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Hello again, from the Barbican
Centre in the magnificent city of
York. We are here for what is the
first of three majors in the snooker
season. The bit where United Kingdom
championship. This is a very special
week. Neal Robinson knows what it
takes to win. He has done it twice
before, and in the second round
match was up against Ken Doherty who
has graced three UK finals. Ken fell
off the tour at the end of last
season but was given special
invitational status to continue and
he really has been courteous wave
through some of the tournaments
already this season and trying to
make the most of that opportunity.
We will join them in this best of 11
Excellent. Great length on that
stately shot. To get back on these
tables with the cloth is by
stately shot. To get back on these
tables with the cloth is by the fist
and to get it on the cushion is
excellent judgment. It makes such a
You can see the left
channel for Ken Doherty. He can play
the cue ball up there and he has a
different problem now.
That really is an excellent shot. He
has left him the maximum amount of
trouble he could be in. I cannot see
a way back down into the baulk area
from any shot at it as so he may
have to roll down the cushion and
rest on something here.
He will be catching this on the
thick side. He is playing a return
on trying to buy himself another
shot. I think this will be a feature
of this match actually, they are
both fantastic tactically. You would
think Neal is the heaviest scorer
but not many players in the world
can outmanoeuvre it can in the
tactical department. This match is
important for both players. They
want to get off to the best start
possible. This is good stuff from
Ken Doherty already.
There is a type of shot as well but
if Neal takes it on he can play with
a bit of safety in mind and if he
stands it over to the other side of
the table it is merely a shot to
nothing. I am not saying he can't
leave anything. He is that far away
from this that he will leave it
surely. A long way away that.
That was a better shot and looked.
There was not much margin for error.
Just to screw it in with a bit of
check side. Ideally he would have
liked another six inches or so on
the cue ball to come up straight on
the blue but it was a pretty good
It is tough to score from here. He
will need a little screw shot and to
try and land on the black if he can.
He has played for the gap on the
pink and I don't blame him for that.
We had both shots there. It is not a
Still play with that old cue he has
had, he got it for a few quid in
Dublin and he is still playing the
same cue. He is properly had a new
ferry all and a bit of waiting done
to it over the years because they
tend to wear out but it does in good
stead, that one.
He has always stuck
with that. It is a trusty old one.
It is good to see Ken back playing
well again. The last five or six
years he has not been how we use to
see him but he really has played
He seems to be working
hard at it. He was a little bit awry
with the cue ball there. He may have
to take a plant on now. The scenes
have a lot of enthusiasm. I have
been speaking to in the last couple
of weeks and he still loves playing
and compete again there was nothing
like having a few good results your
confidence. That is the big thing.
If you get a few matches you can win
a new play good in those then all of
a sudden the world is a rosier
place. The table looks like it is
playing nice as well.
That red looks tight, doesn't it? He
is as good night as he possibly
could be but possibly just off the
He played a touch further
down the table to leave himself two
options. The one he is taking now
with the second option. He would
have loved to be a little bit lower.
It could work in his plays are --
they could work in his favour. The
play for any particular colour, just
an area above the blue spot. It is
getting harder from where we are
He is scrapping for the cue
ball, isn't it? He would love to be
able to chip the blue in the middle
and play little cannon into the pack
but it looks very acute, that.
Certainly on these tables that play
with a little bit of side. The cue
ball can move off very quickly.
Quite sensibly, he is taking the
yellow. Once again he will need a
good cue ball. As the other plans?
He will fancy this. It is a virtual
certainty for a player. A little
brush cannon off the second and then
he could be up for blue under baulk
colour. This might be enough in the
middle. Oh, wrong.
I didn't see him
missing it, but I certainly didn't
see him missing it by that far. That
was very unusual. A complete mis-hit
It was almost like a miscue.
I don't quite know what happened.
It is sometimes tricky to get out
from these reds. How would you play
I think you should be
disturbing pink and black kid
because he will be busy getting
topside of the blue. The base just
comes off the cue ball. Past the far
corner. That is no good. I think
that was worth the risk there.
People look at the shot and see the
red and they think it will be easy
and he will make a few from here but
some shots you cannot get the cue
ball out of at it the more it was
going to have a reaction.
So, from looking like maybe a
chance, it is just going to be the
safety now and he is checking out
where the places that he could leave
the cue ball for the most trouble
A nice target that behind the green
and brown. There is one red towards
the corner pocket but if he can get
in there a could pay dividends.
Yes, I was thinking the same myself,
but what a pot that was.
certainly was, I didn't even think
that went. Fabulous cueing. Brown
will just about pass the green. OK,
a couple of positional shots away
from being a nice chance by the way
the two breads are -- the way the
two red Czar this could be the first
real scoring opportunity finial.
These are little testers. You should
pop this red. The difficulty is that
you are not sure where the cue ball
is going to finish. It is impossible
to avoid a cannon and you have to
trust to a little bit of luck here.
He is trying to spring open pink and
obviously couldn't get a fair bit of
work, he needed to be down the table
more for the brown in the green
looks like it is over the corner but
you cannot bridge left-handed
anyway, that will be horrible. Just
the safety. An interesting opening
frame this. Both players are
scrapping for chances.
The red over the left corner pocket
is a bit of a problem here because
Ken would like to play the safety of
the red near the blue but the red
left corner is a bit a problem.
Well, there is a confident shot from
a confident man. You don't want to
touch that because you know full
well you will be leaving it. Would
you have played that?
I don't think
I would in all honesty. That was
some shot. Two or three out of ten.
That is not slipping on the back is
it? Just about OK. Going back. It
goes back to where the greenies. Ken
will be tracking in behind it.
