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Good afternoon. If Walls could talk,
these could tell a few stories from
the Tyne & Wear. These structures
have stood in this magnificent city
since the 13th century, but it was a
tale over there in the Barbican
Centre that we were telling
yesterday. The world number one and
defending champion was beaten by a
man who had never even won a match
until he turned up here and played
in the shadow of this wall. Winter
is coming for Mark Selby a bit more
quickly than he expected.
The defending champion Mark Selby
All square at two frames
Scott Donaldson puts himself one
frame away from causing quite an
A brilliant performance from Scott
Donaldson and he knocks at
A brilliant performance from Scott
Donaldson and he knocks at the
defending champion. Scott Donaldson,
a name now written into the history
of this event. And we have lost the
world number one Mark Selby and Ding
Junhui has also gone, leaving the
way in the bookmakers programmer
might at least Ronnie O'Sullivan. He
has been entertaining the crowds in
this for 25 years. Check this out,
you will be seeing him once again
This young man is not a team yet.
Stephen Hendry will shake his hand.
A wonderful exhibition by this young
man. -- 18.
And with that 70 break Ronnie
O'Sullivan wins the UK Championship
for the second time.
# I can see clearly now the rain has
# I can see all the obstacles in my
# Gone are dark clouds, it is going
to be a bright, sunshiny day.
not take anything for granted. It is
important I put a lot of effort in
and I will try my best from the word
He is UK champion for the fourth
# I can see clearly now the rain has
Superb, absolutely superb! He is a
Yes, 1992 was the first time
Ronnie O'Sullivan played in the UK
Championship and 25 years later he
is still play in the big crowds here
in the Barbican Centre. His
second-round match is coming up for
you live this afternoon. He enjoyed
a blistering start to the season
with four finals and two more titles
to add to his collection. He played
and beat Michael Georgiou here a
couple of months ago. The Cypriot
aims to rewrite the script this
time. Shaun Murphy has not changed
He is still playing the aggressive
game that has brought him silverware
And we will reflect on how the
unflappable Scott Donaldson
outplayed the world number one
yesterday. In fact, we have got
eight matches in total on the go
this afternoon in the second stage
of the championship.
Luca Brecel won his big title of the
season earlier on this year.
Ricky Walden is aiming to climb the
ladder into the top 16.
All that to look forward to and
could it get any more perfect? We
get to spend it in this excellent
company. Is that not lovely? A lot
to talk about on our first day of
coverage yesterday. Notably Mark
Selby. What was your perspective on
the magnitude of the achievement for
Scott Donaldson and how do you think
Mark Selby will respond to that
He will be extremely
disappointed. The Masters and the
majors are the ones who are governed
by. I think he will be in a state of
shock more than anything. He had and
95% portrait which is only bettered
by Robertson. He made three times to
make 97%. It will be sore for him.
For the lad who won he has to back
it up in the next round. From his
point of view he took a big scalp.
They go there and they think, I have
not got a chance of winning and they
play freely. They are not thinking
about winning the tournament.
it change the complexion of the draw
knowing that the world number one
Absolutely. It perks up a
lot of the other top seeds in the
draw. The top half is wide open. And
the number two seed, and Ding Junhui
has gone. A lot of them will be
saying one of the hardest men to
play, Mark Selby, is out.
the man who opposed you yesterday,
You are commentating
on that match. I thought Ken played
fantastic yesterday. But the three
frames where he was absolutely
incredible, and you had no chance
Thankfully the chair was
nice and comfortable. I was sitting
back and admiring it. He looked to
be back to his best and I have not
seen him play that well for a long
time and nobody has played as well
as that against me for a long time.
You could see he was confident. He
looks like a peacock around the
table and his queueing was great.
Last season he looked around the
table a bit too much and he was
confusing himself, but if he keeps
that up, he will be one to beat.
man who was playing for fun, Jimmy
white, he was playing in the Garrard
at the back. He was very frustrated
about that. You have played him,
what difference does it make to you?
It makes a big difference. OK, Jimmy
is way down in the rankings, but he
is one of the biggest names in the
game. Why not put him out here in
front of that crowd? We do not know
how long he will be playing,
hopefully for a long time, BT has
been a great ambassador. He has won
this championship, he should have
been out there.
Nonetheless he went
down. Let me remind you of some of
the other results because it was an
Only the top 16 in the world
rankings will be invited to
Alexandra Palace in the New Year. A
word about ticket sales. In July and
August this year's final of the UK
Championship was sold out. It has
been extraordinary that the public
have given it so much support.
wonderful to play here, they love
the snooker here. Last year the
final was one of the best matches I
have ever seen. If it is like last
year, we are in for a treat.
atmosphere, great crowds and it is
firmly established as the number one
championship in the UK.
the rocket was in last year's final
and many people expect him to be
there in a week's time. However,
there is a lot of work to do and as
you know for Ronnie it is not all
about business. What hobby would you
get into if time and money were not
Art. I just love art. I
never thought I would, but a friend
of mine is very good at art and he
has brought me into the studio a few
times and I try to have a go and I
thought what an amazing feeling it
is. Like snooker you can get lost in
what you are doing.
What is the most
inane question that people ask you?
When this your next tournament. Very
annoying. Or can I have a selfie?
the only human left on Earth, what
would you do?
Celebrate. Yes, no
humans! Beautiful planet.
you hope your last words will be?
Just be nice to each other, no more
wars, just let's cuddle each other,
What do people think is
weird about you?
Everything, I am
just a weirdo.
In your group of
friends what role do you play?
feeder. I do like my food. We never
go hungry in his firm.
you be if it was a spirit animal?
Are taught us, nice and slow, nice
and relaxed, chilled out, just
taking my time.
What light do you
tell most often?
I am a very good
What was the best
compliment you receive?
You have got
I am here in the
commentary box with Stephen Hendry
and we will be talking you through
the action. It is always a joy to
commentate on Ronnie O'Sullivan.
Yes, we are going to see snooker how
it is meant to be played. We will
see cue ball control, the right shot
played at the right time. Although
he is playing Michael Giorgione, and
we expect Ronnie to win, he will
give him respect.
As one of the
greatest break builders and someone
who spearheaded break building, that
is one of the strengths of your
game, it must be a joy to watch
Ronnie O'Sullivan do it. Does he
ever surprise you with different
shots you would not think of?
one of the players you know what
shot he is going to play. I know
what he is planning two or three
shots ahead and it is a joy to
comment on. There is now an argument
to say this is Ronnie's championship
to lose with Mark Selby out.
Tactical play was not your strong
point. Does he ever surprise you?
His tactical game is as good as
anybody's. He really forces
opponents to make mistakes.
looking forward to the match.
Stephen is commentating on break
building and porting and I am doing
tactics, which means I have got an
Ronnie B Michael
. He changed his nationality so he
could compete for Cyprus. He says he
is determined to develop the sport
there in the coming years and aims
to open Snooker Academy in coming
years. Big ambitions today and in
the future. We wish him well with
all that. We welcome back the one
and only Rob Walker.
ladies and gentlemen. It is
brilliant to be back here at the
Barbican for the 2017 UK
Championship. What an atmosphere in
this very special arena. We are
poised for a sensational session of
Please welcome on table two, a
player who has produced some of the
best form of his season. Hoping to
repeat his great run here 12 months
ago, here comes Liam Highfield!
And his opponent, a man who has once
again underlined his status as one
of the world's finest this season,
making three big finals and winning
the champion of champions. Sean the
On table one here comes a player
making his third consecutive
appearance in the second round of
the UK championship, beating Alfie
burden in a tense decider in the
opening round. This is a huge day
for the former world under 21
champion, Michael Georgiou.
And finally, 24 years after first
winning this title he is back once
more and in superb form. This season
he has already won the English Open
and the Shanghai Masters, five times
champion of the world, the rocket
It is all eyes on this match, table
one right now. We will see the other
match later, but it is also
available on the BBC sport website,
so you can watch it wherever you are
this afternoon. I know that Stephen
and Steve are more than happy to
watch this from the comfort of the
Welcome to the Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan to break.
There is always huge expectation
when Ronnie takes to the table. He
did beat Michael last year in this
event. I cannot remember if it was
6- 06- one, but obviously he is very
I have been informed it was 6-1.
It was not the plan to put the red
in the right corner pocket.
tough because there is no real
advantage. Forcing the cube or the
table and by doing that he made it a
lot harder. But he was forced to
In an exhibition you might be
tempted to play at topspin banana
shot. But I do not think that would
be played in the UK Championship!
Instead played to develop the black.
It is the first frame and he has
only scored eight.
There are not many players in the
game when you watch them from the
commentary box who seem to settle
down so much so quickly. You would
not put it past Ronnie O'Sullivan to
make a frame winning break, or a
Yes, the many
strengths that Ronnie has is he is
one of the best players in the world
in the first frame and the last
frame. He seems to play his best
snooker. The first frame settles him
straightaway and then he has the
last frame to win the match.
That was always going to be the
problem with that shot going into
the main bunch.
Just a bit thicker
on it than he wanted. A hardball
He made that look easy.
Awful contact. It took all the spin
of the cue ball.
It was not Ronnie O'Sullivan's fault
that break came to an end so soon.
That cost Michael possibly the first
frame. But it is such a pressure on
these players, the long game. You
never know, whenever you miss it
could cost you the frame.
those shots were missed to the left
of the pocket. No player likes to
have a slice or a hook in the game.
He is not quite on the black as he
wanted. Has to do a bit more with
the cue ball here. Perfectly played.
There really is no one else in the
game who has such good cue ball
control. That is partly why he is so
fast, he does not have to think.
Also, Stephen, he has such a quick
brain for working out his shots and
that helps his rhythm. If you are a
player who gets confused in
positional play and you have to stop
to work things out, that can destroy
your rhythm easily.
It is speeded up off the cushion.
He hit that well.
Well, a solid performance in the
He definitely looks in
the groove as he has indeed done all
season. Let's have a look at his
record. Four finals and converted
two of them into victories.
Significantly the Shanghai Masters
was his 30th world ranking title
overtaking John Higgins and Steve
Davis on 28. Only Stephen Hendry to
beat on 36. Could he get there?
Absolutely, particularly with the
amount of ranking tournaments we
have now. There is more variety. I
know he does pick and choose, but he
seems to have peaked over these last
few weeks. He looked a bit jaded
when he came back from China and in
Northern Ireland he looked a bit
tired, but this is a tournament he
wants to play well in and I think he
has his target on six UK
Championships. I think that is what
inspires him, these targets and
records and he will be chasing
Stephen Hendry's 36.
Why would you
not want to break all records? He
already owns the Masters record that
was previously owned by Stephen
Hendry, that was his seventh title,
and he seems to have that ambition
and drive again.
Yes, he has found
it from somewhere. He loves the
game. He always liked practising. So
to have that longevity and we saw it
in the VAT, when he was at 17, and
to be playing at the standard that
he is playing at, higher than
everyone else, it is a phenomenal
talent. People say we should enjoy
him when he is playing because we
will not see another one like him.
Less enjoy. Let us enjoy.
Michael Georgiou clearing away
straightaway from the black.
Thinking negatively as a player
against Ronnie O'Sullivan perhaps
you would be a bit scared to leave
that out in the open. But there is
no way Michael is going to win
without being positive today.
A choice of reds into the left or
right middle. If he misses it, it
will be a shock to nothing.
Pressure, really. -- shot to
I think that is the thing
with Ronnie these days. He is
prepared to win with his big game
and even his seagoing. A couple of
times the performance meant more
than the result. He's talking about
targets and titles and it's all
about the result now. He is prepared
to scrap it to win ugly. Doesn't do
that very often. But he is prepared
to do it.
Yes, I think there is a
mind shift to be able to do that.
