Last 16 round action gets underway with four quarter-final places to be determined on Wednesday at the UK Championship. Jason Mohammad introduces action.
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MUSIC: "Drag Racer" by the Doug Wood
An a busy for the crews here at the
Barbican in York. The 2017 victory
UK Championship is hotting up as we
go from beta-mac, to four, two two
tables. Good afternoon to you. We
have reached the fourth round of
this tournament. As well as losing
those tables, we have some big names
along the way. Including defending
champion Mark Selby.
COMMENTATOR: Another one of the
crashes out to Thailand's Sone
Ding Junhui loses five frames in a
row. Graeme Dott, what a fantastic
result. Brilliant performance from
Scott Donaldson and he knocks out
the defending champion.
Six of the
ten best players in the world
the defending champion.
Six of the
ten best players in the world are
out. Better still four UK champions
left in the draw. Ten titles are
shared between Shaun Murphy, John
Higgins, Stephen Maguire and Ronnie
O'Sullivan. Sunny can he is 22, from
Thailand, his reward is a
O'Sullivan. Sunny can he is 22, from
Thailand, his reward is a plum draw
against Ronnie O'Sullivan.
It is an
interesting draw for the last 16.
Baby is the perception in the
tournament, lots more big seeds
going out in the tournament. Whether
that is the case, what do you put it
down to in this tournament? Is it
because players are getting better,
the gap is narrowing honours this
tournament has went from Best of 17
to best of 11.
Players play so many
tournament. Looking from the
outside, top players, they are not
prior Taarabt -- prioritising this
as a massive event. Some of them not
giving the opponents of the respect
that they deserve.
Back in our time,
if we lost to a relative unknown
that the public did not know, they
would have been distraught. Bad
It is infuriating.
Mark Selby, the world number one,
lost to Scott Donaldson. Scott
Donaldson loses 6-1 and the next
round and that makes you feel worse.
Do the players of today have to
change their attitude to bruising?
Do they have to take it more on the
chin and state there is another
tournament a the corner?
not prior traumatising these big
events as much as we used to do.
They know there is another
tournament next week.
still left in and let us see what is
coming up this afternoon.
Higgins, the three times UK champion
has won a ranking title this season
at the Indian open, could this be
his year in York? He is against Mark
King, he won the Northern Ireland
open last season. He is the world's
21 and has the highest break of 146.
Stephen Maguire won this title in
2004 and it is an all Scotland clash
for him this afternoon. He plays
Graeme Dott, the 2006 Crucible
champion who knocked out Judd Trump
in the last round. And if you would
like to get in touch with us we
would like to hear from you. Use
this hash tag. Mark King aiming to
make his second semifinal of the
season. He reached the last four of
the Indian open. He has had some
highs and lows.
It has been full of lots of things
of the table and on the table. In
January I had a car accident. Not a
bad one but I ended up getting
tennis elbow. My dad's house was
petrol bombed. Touch wood,
everything seems to have died down.
Thank God he is OK. Now I can crack
on and begin practising, not worry
about anything. Get on with my
snooker. I had a couple of minutes
with my family coming out after
having so many years of thinking it
will not happen. I had the little
one as well. You could not write it.
It was fantastic. I do not need to
win to pay a bill now. To have that
one decent one, I was able to be
everything that I owed. I only
actually playing to win and to enjoy
it. Touch wood, I am doing all
right. And I can play. I was on the
yellow and I was thinking, see you
later. I had a little sneaky 20
seconds... I had a couple of days to
think about it. Pretty devastating.
In all fairness it was a poor
positional shot. I am still in and
still fighting. I could make one
tomorrow, the next day. Whatever. I
still have a chance of making one.
John is a fantastic player and one
of the all-time greats. You know
what you will get. If I do not play
well and will go home. Simple as
that. He can play back, play well,
score well, scrap it out. I am
looking forward to it. I will enjoy
We are looking forward to it as
well. Long history between them. The
vast aim that the one, Mark was
victorious pipe - four. John Higgins
is one the UK Championship on three
occasions. He has 18 victories over
three for Mark King. It is their
third meeting at the UK
Let us head over to
Rob Walker. Good afternoon. Fourth
round tie at the Betway UK
Championships. What an important day
for Scottish Luca. Three of the
format are from north of the border
behind the stage. Ahead of the
chirpy cockney who is never short of
the word or two. The battle for the
quarterfinal starts right here,
Please welcome, arguably one of the
most underrated players on the
Here in York he defeated
Dale in a divide and 16 on the spin
against Judd Trump. Lee MacKenzie
world finalist and took the big one
in 2006. He is the Pocket Dynamo,
And his opponent, coming through a
6-5 Filip Kiss Liang Wenbo, to
secure his 14th consecutive UK
Championship fourth round
appearance. He has got by ranking
titles. When he is good he is on
fire, he is Stephen Maguire.
And on table one, a player making
his first appearance in the fourth
round for five years after that
impressive victory over the Belgian
Bullet Luca Bruxelles. Semifinalist
in the Indian open this year. Here
comes snooker's answer to the telly
Savalas, who loves you, baby? Mark
And finally, one of the sport's
all-time greats. Beating promising
youngster Yan Bingtao yesterday.
Looking for his fourth quarterfinal.
Three times a winner here. 29
ranking titles. The Wizard of
Wishaw, John Higgins.
And all Scotland a fear on table
tonight. Stephen Maguire taking on
Graeme Dott. That is light on the
red button and on the BBC sport
website. Live on BBC Two, it is John
Higgins taking on Mark King. Good
afternoon to the commentators, John
Parrott and Ken Doherty. JOHN
PARROTT: Thank you. Mark is a
character. Robert knows him very
Great introduction for Kojak.
Wonderful pictures at the start of
I am so glad he
Wonderful pictures at the start of
I am so glad he can
appreciate it and do it. Wonderful
thing to win the tournament.
Wonderful scenes. He has been around
for a long time. Great reward for
the effort. This man has had some
Sleeping too much water in that
He waited a long time for his first
tournament win and that gives you
What you cannot do is
plate loosely like that. That was a
Down to the nitty-gritty in the UK
Championship. Last 16. This is where
the big boys come out to play. John
Higgins had a hard match yesterday.
They might have won the 6-3 but had
to work very hard. It was absolute
granite. He glued his opponent to
the bottom cushion and get nothing
to look at.
It was a study in top class to go
So impressed. Mark King
was quite right when interviewed.
He said that when John Higgins is
playing badly he is still good
enough to win. And when he is
playing well he is one of the best.
That was good to come off the side
cushion. The side of the pack is a
He could have went in harder than
that. He did cannon quite high up
Did not get into that as much as he
could of done and still unlucky not
to be on anything.
I have not heard touching ball from
referee Paul Collier. He does not
want to leave a touching ball for
They also do not want to play
a push shot. That would be a foul.
He is not the tallest on the circuit
so it is proving to be a bit of a
Looks like a touching ball from
here. The referee has confirmed it.
That gives Mark the advantage. Twice
across the table. Big target behind
the yellow and the green.
Not sure if it will come off the
side cushion and nestle in behind
the yellow. Trying to get the cue
ball right behind the yellow. This
looks pretty good.
'S very dangerous
opponent with Luca Bruxelles and the
Mark has all been a good competitor
but he is not one of the heaviest
scorers on the circuit but it has
got better. The boys have been
telling me he has been working with
Chris Henry who is a decent coach.
His cue ball has definitely improved
and his scoring has got heavier.
Write that one down. Do not see many
of those, John Higgins making a
mistake in the tactical department.
Shouldn't change your attitude.
Today is another day. He is 18-3
behind in matches. He should say he
is in good form.
Is there a chance?
Absolutely. The Mark King of today
is a better player than he may have
been over the previous seven or
eight years. That confidence. He has
been more successful over the past
couple of years. His confidence has
grown. He is going to enjoy today.
He will not be too fearful of John
The bookmakers and lots of people in
the game will not expect him to win
today but if you come out with that
attitude then he has nothing to
lose. He is a great competitor. If
anybody can compete with John
Higgins in the safety apartment then
it is Matt -- Mark King. Scoring is
I was not surprised about that. He
came between everything. He was very
straight on the yellow and he had a
foresight to try to get an angle out
of it. Early in the match it is not
a shot that you want to be playing.
Ultimately, I agree with you, it
will be about how he scores today.
He is much improved in that
department and people have to be.
I am surprised that John is not
coming off the red on the left
because he has a big target with the
yellow and green. He does not fancy
it for some reason.
You may have heard Mark King, say,
good shot. It is therefore easy to
play these. -- it is never easy.
UMPIRE: Foul and a miss.
I am sure
that John will ask for the cue ball
to be put back. It is about making
sure you get a thin contact on the
red. You do not want to be thick.
Anything nice and fun and this is
straightforward for somebody of the
capabilities of Mark.
UMPIRE: Foul and the miss. The turn
of John to Mr Boll.
It may be more difficult for the
return safety that John was playing.
He has left it with tears. -- left
it where it is.
In just about see the outside edge.
Can mark see the edge? Come on down
the left-hand side of this table.
I think he has left this red. It is
not a gimme but he can get back up
for the blue. This is the Department
we are John Higgins has improved in
the last couple of seasons. His long
game has become better. Just like
He was starting to struggle with the
long game but it is no bank to its
Topside of the blue as well.
So important. It gives you the
opportunity. You come to the table
thinking, I can knock everything in.
Gives you plenty of confidence when
you are not losing.
Just had a
little sticky look at the point. He
could stun the red and try to get
onto the pink, back in for the blue.
That is a little bit short. He has
asked for the cue ball to be
cleaned. Just about the right side
of the blue. He will have a bit more
of an angle.
Will still try to storm it in.
He has played that very well, very
Unfortunately that has gone awry.
The little can inflict the red away
from the bank. Not be contacted he
Slightly scrappy start to this
Never a wasted shot with John
Higgins, is there? Lost position.
Just trying to give the maximum
Always pressure with every shot you
play against John to make sure your
return is correct. That was a great
Julie acknowledged by John, tapping
the table. John Higgins has to be
careful with the red. It is close to
the left-hand side cushion. Poses a
slight problem. Going to avoid that.
That was a little bit short.
Markers come round to look at this.
He could double that across the
table. Good length again on the cue
All the time you're playing the shot
you are worrying about sticking a
red across the corner. Players will
tend to be nice and thin. Doesn't
make anything easy for you.
But Mark takes the red on the
left-hand side with the two reds.
That was what he was thinking about.
I don't know if you can come off the
side cushion and drop it onto the
two dates on the side cushion. Or
onto the ones just three-cushion. I
don't know if he has the angle for
that. That is why he is taking his
Put the cue ball there and I don't
know if he can come off the top
cushion and nestle into that red.
How do you like that one?
shot that was. Look with the cue
ball has finished.
The only thing I can see about that,
he has to work on his positional
play with that one.
What a shot this
is. One of John Virgo's trick shots.
He would have been happy with that.
That is fantastic. That really is
fabulous. That was sweet as a nut
but to get at the cue ball up the
table... There was lots of pressure
with that one. Beautifully cued. Two
long pots have been struck
beautifully. He will need to strike
this one beautifully as well. This
is nasty. Horrible little short.
Deserves everything he gets out of
this break. Those last two shots
have been top drawer.
Good test of cueing.
If any young amateurs are watching,
look how still his head was when he
played the shot. He is the wrong
side of the blue so he will lead to
negotiate the cue ball against the
This looks very good. Excellent
He has given
themselves options of four reds. He
can run inside of the angles. He can
be on the pink spot on the one at
the corner. It was a big target but
didn't he strike it well?
Get the pink back on its spot. You
would expect it to be plain sailing
here for John Higgins in the first
frame. The long pot and the
positional shot, and even the blue
of the cushion, fantastic.
champions. 38 ahead. He is a few
balls away from being over the line.
You would not see him making a slap
up from here. The players know the
authority needed to stamp their
authority on the match. Ever since
he will do it here. He will hold his
spot. The bank will go on the black
spot and that makes the break
That puts him 52 ahead, just 51
remaining. I don't think Mark King
will become an back to the table. A
bit scrappy early on in this frame,
but a couple of great pots,
especially that positional shot, set
this frame-winning clearance up.
And he dried to stay on the black.
It's not there but he won't be
worried about that. He secures the
frame. And he leads Mark King by
1-0. Just before we talk to Stephen
and Steve, given that we've lost
some of the world's leading players,
let's have a look at the latest
Ronnie O'Sullivan going for
his sixth UK title. So, initial
thoughts from the first frame,
thoughts from the first frame,
It was a little bit
scrappy but I was just thinking,
it's very hard to make a case for
Mark King in this match today, it
really is. You think John Higgins
will have it over him in every
department - scrappy games, safety,
scoring... It's just very difficult.
Mark will have to play his absolute
In fairness Mark said that
just before the match started, he
said, if I don't play well, I know
I'm going home.
Yeah, and that's...
It's not necessarily a negative way
to look at it, it is more of a
realistic appraisal from his
personal. But Mark King is the title
player who just gives of his bet on
the day and sees what happens. He's
been in the game long enough to be a
journeyman player as well as now a
proven winner. His stock has risen,
but it's still a big ask to beat the
like of John Higgins in the UK
championship. It would still be
considered by Mark King I think a
Let's get back to
John Parrott and Ken Doherty.
KEN DOHERTY: Not the best break-off.
JOHN PARROTT: The only thing is,
there's no natural way back. At
first you think you've left him a
chance, but the way the red and
black is, it is hard to get through
That it's a bit more
pressure on the player. If he had
have up there and there was a
guaranteed way back to baulk, I'm
sure he would have knocked that in.
But there was a bit more to think
about, especially when you're one
JOHN PARROTT: They seem to have
stats for everything these days,
Ken, but if you had a stat for whose
cue ball was closest to the cushion
after the break-off, I'm sure John
Higgins would be close to the top of
it! It is practically glued there.
