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Seconds out, round two of this
year's Betway United Kingdom
championship, here in your. We've
seen a couple of knockout blows
delivered in this championship
already and this afternoon two
former champions, Ronnie O'Sullivan
and Shaun Murphy, were both aiming
to avoid the kind of fate that
befell the world number one, Mark
Selby, yesterday. Now for one of
them it was a torturous afternoon
today. For the other, it was plain
Welcome to the Ronnie
There's no one else in the game who
has cue ball control. Scary. Scary
Ronnie O'Sullivan goes into
unexpected two frames to nil lead.
First point on the board, his first
long pot. Oh, my goodness.
Michael Georgiou does avoid the 6-0
whitewash. 4-1. What a shot. OK,
Well, the handshake comes. It was
all about the win today for Ronnie
O'Sullivan. He goes through 6-1 in
It was very workmanlike kind
of performance, trying to keep it as
businesslike as I can about the game
and my approach to the game, and,
businesslike as I can about the game
and my approach to the game, and,
and my approach to the game, and,
you know, there was a few little
spells there when I went off the
boil but if you can limit the time
that you go off the boil that's the
key, really, because everybody has
spells where they are feeling it and
not feeling it. It's just about not
losing the game in them moments.
Ronnie through, but Shaun Murphy was
going through the mill. World under
69 Liam Highfield had come swinging
back off the ropes from 2-4 down and
looked like he'd complete the
comeback with a 6-4 win until that
miss in frame ten. And it handed
snooker's Triple Crown winner a
lifeline on the black, which he
took, to force the final decider.
Then followed the most dramatic 40
odd minutes. Murphy miscue in,
handing the advantage to Highfield,
and are quite fascinating, torturous
turn of events thereafter, Murphy
crossed the line. It's a match that
neither man will forget, nor anyone
It was just a few mistakes
here or there that cost us and made
the game that sort of tents,
exciting affair. On another day one
of those runs away with the match
and wins 6-2, 6-3, but there were
those small twists and turns, the
difference between winning easily
and winning badly is so fractional.
So I'm relieved.
every frame that he won and every
frame I won, we probably could have
won each other's frames. It was one
of those matches where I felt there
were chances either way and may be
the only thing that decided the
match was the experience in the
Davis' phrase of
playing like it means nothing is so
difficult and on another day I'd
have been down the M1, home.
Fairplay to Liam Highfield for
taking the fight to the magician.
The last we saw of Shaun, he was
mopping his brow, scratching his
head and wondering how on earth he
got himself into such a pickle in
the first place. Aiming to avoid
such a scrap to get over the line
was John Higgins this evening, a
four time world champion, and at the
age of 42, John just keeps adding to
his trophy collection. 29th world
ranking title came earlier this
season at the Indian in September.
Well, tonight, the three times UK
champ was pitted against 27-year-old
Cao Yupeng, known as Eric over here.
Interesting to note these two have
played only once before, five years
ago, and it was Eric who won that
one, 6-3 in his home city, a half
decent stab that, although there are
plenty of others that would point to
Higgins as a winner tonight.
Well, this was a very intriguing
start the match. It was Higgins who
edged two frames ahead, but Cao
Yupeng had levelled it by "Again,
the Scot went two up and thereafter
to lead 4-2, and we're going to pick
them up in the seventh frame. The
Chinese player 11 points in front on
this one. Commentary from Alan
McManus and Taylor. -- Dennis
That's far too thick. It's opened
the reds up. The pink and the black,
as he slumps back in his seat, Cao
Yupeng, he knew he hit that all
wrong. He can get out on the blue
here. Have a look at the pink, it's
not tied up.
And that's helped to clear the pink
spot a little. Further. So it's a
good chance here for John Higgins.
Can he keep his focus this time, and
not make a careless mistake? He's
done it on three or four occasions.
He could win the frame here, just
taking all pinks. He's got the blue,
if he needs it.
Can't believe it. It's amazing. It's
just another lapse in concentration
on an absolute sitter.