And if you can get pride out of
winning, as you say, ugly, enjoy the
challenge when it's not a day which
is fluent, you end up winning a
match playing your beading. You go
back to your hotel room and think I
have been proud of that, I have done
a workmanlike job instead of
worrying about how it looked. It
makes you an even stronger player.
Players in the past would think
hopefully Ronnie will get
frustrated. Those days don't come
along any more.
It's really hard to see what kind of
game plan Michael should have today.
Perhaps even himself expects to lose
this match. How do you go about
playing it? Just enjoy it?
thing is you have to play the ball
is. Sometimes you don't get the
shots to attack or sometimes you
don't get to defend. It's just how
the game unfolds, how the frame
unfolds. Especially when you get a
couple of reds at the bottom half of
the table. You are obligated to play
safety to the top fish and. No
players really like this type of
game but they are forced sometimes
to do it.
Yes, and whoever gets the
first chance after this exchange, it
would be a good one, because all of
the reds have been moved.
He was not playing to put the black
say. If that was the plan, it was an
awful plan. He was not planning to
play negatively. You just overheated
on the spot. -- he just overhit it
on the spot.
Ronnie, not even looking at the red.
I think he is prepared to wait it
out. First mistake. I think that is
a pretty big one.
Couldn't have done more damage from
a safety shot if you had tried
there, could you? I mean, it was a
positive shot. He got the white
where he wanted but must read where
the reds were going to end up. --
That was a nice little
gap to find. The blue did not go to
the left middle. He has found the
gap. The first chance in these
exchanges is normally a good one
because the reds are everywhere.
Not the worst result.
No. If he uses the brown as the
black ball, to break build, the only
difference is he won't be
progressing points wise, as
strongly. He will need more reds to
get over the line.
He is on the black if he wants,
but... Does not leave the position
to chance. Something he very rarely
I feel like going into the
pack off the blues is something
which is strongly on his mind.
is going to go into the red above
the pink, as long as he does not hit
it to the left side as we look at
it, which is what he didn't do. He
had to go on the right-hand side. He
just overdid it.
Got too much into
the cue ball there. Not enough back
spin to get on the far side. Ended
up just getting a bit too far. A bit
unlucky, though, to have got that
Assuming the red does not go into
the middle pocket, it does go into
the corner. It wasn't particularly
that much of a shot to nothing the
way Michael Georgiou played it.
Quite tight into the middle.
I think the corner is much more
OK, Michael Georgiou is left with a
long read into the green pocket. So
far, on the long shots, he has
missed to the left of the pocket.
Hit it pretty well, to be fair. He
did not hit it that hard.
That's something we are both jealous
of, being able to pot balls like
That is a scary shot.
Not just the
fact he hit it and got it in the
pocket, but the control and the
striking, left-handed. You get used
to hitting the ball with your right
hand but to do it with your left
hand... I wonder if Eakin throw with
his wrong hand? -- I wonder if he
can throw with his left hand?
Incredible. That is a skill to have
in your armoury.
Although, it has to
be said, far more players now are
starting their careers and
practising left-handed, opposite
Just hit the absolute perfect to
Still not got one red gone safe.
Played that last positional shot
disregarding where the pink was
because the pink is not so easy to
get back, so getting the right side
of the blue, two reds going to the
One into the left.
So far, as we said at the top of the
show, it is the Ronnie O'Sullivan
show, but not just a big breaks.
Also considered safety play, as
well. Being patient. And he has got
Yes, Ronnie O'Sullivan I
think has become almost, percentage
rise, makes him sound defensive, but
he does not feel the need to take
risks. The opponents are under so
much pressure before they even come
to the table, there is no need. He
just plays his game, forces
opponents to make mistakes. Most
players he plays are beaten before
they even come to the table, it has
to be said.
Yes, that is a big
problem for a player coming to play
against Ronnie O'Sullivan although
he didn't have it all his own way in
the first round. He played Jackson
page from Wales, who lost 6-3 in the
end. Don't think Michael Georgiou
will be coming back to the table so
Ronnie O'Sullivan goes into an 2-0
Ronnie, 2-0. His opponent Michael
Georgiou yet to score a point.
Looking at his body language, he
does not look full of confidence you
would have to say, but you can't
blame him. He has had the toughest
draw you can get.
He needs to get some feeling back in
his cue arm because, at the moment,
it must feel really tight. Once
again, he is going to be left with a
long red. The red on the black
question makes it comfortable to get
the cube will back up to the baulk
end. -- cue ball.
That will make him feel a bit
better. His first long pot. Now
needs to get the cue ball as tight
in the baulk cushion as possible.
Mis-hit that one. Quite a long way
out there with the safety.
rarely plays a safety shot. He's
always trying to manoeuvre angles,
similar to the way Alex Higgins used
It is the type of shot you
feel like you are going to take on,
really, but you don't want to. It
looks like Ronnie O'Sullivan has got
away with that. Would you have gone
for that read? It did not look good,
the angle. When your opponent makes
a mistake these days, you want to
try £2. -- to pounce.
Again, that target behind green and
brown, looking for the cue ball,
just having to look. Looking to see
if there's any plans but if he plays
a safety, will he knock a red over
the safety pocket?
It does look to
be some sort of plant on their into
the right corner.
Hit that pretty poorly, as well.
too thick. That plant is on. A
stupid four ball plant looks
possible. Four balls in a line.
Has that red poked its snows out?
No. -- it's nose out first
this is dangerous.
He has got to get
Well, it looked like he got the
right line there but the vast leap
overhit the shot. Whether that was a
big cushion bounce or just a bit of
tension in the arm. It's not looking
that good for Michael Georgiou at
the moment. Nowhere near settling
down in this match.
I suppose the only thing Ronnie
O'Sullivan has got to guard against
today is his complacency. Not being
put under any pressure, sometimes
your concentration can be affected.
But he still looks very focused. And
I think that is something he does
better than most top players. Even
when he is playing he is expected to
beat easily, he still looks focused
in the job.
It's always nice to have things your
own way, have the table to yourself,
dominate things. Ronnie O'Sullivan,
as a great champion, also has the
ability to be a great bully.
A choice of three red is going to
the left corner. -- reds. No need to
get the black.
Is not easy to continue this break
for a while. Bit of resolving to be
done. Quite a clever shopper there
to get on the pink -- clever shot.
Could disturb a few reds. Struck
that nicely. Perhaps too nicely?
enjoy watching these breaks. He has
got to work everything out. All the
red block each other.
This is where
he makes it so easy. And also he has
great touch. You find he very rarely
gets the wrong side of the ball.
That is his strength.
Used every bit of the pocket there.
I thought for a minute there was a
possibility that was going to miss.
That is not right. Very wide on that
pink. Still expect him to get it.
Michael Georgiou concedes. It's been
pretty easy so far. 3-0. I thought
HAZEL IRVINE: I thought was going to
finish that thought. Your thoughts
on what we have seen so far.
produced and forward. Yes, it's hard
for Michael Georgiou. You are
produced and forward. Yes, it's hard
for Michael Georgiou. You are
playing in front of the cameras.
It's a bit different playing there
as opposed to at home. There's so
much pressure as Stephen Hendry said
commentary. Every long ball, safety
shot, there's so much pressure on
you and he is not settled down. It's
very easy for Ronnie O'Sullivan at
Is there a degree of
rising panic in this situation
because you don't want to let
yourself down and you want to show
what you have got because he's very
serious about his profession.
remember last year, when he played
in the tournament, he said he was
intimidated. But also he said you
sit in the chair and you are
watching and thinking, how good is
he? You forget what you are supposed
to be doing which is going to work.
Looks like it's happening exactly
the same today. He has not settled
down at all. I don't blame him for
going out and composing his thoughts
225-1 is the score the
moment. It was about 400 odd points
Neal Robertson scored against you.
Thanks for that.
I merely mention
because that's what players feel
when that happens.
I met in this
morning. I said good luck today. I
told him to go and enjoy it. You
have to enjoy it and sometimes, even
if the other guys playing so well,
you have to wait your chance but
enjoyed the whole scenario. There's
not many chances are playing one of
the best players who has ever played
the game and you have to enjoy those
moments but when your chance comes
along, you have to take it and
compose yourself and, at the moment,
he's not getting any chances.
longer it goes on it gets magnified.
That's a problem he's got. In a
perfect situation he would have got
a dolly chance in the first frame.
It's not happened. Now it is 2-0,
3-0, getting worse and he feels like
he is in quicksand so we've got to
school the next one. If it goes to
4-0, it is all over.
unfortunate because Michael has
worked so hard to get himself on the
tour. He fell off it last year. He
came through the cue School,
qualifying school, really tough way
to come through.
It shows his
confidence and composure. He has the
game to upset and has got a few good
results so far this season. But this
is a different kettle of fish.
a different game that's for sure.
Steve, you were saying?
I can't remember what I was going to
say. It was so long ago. He could
have got his cue arm going and
potted a view. -- a view. -- a few.
That is a knife wound to Michael
A possible red to left middle.
was a great attempt to make
something happen off quite a tight
He had a little look. I do not think
he has left a read.
If he has, it is
a tactical mistake. He has played it
as a shot to nothing.
Every bit a stalemate. He does not
want to be tip tapping around, but
there is no alternative. Ronnie
O'Sullivan is very clever at
stopping stalemates usually. He
works out some clever shots.
He could send the cue ball down into
the jaws of the yellow pocket.
Spotted a nice place on the cushion
that does no damage whatsoever. That
is the end of the stalemate.
Oh, my goodness! A marvellous pot.
OK, he is not perfectly on the
black, but you would expect him to
cut this back. He has had most of
the table time today. Nope. First
mistake. Has he left anything easy
for Michael Georgiou?
He has got a read to the far left
corner, but it is not the easiest
Well done. But the problems have not
ended. He has to get the cue ball
out from that pocket.
He perhaps caught it a fraction V or
did not hit it hard enough. I think
your choice of short, a half of all
black, was the better option. That
shot would not have relied on
Good shot. But the problems do not
stop. Awkward cueing.
One good pot with the green and he
has got a decent opportunity in this
But he is just under so much
pressure every time he comes to the
table. He is just a bit overawed out
That was a long way out. He
got some left-hand spin on the ball
and pushed the cue ball into the
green. He did not play that one
correctly. But still a chance of the
black similar to the one he had
angle wise before.
That is another black of its spot.
When Michael comes to the table he
is entitled to think he might have
an easy read to start with.
make your own problems because that
shot when the black was over the
pocket, going into the reds was a
more positive way of going about it,
opening it up, trying to make
Yes, the balls do
not forgive you if you do not play
the right shot.
Ken told him to just go out and
enjoy it. I do not think he is
enjoying it, Michael Georgiou.
cannot enjoy it if you are not doing
yourself justice out on the table.
It is an awful feeling. As you
mentioned earlier, Stephen, about
the different Ronnie O'Sullivan we
CDs days. In the past it has been
about his performance and not
getting over the line and winning.
Sometimes in a match like this,
missing two blacks off the spot, he
would have beaten himself up. He
does not do that now.
straight out of his mind and it is
about the result.
This match has long gone as a
Currently this is a bread-and-butter
performance for Ronnie O'Sullivan,
to be as clinical as possible and
get into the next round. Save the
major accolades for the latter
rounds. It is all about getting into
the final and enjoying the final.
In the commentary box Stephen is
laughing at me about that last
remark. But surely it is all about
getting into the final?
At the top
of the show we talked about the big
shock yesterday, Mark Selby.
Ronnie O'Sullivan was one of the
only people who could have beaten
him will stop so now he is one of
the favourites to win the Champion.
We have seen a few balls recently
where he hit the near jaw and it
dropped in. People will say the
pockets are playing too easy. With
that particular one Ronnie expected
it to drop.
He tried to shift those two reds
away from the black.
