm overplaying shots in
my mind and stawf, but we just chat about something else or will have a
laugh and a joke, something will be on TV, we'll be cracking jokes. My
wife is very comfortable on tour with me and Mark and his wife, you
know. He's a brother I never had. Coming all the way from China to
watch this, everything was perfect to win it that year, so it was
emotional. We just hugged each other. We have been hugging each
other all tournament, we have kept jumping, you know the man jump. We
did all that and sometimes Ivan, the press officer will be waiting
outside, he must be hearing what is going on in there because we were
cheering high-fiving and it was brilliant, yes. Amazing feeling.
Every players' dream I think. Can't believe it. Can't believe it.
Doesn't matter if he is playing Ronnie O'Sullivan or somewhere lower
down the rankings or someone who is amateur, he will treat everyone with
respect. That's why he's so good. Don't take liberties with the game,
treats everyone the same, plays the same game and, you know, that's what
I think makes his stand out. Very good to see someone I've known since
he was 11 lifting trophies on TV. He's got something I dreamed of
Mile. Now I can't do it, it's great to see someone I can honestly say
that I've seen growing up as a boy doing it, which is a great feeling,
you know. Clash Mark was one of 17 champions
who were here on the eve of the Championship to celebrate 40 years
here at the Crucible, it was a fantastic gala evening. Despite the
hype and expectation, it's lived up to its pre-Championship billing and
all 32 players who made it here have performed brilliantly.
So excited. Good evening and welcome to a very special night and this
amazing little theatre in Sheffield, the Crucible Theatre.
17 days. 705 frames to play before someone lifts that trophy up. It
stretches into the distance. Aaron, you literally are the star of
the show here because, without your coaching, this wouldn't actually be
happening. Through his teaching, he's got them in a place where they
might never have been until they found snooker.
Anybody who can make a 147 has fast as he has televised is a Muir
genius, if you ask me -- pure genius. I want to paint him this big
like a memorial kind of thing. Ronnie's never going to die because
he's always going to be on the wall for a long time. I retired from
snooker and the DJ thing took off. Now I have this alter ego, it's very
strange. Unfortunately, you have got the
runners up prize. Thank you for establishing that once again!
And it all seems about two months ago since we started and it was only
15 days, night and day we've kept going but we have seen some
absolutely brilliant snooker. For you, what's stood out so far Ken? I
thought the Ding match against Ronnie was a classic. Ding against
Mark Selby was one of the best semi-finals, matches that we have
probably ever witnessed here. Ding did everything he possibly could and
Mark Selby stood up to the challenge and I'm really looking forward to
the final. It's going to be an absolute classic. We certainly are.
In the head-to-head Selby 9-6. The fifth time they've met at the
Crucible. Mark's won on one occasion in a first round match and John with
the three wins, none since 200, including the final ten years ago.
It's a very different picture these days, John, isn't it? Yes, but if
there's one player whose game matches up to Mark Selby in the
safety and tactical department, he's in the final with him. He's a son
sue mate match player we've all been there and played him, we know what
problems he shows everybody. -- consumate match player. It's going
to be a classic. I hop you will share your next two days with us
here on the BBC and we'll be back at 2for the first session. It's the
jester against the Wizard take two ten years on. Catch you soon. Bye.
The country's best chefs go head-to-head...
The old gloves are off now, aren't they?
..for a chance to cook at the Wimbledon Banquet.