I mean, all his Mrs, they've been so
Yes, and it's not pressure
that's doing it. He can handle that
side of things. He's just not on it
tonight, John Higgins. Right from
the word go. Stop start, as we said
before. He's struggling. Cao Yupeng
must make hay while the sun is
Well, he wouldn't call that making
hay. That's for sure. I know he had
to forfeit a little bit, but -- he
had to force it a little bit, but
put a little quick one in there.
Doesn't look as if he passed the red
to cut the other one in, but he must
be able to.
Even that shot, look
where he's left the cue ball. So his
timing is not there at the moment.
Yeah, you could argue with that shot
there, the yellow and pink as they
are, he would have been playing
topside of the blue, but probably
farther from a choice of three or
four colours, three feet short of
pace playing that. This is a good
shot. Deserves to be on one. That
was brilliant, to find the gap.
As I say, he's intending, he played
for the blue, believe it or not.
Look where it's finished.
I think he
just thought he knows he's not
timing it, I'll give this one a bit
more, and of course, he overscrewed
it. That was sweet as a bun, the way
he hit that. Might not have looked
much, but useful screw shot. It's
got such grip on the cue ball.
it turned out to his advantage, the
pink going in a game. The pink is
back on its spot, which helps.
Those two reds, one of them should
be available into the same pocket as
the pink. He's overscrewed it
slightly, he might have to cannon
into them. I think he can avoid them
and leave the read on for the same
pocket. Let's have a look, yeah,
Yeah, they both go. He's just coming
around to have a look from this end.
The red is a bit of a distraction
for his cueing.
A better piece of timing on the
pink. Perfect now, play for a choice
of a couple of reds, off this next
pink. Quick scoreboard check, 38,
the lead, 44, probably still need
the two reds. Two loose reds, that
Overscrews it again. I mean, the
pink is still the better ball to get
on to the red next to the black, and
he's going to need that to secure
the frame. And put himself in a
very, very strong position in this
match. Once again, just overscrewing
a bit, but it's a natural angle to
get onto the red to the right of the
Nicely played. 51 in front, with
just 51 remaining. This red to
secure the frame.
He did not think he was going to
finish on the black for the middle
pocket. He just made sure of the red
and that was a bonus.
Not at his best, Murphy. That 49
break is more than enough to secure
-- Higgins. Yes, Higgins in a good
position, but as Alan and Dennis
have mentioned, he is labouring
tonight. His top rate in this match
is 59, and if he wants to get over
the line, he will require snookers.
Trying to stay on the black.
He is looking at the scoreboard.
56 the difference. He now needs two
Yes, if there's black can go in and
he can avoid the movie mag on the
next red, his interest levels will
be raised. You would expect John
Higgins to get a decent snooker from
the last red.
As always, he will be trying to get
the red in baulk. Justin baulk would
be good, some were up behind one of
He has got to the red away from the
cushion. This is a big swear. The
green is slightly in the way going
down the right side escape route.
The same applies to the yellow on
the other side of the table.
the equation is pretty simple for
me. You play dead weight through the
gap. Whether it is yellow or brown
or green and brown, do not leave EA
free ball, end of story.
I am 100%
If Cao misses this, and
John Higgins snookers you, all fine
and well, but let him snookers you.
Well, that is one of the snookers.
We are actively snookers required
stage. John Higgins is looking at
the scoreboard. That is why I am
surprised when he potted the pain
cannot be black, because he could
tie with one snookered if he took
This is fine. Up behind
the yellow. Even if he drops nicely
on the yellow for a pot, he can use
the green, but he will be playing in
behind it. He does not want to be
stuck on the baulk cushion.
where he will land by the look of
it, but he will still play the
snooker in behind the black. Or he
could roll the yellow pass the black
and get it with the blue, pink and
He has made sure there is enough
room to go round the back of the
yellow. He will need lots of side,
but he should be able to escape.
Look where the yellow is going.
Another inch and he could have
rolled tight in behind the blue. He
might still be able to. C-Coupe. --
This is big trouble for Cao Yupeng.