The vast majority of shots Michael
Georgiou has missed today I missed
to the left of the pocket. He will
know that as much as we can see in
the commentary box. Somehow he is
inadvertently putting side spin on
the cue ball going across the face
from the middle when he hits the
His right hand on the cue, he is
gripping it so tightly, his cue
action is not flowing. It does not
get through the ball. It is due to
the fact he is out of his comfort
zone out there unfortunately.
That is what I was talking about
earlier. Guarding against losing
concentration because things are too
easy. That is Ronnie's biggest enemy
I did not expect Ronnie O'Sullivan
to lose his grip on forging ahead,
but he has left a door ajar for
Michael Georgiou. But you get the
feeling it is not going to happen
That was a tough shot.
He had to play that slowly otherwise
it would have gone into another area
of the table. That is a great safety
shot from Ronnie O'Sullivan.
He made it look very easy.
He is in
trouble here as well. Two cushions.
He has got to get this right. The
pace and the line have to be
perfect. You cannot argue with that.
He could, however, be in some
He has got to try and keep the ball
safe as well, so if he does choose
to go across the table, what he is
hoping for is not a full-ball
contact. Does he decide to try and
hit one side of the red or the other
or does he trusts to a bit of luck.
REFEREE: File and a miss.
right amount of side spin.
He cannot afford to miss the game,
otherwise he will require snookers.
It is nothing to do with the cue
ball. Just make sure you pop the red
because you will automatically be on
I beg your pardon, he needs two
Getting on the yellow would not be a
Good and bad. But he will
be more interested in getting
another black off this red. Sorry to
keep on going on about it, Michael,
he missed to the left of the pocket.
You can tell yourself that is
unlucky, but you should not have
been missing the red in the first
Well, that is the end of the frame.
Ronnie O'Sullivan will be going into
a 4-0 lead and looking very
comfortable. There is the
concession. 4-0, Ronnie O'Sullivan.
A bit of inaccuracy from both men.
Steve made a good point, it must be
difficult when as a contest it seems
to be over but you still have to go
out there and do the professional
He is not really getting any
opposition at the moment. Michael is
a very competent match player, but
he is not showing up at all today.
From Ronnie's point of view he just
needs to keep doing what he is
doing. Michael needs to get some
sort of foothold. To be 4-0 down to
Ronnie O'Sullivan makes it look as
if it is all over.
On the outside
tables there has been all sorts of
excitement. Michael King is very
close to being a maximum man here,
but he missed. On the outside tables
we have got eight matches going on.
That would have been a £15,000
What they call a Christmas
Even out in the so-called
garage the pressures come on. What
is the pre-eminent moment in your
spot to get the maximum?
to do it once, but I am more famous
for missing the black for the
maximum. It is a nice feather in his
cap. Unfortunately for Mark, missing
the pain, he will be horrified at
missing out on a nice Christmas
present. But Mike King is doing very
well. He is totally rejuvenated. 20
odd years as a professional, so it
is great to see him back and playing
Who knows? We might get the
maximum. Ryan Day missed on the
green. It looks like we might be
building up to one. We have had a
few events here in the past few
days. Ding Junhui, the second seed
and the world number three who
departed. Ali Carter was ranked in
the top 16 as well and he went out.
But yesterday, the world number one
Mark Selby departed the scene and it
was all down to a man called
Scott Donaldson gets it
The defending champion Mark Selby
All square at two frames
Scott Donaldson puts himself just
one frame away from causing quite an
A brilliant performance from Scott
Donaldson and he knocks out the
And here is the man of the hour.
Congratulations. How have the last
24 hours been? What has the reaction
I had a lot of messages,
but I am not going to get carried
away. It does not matter who you
beat, it is just another win.
Delighted to get through.
very calm and measured yesterday
considering you had been 2-0 down
and you came back. You took the
chances so well. That is what
everyone was saying. You were given
a few chances, but you catch
yourself together. How did you do
I can't tell you. It is a
strange game at times, as you know.
Some days you cannot pot of all and
luckily for me yesterday they all
went in. On another day I could have
missed them all. I cannot really get
an answer to that but I am happy to
be able to take my chances and get
through to the next round.
It is a
great confidence booster as well.
You have beaten the world number one
on TV. You have been working hard,
but it is great to get. This is what
your season needed, a kick-start?
is also good to get a decent couple
of wins in a bid to match like this.
That is pleasing. But I have been
disappointed in my form in the last
few months, so I changed stuff on my
cue and did nefarious things.
did hit not rock bottom, but you did
tweet something I am not sure if you
remember. If anybody is walking and
they see my game are lying on the
floor, could they please hand it
back to me as soon as possible?
was only last week in Belfast. I was
so low. It shows you how things can
change in a couple of days. Never
Is there any one thing or
did it just start flowing?
because I tweeted that it may be a
bit annoyed and angry.
When I saw it
I laughed because I could relate to
it. I'm sure all of us can relate to
it. Sometimes the game leaves you
and you do not know why and you are
still working hard and practising.
But you need the confidence. It is
like a vicious circle. You are
trying to get on that roundabout.
Hopefully this will be the
kick-start for him.
We talked about
the impact it will have amongst the
other players, the departure of Mark
Selby. From what you have said what
has been the reaction of the other
In terms of?
slapping you on the back?
definitely had a lot of
congratulations but I do not really
take much notice of that. I do not
care if people say it is good or
bad. I am just staying in my own
head and giving myself calm and
keeping myself calm.
That is very
wise because you now have a match
against Lee Hann of China who has
gone pretty far in a couple of
events. In the semifinals of the
China championship. But your record
against him is good.
Yes, I have
beaten him twice. He is a great
player, I have watched him a couple
of times and he scores heavily.
hard part now is after climbing
Everest against the number one it is
to come down to earth. That is the
right attitude. Forget about that
much, it has gone, just think about
this match and recreate all the
great moments from yesterday.
like in Wimbledon sometimes you see
somebody beating Federer Rafael
Nadal in the first round and then
you never see that guy again.
is a very excellent way to thing.
Well done again. You have created a
lot of headlines. 12 years ago a
young Shaun Murphy created a lot of
headlines as well. He was only 22
when he turned up at the Crucible
and won the World Championship. He
was only the second ever qualifier
to do so. Since then he has gone on
to become one of the greats of the
game and has won all of the major
titles and this season he is proving
he is in very good nick.
Murphy was born on the 10th of
His nickname is the
magician. At the age of 13 he
secured a £5,000 a year sponsorship.
In 2000 he received the world
Snooker newcomer of the year.
is a keen pianist and talented
golfer who occasionally hit a subpar
His first title was the 2005
World Championship beating Matthew
Stevens in the final.
As well as
winning at the Crucible he has taken
the Masters and the UK Championship
He has been ranked in the
top eight in the world in the past
He donates £100 for every
century to the Royal Manchester
He has won more
than £3 million in prize money.
that adds up to a whole lot of good
snooker. This fellow has been
playing good snooker as well,
27-year-old Liam Highfield.
He comes from Stoke and when he is
not putting in the hours on the
practice table, he is putting in the
miles on the roads because he is a
very keen long-distance runner and a
half marathon bag as well. We picked
this one up in frame two. Murphy has
taken a 1-0 lead. Your commentary is
from Peter Ebdon and Dennis Taylor.
Not ideally on a colour.
That is a good pot. It is never easy
when you are digging down into the
cue ball. He played that with a
touch on the right-hand side as well
which made it even more difficult. A
good pot in the circumstances.
Can he get on the red in the right
corner? Yes, he can.
It clears the path for the black
into the same pocket. Let's see if
he can knock in the reasonable
Is that aggressive enough for you,
It was the order of the day.
He has given himself an excellent
You could not have the red sitting
much better than this. It was the
shock off the black that opened them
But that cue action, even amongst
the balls, he pulled the cue back
quite a long way. It is just his
natural way of playing. We keep
talking about the Rolls-Royce cue
action that he has. Sometimes when
you are in close control, it can be
a bit of a disadvantage.
That's the key to this game of
Very well controlled.
When he's in full flow, he really is
a beautiful player to watch. He
times the ball so well. I remember
when he beat Neal Robertson in the
final of the Masters, Dennis, a
while ago. I think it was as well as
I had ever seen anybody time the
ball. He cued so well in that
tournament. When he won his world
title, against Matthew Stevens, he
came from behind. Absolutely
incredible how he played. I remember
travelling down on the coach with a
lot of the Welsh supporters and they
thought he was going to be world
champion but Sean had other ideas.
Talk about break buildings, he's
made 438 centuries in his career.
Well, he will have two pot a long
blue. A trademark of Shaun Murphy.
He is not safe, so there is a bit of
pressure on this. Lets see if it
goes right into the heart of the
pocket. No. So even with that cue
action, when you know the importance
of the shot, even the great players
Well, the chance is there for Liam.
He had an opening frame chance even
though he was behind. What can he
make of this opportunity?
Big pressure. On Liam Highfield. He
knows the importance of this visit.
He would love to get a foothold in
this match. And draw level.
The pink is on the right-hand side
of the table for him, as well, being
a left-hander, so the balls are
there for him. It's just about
keeping himself together now.
Any harder, that would have stayed
He will have two come up for the
blue here. Went instead for the
black. Just screwed it slightly so
it is imperative he gets the other
side of the blue. Doesn't want to
come up short. I think he's just
about OK. A quick glance at the
scoreboard. 17 behind.
He has tried to work out whether he
needs the pink to level the score
As Peter said, the pink won't be a
problem because he's a left-hander
and can dropping behind it. -- drop
in behind it.
And, once again, must get a good
angle on the blue so he can drop
right in behind that pink.
Needs to run and he has come up
short. That has made such a
difference. The other side of the
blue, you just roll sitting and get
18 inches behind the pink. Now he
has got to force it in. And that is
a pretty good effort if it keeps
running. He needs to pull up. Is
going to be too close to the pink.
Oh dear. But it was the previous
shot. He got the wrong side of the
blue. And this would be a body blow
because he was odds-on favourite to
level the match. He is so close to
the pink. It's not easy to get it
It is such a shame, Denis,
because he held himself together so
well up to that point.
fraction. He followed it all the way
down and now he has flicked the
back, Shaun Murphy could cut this
pink in. The White will go close to
the left middle pocket. If he does
not catch the middle pocket, he
could finish on the black. Oh,
Liam will be absolutely delighted to
see the black go very close to the
top cushion there. Liam only just
needs this pink. Shaun Murphy needs
both balls. He can take this on.
Just needs to avoid the left-hand
pocket. Which he has done. And
excellent parts. Well played, Liam
Highfield. Levels this match. Frame
HAZEL IRVINE: That match continues
on the red button and online on the
BBC sport website if you are so
Let me bring you up to date with the
other two televised tables. Table
three where Yu De Lu is just making
sure to go
three where Yu De Lu is just making
sure to go into it with Kyren
Wilson, a top 16 player with a
promising season, 2-2, there. And
Aditya Mehta up against Luca Brecel
and it is Luca Brecel who has taken
a 3-0 lead. Versus Aditya Mehta at
the table, the man from them by, the
star from India, they call him. The
first Indian player to make a
maximum break in 2014. He was
runner-up in the Indian open 2013.
Interesting stats. He is a lovely
fellow and a very talented player
but he's got a job to do against
Luca Brecel from Belgium. Meanwhile,
our star attraction, Ronnie
O'Sullivan is due out any second.
Here he comes. He is in control
today against Michael Georgiou, 29
years old, representing Cyprus.
Ronnie, a 4-0 advantage. He has
outscored Michael by about over 300
points now to only 19 so let's hand
you back to the commentators. How is
the commentary discipline working
there? Big breaks and tactics? Is
that working for you?
COMMENTATOR: We have tried not to
stray into each other's expertise
areas. Not too much.
The game is not
as simple as that, is it?
