Day 1, Part 2 UK Snooker Championship

Day 1, Part 2

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Hello again. Hearing York, proceedings are well under way in


this United Kingdom campaign to -- championship. We worked on air


earlier to show you the opening bout of John Higgins. He was up


against Rory McLeod from Northampton. This was a repeat of


the match that we saw a few months ago at the Crucible in round two.


That one went over seven hours and it was a real painstaking affair.


What we asked, would we get this time around? It was much more


watchable. In this new UK Championship format this year,


matches are only best of 11, not 17, until the semi-final. First to 6th


will win. John Higgins fought back and when we were all set to go the


difference, it became five all. Off we go for this deciding frame.


We started out the best of 11. It is now down to the one framed shoot


out. The defending champion with his vast experience, will that take


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him through? Who will make the He felt he could take the double on


Two reds are already up the other side of the table. Is it going to


be one of those awkward of frames when the reds finished up past the


He seemed to get a bit of a cake on map last shot. You can only assume


he played the pot in the middle but he was a long way away. I assume he


played the pot. The two ball running loose. He has not left


There is that red which will not Is he going to try another double


here? He just held his hand, trying to slow the white down, he executed


be doubled to perfection but Very well-played and if that red at


We always say in the deciding frame, you are looking for one chance.


Rory McLeod with the double has given himself the opportunity. Can


he hold himself together? John Higgins hopes of retaining his


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title are hanging on a slim thread Listening to the boys in the studio


earlier with Hazel, they were saying Rory McLeod has been a


professional 21 years. If he can pull this off, it would be one of


his best victories ever, do not the defending champion out. -- tooth


He has done remarkably well considering he only scored six in


three frames that the John Higgins If he can that slot this red in,


get nicely on the black, he will be A nice and on the black. There is


that cluster of reds. I do not think now is the time to play the


Well, once again, just that extra bit of pace. It loses his natural


When you hit them at that pace, it is always possible you can miss


We know what his plan will be, John Higgins. He will be wanting to get


on the blue. Let us see how he goes The black is slightly out of


commission at the moment. Can he drop this in and leave the perfect


angle? He can! Here we go. A key shot coming up. Make sure there are


no plants bomb. You do not want to He has split them beautifully.


Needs a little bit of luck and I do not think he has had it. There is


nothing easy here. Quite right. At this time and at this stage in a


match, you are looking for something easier. Maybe if you were


being paid to, you could say he did not hit the pink fault enough, that


is why the cue ball was running loose. It looks like he is going to


take a pot on. He has got to screw it back to relieve the blue. He has


got to get some action on this. -- to leave the blue. Another key shot


I don't know, I don't think he is on the blue and the pink does not


pass the blue. It is really battling hard here. Now faced with


a tough brown if he is to get back up to the reds. Every shot is a key


shot at the moment. Into a good That is a terrific shot there. In


fact, a little bit too hard, but from where the cue ball was, that


was repaired. It is all about keeping yourself together. He is


not inch-perfect on this red by any A good pop colour. -- a good pot.


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He will be happy with that, unlike John settling himself down. A bit


of noise on the other table. They Didn't judge the cannon as he


anticipated. He wanted to be on the red that is closer to the pink.


Justin King, as you said -- just thinking. John has cope with


playing the red in the middle. That is the one advantage of not having


the screens. The people on the other side of the arena realise the


importance and the stage and where the players are. From the applause,


it then went quiet. Maybe that screen and not being there helps.


They are a few people leaving. I am surprised. This is a deciding frame.


I would want to be watching this. This is where stewards should come


John Higgins now has gone up six points in front. It is not a


formality, a deciding frame it It is a chance to win the frame and


We talked about the distractions with no curtain, but they are now


cleaning the other table. I would not have them brushing the table in


the line of sight of the player who is playing in a deciding frame.


Just that one difficult red. It may pot it, if he can drop in behind it.


It will. He has got a 21 point lead. Looking at the John's face, he does


not look too happy. This red, a blue, a yellow, would leave Rory


It is not there Vostok -- it is not there! He wanted to be in behind it.


21 points, the difference. The red cadged -- the red caught the near


jaw. One good pot here and he is right back in it. Look at the


concentration on Rory McLeod's face. Trying to psyche himself up so.


This red, a colour, and the six remaining colours to beat the


defending champion and world He's missed it. As the pink come to


his rescue? I think it has. That face, it tells you that he cannot


get through to the potting angle. Two-cushions, try to send a the red


up to the other end of the table. He has played it well. Where has


the red gone? Can you believe it expect any big pink needed. If John


Higgins pots the paint colour, Rory needs the snooker. What a food! --


And that is a great pot under the circumstances. They very fortuitous


for look coming at the right time for the defending champion.


always look back on matches and think it could have gone either way.


Rory McLeod has had his chances. As you say, that group should clinch


Barring a snooker, but frame does a clinch it. Only the one snooker


This might be that snooker or is there a gap? He has found the gap!