KEN DOHERTY: Yeah, it's like he's
almost tempting Mark King here. The
problem with this shot is, he's
going to be bringing reds out from
the pack. He'll be hoping he doesn't
push one towards the corner pocket.
That didn't go in, but look at the
way he's played it. It's one of
those shots, you can play it like a
shot-to-nothing, because if you
miss, this is what you leave your
I'm not quite sure whether he's
going to take on this red which is
close to the left centre pocket.
Just putting his hand on the table
there, where he could possibly leave
the cue ball without leaving
anything into the opposite corner
Oh, that's a great shot! That will
do his confidence a world of good.
Good pot that, wasn't it?
was excellent. I thought it might
have just been hitting that near jaw
but anyway, it was very accurate.
Stephen mentioned in the studio,
he's got to score when these chances
come up. Absolutely right.
You won't be winning this match
against John Higgins if you don't.
think the red that is closest to
this bottom left-hand corner pocket
would be ideal, it would free up the
black as well. No. Not this time.
That's nice for the confidence, when
you play that for the first time in
the match and you make sure you're
the right side of the blue. Really
I don't quite know what shot he
played there, but it wouldn't have
been the one I would have played.
think he was trying to get onto the
red to the right of the black. And
he is overrun it by quite some way.
What a few options, but as you say,
it was a strange positional shot. He
will be kicking himself if he
doesn't score any more, because was
a great chance.
That's why I was a
bit surprised couple of shots ago he
didn't get on that red on this top
cushion, it would have freed the
black up into both pockets and made
the break a lot easier for himself.
Now, he's struggling.
Good cueing there, easy to get a bit
of side on those and throw them off.
This one goes but it is tight -
pressure on this... And because of
that, he's missed it. I'll agree
with you, Ken, the first thing he
should have been doing in that
break... As we see this one again.
He should have been getting on that
loose red straightaway off the blue.
He's definitely missed a trick
there. He had plenty of options to
really open things up.
Fantastic, and of course
he's got the option if he wants to
screw off the black into the pack
and open them up. This is looking
like a lovely target if he can get
in there. Well, he couldn't have hit
that much better. That's an early
Christmas present - because that's
lovely! And managed to play it in
such a way that he could keep
control of the cue ball. He didn't
absolutely smash them everywhere.
So, Mark King's positional play
could be costing him a frame here.
just wonder, will John Higgins try
and get down onto that red now,
nearest this bottom left-hand corner
pocket? There you see the difference
each of straight on it, trying to
open the black into both corner
Yeah, he really missed a trick
there, Mark King. Now, he's going to
have to sit in the chair and watch
John Higgins knock all of these in.
Wow! Don't see that very often. I
was about to say, he'll play a
little cannon into the reds and
hopefully won't stick onto the back
of them. But he's over-screwed that
one. So, Mark King looks like he's
going to get away with it. Unless
John can find something from
somewhere that I can't see.
he's very good at playing doubles -
I'm not sure whether that red to the
right-hand side of the cue ball is a
possible double. But he does have
this one into the yellow pocket...
Great shot! Fantastic!
But not a great cue ball. He's going
to need another good shot on the
black, a this break going.
can see him knocking this end but I
can't see where the next red is
coming from, unless it's another
mid-range one. Good pot, but he's
going to need another one.
And this is never easy into the
corner pocket, a blind pocket, as we
say. If he misses it, he could lose
Yeah, interesting to see
whether he will actually go for it.
Because sometimes you've got to
steal yourself, you feel as if
you're in amongst the balls and you
should have a go. But equally, you
can miss and stick your opponent
back in. So, big shot coming up. So
big, in fact, he didn't take the pot
Well, that's not the best shot
he's played. He was trying to knock
the black safe as well and put the
red on the site cushion. But he has
left Mark this red into the left
John was not pleased about the
chance he gave to Mark, but he's
back at the table again. He doesn't
like making any mistakes.
If I was Mark I would be getting one
of those two reds off the site
One of them back in
play. So, it's just the one red that
is on the side rail now which is a
problem for Mark, if he was going to
make a counter clearance. There's
only 90 and points in it, you know,
but if you're going to clear up, you
can need that red.
Foul, Mark King, four.
Well, this is
one he will be taking on definitely,
you would feel. Into the same corner
pocket - could get onto the blue or
pink from this. Big shot.
you've just got to be full-blooded
on this. Great shot.
Slightly difficult for Mark, being a
Slightly off straight, I think,
which is moving to be a little bit
of a problem.
So, it remains to be seen if that
red that John Higgins pushed onto
the site cushion earlier on in this
frame is going to be his insurance
Bit of snooker to be played
yet, but that red might yet save
John from the counter clearance.
Yeah, and being on that side of the
table, it is not ideal for the
left-hander, so he might be playing
it with the rest.
Or square in this frame now. -- all
KEN DOHERTY: --
KEN DOHERTY: It's imperative that he
gets a nice angle on this, thinking
about that red on the site cushion.
JOHN PARROTT: Yeah, it is a horrible
little spot, that red, he will do
very well to flick it out. Sometimes
if the black is on its spot, you can
go off the black. The pink is a bit
more difficult, to get from their
onto the red to move it off. That's
no good. That's nowhere.
KEN DOHERTY: He'll be very
disappointed with that. Even if he
had just potted the pink, 20 points
ahead, John would have needed red
and all the colours which the tough
black as well. So, this pink, the
six points, makes a big difference.
He's looking at trying to put the
brown safe. Trying to hide that red
with the green. Not too bad. Bit of
Mark pushed that brown safe on the
site cushion. Red and pink and then
colours up to green would be enough
for him. Quite a few things can
Clever little shot there from John
Higgins, not bringing the black into
Not straightforward. He cannot be
certain there won't be a double
kiss, with it being so close to the
corners. Mark is having a little
walk around. If he plays it plain
ball and hits it off the two
handles, he's got to make sure he
doesn't come back and hit the green
with the red. That's a good shot.
And even better, knocking the blue
onto the site cushion. But he hit
This looks too hard. Could be over
the pocket here. It's not easy, but
it's a chance, and it's just
slightly off centre. If he runs
through this, he can camera and the
REFEREE: Foul Jake Mark, four.
to be. -- foul. Mark King, four. So,
a Chancellor Mark King. It is a
chance for the frame if he can knock
I'm just wondering, John, will he
try and knock the blue out here with
the red? It would be risky but if he
hits it with enough pace... Well, he
tried it! Just missed it! It was a
clever little shot from John Higgins
Trying to clip the red onto the side
cushion here, and around the angles.
Get the red behind the brown... How
is the cue ball...?
Yeah, you could hear the sigh from
John Higgins - he wanted the
full-ball contact there. That would
have left Mark in a lot of trouble.
That's a nice little double kiss -
that red was going towards the
Yeah, there's the black in play. He
tried to move the blue on the last
shot, didn't quite get it, but the
black has now moved out. You can be
sure if he gets other chances to
move blue and brown, he will be
That is a great shot.
John can still seen the red but
You wanted off the
cushion to put a touch of left-hand
side on to make sure you do not get
a double-kiss. Because it is on the
cushion it is hard. Could not do
much else. Just make sure that he
got the object ball safe. That is
the priority. Tough fame. Half an
hour. It did not look like that when
John Higgins was amongst the balls
but the split did not go right and
the cue ball was stuck. It changed
the complexion. Since then it has
been a hard battle.
There is a shot you do not see very
much in the game, double-kiss was
The cue ball springs back. I
went to John Harrison Lock, he will
see if he can clip return. It is
very fine but it is very fine but it
isn't at -- a natural angle to come
down for the black. With the cue
ball going? That is tight. Even if
Mark cannot see it directly, he can
swerve that a little bit.
He is OK
but another couple of inches and it
would have been tied up behind the
Mark, what did you do?
That is the
worst shot he has played in the
frame and he will be kicking himself
that he has done that. The cue ball
should not be anywhere near the
yellow. Just get on pink or black.
And it is frame over. What a mistake
I am sure that the pink
pots into the bottom right pocket.
It is worth going for the pink just
for the six points alone.
No point in putting the green safe.
He is 19 points ahead. If the points
-- at the pots this pink then he
just needs the yellow. That is what
He will be kicking himself.
And you can bet your bottom dollar
that John Higgins will be trying
even harder now. If he wins this
frame with it looked like he would
never win it, Mark King will
He was heavy with the yellow but it
is pottable. Not sure if John can
get enough screw on the side of the
cue ball to take the browned off the
side cushion. This would be some
shot. What a shot. What a shot. He
has been so unlucky. Look where the
brown has finished.
What a great
attempt. Fantastic. Great pot to try
to flick that out. The only thing
you can see that is OK about the
shot, it is a natural angle of the
game to get down for brown. Even
potting the brown will be difficult.
You don't have to do it all in one
That is the positional shot, gallon
for the brown. If you were playing
on a pub table, you would fancy
playing on the brown and then
spreading it out. But this is not a
pub table. You might play a double
on the blue. He might knock it on
and leave the double.
He is one of
the best in the games with the
This would be a steal and a
That was frame ball. Ten ahead and
Bach could not be to look at that
double. Mark will have a go at this
blue to get into the green pocket.
And you have to be full-blooded on
this wiki was earlier in the frame.
We cannot think about what you might
be about to leave. Give yourself the
best possible chance of putting it
Is it in the middle?
It is now.
Unless John Higgins is hampered
severely, it looks like he will win
a free and he never looked like
winning. -- a frame.
He was slightly hampered but I did
not think he would miss that. He has
slipped a bit of side on it and the
cue ball has gone.
Mark King, you
have to knock on their sin. And he
does. After much trials and
tribulations, it was a frame that
took well over 35 minutes, it is
Mark King that takes it. The score
is 1-1. Very long frame. 2015 was
the last time it Mark King be John
It was arduous. He did not
know who would win it at the end.
Mark was in the ascendancy but John
Higgins always fights back. In the
end it was the missed the blue, over
the top of the pink. It is difficult
to play a shot when you are...
put in some decent mid range reds.
This looks like it should go and
because it's the first knuckle. It
is a good shot. These are good pots.
What Mark King is known for and what
the top players not Mark King four,
he could make games scrappy. He is
very good at that. He is not known
as being a prolific scorer, winning
lots of things in one visit. It
could get to someone like John
That is not detrimental to
Mark King. It is not his game plan,
he does not go out to make it
scrappy, it is the style of play, he
is a fighter on the table. As it has
been said in the past, that he was
playing top jobs... You get lots of
dreams like that with Mark. He knows
the tactics of the game. He is not
the most prolific break-builder. He
can be scrappy so he knows how to
It is not a game plan, I will
miss up the table for my opponent.
It is how it unfolds. The shot when
he gets the red and should be on the
yellow, but gets himself into
Positional sense of
something you can teach. Before you
get down to play the shot, you do
happen, I will pot of this and
properly be on the cover. You have
to ask what you're trying to
achieve. Some players are better
than others are doing that before
they get down.
Some players to play
hit and hopes. I should play a
specific shot, you can end up in no
man's land. It is incredible. He was
guilty of that with that shot.
you eradicate that from your game?
You can. Players go into the
commentary box after many years
playing and can see the game in a
different way. It would be good if
perhaps players generally amongst
each other when they are still
competing in the game, if they have
a problem in that area, have one day
trying to analyse every positional
shot. Do not play the game but talk
amongst themselves. That could be
how players do it in the future,
have break building coaches. The gag
on my right, Stephen Hendry, would
not be a bad coach in that scenario.
-- the man on my right.
King was desperate to get one frame
on the board. It is a bit of
desperation. You must always decide
the shot before you get down.
JOHN PARROTT: Interesting from the
boys in the studio. Sports
psychologists say it is better to be
decisive than correct. It is true.
Even if it is not the right shot, be
decisive. That was the shot I am
playing, and go ahead and do it.
You do not see many of them from
John Higgins. He is rattled after
that last frame.
There was some noise from the
ground. -- from the crowd.
Couple of loose reds. The difference
between the two players is how they
go about break building. The boys
were talking about it in the studio.
Good pots. Bit straight on this
The first black he potted, he
lost the cue ball pretty much
straight away. It was an angle that
was awkward. Now he is strictly off
angle so he is straight on the
black. Not really got this cue ball
this afternoon as yet.
He potted a good couple friends in
the last frame. He will need some
more here. -- good couple of reds.
Nothing wrong with his mid range 14.
Very clean. Couple of loose reds.
Does not have to play into the pack.
FP has a natural angle he will be
tempted to play the pack. He has
decided to go into them now. It does
not look too bad.
He will settle for
Get a nice angle on this black. This
is typical of Mark. He had allowed
angle and now has overscrewed it.
is loose. He leaves a half ball-on
the black. Goes into the back of the
pack, stays on the loose red. At the
moment he is fighting with the cue
ball. He is doing well. He is
keeping going but he is making it
hard for himself.
Difficult to judge whether he can
play through the gap. He had a look
to see a kicking pot that bread
coming through the gap vote getting
cannon. -- to see if he can pot that
To be a honest it was a struggle
from the first ball, that break.
can see dismissed red again. Going
into the pack off this must red.
That was poor. That was such a poor
shot from John Higgins. He did not
take the opportunity to hit that is
hard as he could, split the pack
with the cue ball.
It was worth taking a risk. The
position is going to be off it. We
have got all the reds and play. If
you land on blue, pink or any of the
baulk colours at it is a fantastic
He was a bit short with the cue ball
and he is not interested in the red
into the corner pocket, he will play
a safety shot. I did not spot the
plant. That was very fortunate and
it could have mark in lots of
You can have the best cue action and
play for hours and practice but you
cannot beat the lot. Look at how
that flicked on.