That is about as good as he could've
done with that one really because if
he had left it to the side he would
have been slipping him behind the
green, but he get there now. He has
done quite well to get himself out
of that one, Neil. Once again Ken 's
judgment is excellent.
This is dangerous. If he gets this
thin the rate will go to the corner.
That was unfortunate.
caused by the excellent safety. Just
the total difference of having that
cue ball tight on the bottom cushion
as opposed to six or eight inches
offered made all the difference to
that made it a lot more difficult
for Neil. Ken has a great chance to
take the opening frame and he can
score here. This isn't bad on the
I wonder if that pink will
pass into the left corner. He just
overcooked this. If he has landed on
that red just above the pink and it
goes then that is an absolute
I think he has. Wow. What a
result that was.
I am not sure if
Ken knew, I think he played for the
loose one. Either way, it is now
offering winning chance. -- a
Now that is even nicer with the
black going on the pink spot. He
looks confident. His safety has been
superb. It is all looking good at
the moment. Both of us are dismayed
by the fact that he still has
excellent eyesight at his age. We
both need glasses for reading but he
was showing off that he does not
need them any more.
comparing specs. He seems like an
eagle. He must have eaten a lot of
carrots. It has been a good start,
hasn't it? As you say, his safety
has been exemplary in the first
frame but we expect that from Ken
Doherty. The ideal start. We said it
earlier in this frame that he will
make Neil work for his chances.
Nothing has happened in the opening
frame to make me change my mind. A
Yes, never been afraid to play
anybody. If they have a cue he will
go into battle. He has always been
A good idea to clear up as well.
Keep Neil off the table. An
important start to the match, when
the first frame and keep your
opponent sitting there a little bit
cold and that will help you in the
Just going back to the
blue that he landed plum on the next
red, that is the kind of thing that
happens when you are in good form
and feeling confident. The end
result is that he will win the frame
with a decent contribution. When
things like that just go your way.
He's just keen to clear the table,
get the feel of the cloth on the way
the conditions are playing.
-- cushions are playing.
The ideal start for Ken Doherty. He
leads Neil Robertson 1-0.
I was watching closely yesterday on
the practice table just around the
corner at the hotel. A really
purposeful stride he had. He has
always had that and in the last
couple of years he struggled with
his game and he has not looks like
the Neil Robertson we would normally
see but I noticed in practice that
he looked full of purpose and fuller
figure. He was hitting the ball
beautifully. He is up against an
opponent, as we said a few times
today, he will have to work his
socks off for his chances.
Goodness me. They may as well just
give him the trophy. I was a
fantastic pot. OK, he was not
playing a wholly with the intention
of knocking it in, it was one where
he just wanted to get out of
trouble, but nevertheless, superb
cueing. This is a little tester.
Right in the heart of the pocket. He
has played for the rednecks to the
black as well. This is what the very
best players in the world do. They
shot selection is of such paramount
importance. That was a brilliant
choice. This red is tough but if it
goes in he has created a good chance
out of absolutely nothing.
the last shot had been cueing and
this one is going to have to be even
better. These are smelly little
He turns away in frustration. It is
the first good chance the Neil
Robertson. That was a horrible one
and it is very easy to flick a bit
of side on the ball there. We have
seen can stamp his authority on the
match at the start, showing you how
well he was hitting the ball, and
now it is Neil was my turn. Red at
the back of the pack that is loose
is not in a bad place because if you
can pop out and play little screw
cannon into the and out you could
knock a few balls out. It is just a
matter of which were Neil decides to
go but he will not be too enamoured
by that shot, he overscrewed it.
Yes, he is
coming around to look at that rate
but this is the absolute optimum
angle he has on this blue. I think
he will split them.
Well played. He played in such a way
that he didn't lose the cue ball.
Just checking to see how far down he
has to be once he plays this, he
might have to run through just an
inch or so to be on the black.
It doesn't seem to be a problem,
He obviously wants to make
life as easy as possible by hitting
it as straight as he can but he will
have to play some sort of little cut
back on the position is not
guaranteed. Coming back from blue?
Well, not what he wanted but
definitely second prize. This is a
lovely way to finish, straight blue.
Not happy with the contact there,
for some reason.
I think it was just
an audience member took a drink from
a bottle of juice or something just
on his backswing.
a bottle of juice or something
just on his backswing.
He actually is a bit of work to do
with these red the way they are. It
is not straightforward. He is pretty
straight on the black which doesn't
help. He is two or three good
positional shots away from having a
really good chance, but not
That is the best shot he has played
You called it before when he played
a little cannon. He might be tempted
to play another one here. There are
two reds. There was a cluster of
four when a line on the right and he
defeated get on the one that looks
furred up in those four. The top
cushion would be all right. It
depends how he sees this. They are
not perfect the way they are. I
wonder if he could drop a little
cannon on there. Have you looked? It
is fine. Didn't blame him at all for
playing that shot. He was always
bound to land on one, wasn't he? It
is important that he gets the top
side of it, which he has done. The
reds are just covering one another
and sitting diagonally. They're
covering the corner in the middle.
It has been a funny break because
every time you scum the reds had
been blocking each other off and he
has had to work quite hard for this
He has to play another little
cannon. Nothing is guaranteed. He
will have to work the cue ball. He
is playing the screw. If the red
below the pink spot goes there is a
plant as well. Not bad, not ideal.
Yes, slightly overhit that one. A
fair bit of distance between these
two reds. The plant before we
thought was that the unmissable but
this one has a little more Arjun --
margin for error.
He will probably
get it more times than not but one
good thing about if the line that he
is looking at he can screw back for
blue which kind of makes the plant
little easier as far as the pot
goes. I fancy him for this. Yes.