That trademark left-handed break off
from Ronnie O'Sullivan. He won't be
particularly happy with that. I
think he feels he can swing the cue
ball round better from a left-handed
perspective than right, but, in that
case, after the mid session
interval, called it wrong.
And, for the first time in this
match, Liam Michael Georgiou has a
chance to put the black of the spot.
The first in in this frame, what
does he make of it? I have to say,
straight into the bunch with pace,
plenty of screwball to bring the
black to the right-hand side of the
table. Very well played. Deserved to
be on the red. Hit that very well.
He scored 19 points in the first
It may not be too long before he is
doubling his overall total score.
Already he can screw the black to
the right middle. He was low on the
black and can be red to the
Still in a good
Already out of position. It's just
the art of brick building, really.
Recognising the patterns you have to
go through. To make it easier.
Should be able to screw this offer
two cushions. To the right corner.
I did not think that was going in.
Gravity working. Good shot. Good
recovery. And the angle he has got
here lends itself to going into the
pink. A bit perhaps too far away
from the blue to make it
comfortable, but there are loose
threads, though. Choices. -- loose
Yes, I think as long
as he hit the right-hand side of the
pink... Anything left of the pink
would have been bad. Very lucky to
be going that way.
Very close to the cue ball.
He could have got closer to these
Well, he has got himself out of
position by fractions a few times in
this break. Just enough the right
side of the blue. There have been a
couple of potential banana skins in
this break so far. But some good
pots. Still has that 6-ball pack to
resolve. To get pack -- past the
He would like an angle
on the black to go into the bunch
and stay on that red into the right
corner. He can't do that now from
this angle. It's always nice to have
a bit of insurance. Have at least
one loose red when you go into the
Michael Georgiou are just
coming around to check if the pink
was a viable proposition to open up
the pack. Decided the black was more
straightforward. And, this time, he
has got the angle to go off the top
cushion into the pack. He has got to
get a bit of pace into this one.
That can make the party more
difficult. -- that can make the pot
Just when he did all the hard work.
A good break. 60. Is it going to be
enough? Plenty of reds left for
Ronnie O'Sullivan to pinch this
frame. Which is normally very good
The second ball that has been very,
very close to going in into the
middle pocket but pretty tight,
Black and one more red.
showing signs of letting its
gameplay become more comfortable
now. As if there is less pressure on
him now and he has decided to try
and relax and enjoy it a bit more.
That is the way to get back into
He would like to part one more red.
Ronnie O'Sullivan may come back to
the table if he misses this.
I suppose he has done the first job
and avoided a whitewash.
Will Ronnie stay in his seat?
He does do.
Avoided a 6-0 whitewash.
That was an important factor in
winning his first frame, but he
still trails 4-1.
HAZEL IRVINE: He avoids the
whitewash and of course last time,
12 months ago, it was a 6-1 win for
Ronnie Barker. In some respects, is
it a massive relief when you're
under so much under the cosh at that
under so much under the cosh at that
Yes, is another word with
himself and said, come on, we know
he's much better than what he shown
this afternoon. The occasion has got
the better of him, so he's thinking,
at least let's make the score
respectable and show people we can
actually play and that's what is
It's nice why had to get a
frame on the board and salvage
something. You know, what can you
say? Is going to be up against it,
you don't expect him to win from
here, but he will get a little bit
of confidence to get satisfaction,
other than a whitewash.
thing it does as well, Hazel, some
of these players, are used to
playing in cubicles and get adept
and then when they go into the main
arena, this is all new to them. It
doesn't matter that they have been
professionals for a long time. He
has not done that very much.
need to become acclimatised to
playing in cubicles so it's like a
different ball game.
He's got the
combination of the arena and the
best player who has ever lived, so
he is under it before he even
he is under it before he even
Stephen asked at the start
of the commentary what Michael will
have learned from his experience on
exactly this stage, albeit a round
earlier from last year, and I guess
he is asking himself the same
question out there right now as we
head back into frame six.
COMMENTATOR: Well, of course, when
you were talking about the cubicle
style of snooker with multi-table
setups, it has changed slightly in
as much as it's more open plan now
and you can actually see other
tables. But when it is a multi-table
setup at one of the ranking in the
early stages, various still that
cubicle style feel that your match
is one of many and no real eyes are
on it, so this is a different
scenario at the Barbican. A full
packed crowd watching Ronnie
O'Sullivan. You have got to deal
with that as well.
Ronnie's intensity has definitely
slipped in the last three frames.
The standards he sets are so high,
you don't expect him to miss shots
Perhaps overstretching a
bit. Michael Georgiou has an awkward
situation with the green and his
left arm, but that goes in. He would
have loved to have been on the
correct side of the blue but Michael
Georgiou is getting some
encouragement from Ronnie
Very unlucky there. That was an
excellent positional shot Michael
played. Possibly three reds he could
have been on, but he is none of
Desperately in. -- desperately
unlucky. He hit that blue is the
best he could hit it. Good safety
but there is an edge sticking out.
Got the possibilities of a four
cushion safety. Come-down behind the
yellow. Playing the thin safety. Hit
it a bit hard. Nasty shot for Ronnie
O'Sullivan from underneath the
cushion. Makes his shot a lot
Look at that red. Taking this on
with his good cueing.
He has done very well with the cue
ball. Just as he was playing that
shot, something fluttered down from
the ceiling. May have distracted
We've not seen much of Ronnie
O'Sullivan's long game today.
Everything has been close in, so
it's an opportunity to see.
committing himself. All the eggs
coming in the basket here. He found
a gap. Did not think that was on. So
there was an element of safety in
the shot on a shot to nothing. I did
not think he could get through that
Just run away with it there. The cue
ball has gone a little bit too far.
Ronnie was playing the blue. He
looked to see where it went, usually
you tell players not to do that, get
up again and think what you are
going to play. That is why the cue
ball ran an extra bit.
Could be end of break.
It does look like there is a red
which goes past the black. And he is
left-handed. He may be able to reach
over and cut this in. Half ball cut.
Doesn't feel it with a left hand for
the shot. Perhaps it's too much of a
And for someone like Ronnie
O'Sullivan who can play
right-handed, left-handed, on a
daily practice basis, he wouldn't
necessarily be using his wrist that
much. So it could become something
to be fearful of but he is a great
player. Is he going into the pack
here? With speed, he misjudged it
quite a bit and that is end of
Decent safety shot in many ways. Cut
of escape routes back down the table
and may have forced Ronnie
O'Sullivan to go for this pot. With
no guarantee of position. So a bad
risk reward proposition coming up.
I thought that was in. Well, a
chance for Michael Georgiou, it
looks like an easy one, into the
left corner, and guaranteed position
on the black.
That was a bit straighter than I
thought, but, even so, a bad miss.
Just when he was getting some slight
signs of encouragement, he has won a
frame, Ronnie has started missing a
Poor shot. The poor shot was that
angle on the black. It can still put
this, but it has become missable.
It would have been unlucky to have
not been on a colour.
From Michael Georgiou's perspective
he cannot have any complaints. He
has not been strong enough today so
What a shot. Just fantastic. Made a
bit easier because the frame was
finished. Whilst it has not been a
sparkling performance from Ronnie
O'Sullivan today, it has been a
comfortable day at the office for
him. 5-1, Ronnie O'Sullivan.
In terms of Michael Bosman case in
round one where he won the last
three to beat Alfie burden to be
here, it is an entirely different
question when he is facing Ronnie.
He has got one frame and he has got
a little bit of confidence.
have made another nice little break
and he will be kicking himself now
because he had a chance to put a few
points on the board and put some
doubt into running's nine. It looks
like Ronnie has gone off the boil.
His concentration has gone because
it is too easy for him.
Do you read
it in same way?
Absolutely. That was
a chance. It is the first to 6, it
is not the best of nine. But it is a
massive mistake missing that.
Michael go out earlier on to give
himself a pep talk. Has this just
happened to Ronnie?
He will not be
happy with the way he has played. He
will be happy that he has had an
easy match and a little run out, but
he will not be happy with the way he
has played. In patches he looks
good, but his concentration has gone
and he has missed a lot of balls
that you would not normally see him
miss. It will be different in the
next round, he will have a tougher
match. It is a little run out as it
In his first-round match
he made two centuries and those were
the 907th and 908 of his career. You
will not have realised that he
crossed the 900 barrier last month.
His top break to date is 69. When
you look at his career that is an
I do not see
that ever getting beaten. No one in
a million years is ever going to
beat that. When he finishes playing,
I think he better get even further.
I do not think it will take him
long. I do not think it will take
him many seasons to get 100
He has not shown that
century form today. However, he is
just one away from a place in the
last 32 in a championship that he is
attempting to win for the sixth time
and that would be a record equalling
number with a certain Steve Davis
sitting in our commentary box.
STEVE DAVIS: Wreckers either be
broken. There are few you do not
think will be broken. Possibly Judd
Trump is best placed to beat one of
them. It depends on how long he can
stay at the top of the game.
STEPHEN HENDRY: I said at the start
of this match that in the first
frame and the last frame he is at
his strongest. I know which way I
would be betting. He is so good at
killing and match off.
You are asking for trouble!
Steve, I bet you a pound he wins the
match at this visit!
A lot of players with a frame to win
the match go into their shell a bit.
He is exactly the opposite. He can
smell the opportunity.
To get the job done. One more easy
I think I will have that bet
with you just to see the look on
your face when you have to pull a
A touch of left-hand side to make
the cue ball arch into the bunch.
Did not go in with as much
conviction as I thought he would.
If the pink goes under the pack,
there is possibly another read to
the left-hand corner. The red is on
the pink spot. This is starting to
look ominous for Michael Georgiou.
think you have one yourself a quid
Great pace to get the right side of
the blue. Very good at that shot.
Getting that perfect angle on the
blue a significant amount of time
when you play it can make the game
It is an amazing amount
of breaks you see end. A lot of
players get on the wrong side of the
It is like the friend of the
snooker player, but it can also be
This is the last of the pottable red
in the middle of the table. Looking
for some sort of angle on the black
That will do.
No century break so far. Can this be
the way he finishes this match?
14 seconds shot. Pity brisk. --
pretty brisk. Match ball. £1 for
Michael has had an afternoon of
suffering out in this main arena,
but it is being put to an end now.
Can you change a fiver? !
And very easy victory for Ronnie
O'Sullivan. Neither player will be
happy with their game, but it was
all about the win today for Ronnie
Ronnie goes through and he will face
either Michael White or Matthew
Selt. They will be playing later
today. In the end a conference of
victory, the same scoreline that he
inflicted last year. We'll Michael
take any more crumbs of comfort from
this performance as compared to the
The experience of playing
one of the greatest players who has
ever played the game. It is in the
main arena on TV. Even though it is
a baptism of fire, the next time he
goes out and he plays in the garage
or wherever he has that experience
there. He is a good lad, he is a lot
better than he was today. He has to
take some sort of crumbs of comfort
We did not see too much
break-building from Ronnie. It was a
comfortable performance, he got over
the line. How will he reflect on it
He will not be happy, he
lost his concentration. He has been
cueing pretty well over the last
couple of months. It will be
interesting to see how he feels, he
has done a lot of travelling back
and forwards to China. He has been
at a lot of events recently. But he
is cueing quite well and is the man
There were 5/2 centuries in
that match. We talked about the fact
that he has got over 900 centuries.
At what point do you think he will
If he is averaging about
50 or 60 season, he is still a young
man and only 41, we do not know how
long he will stay and when he will
go or hang up his cue, but you can
see him being around in the next six
years at least, at least 30 or 40
Is he the man to beat?
Yes, he is. Mark Selby was the man
in form and a lot of people would
try to avoid Ronnie, but there is a
long way to go in this tournament,
there are a lot of great players and
it remains to be seen how big will
Here he comes. Good to see
you. 4-0 and it was all over as a
contest. How did you feel the match
went in general?