He can get intake behind the bottom
bed. -- even tight.
This is a possible escape off the
side cushion into the top cushion.
Try to nestle into the red. He has
to be very precise.
I don't blame him taking his time
but it is the only shot he has got.
UMPIRE: Falque and Ruiz. -- Phil and
UMPIRE: Foul and a miss.
There is a
red at the back. It is pottable into
the left centre.
There's a third time lucky? That
more like it. It was not
straightforward. Tricky shot into
the middle. He was only really going
to be left with this.
Let us look when Mark missed the
second time. Look with the cue ball
finished. The red at the bottom of
the four, at the pink spot. It does
go into left centre. He does not
leave much of the screws back for
the black. Did not even look at it.
There is a good chance that Mark
will be adept in the tactical
department, he used to play hours
and hours of snooker practice with
Steve Davis. If you did not learn
anything if he had not been
watching. I can imagine a session
with Steve will be taxing on the
What you also forget about when you
play at this level of snooker, he
had a tough afternoon, John Higgins.
He had to play one of the
up-and-coming players. John Bostic
one month ago, 6-2. He would have
been geared up for yesterday. They
do not get much time before you are
back out again.
Mark King had that
wonderful win against Luca Purcell.
He has played well over the last
couple of seasons.
He had a tough enough match as well.
This match is not caught fire just
yet. Tactical play. The games have
become scrappy. I am sure it'll get
better, no about that.
At the moment it is tough match play
snooker from both players.
Nice mid-range chance for John in
Quickly if you reds for John that
unavailable to come down and play
Just run a little bit too far, that
This is the red that John wanted to
get rid of because I am sure that
the pink pots in the same pocket.
That has turned out beautifully. It
was very nice. The pink now goes
back on its spot but opens up the
next red. That one shot has made it
a totally different frame. At first
I felt he would be hampered with
that but he pleaded beautifully to
get on the pink. Slightly hitting it
down, could not strike it any
No need for John to be contemplating
the black at the minute, it is out
of play as it is. He can look at
these three Mac reds boss.
Then he will have some thinking to
He has to be careful. The green is
slightly in the way every he the
side cushion. So much so he has
decided to go for blue instead. He
was wavy playing it off the cushion
back for the bank. -- pink.
Is there a gap?
Interesting to see
how he will go about this.
try to get on the green, here.
I will just put down a little
circle. It begin get the cue ball
somewhere in that vicinity, this
bottom right-hand corner does not.
It is not like. It is the shot
before. Being so straight on the
blue gave him just one shot that he
could play to leave it in that
circle. He has got himself back into
the frame. He will not be happy that
he has let that can skim. -- let
that chance go.
He is just not completely filing in
all cylinders, John Higgins.
He has got to be snookered again.
Those two reds on the top cushion at
a big target.
Is there a gap between the blue and
pink? It looks like it is. Maybe
clip the right-hand side of the
straight and back up on the yellow.
I would not have played that shot,
that was strange.
Mark is 17 points behind.
It is just a clip of.
Busy trying to tempt John Higgins
into a double?
If he was hit was not having it.
Another hard-fought frame.
Mark can see this red to the
right-hand side on the top cushion
but you have to hit these properly.
Anything that here spells disaster.
That top-quality. He couldn't have
played that much better. He's got
the snooker as well as double about
as good a shot as he has played
tactically in the match, that she
shall. -- that's for sure.
Mind you, you've got to be up very
early in the morning to put one over
John Higgins. Got to be something
pretty special to trap him.
Another excellent shot from Mark,
Yeah, not only did he get
the cue ball tight onto the cushion,
but he's brought that safe red which
was tight to the cushion behind the
black spot into play now - very
Yes, the last two shots have
been superb from Mark. He'll be
hoping for a bit of luck here are,
John, because he couldn't do much
else - that was the only shot he had
on. And he HASN'T got away with it.
This is a Chancellor Mark King. His
long potting has been pretty good so
far in this match. One good one
here... -- chance for Mark King.
You don't get many chances when
you're playing John Higgins, Ken,
and you've got to take those.
it was one of those, he didn't have
to hit it too hard - disappointed he
missed that chance.
He could play a little snooker
behind the black, but it would be a
very, very brave shot.
thinking, if he plays it, he can
screw back to the baulk. He's having
a look at it now. He's got the angle
to play the pot, it is worth having
a go at if he has, because the other
two safeties aren't straightforward.
Well, that was sort of a semi quit,
if I'm being honest. He didn't
really get through that one,which is
unusual for John. So, once again,
another chance for Mark.
Good pot. The green was always over
the right centre. This next red is
the one that's close to the pocket.
Needs a good angle as well, doesn't
want to be too straight. He's OK.
Yeah, no excuse from here. This is a
great chance for 2-1. That's not the
best shot he's played.
Now, just play off this one, Mark,
up to the baulk end. Don't get too
fancy trying to stay on pink. Just
get up there and do yourself a easy
shot. Lost the cue ball... Betwixt
and between, isn't he? Should have
been either short on the blue or up
towards a baulk colour. I would have
been up towards about the colour
myself, try and make it easy.
just drop the blue in and take the
yellow. He's been quite good from
the mid distance so far, but there's
extra pressure on this yellow.
Good pot. House here's cue ball?
Very good. -- how is his cue ball?
Should win the frame from here.
He may have given himself a little
palpitation. Didn't get off the last
red perfectly onto a colour, but it
looks like he's going to do it
It's been a good
performance from Mark King over this
last couple of frames. He's dug in,
competed well in the safety
department, hasn't scored that well,
but when it's come down to some of
the pressure pots... As the pink
goes in! Mark King leads the former
UK Champion John Higgins by 2-1.
goes in! Mark King leads the former
UK Champion John Higgins by 2-1.
It's been a fascinating couple of
days, we've seen some of the big
names tumbling out at we're
wondering if another one is about to
Well, such is the standard of
players generally. There's different
ways to skin that snooker. Even
though Mark King hasn't scored that
well, another player with perhaps
high outbreak building prowess might
be thinking, this is not so good,
but Mark is used to that style of
play, so therefore he doesn't beat
himself up when he loses position.
He just gets on with it, because
he's a bit more used to that
What is happening out
there for John, for you?
getting into much of a rhythm.
People say John is the best
all-round player of all-time but his
strength is break-building and
winning frames in visit. And he's
not been able to do that. A couple
of positional shots have let him
down, which you wouldn't expect from
John. I think Mark has put him a
little bit out of his comfort zone.
This is not going to make the best
Well, every match is
different and sometimes, the story
of a frame, it builds up to a
crescendo. John Higgins knows very
well but it is not how you start a
match, it's how you finish. He's got
plenty in the bank, he won't be
disappointed, just play every frame
as if it's the first.
JOHN PARROTT: At a really good point
Steve made about Mark's temperament.
He just forgets about what's gone
on, loses position, gets on with it
and plays the next shot. Wanting
he's always done his compete. There
are people with a more subtle cue
ball on the circuit than Mark,
that's for sure, but at the end of
the day, it's all about winning. And
he's done plenty of that recently.
Just to put that into context,
looking at the scoresheet so far,
Mark King has had one break over 30
- 37. And his leading 2-1. Mind you,
John's is only 41, which is very
unusual. Total points aren't exactly
massive, either. It's been a bit
scrappy. That's very unusual in-off.
REFEREE: Foul. Mark King, four.
Excellent pot. He's mid-range
stuff's been very good. OK, he
missed one in the last which he
probably should have got, but
there's been some really good ones.
And that is a better pot than it
looked. So, two crackers there.
KEN DOHERTY: He's left red to the
left centre. Doesn't have to do
anything with the cue ball, it's
going to be topside of the blue.
Well, he's played that completely
different than what I would have
expected. I thought he might have
just dropped it in.
JOHN PARROTT: That's mostly
controlled from John - what a lovely
shot. He'll be digging in here,
he'll be trying to win the frame in
one visit. To get normal service
Well, that will pot up there, but
it's very... There is the split - it
didn't go how he wanted it.
Difficult to know where the cue ball
is going to finish off this one.
Trust to look a bit. Main thing of
course, can he knock the red in?
might be able to cannon the green
and stop the cue ball. And that is a
juicy bonus. What a result he's had
there. Would have been completely
out of position if it wasn't for
that kiss on the red.
Yeah, no need to go into the pack
there. That was a lovely little case
he had to go perfect on the blue.
Wow! -- kiss.
It's early days in this break, of
course, but whether reds are
positioned, John Higgins will be
loving the sight of these.
there's at least two reds just above
the black which will go into this
right-hand corner pocket.
That's opened a couple more reds.
He's got to be slightly careful with
this. Little cannon... Which he's
got. And that's made all the
difference. Once he got that one,
everything else was opened up. These
are lovely now. John will expect to
win the frame from here.
There's his target, 72, before his
opponent will need a snooker. So,
another five reds and colours.
would love to play the red in the
other corner, but of course,
hampered by the pack. So, up for the
blue. They really are lovely, these,
whichever way you look at them. For
him to at least get over the line,
that's for sure.
And it was a wonderful slice of
fortune, wasn't it? It was a good
pot, but have a look at this... Gets
a little kiss of the red, hits the
If he had missed the red, John, I
don't think he would have come down
to make the black into the corner
pocket. He would have been out of
position. This is his highest break
With always save, when you
get a bit of good luck, make the
best of it, because you will have
plenty of bad during your career.
And we'll see if he can beat his
highest wake of the tournament so
far. Remarkably, only 80. It just
goes to show you, it's about
matchplay and winning. I wouldn't
mind having the highest break of 80
if I had about 46 of them!
amazing, Neil Robertson lost the
other day, he's made eight centuries
in this tournament. He's at home
probably watching. John Higgins, in
the last 16, his highest break is
Yes, I think Mark Williams, when he
won his first ranking event, his
highest break in the whole event was
only 79. It just shows you. As long
as you're making consistent 70s and
taking your chances, can still win
That was frame ball, acknowledged by
the crowd. And Stephen Hendry in the
studio before this last frame, said
that John Higgins hasn't got his arm
going gets in which he hadn't - but
this will make him feel better. Got
into his rhythm. Oh, missed it! Was
trying to get the cannon there. John
Higgins won't be too bothered to. As
they go off to the mid-session
interval, it's John Higgins 2-2 Mark
Yes, we're all square again. A
quick chat with the lads before we
talk about the other match taking
place this afternoon, between Graeme
Dott and Stephen Maguire. Where is
this one heading, Steve?
probably capacity first and then
this one heading, Steve?
probably capacity first and then get
back out for action. Everything to
play for, from Mark King 's
perspective, the first hurdle has
been done, he's playing a bit
better. The game hasn't really taken
off yet but the fireworks might
start in the second half.
Higgins was able to win the frame in
one visit, lysed cannons, most
stands around the pink and black -
it's what he's best at.
session match is never as guaranteed
for one of the top seeds, even if
the lower ranked player is an
excellent player himself. It is
always a nervy start. You don't
always get off to a flyer. John
Higgins usually in a raises the
tempo, as it gets close to the end,
he starts honing in. That's probably
what's going to happen.
the fact that we've seen so many big
names and top-ranked players going
out, he might be thinking to
himself, I don't want to be the
It can make you a bit on edge,
knowing that so many seeds have gone
out of. It can affect you in terms
of, it's not going to be me. John
traditionally has always been very
funny about cues and tips,
everything. It may be that he's
still not 100% happy with the tip on
his cue, but that last frame will
make him feel a lot better.
bring you up to date with what's
happening on the other table Tameka
all Scotland a fair. Stephen Maguire
has been facing some tricky
What hubby would you get
into if time and money you weren't
Something to do with a
boat so that I could just go out to
seam and not see anyone for days.
What job would you be terrible at?
An office job. Anything can happen.
What fad or trend do you hope comes
Having a beer when you're
What is the luckiest thing
that has happened to you.
wife and having three kids.
the best compliments you've
None! I don't get any!
you had to change your name, what
would you change it to?
My mum gave
me this name, I wouldn't change it
What are you really
good at but embarrassed that you are
good at it?
I'm awesome at dancing
but I don't get embarrassed about
If your childhood had a smell,
what would it be?
Smoke. It was
smoke back in the day in the snooker
What's the most immature thing
that you do?
You will need to ask my
wife. I'm sure she can come up with
a few answers.
What would be your
A tiger. Because
who's going to beat up a Tiger I'm
afraid what is the most annoying
habit that other people have?
Breathing on my hair! But other than
Well, we don't think the
beer coming back when playing is
going to happen sometime soon.
Stephen, this is the 11th match
between these two Scots, the first
in this tournament, interestingly.
And this year, Graeme is feeling
It felt really good to be
back, playing a match, being
introduced, even to step out there
again felt Willie good. It was nice
to show people that I can still
play. 2006, when I won the world
title, it was the slowest vinyl for
so many years, so I think people
just automatically think, slowest
vinyl, Graeme Dott, he must be slow.
I don't think I am. I think if I had
the cue ball control of Ronnie
O'Sullivan or John Higgins, I would
probably be quicker than them. But
my cue ball control is quite bad so
I am still relatively quick in
comparison with them! We're going to
join it in the second frame, with
Steve having won the first. And tree
from Dennis Taylor and Peter Ebdon.
Steve having won the first. And tree
from Dennis Taylor and Peter Ebdon.
DENNIS TAYLOR: Yeah, there was a bit
of pressure on that. It was just a
couple of shots ago when he got the
wrong side of the blue and he wanted
to be closer to that red, but at
least he hasn't left it on. But he
could be in trouble, you would feel.
Had to play it with a lot of side...
And this is a free ball. Unless the
white goes in.