A good shot, and once again, I do
not know whether there is a red in
the middle that goes... Maybe?
Ooh... Off the bump.
This will be a
Busy cueing that was... That was the
shot of a confident man. Here comes
Neil Robertson, 47.
I do not blame
him on that occasion, taking on the
blue, he probably cannot lose the
frame, he could win it if he pots
it. Figuring if he goes on behind
the yellow, being the player he is,
Ken was always going to drop on one
of these four reds.
A 40 point lead for Neill. The lead
is pretty massive at the minute...
Trying to make a clearance with the
way that the balls R.
-- with the way that the balls are.
Excellent. Ken can just get through.
Almost playing to miss this time.
That is what has happened.
as he doesn't leave a free ball,
he's OK. He's a liar, needs glasses!
Just having a little side there.
The referee checked whether he could
see it full ball, which is
important, because if he misses this
time... He would be warned, on the
third time of asking. He has got it
this time. Experience, again, coming
into play for Ken. Another thing
that Doherty knows in this, OK, he
is 44 behind but if the frame goes
on for another three or four minutes
playing safety, eventually he will
get the chance to bring those reds
interplay. -- into play.
You thought the frame was messy
before, this would put them even
An excellent shot again from Neill.
Very high quality safety at the
A clip off the outside read here.
Getting in behind green or blue, the
pink may have covered the way back
to the baulk area. Just past the
blue, and clipping that read. It
would be a decent shot, that.
Yes. Cannot get through to the red.
An awkward bridge, over the blue.
This is tough. I think Neil had a
result there, with how it has worked
out. Very good. Slowly but surely,
the reds had come into better
The red and the black have gone a
bit awkward, that isn't on, to knock
that one in... Hull and a miss.
thought it looked tight, right
behind the line of the shot. Ken can
get the red this time.
delighted that they are going back!
Was it a pink on the spot?
use of the monitor to double-check.
A little that way... Seems happy
enough with that. All about the cue
It is tough. This is where
trust plays a part. For me, just
looking at the line, I thought they
would struggle to get through. There
wasn't a lot of room. I don't know
whether... Maybe he didn't look at
One thing that he will not do is to
steal any advantage here.
I've said before that the red and
black was awkward, you cannot play a
plant that you can now. Those two
reds there, easy PC.
I don't leave
he can play it slowly to make sure
he doesn't cover the pocket with the
other red. He is thinking the same
thing... Openly black and still go.
It's not ideal, he was a little
unlucky. Maybe just drop the red in?
A better chance of being on the
black. The pace more or less made it
He could see the red, it
was possible he could foul. Playing
it slowly, that was why he wanted to
guarantee getting the ball. But I am
surprised at that. Not taking one of
those colours on. And I'm even more
surprised at the shot he plays after
Very careless. You don't get
position on the colour. It isn't
like him to put them in trouble.
Punishing them. The red coming up
the table. In behind the blue...
Just about. I'm just looking to see
if he can play a plant. He could be
onto the pink... This is a chance.
If he plays the first red, he could
hold the cue ball on the pink. This
is a chance for a frame here.
couldn't agree more. It's very much
uncertainty. Anything filly, and the
red will drop. It is a good chance.
And a good shot. Lost the cue ball.
One thing he had to do there was
ensure that he had plenty of work on
the cue ball. If he got that, it
would have been a chance and a half.
He just had to hold it for the pink.
Now, will he be brave enough to take
the pink? What do you think?
he might play it. I think he is 1-0
up, and he has been given. A chance
in the frame, if this goes on,
they'd get a frame. He has taken it
Ken Doherty, one.
I do not blame him
taking it. The shop before was the
one. Just had to hold the cue ball,
the whole frame was looking
unpromising. That was the lifeline
he was looking for. Didn't quite get
that cue ball. Should really be 1-1
The black is in a slightly tricky
position. Just near the side
cushion. But it shouldn't be a
problem for Neil... 42 in front,
just needing to drop that black in.
A 49 point lead. He keeps having a
good look at it. Looking relatively
simple from here. Yes, that should
be the frame.
Two excellent frames of snooker.
Good matchplay. Good positional
play. It's fascinating to watch
these two top-class protagonists go
at it. Ken cannot really complain.
He had a couple of chances in this
frame. The long pink was one that he
had to get.
It has been good stuff.
It isn't there, but that is Neil
Robertson. With a break of 47 and 35
in the frame.
-- levelling the match at one frame
1-1. Enjoyed it so far. These two
great players trying to outthink
Well, that is a shocker. I don't
know what he was doing there to hate
it so thick. He will be kicking
himself. Those hurt, those unforced
ones. No trouble at all and then you
go and do that.
A little gift. There
will not be many from either player
this afternoon. It is a bad one by
It's a good shot. A choice of two
reds is excellent. Staying down the
business end of the table. The pink
might even go to the left corner.
Plenty of options. Early on...
Even that was a lovely touch and
absolutely perfect. Could not have
put it any better. The long tackle
is difficult to get the actual feel,
it's different to the weight of your
cue. I'm impressed with how he hit
He is going to have a little more
work to do. What he does next, it
would have been lovely to leave that
there. Playing the cannon into the
pack. A loose one at the back, he
cannot do that any more. He will be
relying on some luck when he splits
up the pack... Here we go... A good
Three reds and a line
committee would love to catch the
right of the three. He has done,
slipping off the other one. Does the
right go past the pink? Right
middle... I don't think it does.
not really one for taking players to
task but how he went about that
break there, I thought he'd got it
wrong. Those reds at the bottom of
the pack, they play the cannon into
the pack. That's the insurance
policy on the break. And there is
A great pot but once again, a little
straight on the black. Looking to
see, if he runs through slightly, at
least a shot at one in the middle?