He cannot hit above the middle
pocket. He will have to come down
this end, and he will not be playing
it with a spider straight up and
down. This is tough, regardless of
which way he plays it.
One other point to make, Shiggy
miss, how does he get the cue ball
-- should he miss.
Yes, the middle
pocket is in the way. He will have
to play with a massive amount of
side. If he is coming off two
cushions, if he misses the yellow,
and leaves a free ball, he could be
in all sorts of trouble.
It is the two cushion escape.
No. Where is the fight going to
finish? All of a sudden, just five
minutes ago, it looked like he was
still in this year's UK
Yes, he is going to
play the soft cannon on the blue,
just to hold the cue ball. Not bad,
not ideal. You will probably need
the rest. It is potential match
It would be a great frame to pinch
after needing two snookers.
Amazing. It was the shot before.
Allen called the correct shot. John
Higgins did not get the cannon on
the blue that he intended. It was
the previous shot that cause that
This was the shot that Alan McManus
said, just land on the blue gently.
He hit the blue on the left side and
got into it too much.
Again, it is
not timing it quite right. John
Higgins in top form, you would fancy
him getting the full ball cannon.
What has he done? Will that be
locked in time? I do not think so.
He just needs the green. A bit of
pressure on this one.
Very well played indeed. He is not
out of the Betway UK Championship
just yet. It looked a few moments
ago that he was.
That is the start of the comeback.
He is now trailing 5-3. He needs
three in a row.
And the comeback continued. Cao was
the winner in frame nine, with 56.
He was within one of John Higgins.
It was all getting a bit twitchy. We
haven't -- we head into the tenth
frame, and the Chinese professional
is six points adrift.
There was so much pressure on that.
I thought he was going to stick that
red up, once he caught in the jaws
of the middle pocket. One will go
into the left corner, but it is not
as easy as it would have been if
that red had pass the blue.
It is not a straightforward table by
any means, with the reds at the
other end of the table, but at least
he is amongst them.
That did not
look like much, but that was a
fantastic shot. The control on the
pot was difficult, especially the
way he has been feeling, half ball,
blind pocket, to get the control on
the pink, he has set up a match
clinching chance. Well, let's not
see just yet. Considering what has
gone before. He has even lost the
cue ball on that shot. He missed a
little cut back not quite as easy as
He is certainly making it difficult
Now he will have to head up the
other end of the table. Once again,
he could have played the positional
side of that better. He is hampered
slightly by those two reds.
That is a good recovery.
Just about OK. He can play this with
a little bit of left-hand side to
spin a drowned. He can just about
get middle ball. You do not win four
world titles without having bottle.
That is what John will have to show
Yes, not only four world titles, but
three UK titles as well.
One of the
And you can see Cao Yupeng in the
background, fearing the worst. It
has been a good fight back. At 5-2,
it looked like it was all over.
Yes. Two more reds, and John Higgins
will be safely through, not without
drama, it has to be said.
Yes, they have only played each
other once, back in 2012. Cao Yupeng
was the winner in that match, 6-3.
55 ahead, no heroics with this red.
Just make sure.
You'll be seeing a lot more of Cao
Yupeng, that's for sure.
It's been a tough night for him. He
missed five sitters, doesn't matter
about Luke Rahane himself. --
doesn't matter about snooker in
himself. It all looked very
comfortable for the three-time
In the end John Higgins will be
pleasantly pleased with his
performance. He's got to improve,
but he takes the match 6-4.
confident with my tap
but he takes the match 6-4.
confident with my tap at all there,
something similar happened in the
World, it started last night
practising, it was starting to do
funny things. It could have been me,
obviously, but today, I was thinking
that I text it Dale to see if he can
give me good tips but obviously he
lost to Graham last night and must
have drove home, so I'm going to
drive home tonight, see my mate,
Fraser Patrick, an ex-professional,
and he puts my tip on and come back
John clearly feels it's
worth putting in the miles, putting
in the effort, to make sure his cue
was absolutely right. It's a long
way to go to get a new tip on the
cue. We've seen him do this before
at the Crucible, only a few months
ago, and perhaps his partner --
perhaps it's part of the reason he's
facing Yan Bingtao, this fellow,
only 17 years of age, he cruised 6-1
through his match today and he's a
real up and comer. He made it to the
final of the Northern Ireland Open
at the weekend, a. He's going the
extra mile, quite literally, in his
preparations to face on Tuesday.