REFEREE: Foul, and a miss, Stephen
DENNIS TAYLOR: I don't think it is a
free ball. So, Stephen will just
see... If the white was on the green
spot, who could he hit the red on
both sides hammered I don't think it
is a free ball. So, he's got
multiple choices here. He's having
it put back. He could have played
the shot himself and snookered him
again behind the green - and maybe
got a better snooker. And I do
believe Stephen Maguire would have
played the shot and put him in a
more difficult snooker.
REFEREE: Foul, and a miss, Stephen
PETER EBDON: Prior to that Miss
referee decided to hold onto the cue
ball - and I don't think Stephen
Kerr have played it from there!
of the top referees now. Nice to see
lots of ladies involved in our game.
All doing superb jobs. Taking the
pink as his free ball - that will
count as one point. So, he's still
going to need that difficult red.
He's got a good angle on the black
to drop down onto it. If he doesn't
drop nicely on it, he can still play
The black will put him 30 in front.
Was above 35 still on the table.
I mean, he doesn't HAVE to pot the
black. You could lay the snooker,
but that's not what he's doing.
Pushing the black near the cushion
as well. Graeme has had a couple of
goes at this escape. He needs a bit
more left-hand side. And this time,
well,... That was always a
possibility. Has he got the snooker?
I think he has! You can tell by that
smile on Stephen Maguire's face!
Well, Dennis, I think Stephen
Maguire missed a trick there. I
think he would have been much better
off potting the black and then
playing the snooker. Leaving the cue
ball behind the green. Under the
circumstances, he's played an
excellent safety shot there. Having
a wry smile to himself there,
Stephen Maguire. Graeme Dott will be
delighted at the moment, because
he's still in the frame. But perhaps
not after that shot.
As I mentioned, 23 in front. No
problem getting onto the blue from
this one. Blue or brown will be
So, with very good rakes of 57 and
72 Stephen Maguire leads Graeme Dott
A very good start for
Stephen Maguire. That show you what
-- let's show you what
happened. Well played. That is an
He would have preferred the green
that he is neither could on that, I
think. That shot means he has a
little further to travel to be on
that red near the blue. He has
played that well.
It is all about the four reds. Just
looking to see if that would go.
That would be a help.
It passes the other red, it is just
the black that is in no way. Not a
lot of room past the red. -- that is
in the way.
If he does not feel that that red
goes, he has an angle here to get a
cannon on to something with just to
open it up. He is coming round again
to make absolutely sure he can get
on that red. It is very tight.
The fact he was even looking at the
yellow means he is going to play
some sort of cannon. The green is
not easy to get into the reds from,
so it is the round. He shot coming
up. -- be brown.
The left hand red will go in one
quarter of it. -- corner pocket.
That is the one he has played for.
Not a bad shot. When he pops this,
it clear the path for another one.
That was pinpoint accuracy with the
All of a sudden he only has one read
that as a little bit awkward.
That has pushed the other one
awkward as well.
He had to leave an angle this time.
You do not want to play needs with
too much pace. We have seen these
missed played at pace. Did not get
enough on it. We will have to watch
the white go all around the table.
If he is going to go on the last
red, he does not have to. He could
pot black and play the sneaker.
Here's quite aggressive, so he is
looking at the ankles. Would have to
come between the yellow and the
brown. -- the angles. If he was to
hit the ball Klein, he would come
right around the table. -- baulk
line. Near the green.
So, it is going to be a close finish
to this third frame. Just three
points the difference. He could
flick this and get down behind the
pink, but that is not
straightforward. He does not want to
push the red on for the left corner.
It would have to be a thin one to
send the red very far along the
He will be fortunate. He got too
much side on that. Wanting to keep
the white up this end of the table.
That was a very uncharacteristic
mistake from Graeme Dott. He is
normally so reliable with that sort
of shot. He will be kicking himself
because he has had chances.
makes a huge difference potting the
brown. It puts him two in front. He
just needs the yellow, green, brown
and blue. He won't need the tricky
pink. One good positional shot from
green to brown and it could quite
soon be 3-0.
That got a bit of a jump, a bit of
it kick. To get onto the pink, he
only needs the blue.
16 now the difference with 13 on the
So, barring a snooker, it is three
in a row for Stephen Maguire.
Maguire did win that frame. A
blistering start by Stephen Maguire.
Graeme Dott pulled one back before
the mid-session interview. It is
3-1, live on the BBC red button, the
website and the app, where you can
choose which match to watch. Here on
BBC Two that we have John Higgins
taking on Mark King. Let's rejoin
our match commentators.
boys are ready, just behind the
screen. They are waiting for either
table to complete a break. Scoring a
few. They might have to show that
You are wary of walking in,
particularly the guys in line of the
No prize for
guessing. This match is nicely
poised after the interval. It is to
four frames. The first 26 for a
place in the quarterfinals. One of
those opening sessions is not great
for both players. John Higgins would
like to be in front, Mark King, his
highest break is only 37 and he 2-2.
There had been something in the
interval for both players. Not the
best break off for Mark King. Very
disappointed. He left a red to left
centre. Also read in the right-hand
corner pocket. -- also a red. This
is the last thing you wanted.
This is a surprise. Maybe it is a
trap he set John.
Not quite at it
today, John. The worst thing of that
myth is the Czech side on the cue
ball. Mark King, the left-hander is
absolutely plumb on the red. -- miss
is the check side.. A long pot in
mid range has been pretty good but
his cue ball control has not been
the best. It has been much better
recently but, today, it has not been
wonderful so far. He just needs to
make it easier for himself will stop
me know how good a player he is.
saw at the top of the show, on that
maximum break, and that call, just
missed the pink.
That is the shot
again. He will want to be a bit low.
He has done a couple of times in
this match already.
positional shot. It is a bread and
butter shot for the pros. The hours
he practises, he should not be
leaving big cue ball there. Gives
you less options more than anything.
-- the cue ball. A salvage situation
there. A good positional shot. He
has a lot of cue power. He can pull
back or run-through. He has a couple
of options here. Played that nicely.
It is important when he drops the
red in, he has an angle again.
could play an angle on the outside
right and play for the bottom one or
he could go into the pack. He could
leave at half ball, play a cannon up
pots the bottom red in the Triangle
and open more into play.
Once again, too hard.
Just a little. The shot you mention
is the cannon. Needed the cue ball
to get done a couple of inches. I
don't know where he could play the
cannon. The cue ball needs to go.
That is it. Four times he has come
straight on to the black. It has
It is amazing, it really is. It is
so basic. We know what a fantastic
player and competitor he is. He is
laughing to himself or stop he
cannot get the half ball on the
black. -- laughing to himself.
Shock, horror, John Higgins plays a
good safety shot. Absolutely glued.
Both players are 90% at the minute.
Mark, we know, knows his way around
I love his attitude. Most players
would be going back to the chair and
mumbling to themselves can kicking
themselves, not making a sizeable
contribution. He has little laugh
and joke to himself or stop it
relaxes him. He has not played the
best safety shot. Left the red into
the right centre.
He is helping to cover the red. I
think he just about brands. -- just
think he just about brands. -- just
I am delighted to see the red go for
the top cushion. It was getting
perilously close to the corner. Just
a little drop on the red from John.
Covered the right-hand side with the
brown and the blue into the pack of
reds, so he can hit the left-hand
side. The problem he has is the red
near the top cushion is stopping the
natural angle into the baulk
carrier. If you take the single red,
you must hit it properly. So, here
we go. He has to avoid the cannon.
Which he has done very well indeed.
Attack of the table by John Higgins.
Why not? He has played some great
safety. John Higgins looking at a
Just the red between the two reds,
needs to knock it off line.
I wonder if it is worth taking a
That is what he was scared of. It is
not too bad but it is not the best.
Certainly very attacking safety. He
knew full well the reds would open.
In heritage to get a good cue ball.
He has not quite managed it. -- it
was imperative to get a good cue
ball. You think that Mark would not
continue if he does not he will
What is putting him off,
the cue ball is going into other
reds. It is not a guarantee of being
on a colour. He has played it well.
Played it very well. If he could
just play it off the second red to
control the cue ball... He did it
very well indeed.
We keep saying when Mark King gets
these chances he must score. He is
2-2. 38 points in front in the next.
You really do have to take these
chances. That was a lovely cannon he
has played. A really nice shot. He
played a little stunned to force the
cue ball over to get the correct
cannon. -- stun. This is a great
Which, unfortunately, that black was
not very good. Needed to be much
higher with the cue ball. The red
the bottom of the three, he should
have been higher on that, to stand
down from the black. Then he must
stop to play cannons again. Just
basic stuff really. Mon of Mark's
capabilities. -- really for someone
of Mark's capabilities.
Not too bad.
He will need to pot the blue and
manoeuvre the cue ball in and out of
four. The fact the red has come over
the pocket has helped his case. --
baulk. The pink also pots. I would
be inclined to take the blue here.
Back cue ball needs to run.
the time putting more pressure on
himself with every shot will stop --
every shot. I know it is not
intentional is not trying to do it
do it. It is the way it is
happening. He needs to tightened the
cue ball up.
Excellent. Now you have the cue ball
perfect. No excuse from here.
He is certainly pulling out some
good pots. 58 ahead. So, not very
far from the winning line with this
He has a wry smile to himself or I
think he has gone a little bit far.
What he must do is make sure he has
the correct angle on the blue. The
reds are below the pink spot you
must be high on because the black
only pots in one corner. That is
just a little bit of thought.
So, now he is on a red that is more
difficult. He has put pressure on
himself when he should have been on
the simple one, just to come for the
black. He has managed to get it. He
will need the black to go 72 ahead,
67 remaining. Well played! He has
snickered himself on the red he was
trying to get on. Smiles to himself
again. But he is in a position where
his opponent needs a sneaker, so it
is not too bad. -- snooker. Should
have been well ahead from there that
he will be happy with the
contribution. Disappointed that he
did not get anything more.
One part of Mark's name that has
been firing on all cylinders is the
long game for the it has been very
good. One good pot should see the
frame definitely one. -- long game.
Not to be. Mind you, that is not too
bad, where he has finished.
Well, I said it was not too bad.
What a pot that was! Fabulous. There
are one or two players on the
circuit I would not want following
me when any one or two snookers, and
here's one of them. The red behind
the pink is lovely. It might not all
be over yet. John Higgins will be
trying to pot this black and take
the two loose reds and leave the red
behind the pink as the last one. Up
the table and put the cue ball
behind the pink.
Just drop the red in and get on the
black. Get behind the pink.
Anywhere on the left-hand side of
the table with the cue ball, potting
the black. Open the reds to baulk
and tried to get tight line pink.
That is the key foot if you can get
tight in behind it, I don't think he
has stunned through enough. Really
wanted to try to knock the red and
get close to the green foot he
cannot do that now. Still tight
behind this pink as possible. That
is pretty good. An excellent shot.
He is 41 ahead. John Higgins needs
two four point snookers. The worst
thing that King can do is leave a
free ball. He must be careful of
that. Does not want to hit this too
He must be very careful here. This
is a lot of his own doing. The frame
should have truly been over. He has
gone up and down using the extended
rest. Much harder to hit the red
this way. If he misses the red, he
will not leave the free ball. If he
goes across the table and tries to
hit the red from a side cushion,
you're possibly leave a free ball.
This is harder, isn't it?
looking at playing top condition and
side cushion. It will be summer
before the middle pocket with the
cue ball. As long as you get the
pace right. -- it will be somewhere
for Stuckey has decided to go
straight up and down. The first four
point. It is game on. 27 points
behind now, John Higgins. A snooker
required. This is not going to be
it. The cue ball behind the black.
That is not like John. He missed a
big chance. That was not difficult
for him and he knows it.
One those of situations where John
could get a snooker back here.
Wow, what a mistake from John
Higgins. He's trying to hit it
thing, but now he need to the two
-- hit it thin.
Looks like a snooker, but it
shouldn't be too difficult to hit, a
run of side before hitting the
I think he can just hit baulk
cushion. Not too difficult, that
Now, can he get the cue ball tied
behind the black and red, somewhere
in the proximity of brown and green.
Didn't get the red close to the
brown and green, but he's got the
snooker. A bit more difficult to hit
this one. I'm not quite sure what he
can see on the left-hand side
cushion. So maybe a swerve, or
possibly coming off the right side
cushion just before the middle
That's the possible angle there.
Well, there is a chance here, just a
thin clip and write behind the black
again with the side cushion. He
couldn't get in kind, he didn't have
the angle, so he's got it lined up
with the brown. All the time, it is
adding pressure on Mark King not to
make a mistake. This has all come,
really, from his poor positional
play early in the break. He should
have this frame already won. And
there's the miss, and a free ball.
Wow, what a turnaround frame of
snooker this is. You don't want John
Higgins on your tail doing this. Now
he's got a chance.
What a good
snooker that last one was.
So, pop the black, try to get the
black again, and get a good
position. He needs to be pretty
close to the red. The only saving
grace is the red being tied to the
It is the only thing
that can save Mark.
This looks like it has been hit a
bit too hard. Mark can fight another
day here. He won't be going for
this, John Higgins. Leaving the cue
ball exactly where the red is, send
it down the table. Getting the
snooker behind the brown.
And he's got lucky there, because he
certainly didn't play it like that.
I was just about to say, the yummy
thing he had to avoid was hitting
the red into the yellow, so he
avoided that. The clip off the blue
didn't look great, but where it has
finished, four ball snooker. Really
turned round, this frame.
He's played that very well. It was a
good head. Not only a good hit, but
he got the distance between the red
and the cue ball.
If he can play the red up and down,
get the cue ball down the baulk, a
big area behind green and brown
again. Well he can plot it. I didn't
think he could, wow. Yeah, went past
the yellow. What a cracking pot. And
this will hurt Mark King. What a
steal this is. Never looked at any
point like he was in the frame.
Mark, what have you done?