He is thinking to play the right one
of the two. The green or the brown.
Almost playing as a half shot to
nothing but it makes that pot a
little easier. A bit more pace into
it. I'm not sure of the angle.
Running into the blue, playing the
A clever shot, he took the pressure
off himself by going over to the
other caution. That was good
thinking. He wouldn't be leading
anything. He has done well, unusual
in how he has done it but
nevertheless... He is still on the
table and he is still scoring.
Doesn't have too play a cannon here.
They can go up the table and passed
the pink on that one. It all
depends. Looking like the back one
pots as well... Perfect!
Playing a little cannon here. Going
through for a black, it should be
all right, I think. Not
guaranteed... Going wrong, he is the
It was a shop before for me.
If you knows this two reds comedian
got to be on the table. You do not
have to play any cannon. Being a
little short on the last one was a
problem. And just the fact that he
is keen to put the blue there. Not
absolutely safe but losing the cue
ball. Neil Robertson's long game,
the last couple of seasons, hasn't
been to his normal standard. Let's
see how he tackles this one... A
Just about on the yellow.
Just about will do. You would expect
him to get as far as that blue,
In an ideal world
comedies like the blue on another
question, to be honest, being
left-handed. The blue isn't as hard
for him as it would be for a
right-handed player, he could use
his own cue as opposed to the rest.
It's a long way down the line but I
do not think that a blue will be as
much of a problem if he gets there.
A classic chance of a counter attack
here. Is he up to it?
the line, if he gets as far as those
colours. A half Paul Green. Flicking
the blue into play. If this
develops, Doherty would be worried,
sitting in his chair...
shot, a brilliant shot.
players would have thought of that?
That is absolutely superb! The red
was always going to be a problem. It
would have been a half ball and he
plays a screw of the condition and
promotes it into play. -- off the
That really is a tremendous
shot, it looks like nothing against
everything that it was superb.
These are the frames, the ones that
really hurt. It's a brilliant
opportunity for Neil Robertson.
people say that snooker is not a
physical game, but this will hurt.
Making the clearance... Already, the
tension will have been on the green,
getting the blue out, that's what we
are talking about. This red is a
The backhand shot, where he played
the blue, he clipped it. Would he
have been better making sure he got
the cue ball type? He would love to
have have got one of them. On the
cushion, this does not come.
fact he is as nice as he is, this
red points to the road. 25 behind,
playing for a bold colour which sets
them up. Now looking at the green.
He can almost use the cue ball on
his hands, the timing is perfect.
It's a good shout from before, off
the green. Looking at it now, he is
just perfect, where he has finished.
This has been a superb performance
so far. A lovely screw splitting up
the reds with the best of the break.
This is important, and if he flicks
this blue out... Well, it's gone
wrong. He has just made it ten times
worse! Because he is left-handed,
that is in a shocking position, that
He doesn't need the blue, he
is still 17 in front.
Did he play it
a little hard? You only really want
to promote the blue a foot or so
outside of the cushion.
right, he was guaranteed to get the
cushion first and then kick the
blue. No need to play with pace. At
least off the brown, you can get the
blue of that. It's important he does
not leave Ken one shot to nothing,
it's easier to get the blue near a
He has left him some temptation,
it's one of those shots that can win
you the frame but it could also lose
you it. It is decision time!
What a pot!
Thinking that Neil
Robertson was going to let that
frame... He's going to be 2-1 in
It was an
excellent pot. Of course, it is just
one. And there it is. Wouldn't
really be a problem to Ken, of the
side cushion. But nevertheless,...
Took a chance hitting it hard. You
are bringing pockets into play when
you play it that firm.
agree, sometimes you've just got to
think, hit the pink! Slow pace, just
hit it and if you don't, fair
enough, you have made the mistake!
You are right, he was bringing other
pockets into play.
That will be a
It is far from a lost cause.
Robertson made play the cross
double. Depending on the pocket that
he has. What he doesn't want to do
is leave the cue ball and the pink
close together because he knows the
control that Neil Robertson has, he
will fancy getting in behind the
The other thing is because the black
is on its spot, it is a position you
know really well and you know the
angle to get in behind. Neil has not
played that particularly well. It
should be OK for Ken to drop in. He
does. What a fantastic frame of
snooker that was. Absolutely
brilliant. It looks like Neil
Robertson would come back and make
it but Ken Doherty leads the frame
2-1 in a very interesting match.
Neil Robertson breaks off in frame
four. A very interesting encounter
so far this afternoon. Most people
would have been thinking that the
Australian was a big certainty for
this match, playing against Ken
Doherty, but we all know
differently. Ken has been in good
nick and always an excellent match
player. He has given Neil plenty to
think about in this opening session.
He has been a top-class player for a
long, long time. He was an amateur
champion and turned professional in
1990. He was a constant on the
circuit up until the last year or so
when he got a wild card. He is
certainly making the best of it.
Good results. It looks like he is
still enjoying being out there
competing which is the big thing. As
long as you can't wait to get your
dickie bow and get your cue out of
the kiss and go and play and compete
and as long as you still feel like
that then there will be good
That is a good point, the desire and
the hunger to stay out there. Just
getting your cue out of the kiss, it
sounds like a simple thing but you
have to be up for it. The way the
top players are and with the
youngsters coming through, with the
Chinese contingent of players that
are all hungry, you have got with
You are very fortunate
that you haven't got there yet but
you do know when your time is up and
you have had enough of it. I have
the ultimate respect for this game
and everything I have got is because
of it but if you do not enjoy being
out there eating then you know. That
is what happened to me in the end. I
thoroughly enjoyed watching and
talking about it but the competing
side of it now I have been and gone
and done it so I have a great deal
of respect for the likes of Ken and
yourself who are still out there.
