The remaining four quarter-final places are decided at the UK Championship, the second biggest ranking event on the snooker calendar. Jason Mohammad introduces live coverage.
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Hello, good afternoon and welcome
back to the Barbican. It is the
second day of the last 16 in York
and this afternoon Shaun Murphy, who
first won this event nine years ago,
is preparing to take a huge stride
towards his second UK title.
really developed sort of as a
person, very much more accepting
that you are going to make mistakes,
I am going to miss shots, I will get
safety shots wrong and that's OK
because no one plays perfect
snooker. It's OK to play perfect
snooker imperfectly is where it is
apt for me. I usually pot well and
score well, it's just the bits in
the middle where I could do with
being a bit better. I've got that
bit of belief in my game at the
moment. The longer I stay here, the
more dangerous I get.
afternoon of top-class snooker ahead
and this is how we line up. Shaun
Murphy, the 2005 Crucible champion,
has been taking in the sight of York
this week and has his eyes on the
prize. He plays world number 23
Ricky Walden. Martin Gould is
playing well, feeling confident, and
he will fancy his chances today in
his match. And your questions and
comments are very welcome. Use the
hashtag BBC snooker. Get in touch if
you want to, and this is how we line
up. We will take a break to some
rugby union at 1:30pm, then back at
five o'clock. With me as John
Parrott and Ken Doherty. People will
be thinking another big name has
gone from the UK Championship, who
will win this?
It won't be any
easier to win it. There are three
former UK champions so you will
still have to play well to win here.
And are still some good snooker
players involved in the draw. Yes,
Shaun Murphy, former winner, against
Ricky Walden who has been off the
scene a little bit but there's still
some great players in this
tournament. Everyone is obviously
talking about Ronnie O'Sullivan and
saying it is his tournament to lose
but it's not as easy as that.
And what sort of tricks will the
Magician howled up his sleeve today?
Ricky Walden plays a similar type of
game, he's an attacking player and
so is Shaun. That is probably the
case of death, but the two them like
to play open, attacking snooker and
it should be a good match.
sometimes forget about Walden. He
has been plagued with fitness
problems, back injuries.
spoke to him only a couple of days
ago in the practice room and he said
for the first time his playing
pain-free which is good because he
could only practice an hour a day
and that's why his form dropped,
terrible spinal problems but it's
good to see him back on the big
stage in front of the BBC of course.
When you look at the career
head-to-heads between these two, the
last time they met was three years
ago. Does Ricky Walden take any
confidence from that?
mean a thing, it's a different day
Yes, as John said they are
both open, attacking and good
We are live on BBC
Two, then red button later this
afternoon as we break for the Rugby
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
We have four days of action before
we crowned the champion. 12 players
still in the hunt but only two from
the top 16. Another unpredictable
session of snooker is about to
unfold at the always atmospheric
Please welcome first of all a player
producing his best run in the UK
Championship, Shanghai Masters
runner-up, Aussie open semifinalist
bidding for his first ranking event
quarterfinal this season.
He will be fired up for this one,
China's Xiao Guodong!
And his opponent on table two,
bidding for his second UK
quarterfinal in three years, last
year 's German Masters champion,
once again hitting form at the right
Make the quarters in Shanghai and
the semis at the International
championship, he is Martin Gould!
On table one, aiming for his first
UK quarterfinal in four years.
Three times a ranking event winner
in China, it is Ricky Walden!
And completing our quartet this
afternoon, a class act on and off
Runner-up in the Paul Hunter classic
this year, but winner of the
prestigious champion of champions,
bidding for his seventh UK
quarterfinal, he is Shaun the
A very warm reception to both of our
Remember, we are live with you until
2:45pm, then we switched to the red
button. Meanwhile the match between
Martin Gould and Xiao Guodong is on
the up and BBC sport website and
will be available on the red button
from 1:30pm. That afternoon to
will be available on the red button
from 1:30pm. That afternoon to our
match commentators Alan McManus and
COMMENTATOR: Good afternoon,
everyone. Ricky Walden won the toss
and he will get the match under way.
Always nice if you can make a good
break-off shot and that has left a
possible pot for Shaun Murphy. John
Parrott was saying at the top of the
show to Jason, these players play a
similar type of game, very
A first attempt at a long part. It
wasn't very close. -- long pot.
Ricky has a red for the right corner
he will take and could possibly get
on the black. This would be an early
And we might have an awkward opening
frame, as we show you the attempt
here. Cued across that one slightly.
Two roads at the other end of the
table so the safety zone is behind
the black now and close to the
Yes, talking about styles
of different players, I think the
boys JP and Ken mentioned two words
very apt to this match, attractive
and fluent. Both players go for
It's a pretty good effort. Wow! How
close was that? He played in such a
way he would be on the blue and not
leave anything. It looked as if it
was going to curl into the pocket.