Hold the back page, it's not as
straightforward as it might have
been. He's got the cue ball clean,
but he got a heavy contact on the
cue ball. Really didn't get the cue
ball out far enough for this green.
He still should pop the green, but
it's miss a ball.
Good cueing. Here is
more. This isn't straightforward.
Power through. What to hit the
middle of the white here.
These are the frames when you can
mix one like this when you never
looked like winning it, what a
difference it makes.
Could be the
turning point of the match.
It's there. Right in the heart of
the pocket. Just pink and the black.
This will certainly heard -- hurt
Black for a steal.
Mark King sits in his chair. He will
be absolutely gutted, John Higgins
will be delighted. He takes the
frame to go 3-2 in the lead.
will be delighted. He takes the
frame to go 3-2 in the lead.
STUDIO: Class from John Higgins but
John Parrott said in, tree, he saw
the shot of Mark King and asked the
question, what have you done? The
answer is, completely blown the
There is nothing worse than
effectively thinking you have thrown
a frame away. You don't get many
chances against top-class players.
You know John Higgins is a class act
when it comes to getting snookers.
After John Higgins getting one
snooker and failing to hit the ball,
getting himself back in the hole
with two snookers, Mark King in the
safety department was sloppy in the
end. They were good snookers, but
you don't want John Higgins behind
Especially at the state of the game,
Mark King has done the hard work
before the mid-session interval.
Yeah, but also, he got himself 72-0
ahead. The black he potted to
Yeah, but also, he got himself 72-0
ahead. The black he potted to go
72-0, he is on the black, he thinks
the frame is over. He's not trying
to get on the red. If he has, it is
a bad shot. John Higgins doesn't
come back to the table
a bad shot. John Higgins doesn't
come back to the table if he pops
the next red. Those things make the
difference. The last red from John
Not different to what we were saying
at the start of the match when we
said the red for the yellow.
from Mark King's perspective, the
style of play, he plays an old
school style of game, in a way. Get
the ball in the hole. The modern-day
way is, you can't just get over the
line by one or two shots.
the difference between, no
disrespect, a player of his calibre
and the best players in the world.
Yeah, but it has changed. If you are
going to stay in the game, and Mark
King has done a lot of hard work in
this department as well, he is
better than before, you have to keep
at the additional side to make it
Going back to the clearance
John May, the long red was also, and
John May, the long red was also, and
you could see, he knows when to
switch on and how long he was
taking, even the pink off the spot
to get the black. He knew the
importance of it.
Is John Higgins
switched on? For- two in front.
COMMENTATOR: It is not about the
frames you should win, it is nicking
the ones you shouldn't. They change
matches -- 4-2 in front.
John Higgins definitely stole the
frame there. But it's gone, and we
mentioned today that Mark King has
an excellent tech prominent. He will
have to show it again -- excellent
temperament. He must be hurting
after the last frame.
That's one way to forget about the
last frame. Knocking a cracking red
in like that and staying on the
Needs a bit of luck here. Need a bit
of luck. He's got it. A great shot.
He had that a you minutes ago, John.
He played it superbly well.
certainly did. Come on, Mark. You
have these in a nice position here.
Just get tight with your cue ball.
Make this easy for yourself. This
afternoon, he has competed, played
well in the tactical department, all
those facets that you need to be
eight player is great, but his cue
ball has been mediocre to say the
least. That is why he should have
won the last frame, and he hasn't.
Just got to get it tighter. Had to
use the left-hand side of the pocket
with that one because he wasn't
quite right. But this is where you
have got to go to work.
As to be straight on the Kroos to
stay down for the black. He did have
a chance, he missed the pink early
in the week at 34. His body language
suggests that he wanted to stay on
the black. He had a wry smile to
I think if you are playing
John Higgins in the last Ecstar in
the UK Championship, -- the last 16.
Pink in the same pocket.
Just overran that slightly for the
red to this bottom right-hand corner
pocket. That's his target, 70,
before John Higgins will play a
snooker, but he will have to come
back up for the blue here.
always having to change plan, losing
the cue ball, you have got it worked
out in your mind, your next 3-4
shots, but he slightly loses the cue
ball, and now he has to play cannons
to look a bit of it where it would
have been straightforward.
That is a better shot. Choice of
It's OK. He shrugged the shoulders,
but he will have to play the cannon
now into the pack of reds.
a lovely gap in there. Right side of
the pink goes into the reds there. A
red has stopped the cue ball running
away as well. If you want to play it
that way, you would be unlucky not
to land on something.
much. Should have played the cannon.
Why didn't you play the cannon,
No downside for the into the balls
there for me. You would have to be
cursed not to be on one, the way
they work place. They were all there
Do you know what, I might not have
played that either. I may have
played a thin clip and left the cue
ball somewhere approaching the
middle of the table, really, and
made sure I chipped the Kroos on the
corner into the side cushion, 49
point lead come I would like to have
an insurance policy stop he has left
the plant here.
It was close.
He has left a good cue ball.
Once again, will that poor
positional shot from Mark come back
to haunt him? It's the reason he is
not 3-2 ahead, because of his
position in the last frame. All the
balls in the middle of the table,
they are ripe for a counter
clearance if he's not careful.
Excellent shot. Well played. A
snooker back. What a shot he has
superb escape. Sounds like I'm
harping on, but that's not the
department that's been in trouble
today. He certainly knows his way
A good shot from Mark King. Duly
acknowledged. That was a good escape
from John Higgins. I'd just wonder,
it looks very tight. I think it just
about goes. Cue ball back up into
Can't go back to the Borg area down
the left-hand side of the table now,
for obvious reasons of the pink
being there. So he has to be very
careful, red on the right-hand side
could be a problem. He took that out
of the equation, playing round the
angles. But where has the red gone,
Mark? Chancellor John Higgins. And
it looks like he can pot this and
avoid the cannon on the red. It is
on its own to the right of the pink.
So this is a chance to get back in
He's overhit it for the blue into
the centre. He may take it into the
corner pocket, jump it in for the
red to the right of the pink.
Well, he stole a frame when he
should never have won in the last
frame. Can he do the same again?
think the black goes, does it, as
well. On the left-hand side, he is
having a look to see if he can drop
the red in and land on the black.
The other goes in the other corner
Yeah, there's your answer.
Someone, I'm sure, when he pops the
Kroos below the black spot, I'm sure
that goes into the right corner
pocket. Just making sure that it
does, running through with the Crew
Ball. -- cue ball.
And now the only real concern for
John will be that red closest to the
right-hand side cushion, but it not
really tight to the cushion.
Not really a problem for him to go
to the top.
that one. Had a choice there, could
have played the screw back and left
a half-ball angle on the black to
play the cannon back into the reds
for the pink and flick the end one
out. It is a change of plan, because
he slightly overscrewed it.
He couldn't have played that much
I think he has just got a
slight angle to get back out for the
Now he might play that little cannon
that you mentioned, John. I think
he's got to hit the red on the
right, as opposed to the red close
to the pink.
Just hit it hard enough to push them
towards the right centre.
Yeah, taking these well so far. It
looks all about that red on the
right, close to the right-hand side
cushion. The rest of them, the way
that John Higgins is going about
this break, when they've gone.
Plenty of room behind. The one you
are talking about.
John has spotted something on the
red. He wanted it clean before he
takes this into the right centre.
You're watching a master match
player at work here. Absolutely
stole the last frame from Mark King.
Came to the table well behind in
And a chance to steal this one as
That was a better shot than it
looked. He was a little bit high on
that one, had to play it with a bit
of drag, just dropping it into the
jaw. It is all about position on to
the black to drop in behind the red.
This is the key shot.
He could possibly take the red out,
but if he can get the cue ball
somewhere there, it looks like he
has the angle to knock the red out.
Oh, John. I'm not quite sure if that
was the right shot. Anywhere behind
John Higgins on another day would
have cleared to win that frame.
Yeah, so a reprieve for Mark King.
He would have been sat in his chair,
thinking, "I am going to have
another one stolen off me."
Not that easy to play safe off this.
That's about all he had. And he's
played a brilliant shot. It has just
stuck its snows out. What a
difference that's made.
It might be for Mark.
I think he can hit it. The problem
is, he is going to clip it towards
the corner. I'd be very careful with
Pot a wonderful red in the last
frame before the two snookers. Mark
will be expecting John Higgins to
knock this one in as well.
It was close. Where's the red going
to finish? Will he have a chance.
Has a blue come to his rescue? It's
very close, but it's an easy swerve.
What can you do, Mark?
Always the problem with that shot,
you've got to put the swerve onto
bend Proud and pocket.
It swerves round, the side hits the
cushion and kills it dead. So,
decision time. Is it worth taking
the seven points of the black? Even
an awkward long yellow, or do you
play the snooker and wait for
I don't blame him for that. If the
yellow had been on the spot, he
would have played it straightaway.
But because it is further down the
table, it is not easy. Now, can John
get this safe?
Very well played.
Mark King has to be very careful
here to avoid a double-kiss full
stop cannot play across the face of
it he would be guaranteed a
double-kiss. If he plays it up and
down he could get one coming back.
He just has too plain baldness and
push it up the table. He could avoid
the double-kiss. -- plain wall this.
Has he got it safe?
He can pot it.
Not only can he pot it! That was a
great pot. What a run of the that
was. If Mark King was not hurting
after the last frame, he will be
after that shot.
He will. Two frames
he should have one.
And this will definitely hurt Mark
King. They work two frames that Mark
should have won and he has lost them
both. John Higgins is the master
You get the feeling
that this frame was absolutely
pivotal foot look what Mark King has
He has been in early
in most frames. I am loathe to keep
digging himself out about his
position but this shot here, if I
were playing this short, there is a
gap between the red and the pink.
Almost impossible not to land on
something for the P has chosen to
miss the pack. -- on something - he
has chosen to miss the pack. He has
played a good shot but you are
making things difficult.
loads of ways to play positional
play but some are more accurate than
others. Mark King has another chance
to go into the bunch of reds, which
seems natural to go into them but
there is a loose red. He is trying
to be accurate. He hits this one to
harder now he has lost position. He
lets John Higgins back into the
game. Even know John Higgins was
lucky with the yellow, sometimes you
only have yourself to blame. Every
situation is different. The problem
is how you can improve your
positional play. That is why you can
have a day with another good player,
analysing every positional shot to
see if you can improve. Some people
have more natural ability than
There will be people at home
wondering whether he should go into
He should have gone in the
first shot. He had another chance to
go in when he only had one red left.
When it is a chance to go into the
pack of reds which it is most
guaranteed you get unlucky, as
Stephen was saying, perhaps that is
the time to go into them.
time is when you have one or two
loose reds. If you are unlucky, and
does not work out, you have an
insurance of a loose red. It is
putting all your eggs in one basket,
keep picking off the loose reds.
There are two parts to positional
play. Cue ball control and putting
the black we want to and with the
correct amount of weight is one
part. The route you go around the
table can be the killer, the sat are
part of the game. Some routes around
the table, there are traps. -- sat
now. When you start talking about
going into the pack, that is another
part of it. The route going into the
pack is all-important.
I quite like
It has been used quite
a few times.
What can Mark King do
to stay in this one?
I could not
agree more. The two opportunities to
go into the pack coming he had to go
in now both times. I'd take the
point that Steve made God are some
people who are cherry pickers, who
keep taking the loose red. -- Steve
made - there are some people. If
you're going to play like that, you
need to get an accurate cue ball.
Mark really has not had one today.
Pretty close with this attempt. He
has left a red. We will see whether
cue ball will finish up. He takes
this red on, the cue ball will
career into the reds were beneath
the pink. You need a little bit of
Well played! He has the luck. He is
on the pink into the right centre.
That was an excellent shot. No
problems with Mark King's
competitive instincts. He must be
blessed with a good temperament and
put the last two frames behind him.
He should have been in front 4-2. He
will stick in there.
A bit of movement from the other
table. That is putting him off
slightly. It is a beautiful arena
from the back of the hall.
A terrific venue, the Barbican. York
is a lovely town. Nice to walk
around, shopping in the shambles and
things like that. It has become
synonymous with the UK, this great
venue. The players are all like
coming here. -- all like.
and a beautiful time of year to come
and visit. Certainly very much
established as the home of the UK
over the last few years, since it
has moved to the Barbican. Great
venue and great crowds, a great
I hope you have not
bought me too many presents.
That was a good pot.
Following a similar pattern to the
last few frames, Mark King in first.
Not quite scoring enough points and
having to die a thousand deaths
while his opponent comes back and
mix the frame of him. I'm hoping it
will not be the same in this one. --
and nicks. He is not high enough for
the blue already. He is smiling to
himself stop on the blue and trying
to put the red in, getting a nice
angle on the black.
He decided to go for the blue. That
The red at the bottom of the pack is
on. He tried to drop onto that. --
he will try. Imperative when potting
this red to leave an angle.
Has he got enough of an angle? He
could have played this with a lot of
spin off the top cushion, trying to
get the cue ball into the pack. The
grimace will tell us it was a little
bit straighter than he would have
Watch the cue ball.
That is not too
bad. That is a great shot. He has
done well. I thought he was up the
creek little bit with his positional
play. Getting out and landing on the
red is good. Once again, trying to
find an angle to get into the pack.
Now, at last, he has a half orcs on
the black, which is where he is
trying to be all afternoon. -- half
ball. You can fake cannons from
their all day long. If you're
getting straight, you have only got
two options, forward and back. With
the half angle, you have more
He needs a good shot. He is
going to screw back. Where is the
cue ball? He needs a bit of luck.