Even that is a clever shot by Ken.
Lee Camp play round the black but he
is leaving a guaranteed shot to
nothing Neil Robertson, so clever.
He play shots other people do not
play and the fact that he is in
better form all around now we get to
see him do this. For a couple of
seasons he has been off the radar
but when you watch him play and you
are in the commentary box watching
him play you realise why he has been
around for a long time.
And now he
can maybe play the safety around the
back. Back into the baulk. He has to
be careful not to push a red into
this right corner. He has not done.
That lost -- that last shot he
played with tactical brilliance. You
cannot teach that either, can you?
You have to learn it for yourself.
There are people in play the circuit
and they just do not get it. They
don't. He, obviously, through his
mouth and his tactical awareness he
does. How many players would have
played that that way around to give
yourself the best opportunity?
Absolutely. Ken has all the moves.
He is just asking questions of Neil
There was an answer.
just have to hold your hand up and
say, great shot, and that was one of
them. He was in a fair bit of
trouble there but what a pot that
By all accounts, I think you have
heard that Neil is practising really
hard and putting all of the hour was
same, which is what you have to do
to get back to the levels he was
that. The snooker he was playing a
few years ago and one year in the
Masters he played up until the final
when he played Ali Carter in one
game and it was as good as I have
seen anyone play. He beat Ali Carter
and missed one ball in the whole six
frames. It was a blue when the frame
was over. He was as close to
perfection as you can get. He beat
Ronnie O'Sullivan. Unfortunately he
didn't have much left in the final
because he played so well but he has
produced some of the best
performances on a snooker table I
have ever seen. It is difficult to
maintain the standards but you
reckon he has been grafted hard
which is always a step in the right
Absolutely he has been
putting the hour was in. I think I
was on the circuit are not always
aware of what the others are doing
but with social media and everything
that goes with that, news does
filter out there.
Neil Robertson is going to get to
work. This looks like the last of
the easy red. He doesn't have any
plants on stop he must get top side
of the blue.
Absolutely perfect and now the full
ball cannon into the screw and hold
the cue ball. How does he look?
Well, not great actually. It is all
right but that a crude -- a tricky
shot demolition. -- off the cushion.
The more power on the shot the
harder the pot becomes.
He hit that so well. He didn't quite
get the pot just right on the cue
ball, but just on the blue though.
It can the yellow. It is a natural.
It is all the pot here. Guarantees
to finish on the red. He has just
slipped past the yellow, but not too
I think he is one of the best
players in the world of the push on
with those little shots like that,
he cues the ball so straight. We
have already seen an example this
afternoon when it was on the
left-hand side of the table and he
cued through it beautifully. It is
very easy to click a bit of side on
those and you'll doesn't do that.
he playing for black you? Much
easier. The position was never
guaranteed. That red was then and it
is decent on the yellow. He can just
about reach it.
It is amazing to think that he
actually lost his tour card right at
the start. You have to have
something about you to come from
Australia as far as he has come like
he has come over here and lose your
card and not get on the circuit and
come back into the player he is
today, you have to have plenty about
you. He is made of stern stuff.
typical Aussie. Great sportsman with
the Cricketers in late Intuit and
all of those sort of guys. He has
been fabulous. I think he won his
first ranking event 13 or 14 years
ago in Aberdeen.
I don't quite know what he is
looking at here, maybe just trying
to work out at he thinks the reds
will do off the safety. He played
that like a shot to nothing there,
trying to flick off the other one.
Quite a clever shot.
Foul. Neil Robertson, four.
it was going closely was trying to
make sure he didn't promote to the
corner but unfortunately for him he
has now got a plain-ball on this
Ken can look forward to being right
up behind the brown here, I think.
Yes, it is important that he gets
tight in behind this. Ken will be
trying to drop on the red to the
black against the table in a few
Switch it off please!
dreaded mobile phone goes off. He
has just come back to that red near
the black. I think it passes.
He has not got it.
He was just doing what you were
saying, trying to cover that side of
it and make the escape more
difficult but unfortunately for him
it was a little too far.
trying to get the liftoff of the
brown as we see it. He was trying to
snooker him, these boys try to make
it as difficult as possible. There
is a way back into this frame for
That was a better shot than it
looked. You can't do much else
there. You would have been playing
the cannon onto the black and just
about getting the cue ball down the
table so he did pretty well there.
The area down behind the green is
looking like a good spot if you can
get the cue ball down there. He
He would love to take this
red on. It is just what he is
weighing up, is it worth it? The
question more pertinently is, how do
I feel about it? Sometimes you feel
confident. He is looking to see if
he can leave the cue ball somewhere
and maybe get away with it.
think this is one of those
situations. This is one where you
just have to go all your eggs in one
basket and be committed to the pot.
Not be worried about what will
happen. If you are taking this on
then it needs to go in the pocket.
Yes, couldn't agree more. I think is
What a shot.
Deserves everything he gets after
that shot. Absolutely excellent. A
lot of players may have played along
stunt shot with that but Ken dropped
it in. He did it the way he fancied.
Now it is just a matter of keeping
the cue ball under control. The
first priority is get yourself back
in the frame. He hasn't really made
a good effort of the last red, he is
slightly awkward here. The yellow
was a bit of a problem.
Great shot. To find the gap, and
that was quite deliberate as well.
Quite back in perfect position, I
don't know if he can hold for the
blue. He is certainly going in and
out of the ball. It is not quite in
He is scrapping for
it, isn't he? There are some great
points to keep it going and the last
positional shot was to rigour and
that was better than it looked. He
just needs to get one really good
positional shot, and not miss the
brown! Goodness me. I did not see
Amazing, isn't it, this
game. The professionals tell you you
can miss anything. You take your eye
off it for a split second and you
can miss it.