Rory almost pinched the frame before the mid-session interval. He


needed a snooker then and got it. He did not quite managed to pinch


that particular frame. You would not so deep balls are perfect for


snookers. What about this a shot?! A beauty. If anything, a bit


unlucky to hit the pink. If he does not hit the pink, it would have


been there much more difficult Not another fluke?! Would you


believe it! Rory stance and smiles and things, what has happened? I


have battled so hard and John Rory comes forward. What a


performance. He really did put the defending champion under pressure.


John was behind and he rallied but every credit to Rory McLeod. He


always -- almost bowled off one of the best victories of his career.


Defending champion goes through to the second round. He takes the


match, 6-5. STUDIO: Well-played, John. Not perhaps the most relaxing


start. It was a tough match. Rory played really well. I got lucky at


the end. Rory missed the black early on. We all know, if you do


not take your chances, it comes back to haunt you. You of being


ripped about the it for looks. looking for a bit of luck! I was


very fortunate. Rory had you under pressure. What is so tricky about


playing him? He was playing good as the YouGov. When he is playing well


he still takes a long time, you are sitting in your chair longer than


against any other player. You must have thought that after being asked


about the format, you said you'd like the longer format. Your worst


nightmares were coming back to a haunting. You stuck in and the


result was there. I did not feel as if I was playing that badly. I was


just being outplayed at 4-2. I got a bit of rhythm playing an but it


then that Rory played really well to make it 5-5. I was surprised he


missed the black. What has your former been like this season so far,


John? As Steve knows, we are playing in a lot of events around


the UK and in Europe. Really, it is trying to play two forms. Be top 24


gets you into the Grand Final at the end and I think I am well


inside that. You are trying to get your form for the UK and the


Masters. What about having no screen? How did that feel? That


happened last year was up I think when you concentrate, you do not


really bother about it. When your mind starts wandering and you start


wondering -- looking at the other table, there can be problems. It is


fine. John, you mention that the calendar is so crowded. Is there a


bit of you that has to try and conserve a bit of energy in the


build up to these events? Do you consciously do that? I think that


consciously you are doing it because you can only go on last


year's example where the top players like Matthew Selt and


others only played in some events. When you enter any match, you want


to win. I think maybe subconsciously, you try to not take


too much out of yourself because you know the second half of the


season will be really important. I am sure that all of the players are


thinking that this is when the season starts that because you have


got the UK Championship, the Masters, and then the World


Championship in April. There has been a lot of tournaments so far.


It is great. You are through to face in the Stephen Hendry ought


Maguire. It is now December. Are you a relieved to have gotten out


of Movember? May I was quite enjoying it. My daughter hated it.


I don't think my wife liked it enough. My two boys were giving me


a ribbing. It was all for charity. How much did you raise? And I don't


really know. I am not really into Twitter and Facebook. You have got


to update it every day. I don't do that. I suppose any money that you


do raise is great. Well played full-back and well played today. We


are going to have a rash of close games, it has been predicted. There


was another out on a table to this afternoon. A busy John and his


opponent were able to see what that than expected. It was between Ding


Junhui and Mark Davis who was quietly and effectively moving his


way up the rankings over the past couple of seasons. It was a mark of


who looked like the stronger player at 5-4. Could he thing this --


He is going to be left with that very awkward angle. He can play


this into the right corner pocket, with less risk attached and with


the brown near the pocket, this is a very big shock. This could be a


It does not help that he has got to Not very close. A difficult one. He


Hitting the jaws of the middle pocket has given Mark Davis another


chance. Quite difficult to step I think he is a bit worried here.


If he ends up at the black end of A brave shot to play. A big moment


for Mark Davis. I go back to that black that Ding Junhui refused. It


would have been 37 in front with one red bomb. Whatever happens, I


am sure Mark Davis will have the first chance that the black. He


will have to get the right angle on the pink from the blue. Would you


believe it! He nearly missed that. The fact that he hit it on the thin


side meant that the two ball drifted down too far. -- the cue


A good effort. You would like to think that he has got a cast iron


safety shot if nothing else. That Twice a winner of the UK


Championships, once here at the Barbican in York and once in


Telford. He is very close to going I tell you what, it has turned out


not to bat. He did not mean to It is not uneasy safety shot, is


it? -- an easy safety shot. Well He got that object ball absolutely


safe. There is so much distance between the two balls here. He


might try and double the black up towards the top left pocket. He may


try to knock it in us a long double. I don't blame him for going for it


but I do blame him for the pace with which she played it. -- with


We are back now to a decider. It is all-square at 5-5.


HAZEL IRVINE: Are second decider of the afternoon on this opening day


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of the United Kingdom championship. There is plenty of room to get on


to the red for the left-hand corner pocket off of this black. This is


the last of the loose reds. He has Has he got to the angle? I think he


has. What he would like to do is kiss that red right in the middle


of the loose reds. He does not have to go into the main bunch. He is a


very good break-builder, plays the right shot at important points in


Again, that is a pretty good shot. That is just about what he intended


- nudging the reds and holding for one of those two. You feel that if


this goes in there is no reason why he would not win the frame and the


You could say he is a little I think he will go on to win the


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He has taken these very well. The one thing you know about Ding


Junhui is that when the chance comes he is prepared to take it.