Did not get the side on the cue ball
to try and bring the cue ball up
towards the blue. Not quite sure why
he did not follow through and try to
stay on the black or play it hard
with more side and go up to have
yellow, green and brown. All you
have to do after that shot is
learned on a colour. That is the
only think of them give yourself the
chance to go up the table with more
Smiling to himself. He seems to be
enjoying himself out there. He seems
The line of the cue ball looks
The last thing Mac wants to do is
take the red of the right-hand
cushion, particularly as he has a
two point lead for the peers coming
in the top end of the table. The cue
ball is on the top end of the
A very strange choice of
shot. Absolutely no reason why he
should take the pot on. Should have
played the old dump shot up and down
and tired of the cushion for the P
has left John Higgins sniff of the
red in the middle. -- and tight off
It has not been easy for either
player this afternoon to be fluent.
John Higgins had a break of 80.
Quite a lot of 30 breaks. Mark King
has had 32, 37, 40 and 40 nine. --
49 will stop it was an excellent
opening pot from Mark. Very good
A 43 point lead. In amongst the
Surely has to win the frame from
He is showing an excellent
temperaments, Mark King. Chance
after chance. That is since two
frames all. John Higgins is needing
two sneakers and getting one. They
are still in their competing. You
can see why he wins lots of matches.
He does like a scrap. Just this red.
That was well played.
It does take a bit of character, no
doubt about that, when you have lost
a couple of frames like he has. You
have to put it out of your mind as
quickly as possible. The best way to
do that is when the next frame. --
win. Well, he has missed the red.
That is enough.
Mark King stops the
rot. But John Higgins still leaves.
He does indeed.
We are trying to
analyse the game with constructive
criticism. It is a fair point. John
Parrott in commentary, it was a
strange choice of shot. If things
were bad shots and he was beating
himself up over it, that is no good
foot of actually he still plays very
optimistic thing gets on with the
job. Has a laugh when it goes wrong
and get on with it. That is a great
attitude to have.
It is about the
mistakes you have made not playing
on your mind and getting on with it.
That is how it has always been foot
he looks like he is really enjoying
it. As Steve said, he still has a
smile on his face and can put a good
plant on it. Similar to yourself.
would be chatting to everyone,
chatting to the audience, having a
word with the referee. How are you
Looking at some of
the breaks, we had the 80 from John
Higgins in the context of the match
cricket has not been a classic.
standard of the potting has not been
brilliant. It has been tough
We are not seeing breaks
all over the place. It has been very
interesting and absorbing.
King draw level once again? We will
I cannot remember Stephen
Hendry laughing and joking. His dog
used to be scared when he got home
if he lost the match. That was so
close. A great attempt.
I was really impressed with Mark in
that frame. Two absolutely great
body blows to the solar plexus,
losing those two frames.
He has not played many bad safety
shots today. Back to safety has been
quite good. I'm agree he has a shot
on here. He complained a cannon into
the side of the pack and stay on the
black. The cluster of three, if he
plays is done in their... He played
to hold it and use the red. The same
thing. Playing the cannon would
always keep the cue ball there.
So, that might be a very costly
mistake from Mark King. Nothing
worse than to get yourself a
foothold in the match, play a good
frame like he has played, get one
behind and throw your opponents an
The problem for
John Higgins is the black does not
go into the corner pocket. He has
quite a bit of work to do, if he is
going to make it a sizeable
contribution from this chance. That
overran the cue ball. Needs to get
straight on the blue to the right
I would love to get on the red
behind the black. Just to free up
the black to one of those pockets.
Does not look like he can do it from
this shot. No.
A reprieve from Mark King. What can
I don't know. That will give
him encouragement. He will have to
do a bit with the cue extension on
the end. Have to force it a little
bit. I would have expected him to be
potting that one. He has read in the
open and he can play on them. He
also has a fantastic angle into the
side of the pack. A few loose red.
He might not want to do it but it is
that if he wants it. That one was
not played really with a great deal
of commitment that way it has worked
out if he can drop the Reading, the
black will go. -- the red in. After
potting this black, you could take
the red closest to the right-hand
corner pocket. It could be open for
both pockets. That has worked out a
treat for Mark King.
Again, imperative helium and -- he
leaves a nice angle on the black
when potting the red. It can go into
the pack or he can play for the
loose one foot he has a nice angle
you can screw up into the pack and
bring some read into play. -- the
loose one. He played that nicely. A
bit unlucky but the bottom red does
not pot but he still has this one on
the left hand side.
That was the good shot. Absolutely
perfect. I could not put that any
better. A nice, half ball. He can go
into the pack full he has had a look
around to see if there are any
plants are available. Not an ideal
pack. He needs plenty of power.
Knock the black king and fingers
crossed. -- the black in and fingers
crossed. Second prize...
The first one that looked a little
bit nervous. Not very smooth through
that one. He will be disappointed
with that. He was just one good shot
away for the even more disappointed
with the fact that this one goes. He
has just gone a little bit off the
boil, John Higgins. A very tough
match yesterday afternoon. It may
have been 6-3 yesterday afternoon
but he will have to play hard, match
play snooker to get past him. He has
not quite been firing today.
Might be a little bit of tipping and
tapping going on here.
Ideally, Mark would just like to tap
the bread that is him now into the
side of the pack but he does not
want to leave the pot on the red
pass the yellow you cannot really do
too much with the ones on the top
cushion, unless he decides to drop
in dead wait and hope he does not
leave a plant. That is the only
downside of this shot. You can play
it but not get unlucky and leave a
plant for your opponent. He has come
up to a minute of thinking time. I
don't blame him. The last thing he
wants is to make a stupid mistake.
There we go. Drop on this and don't
leave a plant.
I couldn't have been playing that
shot. No prizes for guessing where
the cue ball is going.
He could be in a lot of trouble.
Higgins wants the cue ball almost
exactly where it is now after
playing this shot.
Would have liked to have been
tighter to the blue and black for
the easy escape will stop -- escape.
Foul and a miss. John Higgins four.
He was asked if he wanted it back?
And he said no, I don't.
hit the cushion or go between the
red and the cushion.
I think he will still play the same
shot and tried to nestle into the
bunch of reds. If he hits it a
little bit hard, that may not a red
on. -- knock. He should be OK this
Foul and a miss. John Higgins,
He has left a pot on the green
Depends on the angle whether
John fancies this or not. No, he
does not like it. If he could have
played that unscrewed straight back,
he would have taken it.
Now, Mark anxiously looking to see
if he has left the red in the
middle. It looks very tight.
Has he left it into the corner? He
can't pot that.
He definitely can't
pot it into the middle. Maybe worth
trying to pot it up into the corner
pocket, where the Queen pocket is,
as we call it. Top right-hand corner
pocket, play it as a shock to
nothing, get back down behind the
blue on black. -- where the green
It looks pretty good. Excellent pot.
Since Mark King played that shot
with the two reds on the top, he's
been definitely, it's been John
Higgins in the driving seat and the
tactical exchange. Black back on its
spot, so that's definitely going to
be touching. He gave the initiative,
playing that shot, Mark.
Another good shot.
But again, big target behind the
blue and black. Not a touching ball,
so he's got to play it off a red.
A possibility of a double, but it's
quite risky. The red to the right of
the cue ball is available for a
He missed the cannon as well, he
played the little cannon on the blue
there, just if he got the double, it
would have flicked away and left him
on the black. That was a big shock,
that was. Had it gone in the middle
and got at cannon, all of a sudden,
it would have been a great chance.
Yeah, now it's Mark's turn to be in
the driving seat. John couldn't do
much about it in the last shot, all
he could do was feather it into the
red. He knew he would be in trouble
for the next shot. Sometimes you've
just got no choice. You know you
have a shot to get out of trouble,
and you might be in it on your next
shot, and that is what happens has
happened here. I can't see what shot
he's got on here. Is he taking a
Well. Is he taking this in the
And he did try to play it in such a
way that he wouldn't leave anything.
Quite a clever shot, wasn't it. He
has just about left this red up into
the green pocket.
Just play it with a touch of
left-hand side here. Just try and
bring the cue ball out between green
Yeah. Priority, of
course, Ken, not get in. What ever
you do, don't miss it trying to play
too difficult a shot.
Nice control on it. Drag it in. A
great opportunity to win frame from
this visit, and level things up once
I don't think he's too straight. He
would have liked a better angle, but
it's still OK. Drop it in, take the
green, then the red and baulk, if he
wishes. He may be taking the pain,
which may be the better option after
this red. -- taking pink.
the pink spot is occupied by those
two reds that would have gone up
onto the blue. Just trying to play
on the pink forehand. With him being
left-handed, this is a slight
stretch for Mark. Hasn't got to do
anything with the cue ball, just
make sure you knock the green in.
He has got to be a little bit
careful with his positional shot
after this red. Play on a baulk
colour, green or brown.
Sadly for him, he'd like to pop the
green, come off the side cushion and
come down. But the red on the side
cushion is in the way.
I will have to give him the benefit
of the doubt. I don't believe he
played that shot. I think he was
trying to miss that red and get back
down for the two reds below the
I'm not going to give him the
benefit of the doubt for not just
coming off the cushion and leaving a
straight pink with the loss comes
about. Pop the pink, and two reds
are in the open. He has made his
positional shot to get onto it much
more difficult now. Easier to play a
bit of running side, leave yourself
on the pink, stun it in, the reds of
Only just a few more pots from
winning this frame, 32 point litre,
red, pink, red. That will suffice.
Needs to put the memory of the last
shot out of his mind as well from
the rest. Didn't do very well with
the rest on the last go. That's
better. He could have had it a
couple of shots to go, but to his
credit, he's there now.
I must say,
this has been a great performance
from Mark King. I didn't know how he
was going to react when he lost that
frame, well, the 2-1, needing the
two because, and the one after that,
with a 9-point lead. But in all
fairness, he has held himself
together very well. Showing a lot of
bottle here, Mark King, a lot of
And the momentum has swung, it has
to be said. John Higgins hasn't
played his best today. At the
moment, it is definitely there for
If I was doing a school
report on this much, I would give
him a D -4 positional, but an A+ for
temperament. Absolutely fabulous,
Mark King. To come back, wonderful.
-- D- four positional.
This is a nice positional shot for
blue into the corner pocket.
A wonderful break of 52 there for
Mark King. He was 4-2 behind, and he
has now levelled up once more. Mark
King 4-4 John Higgins.
has now levelled up once more. Mark
King 4-4 John Higgins.
STUDIO:. This could go to the wire.
I used to play him in practice and
he came back every day for more
punishment, because I used to beat
him up when he was younger, beat him
on the table. He would come back
every day for more punishment. I
called him the wee bull. He never
fell over, but he came back again.
I'm glad you clarify back, you beat
him up on the table. Fair play for
Mark hanging in.
You look at the
body language, if you go by body
language, there was only one winner.
We are not going to write John
Higgins off by any stretch, but we
have a best to get to the
quarterfinals. It is anyone's match.
At one stage, we thought John was on
his way to booking his place in the
quarterfinal. What happened to John?
I don't think he is in the type of
form he was in the last round. That
is difficult for the players to
guarantee that form. The UK
Championship has gone from best of
17 to best of 11. The top seeds in
the game preferred the best of 17.
All the players probably would say
they prefer that, but it probably
suited some of the top in the game.
They can get their teeth into it.
The likes of Mark Selby at the World
Championship in the UK can get on a
roll. Therefore, the short session
matches, one session matches,
perhaps there is more of a level
playing field. Even so, every day,
you have do hit the floor running.
I suppose an example of that is this
match. It is not over until the fat
lady sings, because Mark King, from
one stage this afternoon, we thought
it was it, and John was closer to
You would have thought at
4-2 there was only one winner,
But the way
that John Higgins went in front, but
Mark King has impressed with the way
he has come back. His attitude and
demeanour around the table looks
positive. Talking about John Higgins
being a strong favourite, but the
last couple of months and
tournaments, he's not been at the
business end of tournaments. Maybe
John is getting twitchy as well.
interesting thing is, maybe you can
teach better positional play, but
perhaps you can't always teach good
attitude around the table.
attitude around the table.
Fighting spirit is a
difficult attribute to draw on if
you haven't got it. Some people
after making big mistakes in
positional play and throwing frames
are wayward drop their head. Not
The crowd giving it,
"Come on, Mark." Maybe his tail is
COMMENTATOR: A lot of ingredients go
into the recipe of becoming a top
class snooker player. Temperament is
definitely one of them. Mark King
has been excellent today in that
It is true what the boys
said, it is something you can't
teach. You had to learn it yourself,
or be blessed with it.
First mistake from John Higgins.
Pace of the blue in the centre
taking it up...
Oh. True a quick one
John hoping to pop this red into the
right centre, trying to get a nice
wrangle on one of the colours. Or
even the blue.
He can go into the pack will play on
the loose red beside the black. It
depends on the angle.
That will do. Something to come out
of the pack and flicked that red
away from the black, but it nearly
did. He has still landed on the next
red, which is the important thing.
Not an easy chance, this, though.
just had a quick look at the black,
didn't he come to see if it would
put into the left corner pocket. It
doesn't look like it will. There you
see it. I don't think that Potts, so
back up for blue here.
He hit that really well. Maybe a
touch too well.
Time just approaching three hours.
It's been engrossing. We've seen
matches with heavy scoring this week
here at the Barbican, but this has
been very interesting.
Now, nice angle on the blue. OK, a
bit of bit skinnier than he would
have liked, but still, natural angle
to go into the pack of reds.
No. No, that's not there.
thinner than it looked. Wasn't very
committed on the shot. Blue nearly
went into the cushion, but he's been
quite fortunate to split the pack up
and not leave Mark on anything. OK,
he's got a thin clip, bridging over
balls into a blind pocket. I suppose
he can play it with the luxury of
knowing, as long as he is in the
baulk area, he should be able to get
Just the last couple of shots, I
think he's rushed them a little bit.
He just hasn't taken as much time,
particularly on the backswing.