The first chance falling to Ricky
There's a loose red, a couple of
roads at the back of the pack. He
has the perfect angle if he wants to
go into the reds. He leaves it,
heads for the reds that are
available at the back of the bunch.
If he gets on the final loose red in
such a way he could pot it and open
the bunch, I think you can still
hold. On the black little thinner
than he would have liked. Gently
does it, and there's the angle on
the red, so as long as he doesn't
stick in the bunch or run-through on
to the cushion, he can open up quite
a bit of the game here. That looks
like a pair of trainers to me so
maybe he's having a few problems
relating to his back, that's why he
would be allowed to wear those. But
they are black anyway.
been well documented, the trouble
he's had with his back. We will see
his stance when he plays a kind of
regular type of shot, both legs
bent, probably more so than any
other player. There are few players
on the tour who play that way, Peter
That red was a
distraction from having to bridge
over the top of it.
Here is a tough little shot in the
middle. Shaun will be aggressive at
Both players attacking, aggressive,
very fluent. I think if I was in
Ricky Walden's corner, I would be
advising him to play may an extra
one or two safety shot. Shaun Murphy
refuses virtually nothing, always
trying to be attacking, and you can
use that to your advantage.
A little bit of a
stalemate now at the moment with
those two roads near the baulk
colours. -- two reds.
You can see him putting the rest on
top of the spider, the first player
ever to do that was Ray Reardon.
Just gives you that little bit more
Now this might help the situation,
Shaun playing the white up there.
REFEREE: Can I have the mobile phone
on silence please, thank you.
Jason was saying Shaun had won six
of their nine meetings, Ricky had an
important win in the UK Championship
in 2011. He beat Shaun 6-3. In the
quarterfinal that year, that the
only time they played in the UK.
Now we are getting the frame back to
It might go in off the white or
knock the white in. Ricky was --
mis-hit that completely, that has
confused him. He wanted to wobble it
in the jaws.
He wants to take the red on here,
Shaun, but he would like to play it
with some kind of decent pace. If he
missed it the red would come away,
that's the reason he chose to play
the safety but it's given the
initiative to Ricky. The first
telling safety. He does have a red
that he can play as a half shot to
nothing, mind you. Good, clean pot.
Yes, worth another look at that one,
right in the centre of the pocket.
If the white had run a few more
inches, he could have played the
yellow or the green and got into the
pink or reds and possibly brought
the black also into play. It's not
completely tied up, the black.
There's only one loose red he would
have to play four-point I don't
think he's got an angle to get into
the bunch. He might have. Still
played for the loose red. He can get
up for the blue now. And then into
Perfectly played. He can bring both
pink, the reds, and also free the
Yes, he was hoping to catch the
left-hand side of the pink, that's
why he's lost the cue ball there.
The red, as it cut back, just on the
limit. If you play it close to the
pot and don't get it, it's liable to
stay there. Having another look at
That's disappointing. That was
developing into quite a good chance
He plays those shots so well, Shaun
Murphy. Well documented, the cueing
action of his. Fluent and so strong,
to get top side of the blue was a
gorgeous shot, perfect angle.
Just playing to get right in the
middle of those two reds. He's OK
but he's hampered slightly. He's got
to really play it back for the pink,
you would think. The black is very
close to the cushion. Not a bad
chance now, there's only one thread
safe on the cushion. -- on red.
Because of that beautiful cueing
action, I always feel his quickly
into the running in these matches,
always important to get off to a
good start. He always seems to
settle quickly. A free-flowing
action almost takes tension out of
the cueing arm. Not frightened to
express himself out there with deep
screws, and he always gets the cue
ball moving around. Again, perfect
topside of the bloom. He will all --
already be thinking about the red on
the topside of the cushion.
He will have a choice to make, to
try and move that red, when potting
a red which is always a risk.
Leaving it to get nicely onto the
colour to bring the red into play.
He's got the angle here if he wants
to pot this and bring the difficult
red into play. That's what he's done
and he's played it beautifully. As
long as he didn't hit that full
ball, he caught it half ball and
that beautiful little cannon could
quite easily give sure on this
He's just not afraid
to play those shots. Early on in
frames. You think maybe leave it a
couple of shots and try to develop
the red in the last moment, but he
took his chance as soon as he got
it. Well on his way. Taking this
opening frame, this has been a
brilliant start by Shaun Murphy,
straight into his cueing.
This finished a little awkward
there. He's 20 in front, if he was
to pot the pink and the yellow Ricky
would need a snooker. If he takes
the blue, he will also have to get
the green. Because when he pots the
yellow, Ricky will still be able to
tie. Missed that green when he
normally wouldn't. You're looking at
the best player who has ever used a
rest and he missed one. I think in
his last match he was 100% with the
rest. And the fact he didn't put the
yellow, he didn't get on the green.