It was hard because
Michael really struggled out there.
You should not feel for someone but
you could see everything he tried
went wrong, which is good for me. I
played all right. I never worry
about who I am playing or how they
play, I always try to keep the ball
in my court and think as long as I
put in a good performance, it will
take someone to play well to beat
me. I was therefore taking but he
had to play better than he did
The concentration was going
because it was easier than you
Definitely not. When I
went through that spell of missing
balls it was not because of
concentration, you know how
difficult this game is, when you are
not completely on it you can steer
balls and things like that. It is
how quickly you can get through that
period. It lasted for a frame and a
half until that last frame and then
I had the tubal on a bit of a
string. I have got this new chalk
out there and it is great for
balance and pushing. I still think
the triangle is the governor and I
felt a different feeling out there
in the last frame.
We have to
congratulate you, it has been a
blistering start to the season. Four
big finals, two titles, 30 major
world ranking titles. Is there
anything you have done differently?
You are playing an awful lot.
probably played about half what
everyone else has played. Last year
I had 70 exhibitions and some of the
tables you play on... I am playing
people who cannot even make ten, all
club players. You lose your match
focus and everything. But I winged
it and I did all right last year.
Before this year's World
Championships I put in about six
weeks practice and my game improved
again and I thought I owed it to
myself to give it a good go. I have
cut down the exhibitions, I am
playing more tournaments, doing more
How are you feeling?
We talked about you going back and
forwards to China for tournaments.
How are you feeling mentally?
you getting a bit tired? I do not
feel tired at all. I have been
eating well, I changed my diet 12
What do you do
I was eating too much
and drinking tea and coffee, so I
was having a lot of highs and lows.
At the moment I do not feel like
that, I feel pretty strong. That was
a revelation, I thought I had to run
seven or eight miles to keep the
weight off. I can stay slim if I eat
the right stuff.
That is the new
book for Christmas!
We did talk about
records and chasing records and we
talked about you getting over 900
tons, but this 30 world ranking
titles, Stephen Hendry has got 36.
You have got that in your site. We
talked about motivation, but that
has got to get you up in the morning
chasing these things?
not. I want to play for the
enjoyment of it. It is the hardest
thing I do. All the work that I do,
I find it tough sometimes. That will
never change, I have to manage it as
well as I can and I am doing that
pretty well. Records are something I
am not bothered about. I try and
keep it as businesslike as I can. I
do not want to get too emotionally
involved with playing. It is helping
me to do other stuff. I am not all
totally into snooker. It does not
work for me.
What gives you the
Just playing. If I am playing
terrible, I am the most miserable
man in the world. Somebody is
helping me work on that and it has
helped, but I find it hard to
accept. Winning is a by-product for
me if you play the game properly and
do all the right things. But if you
do not play properly, the standard
the way the game is, you will not
win no matter how good you are. It
is very black and white for me in
The two titles you
have already got, that would be a
successful season for most guys. Is
everything else is a bonus? Can you
afford to think like that or are you
going for more?
It is nice to have a
bit of comfort to know you do not
have to worry about qualifying for
the Masters, but I wanted to win a
tournament in China. That was a goal
at the start of the season. But do
not rest on your laurels. You have a
little moment when you think if I do
not win for the rest of the season,
I will be all right. What is the
point of thinking like that for six
months? That is a loser's attitude.
They are in the bank and out of the
way and it is about pushing on and
A couple of shots
already in this tournament.
Scott Donaldson was playing Mark
Selby I said if Mark Selby is not on
it, he can win. Anyone with a great
temperament can beat any of the top
guys. He has got a very good match
temperament. Most Scottish people
have, and the Welsh people. They are
very tough. And the Irish! It is not
a surprise to me. If Mark played his
top game, then he probably would
have won. But if you do not play
your top game and the other guy
brings his top game to the table,
they are racking up 70, 80, 90. You
have to sit in your chair and wait.
Have you had a sneaky look at the
of my hardest drawers have been the
reason why I have won. The pressure
is on now climbing the rankings.
That is what they expect me to do.
We are testing your memory because
this is your 25th anniversary of
your first appearance. 1992. Can you
remember who you beat that year?
Did I beat someone? I
know who I lost two. I can't
Bob Shepherd and Nicky
Is that memory still
sharp even these 25 years on?
such a bad...
I was lucky to get one
Ronnie, it is great to see
you in such good form 25 years later
and you are into round three. It has
been good watching you today. All
the best. We were looking at the
other match, and it was 1-1 when we
left it. We are in the company of
Peter and Dennis in frame three.
Not the best break-off shot in the
world, the brown coming to his
rescue. Maybe not. There is an early
chance for Liam Highfield. He can
get this and get on the black. Even
the pink might be available. It
shows the importance of a good break
You can see what he is doing there,
he did not push it through in a
This is one of the toughest things
about the game of snooker. You have
had the opportunity, you play a bad
shot and you have to go back to your
seat and you have to watch your
opponent pot the balls that you know
you should be taking on.
Liam Highfield showed everybody why
he thought he had missed it. If you
miss, you miss, but never let your
opponent know that you cued across
it because that will just give them
That last shot on the black, he
could have done with a bit more pace
on the shot.
The white is stuck in
the reds. This is very awkward.
That was a pretty good shot.
Having a good look at the cushion.
He felt he had got a bounce there.
It is always one of the more
difficult things for a player to
contend with. It means you lose
possession. At the highest level you
do not get that many chances in a
frame. That was a very poor shot
from Liam Highfield. A total
misjudgement. He will be absolutely
devastated with that.
He cannot keep giving these type of
opportunities to a player of Shaun
Murphy's class. When he gets on a
roll, he can score very heavily.
Three, four, five frames can
disappear in no time at all.
One or two signs of nerves that Sean
had at the start of this match are
dissipating very quickly.
You would not expect many long
frames with these two players, both
attacking. The opening frame was
quite scrappy, that is why it lasted
nearly half an hour.
He does not need many more pots.
Pink, red, collar. That would be
enough. There you see, 65 ahead. He
only needs this red. The way they
are sitting, I would be surprised if
he does not finish up and pot the
Maybe not now after the cannon on
the red. He has got to be careful
with the pink. Not bad.
There is the possibility of a
In fact, he made 37 centuries last
season. He is on 20 so far this
I think the table is playing a bit
better today. It does not seem to be
quite as heavy as you said the
atmosphere can affected. It is a
beautiful day in York, the sun was
shining. I was out for a little work
this morning. A gentle walk.
jogging for me. Referee quietly,
Highfield is one of the fittest guys
and the circuit, he is a serious
runner, very lean. That really
helps, especially in the longer
This has been a great
effort from a former champion here,
Shaun Murphy. He just screwed that
Just the pink for the century.
Unlucky. But he will not be too
concerned. It was a great effort. He
got one chance and he took it. It
was enough to win the frame.
back in the lead.
was enough to win the frame.
back in the lead. A shake of the
head from Shaun Murphy but he is
enjoying a good season, he has been
in the big finals and has just
landed the Champion of champions
title last month. In we go to the
last before the interval, and Shaun
has a 32 point advantage.
Just avoided the double kiss, but
has not got good position with the
cue ball. He has a choice of reds.
The middle pockets are playing
really small and this is a tough
opportunity into the right centre.
He will be taking it on. He will be
on the black if it goes in, but this
is not a certainty, that is for
Just trying to compose himself. He
knows that this is a tough shot.
That is very well put. Well played.
-- well cued.
Liquidity left the cue
ball. He had no intention of missing
the pot. He was always going to be
on the black. That was very clever.
What a chance to get right back into
this fourth frame. Well, he has a
chance to go to the mid-session
interval all square, but lots of
balls have to be potted before that
Yes, it was a clever short.
The way he played it, he took
pressure out of the pot. He knew
that by playing it in such a way, he
was not going to be leaving an
opportunity for Shaun Murphy Shiggy
mist. Well played, well thought out.
-- should he miss. Not ideal, the
wrong side of the blue.
He needs to avoid the cannon and the
brown on the way down. Played with
right-hand side. He just needs the
cue ball to run. That is well
played, well controlled. He has
looked at the pink a couple of
times. It looks like it does go.
He chose to play for the black
instead. It should not be too much
trouble. He can play the black
against one cushion with top spin
and have a choice of at least two
reds into the right centre.
He has underhit that. Now he will
have to take a more difficult red
into the green pocket.
He is taking it into the centre. Now
he is back in prime position. Nice
I think he is just OK. For a moment,
I thought maybe he had covered the
red to the left middle, but he is
OK. Just four points behind. The red
nude the left cushion is going to be
key to this fourth frame.
That has worked out very nicely. He
did well to avoid the brown and the
green. He did not intend to get on
the red in that fashion, but it
worked out nicely for him. He is
probably playing for the red to the
right of the pink.
Thinking if you shots ahead, he may
leave himself an angle on the red to
the left of the paying to develop
the red away from the left-hand
cushion. He has got the opportunity
to do that now if he wants to. It
looks like he's playing behind the
He got a kick.
Yes, it might have
helped him. Has he got a slight
angle? Yes, he can just roll it in,
but this is tough. This is virtually
frame ball. 23 the difference. This
red, blue, pink or black would be
enough, but this is awkward.
That was an awkward one. He knew the
importance of that. Had he not that
income ie he would have been off to
the mid-session interval all square.
That will be annoying.
Shaun still has to knock them in.
That is not the best shot he has
He did not want to
cannon into the blue.
Can he just cue past the blue or
does he need the spider?
No, no. He got a little bit side on
that. What a let off. When you are
bridging over a ball like that, it
is so easy to get a little trace of
side which throws the white
off-line. He needs the yellow Andy
Green. -- and the green. It is very
thin. If he does not fancy the cut
in, he can play the snooker and
screw the yellow towards the pink
I think that is
definitely the right shot.
Screw the cue ball in behind the
green. He could not have played that
He is looking anxiously
to see if he has got the snooker.
He might be able to catch the yellow
and play a safety shot. Having said
that, if he gets the yellow, he
could cannon into the black with the
cue ball. I think he might be better
playing to swerve this. To get a
fool contact and the yellow. If he
gets it thin enough and avoids going
into the black, he can get the
yellow and the white save.
also the option of coming off the
top cushion and catching the yellow
thing on the side on the way back.
But that is a very good shot. He
could not have played that better.
As you alluded to, that was fraught
with danger. It was so easy to get a
double kiss. He played it with check
side, hoping to avoid the kiss. That
was a gem. He could not have played
it any better.
That was equally as good. There was
very little room for manoeuvre.
Shaun can cut the yellow end. If he
does, the right will be heading back
towards the green. As long as he
does not going to the pink. It is
tough. It is. How is the kiss on the
brown? It is not bad.
That is one the positional shot now.
This would be a steal. For Shaun
Well, it looked odds on that
Highfield was going through to the
mid-session interval, a slip-up and
Shaun Murphy pounced and now he goes
to the mid-session leading three
frames to one. STUDIO: He has the
gap and we will fast forward through
the interval, watching then drink
tea and eating biscuits isn't
riveting television but we go to
frame five and it is Highfield with
a 35 point advantage.
frame five and it is Highfield with
a 35 point advantage. COMMENTATOR:
Needing to play with pace. Avoiding
the cannon and going into the pink.
Perhaps trying to screw the White
around the ankles. Around the
right-hand side, playing it more as
a drag shot -- around the ankles.
That isn't good.
It's what he was
concerned about, hitting the short
thick, avoiding the cannon and going
into the pink. He had to open the
reds up and look what he is left
with, from sitting... And in a a few
minutes time, that advantage that he
had of 37 points, it could be
eroded. The black is tied up but it
doesn't matter, the blue and the
pink are in the open and the reds
and nicely placed. -- and the red
s are nicely placed.