Playing just a little bit too quick.
I don't like his next one...
Stepladder required for this one,
I'd say. Scaffolding.
Whatever you have, revelry. Whatever
Do you want an extension
on it as well?
Yeah. The spider as
well here. I think.
Extension on the
end of the extended rest.
They literally is no other book. He
can't make an escape to any other
ball, it has to be black. With the
miss world, you can see the black,
it is the ball he has got to play,
otherwise he is giving point away
left, right and centre. Difficult to
judge this. Just hard to see the cue
Under the circumstances, it's a
He was just trying to get out of
trouble, but it's actually a very
good shot. He has left Mark with a
bit of a headache. The pink being on
the side cushion's a massive
problem. He can't get back down to
the baulk area, because of coming
off the side of the pack.
Maybe forced into a pot.
Only one area he can play, he can
play the red to the right of the
black really thin and go back up
through the gap. Because there's the
pink that way. He's hit the pink and
left it over the jaws. Wow, that was
close, Ken, wasn't it.
Just wondering if he will try to pop
the red into the pack. That
OK, he had the blue over the left
centre, but he could have played the
red, the cue ball into the pack of
four reds, and still be on the
Yeah, this is a big shot in the
context of this brain. He puts this
and it runs off the cushion slowly,
he has the red on the right-hand
side. -- the context of this frame.
He has come off the bump.
Originally thinking the one on the
right-hand side, he could have done
that and stayed on the back. As he
follows up, he catches the bump of
Lovely shot. Reverse side to bring
the cue ball back to black again.
Really well played.
Really tough shots to judge, those,
when you are close to the cushion
and playing up for the brew. The
number of times you don't get quite
far enough, and a shake of the head
from John. When you play at the cue
ball, it gets trapped a little bit.
It's like a break, and it takes a
bit of pace out of it. He has got to
go round the table if he wants to
get back in position.
If the pink wasn't in the way, he
might be tempted to play brown. You
come round on the other side of the
table, two reds will pot that way.
He is not to take it, he will screw
back and the end red.
A good pot. The positional play
required. It is about getting the
red and coming back down the table.
A good pot. Jobs that one in, and it
was an excellent shot.
He is coming
out to have a look at the red to the
left of the black. If he can get on
that, he can open the black up into
both pockets then. He would be
hitting into an area with a couple
of reds he can go onto here. The one
next to the black is the one he
wants to be on. He is on both reds,
as you can see.
He is going to take the easier one
of the two, back up for blue.
And again, missed the red he'd like
to get on. Just drop the blue in and
try to hold left for the red by the
Looks pretty good. So, 41 point
lead, just red, black, and another
red, black, and that will be enough.
It looks like John Higgins is going
to go one up with a possible two to
play. But it's been hard-fought,
He has used all those
years of experience. Mark King can't
complain, you had a couple of
chances early on in the frames.
A good break from John Higgins,
that. Circumstances, 57 ahead, 51
That's the end of
that frame, that there is no doubt.
Mark King concedes the frame. An
excellent contribution in that one
from John Higgins. He puts his nose
ahead at five for Mac.
Getting near the business and now --
5-4. The shop Mark King had in the
frame, you've just got to play it
sometimes, and you can be a little
It got so close, didn't
it. Just left, look at the
situation. It all came from the
safety shot when John Higgins hit
the extended spider and extended
rest. He left Mark King with this.
Look how close he gets. He is trying
to avoid the pink as well. How close
was that going into the pocket?
That's what cost him the frame. He
was very unlucky. Still smiling,
Listen, his temperament has
been to the fore today, of that
there is no doubt. John Higgins
there, dug in, hasn't been an easy
afternoon Goujon by a long stretch.
Hasn't been his but it's about
winning. Having a bit of a lollipop
he was given today.
A little bit of sugar.
The audience has definitely been
loving it this afternoon. Value for
money as ever and I have enjoyed
watching these two compete. No one
has left the auditorium. They are
all engrossed by it and why not?
Great venue. They love their snooker
in York. A fascinating encounter. A
good safety. A bit of Czech side to
stop the cue ball coming back and
hitting the pack. One red has popped
its nose out. A possible cut into
the right corner pocket for John
Higgins. That's a high percentage of
those types of shots. He needs a bit
of luck and has not got it. Very
good at that particular shots, John
Higgins. One of his many fortes.
Just as safety shot.
Part much he can do other than go
off the side of the pack for that
you don't want to be hitting the
black. What a mistake that is! And,
I could say straightaway, John
Higgins can pot this, go up and play
on the yellow, popped the yellow
goes straight into the side of the
pack if he wants. He can do it of
the blue but the yellow is there as
well. It is a great chance if he
wants to open the pack up. He has
played on the blue. He may have been
tempted by the yellow. The angle has
gone straight into the side of the
pack and smashed them all "Anyway,
he can do it here. He has been very
fortunate. He got a split. That
could've gone in. He managed to lead
himself -- leave himself on it. A
tricky situation, John Higgins, over
the years. He has converted a lot of
these situations. Just composing
himself by keeping the cue ball
clean. The red at the bottom of the
pack, trying to stun it into the
pocket. Not the perfect angle. He
has played it nicely from the red to
the right centre. Imperative he gets
top side of this. Even the yellow,
as you mentioned earlier.
He has never been won over the years
to baulk up the winning line, John
foot he notices a massive
opportunity for the frame and match.
-- John. Now then, is he on
anything? He will not have played
many worse position shots land that
one. -- band that one. You cannot
believe that. The boys in the
commentary were speaking about
opportunities going into the pack
when there were loose reds. He tried
to get onto a loose red foot he
could have got into the pack as
well. He has played a careless
safety shot will stop lost his
concentration. Completely missed by
that last positional shot, John
Higgins. -- miffed.
The good, opening pot. Just about
managers to hold position for the
pink. The cue ball and object ball
are so closer it is tricky at times
to work out the angle. I would be
surprised. It could be vintage
Higgins where he gets the one chance
and get over the line but not to be.
He has a big target up the table. If
he can get up there and come back
into the pack some point, you can
make sure if you are high up the
table you get an option of both of
those to come back into the pack. He
has chosen to play on the pink at
the moment, Mark. That is OK but
moving something about to get on the
Has he hit it enough to be on this
red into the corner? Maybe just
about on this red. He can nudge the
red to the right of it and the pink
into the left centre. That is a
lovely shot he played. Tries to
knock that into a possible position.
A good chance of a counter attack
from Mark King.
That was a lovely
cannon he played before. Really good
touch will stop so nice to see a
good touch when it means the most to
you, at the business end of the
match. Could be going to a final
frame decider. He does love to
compete, this boy. He really does.
He hung around all day. Mentioned at
the start of the afternoon, 18
matches to three behind against John
Higgins. They have played on 20
occasions, twice in the UK will stop
had a couple of dumping is of him.
Here he is, still punching. Still in
there and still competing. All
credit to him. He has just come
around to have a look at the two
reds that have been left, make sure
the top one pots into the bottom
He wants to be nice and straight on
the pink but it is just OK. He will
take the top red of the two reds.
That is exactly where he will take
the cue ball. The other red will be
open. He has gone about this break
very well so far. He wants the cue
ball to be bit straighter. 67 is his
target appears on 42. The four reds
and colours can he will not have to
worry about the red close to the
He has taken these very well so far.
This is the toughest positional shot
he has had to play on the break.
Looking at his next red.
It is on the bottom one but not
exactly ideal. At least he has a
shot at it.
It went in.
They must make contact with the two
reds and blacks. It is a big target.
The yellow into the right centre
coming off the top cushion. Trying
to split them. A big shot this one.
If he gets it right he can win the
frame from it.
I was just about to
say it is one of those once it is
easy to quit on. He have to get
through it. He is really in love
with the shot. You can tell by the
way he went about playing it. There
was a degree of difficulty in it.
Mind you can he has not let John
Higgins anything easy. -- mind you,
he has not left John Higgins
anything easy. Here's enjoying that
It has just gone slightly awkward.
He has been lucky. To clip that
across the table and finish that
close, then a short and bounce off
the touch, it is a gimme. Where it
has finished is enough to keep you
honest. It looks easy. But it is
not. Any flick on the near jaw and
this is not going in. Particularly
if he is going to play at bottom
right hand side as well. That can
always happen. Just pushes into the
red. John Higgins has had a result.
What can he make of it?
Well, I don't believe that. He has
left the cue ball in the one shot
that John Higgins can get through
the gap. No wonder he is shaking his
head. Once he potted it, another red
was in play, and so was the black
and pink. Wow!
Just depends on the yellow, how
close it is into the middle pocket.
It is definitely possible. It is how
much you can get out of it to get it
towards the green.
He is just having a look at it now.
Will he pot the red and leave the
That is the way to play it.
If you cannot force any of the
angles, knock it in, drop the
yellowing. The natural angle for the
yellow on the spot. The further away
with the cue ball and you have got a
straight pot at it. That is the way
I would be going if you can do it.
Having to refocus. He has to be
close to the yellow. The cue ball
and potting this red. No. Would you
One good pot from Mark King, as John
Higgins missed the red.
played the pink through the middle.
Could have left himself pretty
straight on the red full if he had,
his clearance would have been
easier. With the amount of angle it
was more difficult.
Look at the action on the cue ball.
Have a look at this! A bit of
adrenaline. He has to go in and out
of baulk. This could be a really
good shot if he can get it close.
That is not close enough. It depends
on how straight and angle he has.
Trying to play this at pace is not a
gimme, is it?
It is one of those
funny shots where you have to work
out percentage-wise whether you
think it is worth taking. What a
lovely shot he has played. He could
not hit that any better. A great
It will go on to a decider.
really was a fabulous shot on the
yellow. To get up to the green, that
shot he has played is the best in
the match so far. It didn't look
like it would go 5-5 but that is
exactly what it is going to be. Well
played, Mark King! Both players are
leaving the auditorium. You know
what is coming up. It is a final
frame decider. It is all square at
five frames all.
None of us thought this was going to
Mark stuck to his guns, and
in the end, in that frame, John
Higgins failed to clinch the match
because of poor positional play. He
missed the Coombs at the end,
because he was too far over it. What
a great shot
because he was too far over it. What
a great shot from Mark King.
was no need for John to play from
yellow to red. As the guys
was no need for John to play from
yellow to red. As the guys said,
yellow to yellow is a good shot, but
the yellow was pot able. Just make
sure the yellow plays for pink and
black. It is unusual for John
Higgins to miss a chance. 2-3
chances to win a match. That is not
like him. His form has not been
great approaching this tournament in
the last couple of months. Last
season he had a purple patch. This
season has not been the same, so
maybe he is lacking confidence.
were talking about Mark King's body
language when the chips were down.
There was a little smile. You said,
sometimes you have to get out of
your corner if it does not go your
way. He smiled when he potted the
yellow, the confidence came back.
Enjoying the occasion is half the
battle. You can judge your
performances over a period of a
career by different yardsticks. You
can say, the amount of times you get
in position to win a frame. Or how
times you can turn around a frame
when you should have won it. The
attitude you bring to the game is
What you said about John
Higgins was interesting, when he
reached those finals last season and
was playing consistently, Ahye
suggesting, when you are in a good
run of form, especially at the end
of tournaments, looking for booking
a place in a quarterfinal as well,
those shots come.
finishing matches of, those become
automatic. You get a chance and you
kill. He played a shot, again, we
are talking about Mark King earlier
not going into the pack. John
Higgins had a chance to go to the
bunch. He played it wrong, you could
see the smile on his face. Very
unlike him. A deciding frame now, if
you are looking at who will win, you
would side with John Higgins.
have also got to say that a player
in proving in standard, and Mark
King won a tournament last year, in
Northern Ireland, playing better
snooker. He is a happier frame of
mind. As his body length which
shows, he is not beating himself up.
That is a good way to go into a
final frame, enjoying the challenge.
Who is going to win, but you had on
You have to go with Mark
King, he is more positive.
You have to go with Mark
King, he is more positive.
wouldn't be surprised if Mark turned
John over in the last frame. It is
anybody's. The stats are not much
Over his career, John
Higgins has won so many of these
We are staying with
this match live on BBC Two.
COMMENTATOR: The one thing you can't
do in a final frame decider is make
a break like that. Far too thick.
Mind you, he may have gotten away
with it. Match time coming up to 3.5
hours, intriguing from the start.
Not that much between the final
frame-winning percentages, the boys
asked them, Steve said in that you
do, 56% for John Higgins, and 51%
from Mark King. So, virtually 50-50,
I suppose John Higgins has
probably done it more. He has been
involved in a lot more matches than
I am sure Mark King has. But the way
he's played... Oh. This could be
That was a tough pot, but also I
think he's overhit it. He didn't
expect to go into the pack and leave
this red here.
I think because he
has hit it so poorly, the angle to
go towards pack, he courted much too
Finn. Nice to have first chance in
the final frame. That's for sure.
He can pot this yellow, just stunned
across and put a red into the same
pocket. I think that would be his
choice. Just about.
I don't think he'd be going into the
pack of this brew, John. The angle
is not good enough for him. He may
like to play on the loose red here.
Yeah, slightly missed a trick there,
he might have gone higher up for the
blue. The pack is looking really
nice. The pink is not even on its
spot, so a big target there.
Oh... Can you believe it?!
That was a shock.
He's just trying to get the angle to
make sure he was nice and low. He
just forgot to pot the ball.
He has covered the red down the
left-hand side of the table.
He can only nestle into the red on
the top cushion, just coming off the
side cushion and trying to nestle
onto the red. Will he be forced into
having a go? If he tries to chip the
one closest to the right-hand side
cushion, the red may come across
over the left-hand corner pocket as
well. He may be forced into having a
That's a fantastic pot from John
Yellow at what a shot. You're not
kidding. That is what all the hours
of practice are for. What a pot.