It is funny how it
happens as well because he has
played all the tricky shots with the
Longbridge and gone through the gap
in through the middle and it is
almost as though your concentration
drops a little level and you don't
put it all in for the next pot.
I am just wondering if that could be
a big turning point in this match.
Ken has done really well this
afternoon so far and that was the
first really big mistake he has
We always said it was going to
be a big frame. It always is before
the mid-session interval. This black
and one more red will stop that will
be the insurance and then it will
all be square again towards the
interval. They have already passed
the point that once they see this
red disappear it is going in and Ken
wouldn't return to the table.
Neil Robertson, 23. And the frame.
The concession from Ken Doherty, it
will be 2-2 and all to play for when
we return. Neil Robertson makes it
So, Ken Doherty breaks off in frame
five after the mid-session interval.
A very good session before the
interval it was too. Interesting
tactical play. Some good, long
potting. Ken making himself a little
bit after a chance on the brown that
he had and he should not have
missed. He could have got a counter
clearance in the last frame but it
has all gone now. 2-2 and all to
He has got to be a little bit
careful with this return safety. If
he decides to play in with a bit of
check side. Well, he played another
shot completely, and he would like
to have that one again. The thing he
had to avoid there was double-kiss.
Yes, he just caught the far jaw in
the corner. The double-kiss.
We said before the interval, tough
as the Australian sports stars are.
The Australian Rugby league team won
the World Cup this morning against
England full is not 6-0.
At one point that was looking
distinctly unpromising, that splits,
but Neil has a couple of options
now. One of which is a red in the
middle pocket, if he wants it. The
left corner is also portable. One
good pot and a positional play away
from a really good chance here.
Yes, the way these reds are sitting.
Please shots a masterful. That was
good, that was good.
earlier, his cue action is
absolutely bowled straight and those
shots are made to look effortless.
He was right to the middle of the
cue ball, as straight as you like,
and that is tough to do.
It is something else actually that
this season, talking about
conditions, the conditions have been
really good. They have not been
bouncing the way they were two or
three seasons ago and it gives you
this kind of little shot, it looks
like nothing but it gives you
confidence you can get it properly
and not lose the cue ball.
know why it has improved?
really, I had to be honest. It has
been a feature of this season. I
think I'm back to social media are
you hear players complaining about
tables misbehaving but there has
been none of that this season and we
hope it stays the same.
wondering if it is because the boys
are all using the new chalk and it
doesn't give any kicks because it
doesn't rest on the table other
conditions. It is good. You want
consistency and you want to know
exactly how the ball will come of
the cushion. If the tables are doing
the job, then great. Much has been
made of this new chalk. Are you
using it? Are you an advocate?
have a piece of it my cue kiss but I
have not started using it as yet. I
think I probably will. The only
thing I have heard reports that a
lot of players are miss cueing more
than they ever would say that his
aim con servant but it definitely
takes away the chalk marks. Why, I
don't know, but it does. Kicks, you
still get the odd bad contact but I
think they do reduce kick count.
Meanwhile Neil Robertson has taken
these brilliantly well. I mentioned
before the interval that it could
change the course of the match. At
the moment it is looking very
promising for Neil. There is another
one of those shots where there are
kings of the condition where the cue
ball was coming up far too far and
that is the second one he has had in
the break. It is absolutely perfect.
That is great. If you're playing all
the time and you know that is
happening, that is exactly what you
Even with that shot it helps, you
can punch it improperly and know you
will not lose the cue ball topside
so it makes a difference to players
of this standard. An awful lot of
shots, it's not something we want to
be talking about, you don't want it
to be an issue so may it continue
the weather conditions have been.
Neil Robertson getting up of steam
He is not daft. He has been
around the block, he knows he may
have got away with one in the last
frame of this with Ken missing
brown. Players know, they can sense,
there are certain parts of the match
were you know your opponent should
have gone ahead or pressed ahead and
he hasn't done it then you try even
harder than you are doing in the
next frame just to make him remember
it. He is taking this beautifully
well so far. The cue ball has been
exemplary. He is already 64 points
in the league. This will put him
over the line in the frame said
there is nothing like winning in one
visit which is what he has not been
able to do so far in this match. If
safety shot and a double-kiss the
Ken will cost in the frame. -- that
safety shot and the double-kiss will
cost Ken the frame. Play a little
cannon off the pink here and take
the outside red as well if he wants.
A little flick across. He just
dropped it in. Could take that shot
on if he wanted it.
No reason why now we should not see
the first century of this match. He
has taken these beautifully. Red and
a colour will see him not that
century. Very impressive.
A beautiful century for Neil
Robertson. The red doesn't matter.
He will be in the lead for the first
time at three frames to two.
Neil Robertson breaks off in frame
six. He will not be happy with that
break. He will need a bit of luck to
get away with it. Has he?
just about get through to red. It is
a difficult pot. Yes, those are not
easy when you have been your chair,
added to the interval 15 minutes it
is probably a good half an hour or
hour or so or 40 minutes.
whammy was that the red has come out
to a portable position. He just hit
so so nicely. It is once again such
a nice example of that straight
cueing. You cannot put that ball
unless you cue threw the ball
That was beautiful. The control.
Three or four times today he has
landed absolutely perfect on the
blue. Into the reds again. How is
his luck. Not great. Can he get
through for pink to the right
Won over the middle. It is
not a cinch. It is not easy to
control the cue ball playing it.