That is why he is the great player that he is. it did not look that


easy earlier on. Then he started to get back into the match. He scraped


over the line to make it 5-5 when both players had shots at the final


black. But this is where the class has come out, right when he needs


He buckles at the knees on that shot. That has really hurt him. I


have not really seen him like that before. How has he missed it? I can


only think that he took his eye off of it. It never seemed possible.


We have seen it with the top players in the world, when they see


the winning post it goes past very quickly. Surely he must play to


kiss the pink here. This is now a great chance. There have been lots


of twists and turns in this match, but that was one that I did not see


coming. Such a fluent break up until that moment. Mark Davis has


got a great chance. OK, the black's away from its spot, but that is all.


I think he could possibly recover this if he plays a good shot. He


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might avoid the two reds and land The other problem here will be


getting in behind the right hand red of the two. It is far enough


away from the cushion to play in behind it, but it has still got to


be done. The cue ball will be running here because, clearly, if


he plays the blue the cue ball is travelling a long way. So the pace


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APPLAUSE De red, I just went in, but that doesn't really matter.


He got far enough up the table to That is a better shot than it


looked. Good control. He is probably still thinking about the


He is level with the baulk line here. If he pots the brown he has


to go round the table. No option. That gives Ding Junhui a little bit


That is a great effort. He deserves to have a shot at this, which he


Well, he missed it by a long way. For a second it seemed as though


the blue was going to hang over the middle pocket. This cannot be


potted. Both players have still got a chance. Ding Junhui will just be


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That is an excellent safety shot. The priority is to get the object


That is a clever shot. I don't think he has the snooker, but it


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He will not mind that. That has There is a good chance he can get


in behind pink and black if he plays off of the blue very thin. He


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might try to get the flight in He is 12 in front, so the blue


I don't blame him for that shot at Good shot, well played. There is a


lot of pressure on safety shots like that. Can Ding Junhui send the


white round the table and try to Let's see what we can see of this


blue. I am sure he can see the blue but I am not sure if he can see the


He could see the potting angle. He needed a kiss but did not get one.


He may have a chance to hide him behind the black. -- too high a


being. That is very ambitious, you He is playing snooker, not quite in


the way that I expected. If he plays cushion first, he can play a


stun off the cushion and leave the quite where the pink is now. --


leave the white where the pink is now. As long as we have full


contact on the pink we will be in You cannot believe what happened


there! Mark Davis dug a really deep and got himself back into the match.


And unbelievable fluke from Ding Junhui takes him into the next


round. He wins 6-5. From my point of view I should have


won that match. I had a chance in the last frame to clear up. I am a


bit gutted because I think, or all, I should have nicked that one. --


overall. I need to practise for a few days


and come back. I need to play better in the next round.


I am sure Mark Davis will be thinking about that pink for some


time to come. The first round draw looks like this now. As we saw,


John Higgins had to work very hard to squeeze past Rory McLeod and


will now play either Stephen Maguire or Stephen Hendry, both


Scots and both former winners of this title. Ronnie O'Sullivan and


Steve Davis meet tomorrow afternoon. Crucible runner-up Judd Trump faces


Dominic Dale of Wales. Matthew Stevens meets Scotland's Marcus


Campbell. Graeme Dott would love to add the UK title to his career


hoard. Mark Williams has reached the finals in all the major ranking


events this year. He plays Joe Jogia. Ali Carter plays Robert


Milkins. It has been a great year for Stuart Bingham and Marco Fu.


Let us have a quick chat about what we have just seen. John, you said


there would be a rash of close matches. It has worked out so far.


That was a harsh way for Mark Davis to lose, though. It at that was a


horrible way to -- that was a horrible way to lose a match.


might have tidied up in the previous frame, though. Sometimes


you let the person of the book and you get punished in strange ways.


Looking at the draw, there are some ugly looking snooker players out


there! OK, no Jeremy Clarkson moments here, OK? Tonight we're


going to be looking at its Stephen Maguire against Stephen Hendry.


is always intriguing to see what sort of state Stephen Hendry's game


is in. Last year, there were certain matches where you were


thinking, he is not far from playing good stuff here. He is


inconsistent. Stephen Maguire has everything - he is a great match


player, good cue action, hits the ball back crisply. If you are not


our regular snooker watcher and you're dipping in and Out There are


a lot of names that you have not seen. There will be some cracking


matches because all of the players are playing to such a high standard.


These matches are going to be exciting and you will see some


excellent snooker, regardless. The two matches that are currently


in play are looking rather more clear cut. Last year's world


champion Neil Robertson is up against Tom Ford of. Here he is,


just fashioning the fifth frame to take a 5-0 lead against the world


No. 21, who is trying to make new ground by getting into the second


round. Neil Robertson has never been classed -- past the quarter-


finals stage, despite being a world champion. On the other table it is


Graeme Dott. He is going very well here, taking a 5-1 lead over


Matthew Selt. Graeme Dott is, of course, a former world champion. He


is trying to become the 11th man in history to win the world and UK


titles. It is going very well at the moment for him. He just needs


one more. Both of those matches are currently on the red button service


because we have to go off the air. Press read an hour if you want to


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