I do not think this will tie up the
pink, the spot is available and it
may also be possible to get into a
couple of pockets.
If he read next to the pink goes
into the right middle, it will open
the pink up completely. -- if the
red next to the pink goes into the
right middle. A little bit of heavy
contact there but he is OK. He can
forget about the black for the
moment but concentrate on the pink.
Shaun Murphy looking increasingly
more comfortable around the table.
Really positive and a real spring in
his step as he grows in confidence
in this match. Playing that nicely.
Screwing off the side cushion from
the left-hand side.
He's got to do a bit of work with
the cue ball here... Now... How is
he going to play this? A shot where
he can pot this and nudge the red
away so the black doesn't have to do
that but he can concentrate on the
pink again. If he gets the correct
angle on the red near the black
spot, the cannon is tied up next to
the black. That looks absolutely
perfect! All about the little cannon
here. Can you believe it? How many
times do we see that, where the
player concentrates on the cannon
and takes his eyes off the pot? Just
when he was in a position to extend
his lead, now he has got to go back
and sit down, and see what Liam can
make of this chance... APPLAUSE
That was applause from one of the
other tables. Now he has to steady
An opportunity for Liam Highfield,
he just needs to settle himself,
there is quite a bit of noise in the
arena at the moment, one of the
referees from one of the other
tables has already asked for quiet
but it is still quite noisy with
people moving around. Timing that
Settle down, please.
The blue, the brown and the pink, a
chance he did not think that he was
going to get. A big frame, they are
all big frames but almost certainly
is going to fall 4-1 behind.
He is going to roll the black in any
way, it does not matter. I'm sure
Shaun Murphy thought he would be
leading 4-3 but Liam Highfield had
other ideas. He is back to just one
behind, at 3-2.
Liam Highfield to
Liam Highfield breaks off... At the
beginning of frame six. It would
like to have had the cue ball tip on
the baulk cushion. And that is why.
A wonderful open pot from Shaun
Murphy. He is one of the very best
in the business at that type of
shot. A little unfortunate, really,
to finish so tight to the question.
Cued it in nicely. He is all right
for pace. A good opportunity for
blue. All the pink here.
-- or the pink. It was just OK.
To play for the black, this time.
Might play an attacking shot here,
going into the reds, trying to stay
on the black. He plays it well. He
would like to have seen the cue ball
come away from the side cushion,
another few inches... He has been
unfortunate to finish straight on
the black as well. Just off
straight, as you can see. From that
He's taken a more difficult pink.
This is really tough. Just composing
himself, some movement behind the
shot. If you miss these, you tend to
miss these thin. There is a lot of
movement going on in the background,
unfortunately. That is twice now,
he's just composing himself again.
This is really tough. That is an
excellent pot. Well played.
A nice little cannon between the
gap... Was always going to be on a
red. Having played at the way that
The pink was the shot when he looked
at the black. He took the more
difficult pink to keep the break
going. Sean is one of the players
who can put disappointment behind
him. In the previous frame he missed
an easy red when he played the
cannon from the black that he is
such an experienced campaigner these
days. He has come out firing on all
He has gone up a
gear here. Steve Davis talks about
the top players, sensing danger.
Then responding under pressure.
Shaun Murphy is certainly doing that
at the moment despite a kick on the
Is this has been an impressive
response from Shaun Murphy.
-- this has been.
controlled. He did not have to go in
with lots of pace. It was a nice,
gentle little cannon. Look what he
has done with the reds. He has put
them all in pottable positions with
that one delicate positional shot.
He already has a 57.8 Vantage. -- 57
point advantage. Well on the way to
opening up a two frame at Vantage
64 points ahead. 75 on the table.
Well, I thought he was going to go
on and make quite a high break. He
will not be too concerned about the
missed red in the middle. Shaun
Murphy, as Peter Ebdon said, he has
stepped up again and now he is
Yes, but Liam keeps
coming back at him. Can he do the
same in frame seven? The Stoke
player has a ten-point advantage.
It is a little bit of a messy table.
Only the pink is anywhere near its
own spot. All the other colours are
of their spots.
This looks better.
Can he get down the left side of the
table? I do not think so. That was
an excellent safety shot from Liam
Highfield. It really was.
That will make him a bit happier.
Safety has not been the strongest
part of his game today. That was not
a good safety shot from Shaun
Murphy. It just goes to show what
can happen. Play good safety shots,
and even the best players in the
world make mistakes.
Straightaway, playing to get the
black backline its spot. The pink is
out of commission at the moment and
the blue is virtually out of
He needs a good angle on this.
You would think the green, to
hopefully give himself a chance to
get into the reds. He has done that.
If he can catch this one correctly
he can bring the reds and possibly
the pink into play. Plenty of pace,
plenty of screw. He is unlucky. He
is very unfortunate. You always need
a little bit of luck at this game
when you play that type of shot. He
played it well, he got the curve and
the cue ball with the side and screw
and he knew straightaway that he had
not had any luck.
That is a good safety shot from
Shaun Murphy. If Liam Highfield
takes this on, which he is sizing
up, this is really tough.
He could not have got much closer.
He almost caught the referee. Yes,
you must not swing the cue around.
He did not see. That could have been
It is something you do not see
happen very often. Watch this. He
got up and waved to the cue away. He
did not see her.
Well, he is back at the table with a
decent chance. He did not expect
Shaun to miss that.
If he cannot see enough of the blue,
he is in bother in the jiggly. -- he
is in bother straightaway. But if he
can get past the red, you would
think he is bound to pot the blue.
I would move away. In the line of
Not often the referees get injured.
Many, many years back, occasionally
they might have got injured. I
remember one referee getting a
little punch in the stomach and a
director that got head-butted. But
those days are long gone.
Meanwhile, after a very fortuitous
cannon on the blue, leaving it very
close to the green pocket, Liam
Highfield has an excellent
opportunity. He can pool another
Yes, that is the one that gets him
past the finishing post in this
frame, Shaun. It was not the easiest
of pots but he is normally pretty
good at that type of shot. But it
has cost him this frame.
Liam's tires sprayed in the match so
far was in frame four when he made a
break of 55. He has had 48, 41, so
he has not really been on top of his
game but he is only one frame
behind, so that will give him a
certain amount of confidence.
It does not matter about missing the
pink. He has done what he needed to
do. He has won the frame and he
closes the gap. He is just one
4-3, Shaun Murphy. Indeed,
Liam won the next frame as well. It
is all square in this best of 11
frames match. The first to six goes
through. Interestingly, this is only
the second time that these players
have played. The first was just a
month ago in the English open. That
went down to a final frame decider
won in the end by Shaun Murphy.
Could we have a grandstand finish
once again? We have caught them up,
and we will join them live. Shaun
waiting in his chair because Liam
Highfield has just gone out. He is
waiting to resume frame nine.
waiting to resume frame nine.
have been watching this one. It is
hard to be critical of someone who
has as much talent as Shaun. This is
a typical Murphy match. He looks
like he is outplaying his opponent,
that the man should be done and he
has made a couple of mistakes and he
has found himself for- four. For me,
he has been the better player by
some way but because he has made
those mistakes, he is embroiled in a
harder match than he should have
He does this quite a lot. Yes,
typical of Shaun Murphy. Shots that,
we were seeing, he is so much more
experience that playing these shots.
He has taken on a very difficult red
down the cushion with the rest. He
only needs a red and a
down the cushion with the rest. He
only needs a red and a colour but
the previous positional shot was
bad. He is expecting to pot this, he
is good with the rest, but he should
have been a little bit straighter.
Then it is a straightforward shot.
He has left it short. It is tough,
but he is throwing away frames to
Liam Highfield. He should already be
home and dry in this match.
It is an
interesting point. I was listening
to Shaun at the Champion of
champions, when he beat Ronnie in
the final to win that. He says that
he cannot play any other way. He has
to go for it.
I am 100% with him.
Compared to some of the better
players, and one is sitting next to
me in Ken Doherty, he has not got
it. It is not being nasty, he just
does not see the tactical side. His
strength is his cue action and his
scoring. It will mean that he will
lose a few tournaments that he
should win, but when he is on, he is
very good. People will get chances
and he will lose the odd Maggie
should not lose.
Liam has taken his
chances and it is now a best-of-3
for a place in the next round of the
first major of this season, the
Betway UK Championship. We have got
a good one.
I could not agree more. I agree with
the boys in the studio. The man
should be over. A few
uncharacteristic mistakes. He did
look at the plant, Liam Highfield.
It is amazing how things can turn
around when you do not punish
opponents. Shaun should have been
backed in his hotel, relaxing. That
was like a plan to nothing. Worth
the risk. He has dropped on the
yellow. If he can play this nicely
he will give himself an early
No... Now then. Just a little bit of
pressure on that. I expected him to
pot that. An early chance as he bows
his head there. He may be in the
seat for a while...
Shaun Murphy has already stepped up
a gear once before in this match.
Then let things slip. Can he step up
Obviously not, a very poor
positional shot. He would be very
disappointed. This is a positional
shot, played previously, previously.
A shocker from Sean there, he could
have gone on the black. What a
mistake. That is terrific, the
opening red there. Highfield, who
probably is gaining a little bit of
confidence, he is being helped by
Shaun Murphy with a few of the
mistakes that he is making.
It was a
very nice cannon on the red, to
finish with the yellow in the
centre. But he's going to have to
play this with pace.
A very good effort around the cue
ball, eight or ten inches too much.
We have seen the shops done with a
lot of right-hand side of the two
cushions. An excellent effort. Just
needing that cue ball to slow down
just a touch.
A little short with the safety too.
That has knocked the brown safe, a
little scrappy, this frame. Where
the pink is next to the yellow, it
is out of the game. A chance to get
off the blue, from this red. He is
about four of the condition. Handled
it well. A choice here, he could go
straight into the reds after potting
the blue, which he has done. How is
your luck, Shaun? Not bad, as it
passes the blue. Played that well.
think it's fair to say that this is
when Shaun is that his strongest,
opening up the balls. For Shaun
Murphy, a little negative in that
match. You don't often say that
about Shaun Murphy, he has refused
quite a lot of balls. We have both
He has not hit this.
He decelerated on the shot. That is
just a lapse in concentration. That
is quite unbelievable.
He is totally bit amused by that
Yet another lifeline thrown to Liam
Highfield. Highly unexpected. Can he
retain his composure?
He has the
black back on the pink spot, which
is a big advantage. What a chance!
He showed last season what a good
player he was. Losing 6-5 to Mark
Williams, at the UK championship
last year he lost to the same
player, 10-9, in the World
Championship. The red jumping there
but it did not affect that shot too
He is quite capable. It won't
be another big shock if he can pull
this off, from 4-2 behind. It all
looked to be plain sailing for Shaun
A delicate little cannon here, to
put the red away.
The reds not badly placed, if he
gets one on the right of that batch
of four, it would clear the path for
another red. In fact, the other one
might go, which is even better. He
had that, clearly.
The two reds, I'm not sure if one of
those would go. Not a
straightforward run to the winning
line in this frame.
notice, Dennis, that the is very
happy to play these softs done drag
shots, he pulls a few of them thin.
Not the ideal kind of shot to play
when the cloth is a little heavy.
Early in the match, he cued across a
few shots like that.
He is a left-hander, the red is on
the wrong side of the table for him
there. He has to use the rest for
this one. 36 in front. The colour
red, still needed.
How does he get to the red that he
needs? He cannot get close behind
that one, the left side of the
table. The other two are covering
Is he going to try and go around the
table? Even then, it would be
difficult to get on the red. No...
He is coming towards the red. He
wants to go around the back of it
now, which he has. A great effort.
He put everything into the pot
there. He almost got the red out...
I'm wondering if Shaun Murphy can
pot a red into the middle after a
blue here. He has not looked at it.