This is definitely an example of
straight through the ball cueing
here... Which, once again, was not a
problem. It really is bowled
straight. It looks like nothing
It was a beautiful shot.
very fine left-hander as well. To be
on the pink but not on the rest, it
shows you the control. Picking a
spot for the next red, meaning
business again... Is he playing the
cannon into the reds? No, he can
pick out one. Edit the gap looking
Stepping through the
gaze at the minute. Trying to go a
little quicker... That was the
importance of scoring heavily. In
this part of the match he feels he's
got Ken slightly on the ropes at the
It's a clever shot that shows you
how well he is thinking. Just about
the top side of the blue. Finding a
way back down to the next red. It
isn't going to be easy. Loosely
spread. Covering one another. It's
an important shot right here.
Finishing the red how he is playing.
You would fancy him. I wonder that
red at the top, dropping the blue,
it would be OK if he runs that cue
Let's have a look at the
red that I thought would be the one
for Neil. Leave the cue ball right
there, play a thin clip in and play
up the table. That looks to be the
best option at the moment... He has
gone on the same line, going twice
He played a two in 1-shot there. He
played for the choice of a plant a
loose red corner. Filling in the
knowledge, on the red, he was
thinking clearly. Good thinking. One
good positional shot away, a fine
chance. To win the frame his
We said earlier in the day
that all of the breaks, one of those
made by Ken, he was scrapping for a
position. It's another one here. He
hasn't been right for the last three
or four shots. Another good
positional shot is required.
Now, is he on one? He is not on the
one closest to the black on the
right-hand side but he is on one
above. Once again, got to knock it
in because you don't really know
where the cue ball is going. What a
As good as anything today.
Again, beautifully striped. A choice
of green or blue. If it goes in it
looks like it would be the end of
the frame. Just gone through the
Boxall of a sudden...
A worried Ken sat in his chair
there. 20 minutes since he last
potted a ball. Really, 45 minutes
since he had any decent table time
to speak of...
And he doesn't look
like he is getting any time soon,
either. He is playing really quickly
at the moment. He is obviously very
confident. You can always tell when
a player is in good stroke.
Certainly with Neil Robertson, his
shoulders go back and he walks as
proud as a peacock around the table.
Quick and fluent. That is what is
happening at the moment.
Hard to play any better than this.
Just beginning to enjoy himself out
there, Neil, the first three or four
frames were hard-fought today. A
good single for plotting, but not
really the fluency we are expecting.
But he is beginning to move through
the gears. He is looking good.
was interesting, a couple of shots
he could have played and flicked the
pink off the cushion. He ignored it.
He didn't even take a chance on that
one, he just wanted to make a
century. And there it is.
Consecutive century breaks.
Extremely impressive. Done in pretty
quick time. Superb from the
Great to see him playing back like
this. As you say he's one of the
finest players I've ever seen in
this game and when he motors like
this, here's a handful! It would
take someone exceptional to beat him
if he continues in this vein... It's
The way he's hitting this, it's a
124. The frame to Neil Robertson.
102 in the last, opening up a two
frame lead. Neil Robertson leading
Ken Doherty four frames to two. He
is looking good.
My goodness. Well... That's what
happens, unfortunately, in sport.
When somebody is playing so well
they get the rub. That is one of
those, missing it by a foot.
Straight into the corner. I wouldn't
put it past him making another
frame-winning contribution here.
That is tough to take.
game, it seems to have a memory. On
what has gone on before in the last
couple of frames, the half-century
breaks by Neil... Not bad enough for
Ken Doherty that the opponent is
playing the way that he is. Like is
also on his side. Clever, playing
for the pink right there. It will go
to the back of the cluster.
It clears a couple of rates and some
shots to work out the order that he
is going to take the reds in.
Already thinking of the best way to
win this bunch.
A couple of loose reds before he
needs to think about that but, once
again, a cluster the way that they
are. Off the blue, that would be
happy but he has come a little short
on this one. Just about the cannon
that he gets here. The fact that he
can sneak past the side of the pack,
I didn't think he could see that at
first but that is all right! Still
got two loose reds before he has two
manoeuvre any more balls into play.
This frame, all about the split. I
do think though that, is there a
plant on the same pocket? I think
that he's going to play for the
Similar how he was on it
a couple of shots ago. Finishing
where his farm is there. That is
perfect! That is perfect.
nicely. Once again judging the
cannon. You have to be careful, how
hard you hit these. And also making
sure you do not screw it off in the
middle pocket, that is a
possibility. Interesting to see
which way he does this.
actually push the reds in. I wonder
if the plant is still on.
It can definitely be made. No doubt.
It looks like it is all happening
here. A fluke on the opening red and
he has found a plant as well. Hmm.
The other thing is, he will be
pushing the other reds into play and
playing this... If the balls are
even virtually touching, they don't
have to be touching, and he can
still manufacture this, putting it
into the middle of the pocket...
Yes. A good shot.
honestly, this frame, you want to
put a line through this one. Ken
wants to sit and look for the fluke,
then the plant, the split is
absolutely perfect. I would not be
backing any horses if I was Ken!
is a tough life sometimes, the life
of a snooker player. Playing in this
kind of form, since the interval,
you don't have to do much wrong...
You can bet he's trying to make
another century, he likes to make
three or four on the spin. He's
obviously very motivated by the
history of the game and wants to win
as many majors as he can, scoring
wonderful centuries that season,
with over 100 of them. Just coming a
little straight on this, otherwise
he would have played it already.
it is also very good matchplay, in
terms of the experience. He's
reached a stage in the match where
the next half a dozen shots are so
important, to take him to a 5-2 lead
which you would think are not
unassailable but are in a very
strong position. He's taking his
time, fluent, but there are times in
a match where you would want to hang
back and weigh up your options this
is one of them.