Back to this evening's bill of fare
and Barry Hawkins is a man for the
majors. You might remember he's
appeared in a Crucible final, he's
also appeared in a Masters final,
but world number eight has always
consistently struggled in this one,
the United Kingdom championship. In
fact, in 18 previous appearances the
best he's ever managed, 1/4-final
place. He's hoping that will change
this year. He found himself up
against Hartford's world mother 79,
Ahmed Maher, who had a great win
over a former winner of this trophy
in York, Matthew Stevens in his
first round. This is the third time
these guys have mapped in the last
year and Hawkins will remember he's
won the previous two matches but
what a start from mere. He raced
away 2-0 in front before Hawkins
raced back to take the next four. We
will pick them up in frame seven,
the Hawk in the ascendancy here and
looking on are Peter Ebdon and John
That was a miscue. There you go,
played a fantastic shot, forced the
Absolutely. He will show me
what it's all about. High-quality
shot, forced the error, here is your
chance. Just needs to get his cube
all nice and tight into the next
ball, just to make this break easy
for himself. -- get his cue ball
nice and tight. Already he hasn't.
Lost it, already. Such a poor shot.
Massive margin for error.
The problem here is the cue ball is
going away from the reds. That's a
very good pot.
Yeah, that was
excellent. Credit where it's due.
That was really well controlled,
played it with a bit of drag just to
take the weight out of the cue ball.
He's got to pop this where he's got
to play a stunning run, stagger the
cue ball through, because the lack
certainly pots. It's what he will
want to be on. -- the black
certainly pots. There you go.
Stunned it and ran through slightly.
This really is a fabulous chance to
go 4-3. He will kick himself, if he
doesn't take it.
I think there have been a lot of
positive so far to take out of this
match from Miah's performance.
Fantastic long potter.
sure, he can certainly cue, and that
instance we just mentioned showed
him as well if he needs to look back
on this match that safety shot he
played was as good as he's played in
the match, and it's what's forced
Absolutely. That was a
world-class safety shot.
interesting, a shots ago I was going
to say he made have played up for
the blue off the last red, because
it was a natural angle to go up for
blue, he'd only have to pot it, it
would have gone back on its own
sport, made the clearance a bit
easier, but he didn't really look at
that. Decided to go about it another
I mean, we know it's not on cushion,
it's still in a pottable position
but it looked a natural to play on
Yes, and consequently he now has to
not only pot the green and get a
good angle on the brown, but then
leave himself a good angle on the
blue to get to the pink. He played
that really well. That was an
excellent shot with the rest.
I think it's safe to assume it's not
the cue power is not the problem,
he's got plenty of that. He does it
it lovely when he times it. Here we
go, brown took blue. This is the
important shot office clearance. Can
he get the right angle?
And therein lies the problem.
This shot with the rest is made all
the more difficult because of the
power he will have to play with
here, to try to get back to the
pink. This is really tough.
Yeah, that was the problem.
He missed a trick there, definitely
should have played up for blue, off
the last red. It would have made his
job so much easier. Anyway, he's
hoping for a little bit of fortune
from Barry Hawkins missing.
He may yet be coming back to the
table, because that's not one of
Barry's best. A good pot, this is
The only saving grace here
is he can get a good cue ball and
leave it behind the black on the top
Well, he's left the cross table
double and I think is going to have
to take this on. Of course, he can
push the pink off the side cushion
towards the baulk cushion, but I'm
not quite sure what he played there.
Yeah, just decided that was going to
be a bit of trouble for Barry, just
left it where it is. In fairness,
it's not a particularly nice shot to
He's had a little bit of run in this
frame, Barry Hawkins, a couple of
little flicks and bits of form.