It's a chance of getting a good cue
ball, sending it towards the brown.
It's just about OK. Liam Buchanan
clip the red thin, on the right-hand
side, he plays it very well, unless
the blue goes in... Ooh...
That would have been a disaster, he
would have left a free ball there.
He was close to flipping the blue
in. Had to play this on the thick
side to get over behind the green.
He needs this red and any colour
from the brown upwards. To leave
Shaun needing a snooker.
He could have done without a kiss on
the brown there. It's a natural
angle, if he takes the pot on
committee can cannon into the two
reds, and that would be the last
thing he would want to happen. It's
a long potter, if you does not want
to cannon the reds, he would have to
force it a little and it makes the
pot more difficult. A big shot
coming up. He is digging down and
this is far from easy.
The White was bouncing around as you
could see that it was a
frame-winner, had he knocked it in.
I wonder if Shaun Murphy would be
tempted to play a cross table double
here. It may be a little thin for
that. But the blue is over the
middle. I would not blame him for
taking it on. Because he can get a
good cue ball.
It would certainly give him a chance
to win the frame at this visit if he
did play the cross table double. He
is not certain to leave the
red I think he got
the he all of a sudden, from Shaun
will have to win
the who it
It was a bit of adrenaline, with the
blue. He overscrewed it.
Another double-kiss coming up.
He had a terrific shock yesterday
when Scott Donaldson played
fantastically well to knock out the
defending champion, Mark Selby. Is
there another shock on the cards
I am surprised that Sean is playing
on here. There is a difference, 53
with only 55 on the table. He
signals over to Liam, he and he
concedes he frame, what a turnaround
all of a sudden, Liam Highfield is
now just one frame away from another
now just one frame away from another
STUDIO: It is all
happening, and it's all happening on
table three. A man with a world
ranking title, Kyren Wilson is
playing Yu, Yu was five frames
playing Yu, Yu was five frames
behind and here he is, clearing the
colours to go one behind, the man
was the runner-up this year. Kyren
Wilson with some work to do but we
are hearing that he is just a few
points away from securing a place in
round three. They need to work very
round three. They need to work very
hard today, these seeds?
standard is incredibly high. They do
not fear any reputations. But lose
your concentration a little bit,
like Shaun Murphy did with the blue,
that's a shocker. Such a simple shot
and because of that, he has
forgotten to concentrate and that
there, in a nutshell, shouldn't have
Is the same with his game.
Every now and again he has a
complete block. That is what has
happened in the last few frames.
Played a lot of uncharacteristic
mistakes. Perfect to make the frame
in the break there. Now he finds
himself one behind with two to play.
It's interesting for me, he has been
4-2 down, it looks like he's going
out of the tournament but suddenly,
can he get over the line?
this frame to make progress to the
last 32. What a scalp Shaun Murphy
would be for this fellow. Back we
How many times have we seen in the
past, Shaun Murphy, when he is put
under pressure, produces some of his
best snooker, but Liam is in with a
great chance now, but do not rate of
Shaun Murphy, that is one thing for
How close was that? He has not got
away with it. What a great effort
this was. Liam is already looking
around the black spot area. He is
thinking a few shots ahead.
He knows if he can get on the red
that is closest to the black in a
few shots time, he could have the
black in play. Meanwhile, he needs
some good pots to get him into that
Well, he's certainly would
have liked to be more
straightforward and the pink. He is
slightly the wrong side of it,
taking the cue ball away from the
It did look slightly thick. When he
played the shot.
He has missed a golden opportunity.
Can Shaun Murphy respond? He has
done it so many times throughout his
career. This tournament will mean so
much to him. Especially as a former
UK champion. Time to dig deeper.
He is not sure if that red goes past
the black. He is also thinking about
the shots ahead. Let's have a look.
Sometimes when they are almost
touching it is difficult to know,
but the black does not go, so the
red must. Having said all that, he
has left himself the wrong side of
the boy. He has got enough power to
swing this around, but it should
have been much easier than this. Had
he gone past the blue spot, it would
have been easy. Now he has to play
this with lots of power and avoid
the baulk colours.
How is your lot, Shaun? -- your
Not very good. That was
desperately unlucky. If fantastic
shot, lots of power and left-hand
side, desperately unlucky.
I think from the previous shot on
the red, when Shaun finished the
wrong side of the blue, plus the
blue that he missed in the previous
flame where the blue did not reach
the pocket, it gives an indication
of how the heavy this table is
playing. It changes through the
match. At the beginning, it looked
better than it played last night,
but it has been quite evidently
playing heavy, and Shaun has
struggled because of that.
That was far from easy. There is a
pot that Liam can go for. The one to
the left of the three pots.
He will automatically drop on the
blue or possibly the pink.
It is not a great chance just yet.
The black is awkward. The pink is
pottable, but not in the ideal
He may have to leave himself with
the tricky black in a couple of
shots time. He can pot the blue and
get up for the reds near the black
He could have done with coming
further up the table.
This really would be another shock.
If Liam Highfield can manage to hold
himself together and win this frame.
And with the shocks of Mark Selby,
the defending champion, losing in
this tournament, are we seeing
conditions playing a big part in
these results? I believe we are. It
is certainly hard work for the
players. The balls are playing
heavier than normal. We have had
quite a few big bounces and kicks
and it is disconcerting for a player
to try and keep your concentration
when the cue ball keeps going into
positions that you do not expect.
Very often through no fault of your
own. This is not ideal for Liam. He
is faced with a difficult pot.
Whichever of these two he decides to
That is a very good pots. Well
What a key shot coming up as
we show you that pot that went right
in the centre of the pocket. It did
not touch the sides. If the next
shot work site, what a chance he
could have. The pink and black are
not ideally placed, but he can open
up the reds.
How lucky is Liam? He has won to the
right middle pocket. He has opened
up the reds. They are all pottable.
There is lots of pressure on this
red to the centre. If he gets it, he
knows he should win the match. Well
He has got work to do with the cue
ball because he is quite straight.
He will play this with power. That
was the problem.
would be for this fellow. Back we
That is pure tension there. That is
all that is. You could see the cue
did not go through in a straight
line. Just a little ahead of
themselves, it is understandable. It
is a huge match for Liam.
Needs the angle to helping out. If
he kisses the brown, he is OK.
The White was heading into the
corner there. But that angle on the
middle pocket helps things.
Shaun knows how tough it is to win
the frame that gets you over the
line. His more experienced and he
knows that Highfield will be under
Dennis, I do not honestly
believe that Shaun felt he would get
another chance in this match, when
the red went into the right centre,
he probably thought that was it. So,
this is an unexpected opportunity.
He may be hampered slightly, here,
because of the green.
He's got to
get some action on the cue ball. He
took the other red, he has played a
little too card. To take that blue
up into the corner now.
The pink back on the spot in a
couple of shots time would really
help the situation.
Amazing. The Rolls-Royce cue action
has let him down on a pretty
straightforward pot there. He was
looking at the paint a few shots
ahead. -- pink. It's another chance
for Liam Highfield.
At this stage,
this player's career, a chance of
taking a big scalp, everything is
not straightforward. Straightaway,
he has left himself almost straight
on this red, meaning he has to get a
lot of action on the cue ball. It's
amazing. It is all about the tension
at the moment, causing these slight
Shaun did look at the pink, when he
was at the table. Peter has told us
a good few times how tight the
middle pockets are. You don't want
to play this with too much pace.
He will need both reds for this
match. And it isn't going to be
Once again, that was just pressure.
So close. Didn't even hit the jaws,
Could have done without the kiss on
the brown there.
Yes, not the best
safety shot in the world from Shaun
Murphy. At a time when he needed a
really good safety shot. That is a
Well, Shaun will be
getting quite anxious, let me show
you that terrific long pot, he needs
that brown to get onto the red. If
he can finish 18 inches either side
of the red... This looks pretty good
to me, if it bounces off the
cushioning, he is in pretty good
shape. An excellent shot!
As we show you the positional shot
again committee still needs this red
and any colour above yellow would
leave Shaun needing a snooker. This
is the key... No! That is just pure
tension and pressure.
So near and yet so
far from this upset here.
It's not a straightforward table to
clear up from. A lot of tension at
there for both players.
He has hit it a little too hard now.
It's just about OK? I think he can
take it in the left corner but it
could have been a lot easier than
It certainly could have
been. It is a good angle. Should be
on the brown, if he gets it. A great
shot! Unfortunately, he could not
control the cue ball.
It was as if
he put everything into the pot
there. Look where he has finished. I
think once he knew he potted the
green, he knew that he would be on
the brown but look where he
If this was in practice, Shaun
Murphy would probably cut the brown
in. But this is not practice.
He needs to pull up a little bit.
And get past the blue.
Now, where is the brown going? Where
is that brown going? It's going to
be all about the black... Forward we
could see enough of that to pot it.
I am thinking here of a couple of
frames ago. Shaun missed the red in
the same position as the black. If
he parts the blue and drops in
behind the black, it will not be
easy. Interesting to see if he
leaves some angle on the pink to
bring the black into play.
just going to suggest that, he has
got that angle... He has the ankle
to move the black if he wants to.
If he plays to drop behind the
black, he needs to be right behind.
He has played the cannon. This is a
really, really tough black. If he
decides to take it on, that is.
There's an awful lot of pressure on
this. This is really tough...
Make your mind up time for Shaun
Murphy. It's a cross table double on
He may have looked at that
but it is all down to how he feels.
It might be on, Peter... Almost, he
always knew that he could get it
safe. So, here we go. We have the
tensions of the black bull fight.
One player, and the other in a match
to stay in it. A double-kiss but it
isn't bad. Will he get the chance to
shut the match out? A good shot from
Shaun, acknowledged by Liam, tapping
Ooh... What a time to catch the jaw
of the middle pocket.
He has had a
couple of golden opportunities to
knock Shaun Murphy out. This is the
black catching the middle pocket...
And in it goes. Somehow, Shaun
Murphy has kept himself in this
year's bet where UK championship, to
all of the world it looks like he
was out but no wonder he is smiling,
we are down to a decider!
from Shaun, he is riding his luck
but it's great to have a chase for
the black ball!
It's very exciting.
the black ball!
It's very exciting.
A brilliant friend of snooker. A lot
of things happening. When he played
on the pink, I thought he would drop
behind the black but then he decided
to play the other shots too. He
would be delighted with the final
frame decider. I think Liam
Highfield would rue the last read
that he missed out. The match was
all over, it's a very small
marriage, if he is never out of it,
he has all the more experience than
Liam Highfield. Liam Highfield
absolutely kicking himself.
tension was palpable and he's also
in the remaining matches. He won his
first world title earlier in the
season. This is for 125. Does not
bother to pot that one. Six frames
to three, and he was cruising at one
point in that match, actually, Luca
Brecel, he beat Aditya Mehta of
India. He is a very likeable
character. Many people would be
delighted he got that victory.
turned himself into a much better
player. Always able to pot and score
but wide open. He has been on the
circuit and has had enough
experience to know that yes,
everybody has to play some kind of
safety shot. Now we know what the
game is about, he is very dangerous.
And he is full of confidence.
belt he feels ten foot tall,
strutting around, feeling great. He
makes the game look easy and he is
so quick. He can score and win a
frame in five or six minutes. Great
He won the China championship in
August and became the first European
continental player to win a world
ranking title. He was the youngest
ever to make it through to the
Crucible. It seems ridiculous to
think that was only five or six
He has been around for a
long time. I played him as a young
kid, he was about ten years old. Yet
-- I said, what can you do? Pot if
you balls. He potted everything. I
thought that he was going to be
something special. It has taken a
while. People have been too shrewd,
they have waited for him, but he is
Luca will now play Matt
King. He wrapped up his victory
today. So close to 147. He will play
today. So close to 147. He will play
Luca Brecel, but all eyes in the
arena are on this one. Shaun Murphy,
Liam Highfield, will the world
number six prevail? This has been an
almighty struggle and it has gone
down to the wire. If final frame
Look where the cue ball has
finished. Not where Shaun was
intending. He tried to get the white
close to the cushion. We will show
you the break again. Once again, a
red right up against the black, but
more importantly for Shaun, the
white went right up against the
green. This is in no man's land.