If he had taken the pink, he only
needed the yellow.
That wasn't the best from Ricky
He might have found a gap here, you
know. There's a gap to hit the
green, maybe not pot it. A
possibility we could have a
re-spotted black in the opening
He will have to get snooker. Don't
think he can get a two point
Yes, that yellow should
give Shaun the first frame but he
would like to see the green
disappear. He wants to be careful
here. Where is the green going to
finish? This is a half chance for
Ricky. Just looks not quite the
angle where he can dropping behind
the blue. He's going to have to work
the cue ball. It makes it difficult
to control this.
Put some juice on the cue ball, that
was difficult to nestle in behind
the blue. Shaun has got to be
careful here to put the black safe.
Especially he doesn't want to leave
Ricky a chance to pot the green.
This possibility is in that as far
as getting a snooker.
I think he's got the snooker in the
middle pocket. It looks in the way
of this, he might have to go a
couple of cautions, baulk and side,
but very good from Ricky Walden.
He's asked the question. With the
cue ball so close to this cushion, I
don't know how much work he can get
on this. To widen the angle, he may
go two cautions. -- cushions. Don't
hit it too hard. There he goes.
I do not think there is a
double-kiss on here.
I do not think there is a
double-kiss on here.
Not if he plays
it as thin as that. I was thinking
the green, straight up and down.
Interesting where the pink has
It doesn't really matter now, the
pink has been knocked into a better
position for snooker 's.
30 points is the difference. So he
would require two snookers. Just the
brown to keep Riki in his seat. --
This time Ricky raises his hands to
the referee. In the end, Shaun
Murphy with a break of 51 Leeds 1-0.
Shaun Murphy beaten in the semifinal
stage by the eventual winner Mark
Selby and get off to a good start.
Alan mentioned in commentary that
his cue accuracy was superb. If you
can find better actions, let me know
what they are, because they bought
straight, like a laser and he is one
of the best ball strikers the
You will hear when he
came in for a chat, and one of the
boys commented yesterday how well he
was hitting the ball.
beating Ronnie O'Sullivan has given
him some reassurance and confidence
that he might have been lacking over
the previous six months before that
win. And he is one of the best
hitters of the ball in the game,
gets through it lovely and is great
The funny thing was is
that we picked out a shot in the
frame where he has missed the
yellow, shock horror that he misses
a shot with the rest, and he comes
up with a shot like this.
up with a shot like this.
needs all of them here and he tried
to knock the yellow onto the green,
and he had to try and get the cue
ball up behind the pink. But he
plays a nothing shot here and he
leaves the yellow on and Shaun
Murphy just needed the yellow to
leave Ricky needing a snooker.
Murphy taking the early lead against
Ricky Walden, back to the boys.
I tend to agree with Ken. I was
thinking the exact same thing after
Shaun missed the yellow with the
rest. Maybe Ricky couldn't get the
cue ball down the end as much as he
wanted, but he could have lifted up
the green. Still, it is gone now. He
will try to hit back here, Ricky
Walden. But as the boys were saying,
Shaun Murphy is looking very good,
and that was not good. He is an
intimidating player to play against,
Shaun. People talking about his
cueing action, but it even
intimidates the best players. You
cannot help and sit and watch your
opponent and when Shaun is in full
flight, he is a sight to behold.
This is a bit of a chance now.
You can't ask for anything better
than this. A nice easy opener.
I think Ricky can play a soft screw
and push the one read into open play
-- the one red. It is not easy to
get a nice angle without disturbing
the pack. Maybe a little soft screw,
and it looks like he's playing for
blue or one of the ball colours. He
has landed short. Not good. -- one
of the baulk collars. -- colours.
He is looking to see if he could
leave the red to the right middle
pocket, but he did manage to get the
white around the table from here,
and he would have to do that off the
green or the brown.
He has plenty of power in the cue --
cue. If he pulls this off, that will
be some shot. Almost impossible to
get the white all the way around the
He just took the five extra points,
and once again he has not played the
best of safeties.
He has got the brown, but the red
balls are all tied up there.
If there was ever a chance to see
the cue power, it might be here, or
will he take the four points? No,
he's attempted to get into them, and
what a great effort.
He sort of arced the cue ball there.
You see Ricky playing the outside
loose red and he does not want to
disturb the pack. That is because of
Shaun's prowess in the long game
department. An indication of how
wary Ricky Walden is.
Shaun might open them up here. Well,
just the one red came out. Pretty
good cueball both. -- though.
He might have to come off the side
cushion and into the side of the red
Got to make sure he covers the path
through to the red balls between the
pink and black. And he hasn't. Has
the blue come to the rescue? Yes,
just about. Shaun having an anxious
This time Ricky is forced to play a
safety of the black. He needs a good
And he has not got it.