Another one he could have very
easily left something for Miah to
Up and down, sending the pink onto
the hawk cushion. Played it well. --
onto the baulk cushion. Played it
That really is a fabulous
one, very difficult shot to play.
The cushion is very reactive. To
play up there and get it that close
is tremendous judgment.
He'll need this to pull up. And it
So one good bit of cueing here, nice
stun, pot the pink, come off the
side cushion, black is waiting for
you. Didn't quite get into it, he's
potted the pink OK, but this black
is a little trickier than it could
have been. Still fancy him, but it
could be missed.
Oh, great pot. What a fabulous frame
of snooker that was from Barry
Hawkins. He had a little bit of
fortune in there and Miah will be
kicking himself he didn't take that
frame, but it Barry Hawkins who
frame, but it Barry Hawkins who
Nexit and its 5-2.
Is been a
relatively quiet start the season
for Barry Hawkins, he's only got
past this stage in a big event so
far so now is the time to progress
here in York. Can he get over the
here in York. Can he get over the
line, in frame aid?
I don't expect Barry Hawkins is
going to miss this one. He'd have
missed that one, I'd have been
leaving the commentary box because
it's another chance for Barry. These
matches, you want to get them over
with. He's got his opponent rocking.
He's 5-2 ahead. Get over the line,
he just needs to give all the petrol
he's gotten a tournament like this
if you're going to get to the end,
it's going to be difficult to win.
Don't waste any mental energy on
matches you don't need to.
That could quite easily have gone
horribly wrong. Another role on the
cue ball there and it would have
made it very difficult. He's only
ever so slightly hampered now. But
it could have been a lot worse than
He's craving to do something
with the cue ball but I don't think
he can do too much.
There's a couple of options here,
see if he can just run this through,
and the reds near the pink, one of
them will go in the middle. It's
what he's looking at I think, just
drop the black in. Yeah, so red in
the centre now and this is basically
frame and match ball for me, if he
can knock this in and screw back on
the collar, he should win the match
In potting this he just
may flick the red to the right of it
out and develop that. That's exactly
what he's done, and that's perfect.
Nice little cannon macro up into the
red above the black here.
He will play a little run through
and flick of the other red knew the
He's already 27 points in front.
He is getting very close to the
winning post, Barry. A little bit
He may well have to take
the red into the centre. He is
hampered on the red into the right
corner. It should not be too much of
a problem. He has played it well.
Well, safe to say it has not been
vintage Barry Hawkins this evening,
but he will not mind too much. When
you are still in the tournament, you
can always improve. I was one of the
finest improvers are up the M6 when
I got beat. Once you're at the
tournament, our son the practice
table, it all comes together and you
find your top game. Whoever plays
Barry will know they will be in for
a proper test, that is for sure. As
for his opponent, Hammad, it is
great experience. He has let himself
down a little bit with his cue ball
control this evening, but he will
learn from the experience.
He has certainly got power, and he
can knock a few balls.
Yes, he is a very gifted player,
that is for sure. A very dangerous
player. The sort of player that you
can imagine, when he is playing
really well, he will be knocking
them in all over the place.
He has taken these very well. A
lovely touch and positional play. A
nice way to finish off the match. He
has not been his vintage best but he
has had breaks of 96, 70 one. With
that clearance, he gets through 6-2.
He will be very pleased with his
Barry Hawkins the
winner, 6-2. Yes, ropey start but a
strong finish. Progress from Michael
White who threw in a tournament high
break of 142 in his 6-1 drubbing of
Matz Sels. Success for Thailand this
evening. 6-0 against Leo Fernandez.
And a great victory for his fellow
countrymen. 6-4 against Michael
Holt. Snooker Extra follows next if
you're in the mood for a late-night
snooker. If not, we will be back
tomorrow. The last 32 players
remaining in York. A really
interesting contest from one o'clock
in the afternoon between the
flamboyant world number two Judd
Trump and the wily former world
champion Graeme Dott. And an all
Welsh match up