Once again, that was beautifully
played. The pot on the bottom of the
pink. That is just... Well, it is
superb. Well, this looks like they
are all going to go. Certainly
enough to get past the line. 48
ahead already. John Paul used to say
that all he's got to do is to mind
As I say, taking his time.
He knows. He knows how important
this visit is. Keep Ken in the
chair. Get a 5-2 lead. He isn't on
the red. As far as patting it
directly but it should be all right.
That shot on the right-hand side can
he left himself in the right place
to placed and cannon, all the time
he is thinking of using his brains.
Not much you can do about this. ...
If you play golf, but when your
opponent has the cue ball, you've
just got to sit and watch. This has
been brilliant from Neil Robertson.
There is nothing Ken Doherty can do
Chasing centuries again... Deep
enough into this to push the red
over to the left middle.
He needs to
work on his positional play. Been
absolutely superb for the last two
and three quarters frames. Looking
like someone who has won of the last
for the United Kingdom. That is what
he has done. It's great to see him
back playing so well.
The only way to get the read out, I
He tried to get it out a
couple of shots ago. What a shock it
Everything working in perfect
So, pink, red, and another colour.
That will be three centuries on the
spin for Neil Robertson. Absolutely
grey day -- absolutely A great
today. Dropping this in...
That's three times in a row.
Robertson is flying out there.
no mistake, ladies and gentlemen. He
is back. The real Neil Robertson has
entered the building. Hasn't been
massively off in his game but
slightly awry with how he has been
playing. He has been saying that
people are playing good against him
but trust me, he isn't playing that
good when he plays them. It is
vintage stuff at the moment.
He is really enjoying himself out
124 and 129. Neil Robertson, with a
three frame lead. One from victory
Neil Robertson to break.
Neil Robertson to break off in frame
It's been an exhibition since
the mid-session interval from the
Australian. Three consecutive
century breaks. Fabulous control of
the cue ball. Exhibition
break-building the highest numbers.
Not much that Ken Doherty can do on
that. You've just got to hope that
things turn around.
It's another wonderful piece of
cueing. When he is on like this, his
long game is sensational. There are
not many better.
A couple of ways of playing this. He
may drop a dead weight. Playing two
cushions for a choice of rates.
Deciding on the dead weight, if he
finds this gap through the red, left
of the black... He plays it within
Were you expecting anything
else? Not really! And there it is.
He is up and running again.
how he plays the game. As far as his
safety he takes his time and place a
correct short but when he gets in
close he likes to get motoring and
picking up the pieces. He's done
that since the interval, wasting no
Flat black, 400 points without
reply. For Neil Robertson. Clean as
a whistle as well. I think that the
record is somewhere in the region of
560. Maybe John Higgins against
Anthony Hamilton at the Crucible?
Suppose that the good news is it
looks like the last frame because
there were more in this match that
could be happening here. He is not
liking this at the moment. The cue
ball is absolutely superb.
Of course, losing the cue ball for
the first time... But mind you, he
has been knocking these in for fun!
It was over the pocket, no
Weight a deep screw. A cannon into
the pink. It is a clever shot. Is he
The only where he is not
going to pot one, if he's looking at
a chance of going in the pocket, I
think this is the end of the break.
A little bit of luck needed there.
You can take it onto the corner but
the way that he is going, he has
knocked everything in. 44 points in
front, 5-2 ahead and when you play
as well as he is, sometimes it is
difficult to steal yourself that you
still need to play the right shot
and the right shot here is to skip
Yes, a medicine shop this, I
Play the shot on its merit,
he wants to make four tons in a row,
of course he does. But if it doesn't
cut, there's no point in playing it.
He isn't playing someone in the club
handicap, he plays Ken Doherty,
capable of clearing up if he misses.
Play the right shot, I'm sure he
will do. And there you go.
why he is the champion.
That is nice to see.
Just don't miss
that brown though!
It's been a long
time coming but worth the wait in
the end. It's a decent chance. Not a
certainty, the brown, but so fully
This is why like to play
the screw on the angle, try and get
into the pack... There he is, he has
Mr brown. That's the shot I was
thinking... Hmm... -- he has missed
the brown. Unfortunately, his
position is good.
Year, it's a
symptom of a lack of table time,
isn't it? Look at that. That's where
you put the cue ball with your hand.
No idea really of where he was going
to land but that is plumb.
match isn't over now, Neil Robertson
would be very annoyed with himself.
51 points in the league... Easily 20
or 30 more to come, you would think.
He has been hugely impressive this
afternoon. The second session has
been as good as he can play. The
only reason he hasn't made for
centuries on the spin is because he
lost the cue ball, on the positional
shot, not because he missed
anything. Back to his very best and
he is going to take some stopping
here... Whoever he plays against.
Just making sure of the black.
Playing the match... He has been
good, hasn't he?
He has, an
exhibition of power and control.
And it is good to see him play this
way again... It's not like he hasn't
been playing that well, still
knocking in centuries but to put it
together, all in one burst... The
red didn't go in, but the Australian
was absolutely all for nothing in
the interval. Wrapping it up there.
In the final frame. Brilliant play
from Neil Robertson the Australian,
Ken Doherty can do much about it in
the second session. The Australian
was awesome, winning 6-2.
the second session. The Australian
was awesome, winning 6-2.
What a performance from Neil
Robertson, 422 points without reply,
two matches in a row where he has
made three successive centuries. He
looks very good, does the two-time
UK champion. 16 second-round matches
remaining, we will get through those
on Sunday, starting at one o'clock
and we will be ready, on-air, for
the match between Ronnie O'Sullivan,
the five-time champion of this
event. I hope you join us for that,
but in the meantime, get some sleep.