That is a bit of a result there.
Tried to pop the red direct, and it
was a bonus to bring out the black.
Usually when you are playing well
you get those little touches, don't
It has always been the nature of the
game. He looks in good touch here,
this afternoon, Shaun Murphy. I
always feel that with Shaun, when he
is playing at this level, a lot of
it is about the cue ball, but a lot
of it is about the potting side of
the game. Sean's action, it takes
the stress out of potting. It is
almost a given that he will knock in
the difficult balls with hardly any
effort. That is how well he hits the
ball, this fella.
It is just that long, sweeping
Oh, dear me. The commentator's
curse. My apologies, Shaun. Did not
see that coming. A player of Sean's
class, that is very poor.
Not sure if he has landed on a pot
here. He can't see the one by the
pink nail or blocking this one into
the corner. -- and they are all
blocking this one into the corner.
He needs to get in amongst the red
balls and the colours to get
confidence going, Ricky.
Well, in playing that shot, I don't
understand it, because he has left a
cutback for Shaun Murphy. But if
there is a player in the game who is
going to play it aggressively in the
game, it is Shaun. Not as difficult
as the cutback that Ricky had in the
Ricky was very loose with the last
safety shot. He should have left a
white tight on the cushion.
It just looks like he is under a bit
of pressure. Just early on here.
This is what I'm talking about with
Shaun Murphy. This is a tough brown
for most players. Just swept it in
again. Not a good cueball, mind you.
This is probably end of break. But
the pot was fabulous.
In actual fact, I think he potted it
a bit thin, off the right-hand jaw.
Probably put another 12 or 18 inches
out of the cueball and that is not
the best safety he has ever played.
I think the way to play this, I
would play it and try to go in off
because it's incredibly difficult to
do it. Don't try and pinch the
pocket, just try and pot it.
Whatever happens with the cueball
happens. Fantastic shot. Unlucky.
He knows he has to hide the red over
the right corner pocket, which is
why he has gone up the other end of
the table to find this spot so he
does not leave it on for Shaun.
as I was saying, against some of the
players, he would have already
played yellow or brown by now and
maybe missed the red, but not so
Did not fancy taking the white up
the other end of the table because
of the red that Shaun will play safe
Not easy from this angle to get in
behind the green. He could go down
the left side of the table for the
blue and the black, but now back to
his original choice.
We often hear
that you go out and play the table,
but it's not as clear cut as that,
not at this level. There has been
evidence so far that Ricky Walden
has been extremely wary of Shaun
Murphy's long game. You have to
tailor your game to suit the
opponent, when it suits you.
Let's see how close he can get to
this. He's playing it with a lot of
top spin. No. Where is the red going
to finish? The last shot he took on,
he's usually very good at that type
of shot, but he did not get it close
and he has pushed the red on.
he missed it on the thick side and
was eager to get the cue ball
straight back up the table. That was
probably the cause of missing it on
the thick side again. Not frightened
of Shaun, but he is wary of him.
This is a top chance. He will have
to do develop the red balls at some
stage, and he will probably do it
I know it is very early on in the
match, the first to 6, but it's
already worrying times for Ricky
He is well aware that Shaun can get
on a run and reel off frame after
frame in no time at all.
All these little shops, Shaun does
not feather them in, it is all
punchy. Look at that -- little
shots. Taking that out the equation
and taking the uncertainty out of
his mind, and once again, bang.
like one of the players in the
studio, John Parrott, you always
knew when John was on the mixed
table, you could hear the ball
hitting the back of the pocket when
John was playing.
He needed a couple of chances in the
opening frame but he made a 51 break
which paved the way. That was for
Shaun to lead 1-0. If this black
goes in its another 50 plus break to
take frame. -- the second frame.
Very worrying times for Ricky
Walden. That break of 55 puts Shaun
Murphy into a 2-0 lead.
Very interesting looking at all of
the statistics in his career. Four
frames before the midsession
interval as usual, even though it is
the best of 11. The crowds have been
superb since the start of the
Interesting what Shaun said in his
pre-match interview about accepting
that missing the oddball here and
there, that will happen, because
this game is too difficult for
anything else to be the case, but it
is a good state of mind to be in.
The carefree. I'm going to make
mistakes and accepted. Players go
out and miss a couple of balls and
they find it difficult to deal with,
but not so Shaun Murphy. When he is
out there, he is enjoying every
minute of it, and that is important.
That is as good a shot as Ricky
Walden has played this afternoon. A
wee bit unfortunate. The two red
balls together, and Shaun can play
off them. And an excellent return.
That was nice to see, not feeling
the best having lost the two opening
frames, but he tapped the table in
appreciation of the safety shot that
Shaun just played.