I don't know what you saw, John, but
look at Mark King's reaction when
John Higgins potted that. He nodded
in approval. He knew how good it
was. Good sportsmanship.
Wow. What's going on? I've never
seen John Higgins missed so many
You can count on one hand the number
he would miss of those in a season,
not just one match. A lot of
pressure felt from both players
here, as we see this red again. Mark
King has been so good in the safety
department this match. But hitting
the Brownhill has left another
possible long pot for John Higgins.
It's getting tense out there.
-- hitting the brown here.
Well, there's a red in the middle
for Mark. He wants to take it on,
along the top rail, it isn't
particularly appetising. But this is
massive, because he's definitely
going to leave something on if he
Great shot. Absolutely great shot.
We saw Mark King's reaction a minute
ago, we have seen John Higgins's
reaction when that one went in. A
great pot it was indeed. Right in
the centre. Cracking pot.
You can see John kicking himself in
the chair there. The chances he has
had so far and missed. But there's a
load of pressure out there, and you
can miss anything.
Tried to get on the red left of the
cue ball into the left-hand corner
pocket, left it short. He had this
as a back-up.
Yeah, finished short on this. Just
have a walk round, make sure you can
leaders of an angle on the corner,
so you can screw it in and get
towards the black.
He can drop that in now and come off
the cushion, so that's fine. Once
again, just making sure you are
leaving yourself a half ball on the
Taking a deep breath to relax
himself. Pogba black, play the cue
ball through the gap and hold the
red into the corner pocket. He has
played that really well -- pot
black. This could be a key shot. He
doesn't have the perfect angle the
red, but he will have to manoeuvre
the cue ball through a couple of
reds above it, stay on the black.
He's played it well.
Yeah, played that beautifully.
Lovely touch. I think all John
Higgins can do is sit and hope that
Mark King makes a mistake. What a
chance this is for Mark King.
You just have to steel yourself in
this position, keep your
concentration, make your mind up,
what shot are you going to play, and
100% commit to it. Don't change your
mind made shot.
Nice angle to go
into the two reds by the ping.
Guaranteed to be on the red to the
If he wasn't on that one, he was
always going to be on the red to the
right centre. Could have worked out
a little bit better.
blame him at all playing the cannon,
but it could possibly go a little
bit awkward, which it has. Good
4-5 good positional shots away here.
He could have a fantastic victory,
someone he has only beaten three
times in 21 outings. In the second
biggest tournament in the world.
Betwixt and between again.
feeling the tension slightly. That's
understandable. He doesn't have much
work to do it, you can drop the
Canter, come off the top cushion, Mr
black and have the black to the same
pocket. 29 points ahead, so three
reds, pinks and blacks, that would
be enough. Good shot. He just has
too hold himself together 4-5 pots
That was a nice pot.
54 and counting, and it means the
Hit the jaw.
I have nothing but admiration for
him today. We mention numerous
occasions, he had the worst cue
ball, and he went behind because of
it. But boy, has he stuck at it.
What a competitor.
No heroics here, just the black
required. Screwed back for the red,
outside cushion, get behind it. If
he gets this, it's all over. He has
overscrewed it. Would you believe
it? Goodness me.
Only got to land on
one more red, why does it had to
land on that baulk, Ken? 51 ahead,
52 remaining, but that doesn't mean
a great deal when John Higgins is
concerned. He needed two Leuchars in
the fifth frame and got them. So
it's not over yet.
Could there be another twist in the
Under the circumstances, making 69,
that was fabulous.
He didn't want that to go in.
May have to take the blue here. If
he misses this, well, he's taking
the ping. It could be shaking hands
if this doesn't go in. And its best.
There it is. John Higgins held his
hand out to Mark King. A fantastic
match this afternoon. Two brilliant
performances, but Mark King stuck in
there and refused to be beaten. He
goes through to the quarterfinal. He
STUDIO: Another one bites the dust.
That was Queen, but this was King.
Deducible but it?
showed frailty. He might have bit
the bullet, taken the green and
needed two Leuchars, but John was
mentally shocked by how many shots
he missed in the end, and wanted to
get out of there.
You could see
that. It was playing on his mind.
When they both went out and came
back, the body language was not
positive to John. He prodded a
fantastic red, but two shots later,
missed a red on the next was missed
by a foot. The body language didn't
look good. Even from going 4-2
ahead, his body language was great.
Mark King dug in, looking at the
career head-to-head is, 18 wins,
John Higgins, Mark King has three.
It comes down to, we can ask Mark
when he comes in, the fact he won in
Northern Ireland was something that
has risen his stock up a bit in his
own mind, a bit of pride. When it
comes to a gritty part of the match,
he fancies it a bit more. His
performances in the tournament have
So many big names
have been lost on the way, maybe it
is the year summary like Mark as
Since Selby went out, I said
it was body till -- Ronnie's to
lose. It is amazing the way the
seeds have dropped.
Come on in,
Mark. Well done, congratulations.
John was talking about the pressure
out there. Were you both feeling it
Packed crowd. You can't
ask that any better. Sometimes you
can go out there, there might be 30
people in China, but a packed crowd,
if you don't get yourself up for the
games, you might as well pack up.
Even at 4-2, you had a smile on your
face. I couldn't do it. He couldn't
It is one of those things, to
go 3-2, I didn't do anything wrong,
you played two good sniggers and I
missed them. I didn't put any or
miss anything. I got into the next
frame. Really confident, I was
saying, keep still and calm, and
In the last frame
after you made a couple of mistakes
to let John Higgins back, in the
end, you must have been surprised
when he missed a couple of reds?
Absolutely. I played the red in the
middle, hoping to cover the other
reds and I hit it thick. He went
red, yellow, and missed an easy red.
Then another easy red.
The long one,
you played a bad safety shop. You
must have fancied him for the long
Of course. One bad safety shot,
I fought my best and I would go
Through the match, which we
were criticising some of your shot
selections, but the final frame, you
never put a foot wrong from the
break. It was into perfect when you
My cue ball is
To be fair, I felt comfortable.
Don't miss anything easy.
It is easy
to read things into things, but do
you think now, because of the win in
Northern Ireland that, all of a
sudden, you have more about you,
because you know you can get over
1,000,000%. I said in the
interview last night on BBC that
about 18 months ago I was playing to
pay bills. Now I am playing to
enjoy, and I am working hard. I feel
comfortable. It ain't, like, the
mortgage ain't been paid, clothes
whatever, it isn't about that
anymore. Now, I can played my game
and and enjoy it. If I get pumped
6-0, that is the way it was. I have
worked hard. That is what it is
about, working hard and being
confident in what I was doing.
which the semifinal of the Indian
"Can you reach the semifinals or go
on and win this?
Lets not get too
I don't fear anybody.
I've played Ronnie loads of times,
played well against them, one of my
only bogey men was John. I played
him when he was dominant and he
which to me in every way, shape and
form. It was nice to get one over on
We have lost so many of the
best players in the world, the
atmosphere around the Barbican right
now is, players like yourself
thinking, is it my year?
light years ago that someone beat
Stephen or Steve, it was, like, oh,
my God. Nowadays, people play every
week, the strength and depth in our
game, number 60 in the world can
have a decent run.
They can win, Mark Joyce beating
Neil, that was no surprise, he is a
What you have in your
are marine out is that you have
enough experience on the TV table in
front of a crowd that you are not
going to snort at that chance.
have choked a few times, don't get
I have had a twitch up! A lot of it
is down to paying bills. But as I
said, now I can enjoy it, feel
comfortable. I can pay the hotel
bill when I checked out.
never forget some of the interviews
you did in Northern Ireland,
especially the one on five live was
great. John Parrott said, "Nothing
but at oration" for you.
That is Mark King, who is through to
the quarterfinals. We have time
before we leave you on BBC Two to
bring you up to date with the all
bring you up to date with the all
Scotland clash over on the other
table this afternoon. When we left
it, Stephen McGuire let Graeme Dott.
COMMENTATOR: If that white bouncers,
he is OK.
I don't know if he can see enough of
the one to take on to the left
corner, I don't think he can. He has
had a bit of a result there, has
Graeme. Maybe he can see enough to
take the pot on there.
If he can,
Dennis, we know what an aggressive
player Stephen McGuire is.
Trying to start around the back with
some left-hand side, cannon into the
red a foot to the right of the
black. He may not be able to play it
with enough pace to be able to play
that shot, especially if he had to
bend the cue ball a bit. Can he pop
the red and play the cannon? -- pot
He got the most important part of
the shot. And that's a very nice
kiss on the yellow. Options of
yellow with the rest, but almost
certainly the brown. The reds are
open, so he doesn't have to played a
really aggressive shot into the
Just needs to be a bit careful with
his waistcoat here in playing this
He is quite close to that.
Peggy Lee, was right there, either
lied. Making sure Stephen Maguire
didn't foul the red with his
I bumped into Stephen's dad in the
corridor along with John Ray, former
professional Scottish player, here
to support Stephen.
A very aggressive player around the
table and sometimes can look a bit
angry. Away from the snooker table,
you couldn't meet a nicer lad. We
have seen in the past, with his
temperament he has given the table a
good smack with his knuckles. But
that is just to try and pump himself
up. I remember when he first turned
professional, he used to play in
Stephen Hendry's club in Stirling.
It's no longer there. All the boys
used to play there and I remember
having a few hours practice session
with him when he first turned
professional. I knew he was destined
for big things.
This is a good red to get out of the
way. Has cleared the path for the
one closest to it in the opposite
corner. All these stun and screw
shots played to perfection. This, in
turn, when he pots this, would clear
the one next to it. Just got to
concentrate a little bit harder.
Little bit of movement and noise.
They are coming back into the arena
for the other match.
Can't do much about this. You can
have a little sleep, I suppose. Just
concentrating, trying to focus.
He has taken the easy reds. Now it
becomes a little bit more difficult.
Not that far away from securing this
I am sure Stephen would
prefer to open the cluster, if he
can. Doesn't want to be taking one
of the reds along the cushion. Will
want to leave one of those there as
an insurance policy. And that looks
just about perfect. That was a very
well judged positional shot. Should
be able to play the pink into the
corner, followed the cue ball
through. Play the canon. Looks like
he is playing a hard stun shot.
There is a red that goes in the
Yes. That was a bonus
because if you play the cannon, you
can always run out of position. The
black will put him 69 in front with
just 67 remaining. What a start for
Stephen Maguire. Has come back from
the mid-session interval and is just
carrying on where he left off. He
had a break of 70 in the previous
Might be easy to make a century
break, but he can relax now the
frame is safe. Made 32 centuries
last season, on 16 at the moment.
370 in his career.
This has been a very well crafted
break by Stephen Maguire. Very, very
fluent player, very high scorer. You
feel back Graeme Dott is going to
have two step up now.
When he is
introduced, he calls him On Fire,
Stephen Maguire. That is the case at
the moment. Has he got enough angle
to just done in behind the Red Bull
bring it into play? Yes, slight
angle. Just dropping in behind it.
Going to need a little bit of
assistance with the extended rest
and the extension on his cue. Only
needs the red. For the century
That's the 77th century in this
year's UK championship. And a big,
generous round of applause for that
The break held by Michael White, of
142 will take a bit of beating.
£5,000 for the highest break. A nice
little Christmas present, this time
This is the blue that Graeme Dott
knocked into this position from the
break-off shot. It looked like we
were going to have a scrappy frame
when the blue went there. That is
unlucky, but he won't be too
concerned about that. What a superb
effort from Stephen Maguire and he
extends his lead it is now 4-1.
STUDIO: 4-1, but Graeme Dott knocked
in frame six but Stephen Maguire
responded getting frame seven.
Graeme Dott, too good for Judd Trump
in the previous round, but not good
enough to beat fellow Scot, Stephen
Maguire, who was in complete control
of this and is through to the
quarterfinals. Well done, Stephen.
Yes, I played well and was solid
all-round. Potted a few long one,
which haven't been going in. I just
played a little bit better than him.
There wasn't too much in it, 6-2
flatters the match a little bit, but
he is so tough and I knew it wasn't
finished up 4-2, 5-2, I was trying
to get over the line as quickly as
possible. Because if he gets his
teeth into you, he doesn't let go.
It was a superb break and we were
keeping an eye on Stephen Maguire,
completely in control today?
He is a
class player, his ranking is nowhere
near it should be, as far as I am
concerned. He looks to be coming
back to form. If he hits top form,
he is a danger to anyone?
agree with that, Steve? Yes, players
have had a good match but not
followed it up with another one.
John Higgins, Neil Robertson and
Graeme Dott, three that spring to
Let's look ahead to tonight.
We have Mark Allen taking on Joe
Parry on the red button and the BBC
sports website. Steve, you are
commentating on that one.
sports website. Steve, you are
commentating on that one.
It will be
very close, it could go all the way.
I tipped it to be Mark Allen.
very close, it could go all the way.
I tipped it to be Mark Allen.
spoke to jail earlier, is he in good
Yes, quietly understated
and the calm before the storm. He is
an experienced campaigner.
was in the studio talking about
wanting to get in the Masters.
Another player who has a victory
under his belt. Considered one of
the best players never to win. Same
as Mark King, hopefully he can go on
to better things.
It is so open?
Yes, but it puts pressure on players
thinking they have a good chance.
Now the question is, not normally a
question some of the lower ranked
players would have had. Now they
have the chance, will they take the
chance. This is a fantastic
opportunity for Ryan Day.
at the matches this evening and how
you can keep up with them.
Thank you very much indeed to Steve
and Stephen, enjoyed your company
and thank you for watching. Goodbye
Last 16 round action gets underway with four quarter-final places to be determined on Wednesday at the UK Championship. Jason Mohammad introduces action from York's Barbican Centre.