Where he is stood here tells you
that he cannot see a path back down
the table. Just watch this here.
That is more or less saying, well
played, Shaun. Good sportsmanship.
The dead weight to land on the red
to the right.
Coming a little bit narrow. Well
And does this red pot? That is why
he tried to get it on the
deadweight. Just enough room for one
to pass the other. Once again, an
indication of the cueing power that
he has. He hardly touched this. And
he avoided the cannon on the red.
That was stunning. The almost
bullied the red into the pocket. Not
too many players in the game would
have played it, I thought there was
a natural angle, but he just bullied
The pink is out of commission and
the black is perfectly placed. What
has Shaun got planned here? Yes, I
will bring the pink into play.
If he makes this and cannons in the
two red balls, he would leave the
pink to the right middle pocket. But
he decided that he was going to get
the black back on the spot, and he
made that look easy. Bridging over
the red balls and striking down to
get the back spin and get the gap.
It sort of bounced because he was
striking down on it. The cueball was
Just watch the cueball here.
It bounced and sort of Arctic 's way
through the red balls. -- and arced
Yes, even their, not remotely
worried about leaving the cueball
close to the side cushion. Just
sweep the black in. A gorgeous
Yes, and he created his chance for
himself with a good safety that we
showed you when Ricky was tapping
the table. He was in a spot of
bother, but this is the result. So
it is not all about knocking big
breaks in. You have to have a good
safety game to get yourself in.
He's terrific to watch when he's
playing like this.
You almost get the sense with Shaun
Murphy at times when he's in these
positions he's not trying to win the
frame, he is trying to clear the
table. It's all that interests him,
he loves it out there.
The frame safe, now he can
concentrate on a century break. He's
only had one so far in this year's
Betfred championship. He made 37
last season. And 20 this season. And
438 in his career. 82 centuries so
far this year.
And that's developed the most
difficult of the reds, hoping to
negotiate this one along the
cushion, get the black and take the
You rightly mentioned the safety
shot, the open red was an apt salute
piledriver. It's not often you can
say that about a short shot but he
bullied it in and since then it's
He almost missed the
century! Big smiles all round that
he wobbled that black three or four
times. He certainly is enjoying
himself out there at the moment.
Ricky Walden hadn't done that much
wrong, but he hasn't really been in
amongst them since missing one off
He couldn't get the high break
anyway but what a fabulous frame
played by Shaun Murphy there.
21 centuries now for Shaun Murphy,
our very own 21st-century boy!
Looking for a quick afternoon,
Yes, when he starts playing
well he starts stomping around the
table and looks like he will eat
every ball he looks at. The
table and looks like he will eat
every ball he looks at. The opening
red in the break, but only have you
got to be so accurate, but look at
the way the cue ball swings
the way the cue ball swings away
from the others. Not too many
players could hit it as sweetly as
We have been treated to some
snooker but also which has tested
the patience of the pundits.
it's great to see a player in that
lovely free-flowing mode, very
aggressive and trying to win the
frame in one visit. He also played a
lovely shot during that Blake to get
back on the black when he was
bridging over another red so he
looks confident. When a player gets
on a roll like that, as Allen said
in commentary it's very
intimidating. He bullies you and
there is nothing Ricky can do at the
The one minor criticism you
can have about him, the observation
is sometimes he's a little bit too
nice. When he's got players down he
needs to give them a bit more and
not let them off.
You mean that
Yes, which is
sometimes the reason he wins with
6-4, rather than 6-2.
We should also
tell you tonight it will be a
thrilling game because Ronnie
O'Sullivan is taking on one of the
revelations so far, Sunny Akani.
Yes, a great achievement to get so
far but to come out tonight in a
packed arena against Ronnie
O'Sullivan, the fans' favourite,
it's a big test for him but he
should enjoy every minute of it.
a thumping win as well.
against Barry Hawkins, not many
people have that on their CV. When
he wins or loses his on the practice
John, a quick one for you
before we go back to the
commentators. If you are Ricky now,
commentators. If you are Ricky now,
what is the mindset?
He has just got
to tighten up. In the last one he
was in trouble because the safety
was so good, but when the chance
comes he just has to score from it.
Dennis knows Ricky well, he used to
practice with him, didn't you?
tried not to practice with him too
much because all you did was pick
the ball is out for him! We used to
practice in a club in Chester and he
just never missed. But is he going
to get a chance? That's the thing.
He hasn't really been in amongst the
balls to get confidence going. Shaun
Murphy is looking at a long red
here. That is incredible. Absolutely
Sweet snooker, cracked
the back of the pocket, what a pot.
But what an opening red.
It's a cracking opening red, but the
blue he didn't play the cannon as he
intended. He had rights to play for
but he wanted to get the ball is
open again. Three open red and he
wanted to hit the pink full ball.
When you hit it half ball, you can
always go in off.
ultra-aggressive. You can't
criticise him in any way for being
The opening red is the shot of the
week for me.
Can Ricky Walden play a few good
safety shots? To try to put Shaun in
a spot of bother. No, that's not it.
He had a chance to get the cue ball
back towards the brown and green and
he hit it far too thick.
You can see Shaun's right elbow with
the rest playing this, he keeps it
as high as any other player in the
game. Part of his technique, you
mentioned how good he is with the
rest. Look at the right elbow,
horizontal to his cue hand. Terrific
technique with the rest, Shaun has.
And a very aggressive shot coming
up, taking the blue off its spot.
It's feeling good at the moment,
Yes, a bit like that
opening red. Most players sitting in
the chair and it gets your
attention, oh he's taking on a tough
one. Deary me! He has potted an
unbelievable red, a stunning blue,
then what for him is an absolute
stop he's not cueing well at the
Just lacking in
confidence. Cute across that one
slightly. -- cued across that one.
The problem for Ricky is you almost
feel like you are not part of the
match, the way things are going.
That's a couple of misses from Shaun
Murphy now. Ricky Walden, if you can
get yourself going, this wasn't as
easy as the one he missed, but if
Ricky can get a few points here, the
mid-session interval is coming up
and if he can go into it 3-1, he
will still be in with a chance here.
And he can bring a few reds into
play because of that red to the
right of the black, that's a bit of
insurance. Now, what's happened? He
can't believe it, the little bit of
metal is stuck in the cue. I think
you will have to go to the
tournament office to get that out.
Don't often see that happen, that's
Yes, the extension
came loose and it is stuck in the
Yes, the extension
came loose and it is stuck in the
butt off his cue.
Neither have we, a ridiculous
The problem is
because it is so much extra weight
in the bottom of your cue, he has
got to find someone with a set of
players and get it out.
ever seen this before?
it's quite unusual.
We have time to
talk about the tournament in
context. When you arrived here, did
you expect to lose so many big
Not really, you don't
normally see so many big seeds going
out. We are playing a lot of best of
sevens, you would expect to see the
odd shock here and there but the UK
Championship not really. It's always
been the top boys who have got to
the latter stages and there's been a
lot of shocks this week already.
you'd seen the advertising board
outside and it had Mark Selby and
Judd Trump on it, you would never
believed they would have been out
already. There's also shocks, that
can happen in any sport, but I do
think being the first six as opposed
to the first nine has made a
Ryan Day gave a good
interview yesterday when he said the
top players are playing without
Yes, the reason is that so
many more tournaments so they are
more familiar with the top seeds and
some of them have success over the
best of seven against the top seeds.
So the familiarity and the fear from
those players is completely gone
Do you think basically because
there's so many tournaments that
effectively the players if you like
our battle hardened, they are
trained and ready for the matches
against the big guys?
Yes, if you
have another tournament the week
after following, you think I might
have a go at this match, I'm not
expecting to beat him and all of a
sudden they get a loose arm. With
respect to Scott Donaldson, he's not
thinking he can win it.
Our cameraman is a bit shaky as he
walks onto the set but Ricky is very
much back and let's hand you over to
Back to normal. Someone must've had
a pair of pliers in the tournament
office. I was just saying he has an
angle on the black to bring some
reds into play and he has the red
next to the black is a bit of
insurance. He has played it well,
and this is the first real chance
Ricky Walden has had in amongst the
balls, created by that very good
Full focus now required.
That was a better piece of cueing,
that will give him a wee bit of
confidence. Just about the correct
side of the blue. You never know,
that little incident with the butt
off his cue cut through the tension
he was feeling.
It was always going to be a pretty
quick match, this, the way both
these players play. And that's
turned out very nicely. He was
hoping to maybe not have to play any
cannons but decided on that occasion
that he had to do and it's worked
out very nicely.
He would love to get to 68 there, as
you can see on the side bar. That
would leave Shaun needing a snooker.
Maybe just underscrewed that one
slightly. A long way from the black
again will stop its all about just
trying to keep close control and
make it as easy as possible for
Making sure he got the right side of
the blue, just a little bit harder
than he intended. Just checking to
see if the one to the left of the
pink spot is available into the
right corner. If not, he might have
to have a change of plan here. The
blue is not the perfect angle to get
on the red he looked at. He could
play another cannon on potting the
blue, but he's hoping not to have to
do that. It's quite an important
positional shot here. There is the
cannon again, and that's worked out
That's three shots he's hit like
that. It will give him a nice
feeling inside. More solid. Of
course he wants to win the frame but
if he can win it in one visit that
will give him great confidence going
into the interval.
I agree 100% with
you, Alan. The incident where he had
to leave the arena has maybe taken
the edge off because he looked very
tense and maybe that has eased the
pressure slightly. Who would have
thought you would get part of the
extension stuck in the cue but he's
done well here. Doesn't need many
Already 58 ahead. The red and a
colour would be enough.
would like to see Ricky screw this
in off a couple of cushions. He
should still get it, mind you. Well
done. That blue is an easy shot for
the player of Ricky's standing. The
fact his 59th in front, he will take
the yellow but the blue shouldn't be
any issue. Yes, well done Ricky
Walden. This has been good
character. Especially after that
little incident that as Dennis said
possibly cut the tension, and he's
back in this match. That's the
Yes, the first six,
going into the mid-session interval
3-1 down. Not all that bad, but very
little chance in the three opening
frames. Maybe the first frame he
could possibly have won that. Ricky
has had a couple of centuries so far
in this year's UK Championship. It's
going to be difficult to make one
here, the red tucked up on the side
cushion there. Doesn't matter about
that, he did what he had to do. He
won the frame in one visit and goes
into the mid-session interval a lot
happier, but Shaun Murphy still
happier, but Shaun Murphy still
If we are being honest, a long way
to go for Ricky Walden but showing a
bit of fighting spirit.
absolutely. He had to go out, he
might have got himself together as
well, fixing his cue but it was a
break he needed to get his arm going
and get some confidence because he
looked all at sea. As John talked
about before that frame, every now
and again he had the odd miss that
you don't expect totally out of the
blue. It is 3-1 and now the match is
And it's all about taking
your chances at this level.
very impressed with Ricky. You said
what has he got to do, he had to
score when the first chance comes.
He also have the hiatus to sort his
cue out, but all credit to him he's
come back and made a good break.
When you are 3-0 down and you win
the frame before the mid-session
interval I suppose in a way you want
to carry on. Does that mentally
break up how you are feeling?
think you are just delighted to get
on frame on the board and the
deficit is only two now. You can get
back on the practice table if you
want and get ready for the next
That's the other thing, it
is not best to nine so sometimes 3-0
is a bad result but who will settle
Is Shaun kicking himself?
He got himself perfect, you would
fancy him to win it and he missed a
straight red. He just has that
little glitch now and again, it
Let's turn our attention to
the other match happening, Martin
Gould taking on Xiao Guodong, who's
looking for a place in the
Martin Gould, I was born in Pinner
His nickname is the
Martin has worked as
a croupier in a casino.
He is also
an excellent darts player and has
considered playing it
His only ranking
title came at the 2016 German
In the mid-noughties he
dropped off the tour to care for his
Martin is a lifelong Spurs
This season he reached the
semifinals in the international
championship, where he lost to Mark
All you need to know about
Martin Gould. Xiao Guodong is
currently ranked 36th in the world.
He made his debut at the Crucible
the following year after his first
win. Very tough opponent for Martin
Gould, so we join it in frame one,
Xiao leading four points to nil.
Your commentators are Stephen Hendry
and Steve Davis.
In an exhibition when he was only 14
or 15, he knocked in a total
clearance against me.
I do feel
though slowly but surely the Chinese
understudies are starting to make
their mark on the world scene.
Very aggressive, and considering he
hasn't had much table time, that is
a tough shot to guarantee.
This red on the black spot is a good
one to get rid of, obviously. He
won't be able to play for the black
I don't think this time, but it
certainly makes break-building a lot
easier. Screw for the gap.
Underrated player, Martin Gould.
He doesn't seem to be overawed by
any situation. Quite unusual in the
respect that he wears normal classes
I think you will find they
are special classes that he looks
over the top off to play golf shots
Why is he wearing them, if he
looks over the top of them?
Obviously when he's looking at the
table from this position, looking
through the glasses, when he gets
down his looking over the top and
clear of the rims. And hasn't got
that poor eyesight, you would
imagine. It's not the first time we
have discussed this, but it is quite
Cannon on the middle
red here. The only drawback with
that shot is tying the black up for
the right corner.
cannon would have pushed the red
free of that line. It probably won't
be an issue. Very, very efficient.
This cue ball hasn't moved any
distance at all so far in this
break, that the art of
break-building at the top of the
To be fair, he was given a
gift in this opening frame. That's
just what you want, a nice easy
chance, the balls everywhere. It's
probably the same situation he had
on the practice table half an hour
ago and he's been given it in the
first frame of this match. A very
aggressive shot by Xiao Guodong. A
tough shot to place. The cue ball
was quite close to the side cushion
so he made the short even tougher.
Getting a bit more difficult now
with the lay out of the red balls.
Got a kick on the last red which
took the pace out of the cueball, so
more work to do here.
To sacrifice -- had to sacrifice a
little bit of distance between the
balls but as long as this red to the
right of the pink goes in, it is
His striking the ball nicely. Crisp.
Always nice to get off to a good
start, especially in one session
match. It is important in even
longer matches but settling down in
a match is never guaranteed. He has
overscrewed that by a fraction. You
don't want to be that close to the
cushion. Perhaps it was unavoidable
to get straight on one of these red
balls. We expect him to get it.
The first shot that has not gone to
plan so far. He was looking for the
black but he will have do play the
pink to the left middle. It is
missable. I don't expect into, the
way he has been playing in this
opening frame. -- I don't expect him
One more red, and this has been a
very comfortable visit to the table.
Never looked in any danger. Very
composed, very relaxed. Never had
any tough shots to play. And this is
the best way of punishing your
opponent, winning the frame in one
Yes, but on another day when
you are not so comfortable amongst
the balls you can make even an easy
visit like this go wrong. So very
good control. Very clinical.
Martin Gould out doing Xiao Guodong
in the Belt department, that is for
certain. That is a beauty.
No century, but 82.
comes out for a bit more practice
but it is 1-0 in favour of Martin
Let's show you what happened
in the second frame with Martin
Gould to play.
Struck that nicely. 11 points
The red is hampering both shots on
the outside cushion.
I think he has to play the black
Would he be tempted to play for the
red closest to the cushion? He has
to do it at some stage if he wants
to win the frame in this visit.
could do, especially if it's an easy
option for positional play. He
doesn't have to do something with
the black, just the two cushions,
and release of the second. He has
played for the loose red.
He has to get a good angle. A good
angle on the black. He could choose
the red down the side rail first,
but it is not a clear cut chance.
The worst place would be straight on
the black. He has to play for the
right corner pocket, because then he
can play for whichever red he
That has finished highly, so he will
play the along the black cushion.
More angle than he would have liked.
It definitely makes the red missable
now. We have seen them go in this
week, especially of the front
knuckle, which has been surprising.
He does not have to hold for the
black. The pink is available but the
black is the nicer ball to get and
then tuck in right behind the last
red. Just enough of an angle that it
made the red missable. He has stuck
it up and not covered the pocket. Do
you think there's any way Xiao
Guodong can shift the last red of
the cushion? It doesn't look like
He could have played the
stunning shot, hit the cushion first
and screw that in, and he could have
missed that red. But maybe he
fancies it down the rail.
Going back to Martin's shot, I would
have preferred to drop the red in
than play the stunning shot.
was the more difficult shot.
Especially as we have seen, many
times, the ball going along the top
cushion effectively giving up as it
hits the jaws. He needs a good angle
from the blue to get on the yellow.
That is the only sticking point, in
some ways. He could screw back for a
red colour if he fancies. -- he
could screw back for a baulk: if he
fancies. Now he will have another
shot if he chooses to jack it up
into the air and screw the cueball
between brown and green. He missed
one earlier like this.
Anything but straight for the
yellow. I suppose that is not too
good either. These are horrible
shots. Cutting back to the pocket,
and for some reason along the baulk
cushion, it seems more difficult
than along the black cushion.
Green and brown puts him 19 points
in front with 18 on the table. Three
balls needed to get over the line.
A good performance here from Xiao
Guodong. He has not had that much
table time to get going. Showing a
bit of character.
He has been to the final of a
ranking event, so he is used to the
With that pink ball, Xiao Guodong
takes this scrappy frame, the second
one. It levels the match at 1-1.
One frame at age, but this is the
latest score and we said it would be
a difficult game for Martin Gold.
That match is continuing on the red
button, and soon as that frame is
over we shall bring you the Murphy
and Ricky Walden match. We are
leaving you on BBC2 very shortly,
and we were saying that Xiao Guodong
is a good player. As it stands, he's
only dropped five frames in four
This is a tough game. You
would think Martin Gould would have
it, but they are hard match players
they know their way around.
wonderful clearance to get up and
running. That first frame, it was
not straightforward. He made some
really good balls, particularly the
yellow down the baulk cushion. They
tend to be more difficult than they
are around the black spot, but it
was an impressive clearance.
is in a good frame of mind as well.
He's been giving interviews saying
he feels very comfortable and happy
with him for -- is born.
And he is
not afraid of anybody. He will get
his cue out of the case and he will
not care about the reputation and he
will want to get down and dirty with
Think it will go either way?
We are leaving you
on BBC2 very shortly. But here is
Ricky Walden and Shaun Murphy
returning. Shaun Murphy leading 3-1
with Ricky taking the frame just
before the midsession interval, so
this is the plan. We will leave you
on BBC2 now for the Varsity match
and we will be back on the red
button with this match shortly as
soon as the Xiao Guodong frame ends.
Press red and now for more live
The remaining four quarter-final places are decided at the UK Championship, the second biggest ranking event on the snooker calendar. Jason Mohammad introduces live coverage from the Barbican Centre in York.