REFEREE: Foul and a miss. He cannot
come off the cushion and nestle into
the pack because of the reds either
side of the bunch. He is trying to
get up against the one to the left
of the black. He might need a fewer
attempts to get there. -- a few
attempts. As I say, that was a bonus
for Shaun to finish tied against the
green. Can they get closer this
time? Better pace. REFEREE: Foul and
As I say, it could cost him a few
points. He has got to get this just
right. He does not want to hit it
too hard and put Shaun in.
That is the right line, but is it
hard enough? Not quite, but if he
can remember the line. That time it
was perfect, but not quite enough
Better pace this time. Well played.
I think the crowd at the York
Barbican are really enjoying this
You can feel the tension out
Yes, no distractions now. Play is
finished on the other three tables.
Much better for the players.
We have had a bit of everything so
far in this match, fantastic pots,
incredible misses, cut fingers, and
blues that have failed to reach the
Of course, we must not forget that
Liam almost struck the referee with
his cue when he pulled it away from
the table. She was right behind him.
A referee who is one of the top
referees in the game now. She has
done a great job here.
Once again, he has not quite a few
of those in, but it is tough for
Liam. He is sitting in his seat and
he knows that he should have won the
match in the previous frame.
It is a bit tight as to whether that
pots. If he hits the red and the
black at the same time, it is a foul
shot. That is what would happen.
A good safety shot from Shaun
Murphy. Lots of pressure on every
single safety shot knife.
-- shot now.
As John Parrott always
says, in a deciding frame, all you
want is one chance. Who will get the
This is a little gem. If he missed
the brown, he would have had a
snooker a game. -- a snooker again.
A good opportunity to possibly get
the cue ball behind the brown.
Unlucky. Good effort. I am wondering
if we will see a Shaun Murphy
special. There is quite a bit of
pressure on Shaun, but at this type
of shot, he is one of the best in
You have got the perfect picture.
Can he deliver the cue in a straight
line. There is the answer. The first
chance falls to the floor -- to the
former UK campaign.
Shaun will be looking to move the
red away from the black as soon as
he possibly can.
He can get to that red from either
the yellow of the green. He needs to
be accurate with his positional
Yes, we did see that red previously.
I do not think it goes. Maybe that
is why he did not play to get on it.
It was very tight. I think he can
get through for the one to the right
I mean, they are not ideally placed.
The reds are open, but they are all
covering each other, somewhat. We
will find out now if that red pots
next to the black. He has got the
other one above it. I do not think
he can get on that even if he
finished short so he has to leave it
for the time being.
That helped his cause, somewhat. But
once the pain goes back on its part,
it is still not going to be
available into old pockets. -- in
He has just got to sit there and
hope that something will go wrong
for Shaun. I think it has gone wrong
straightaway. It is not too bad.
Let's have a look. Yes, he is OK.
It looks as if he can play for the
blue. But there are a fewer
obstacles in the way. -- a few
He wants to be ultra-careful. He
does not want to get down and cannon
a red and put himself out of
This is the hardest thing
about our incredible game. Liam
Highfield is really struggling in
his seat. He is really going through
it. It is such a tough game to
handle mentally. You have got to be
so strong, because disappointments
always far outweighs the victories.
It is very difficult to handle.
When you have not taking your
chances, it is even tougher.
Murphy is calling on all his
experience. You could tell by the
expression on his face when he left
the arena when he levelled that he
was just pleased to still be in this
year's UK Championship. Now he is
well on his way to victory.
Already 37 in front. He had to get
himself in the perfect position to
get on the red next to the black.
This time I think he has just about
managed it. Yes, that is exactly
where he needed the cue ball.
Well, hang on a minute, Liam. Let's
have a look at what Shaun has done
with this positional shot. Is he OK?
He wanted to cannon that pink.
Football. -- full ball. They are all
covering each other so maybe it is
not over yet for Liam Highfield.
Shaun was looking at the plant
having run out of position. That
would be very dangerous. I think he
can play the red with the rest and
screw the cue ball around the ankles
with lots of right-hand side and
play that as a shot to nothing. If
the red was in he could play the
snooker behind a baulk colour,
potentially the brown. I think that
is the value short, certainly with a
45 point lead. -- value shot. He
needs to play this with pace.
The red does not go. He just playing
the safety shot.
I thought the red
went. My apologies.
So, he is in the
driving seat, but it has to be said,
he should have shot out in the
match. He knows that.
thrown a lifeline to Liam that he
did not expect to be getting. For
all the world, he would have been
convinced, sitting in his seat, that
he would be out of this year's
Betway UK Championship. This is a
That could be the end.
That was a
massive shot that he took on. He is
normally so good at it, but under
these conditions, and with what has
happened in the previous frame,
where he knows that he should have
won the match. But every credit to
Shaun Murphy. He thought he was on
his way out, but far from it now.
He has come up a little
He has come up a little short here.
Should have been straight on this
red, to make it as easy as possible
I think he got a miscue there. But
it was the positional shot, still
did not expect him to miss it but
what a time to miscue it.
has had a bit of everything. Playing
a deep screw shot with a lot of
left-hand side. The miscue at a
vital time. Another lifeline. Karen
Highfield take the opportunity this
time? -- can Highfield take the
opportunity this time? It is there.
I've been around the
blocks a few times that I am
starting to perspire in the
commentary box, this is getting very
exciting... We thought it was over
in the last frame, we thought it was
over there and that then there was
the miscue from Shaun. What else is
These balls may look
straightforward. This is a huge test
of character. For Highfield. He will
be under incredible pressure out
there. Did not cue that very well
either. Some heavy contact. But it
goes to show what pressure can do.
This time he had the red up the
other end of the table and it came
to his rescue. If he can keep going,
the key ball is the red next to the
brown. A long way to go before he
gets to the final red, but the
chance is there.
I'm surely would be
delighted to get that far, Dennis.
And potentially, play a snooker. He
has not played this very well. Did
not play that very well at all.
Losing the cue ball there. This red
is no guinea, with the rest... If he
misses it, it will stay right out of
the pocket -- this red is no gimme.
Well played... That was a bit of
pressure. He's gone a little too
far, he has to take the blue into
the corner but should be able to get
on the red, both are available.
Better there than the middle pocket.
No problem there. So far so good. He
is looking at the black to make sure
he can pass the red.
Must be tight,
which is why he plays for the pink.
Got a kick and heavy contact there.
Going to play him, Liam, for that.
Let's have another look... The pink
laptop off its spot. Unbelievable.
-- the pink sprang off its spot. 18
points behind. The red next to the
Bradl is still going to be the key
Dennis, I think there could
still be some drama left in this
If he does not get on the red to
take the pot, it's an easy snooker
behind the brown.
Make sure you have
plenty of chalk on the tip, he is
going to have to play this with a
lot of screw and side.
He would have preferred a better
angle than this, Dennis. This is a
lot of key power. He is going to
need all of it here.
Where he points
the tip of the cucumber he isn't
even going to take the black one but
surely he can go up the other end of
the table? If he does not get on the
red, he will leave himself in such a
position he won't get the snooker.
You don't want to overthink it. He
is not taking the pot on.
It is a
tough one to hit.
It is, Dennis.
But, should he hit the red, where
the yellow and the pink are, he may
even flick a snooker. I wouldn't be
surprised with how this much has
gone so far.
A trick shot here...
Best of luck to the referee, to put
these back. But it's a free ball,
Shaun Murphy may take the black, and
have a quick look at the scoreboard.
He could take the black as the extra
red. 23 is the difference. The black
only counts as a point. He will
still need that last red.
Oh, dear! He has looked at the
referee and he says, yes please!
Well, we could be here for a while!
But they've got the monitor to help.
I cannot really see it...
He had a
choice, he could have potted the
black, played the blue down and got
the snooker on the last round. Liam
Highfield is in such a hole here.
I mean, 23 is the difference, if he
were to miss again. Could only
afford two more misses. Sitting in
his seat and reflecting on what has
just happened. Should have been in
the next round!
He has really been
through it in this match.
sorry for him because he has done so
well, going to win three in a row
and then looking like he got a
victory, it would have been terrific
to knock out the former champion.
This is tough for the referee and
the marker with the monitor. So many
balls moved. We can show you where
they were originally. That is the
position. Yes, they will get there
eventually but the shot that Liam
was trying, he was trying to hit it
and make the angle. It wasn't a
natural angle as he was trying to
get out of the snooker. He tries to
come off the side cushion, you are
swerving the ball. We can show you
it again. This was the attempt. Not
a natural angle. He was trying to
make it. He had too much on it.
That's why he hit the green.
the deep screw shot off the green
side cushion. Just to square the
It's a shame the match
will finish with this, that's the
last thing that you want to see. You
cannot blame Sean, he's completely
in the driving seat, he knows what
has gone on in this match. All he is
concerned about is getting into the
next round. He has one foot there
already. We cannot be too far from
We could see a fracture of
the red, and we cannot see it any
more... I wonder, let's have a
look... It is pretty good, this.
That is not bad...
Give me the
Yes, I think you are
almost there. Yes, that looks good
to me. And I think, really, our
referee deserves a round of applause
Well done! Yes... Liam
comes to the table, will he attempt
the same shot again? I hope he does
not hit the green again... Just a
double-check but I think it is
almost spot on. This is like a trick
shot that he is trying here. Ooh! He
may go back again. At least it is a
bit easier to replace this time.
Once again, a free ball. Now, 27 is
the difference. Looking to pot the
blue. He would still need the final
red, if he were to come up for the
black. It's a shame, the outcome of
this terrific match, that it will be
decided on a few missed shots. But,
those are the rules. Third time
lucky for Liam.
If he misses this time... If Shaun
takes the black as a free ball, he
would need that difficult last red
now... Once again, he is putting
them back in.
Would you just check,
If he misses the right this
time, he would be 35 behind. 35 on
the table if he does not hit one of
the higher value colours.
There is no other easy escape route.
He will get such a raw if he escapes
from it, it is a tough shot. That he
is attempting... -- he will get such
Needs to hit slightly
further up the cushion, for all of
the screw and the back spin that he
is playing... That is brilliant...
Ooh! Will it come to the rescue? He
has! He looks at John and he smiles!
Suddenly, there are smiles all
round. What is going to happen next
in this match?
This is a brilliant escape, having
to make the cue ball band to strike
the red. When it was over the
pocket, he thought, that is the end,
and he looked down the line and he
has got the snooker.
31 the difference. Plenty of
Playing the cue ball up and
down, the red across the table
behind the black. This is an
absolute corker. What a shot.
Well, what a finish to this match.
If he can kick this from behind, he
can get a snooker behind the black.
He has hit to the black.
Miss. And it is a free ball. He can
play the yellow and get the yellow
into play and get in behind the
pink. In fact, he can see enough of
the pink to take on the pot.
you be taking this on? There is a
chance that he did not think he was
going to get into this situation. It
All of a sudden, he is right back in
this deciding frame. What a finish.
He did well to play for the gap
between the pink and the brown. The
balls are at his mercy. Can he hold
himself together? He could knock out
the former UK champion.
He needs it to stop. He has gone too
far. The brown slightly in the way
of potting the blue. Just that
little bit of adrenaline. He would
have been much better finishing
shorter because he had the brown or
the pink. He just over a slightly.
Can they avoid the colours and get
back to the yellow?
He needs to miss the black. He has
This looks OK.
Shaun, as we showed you the gap, at
the moment needs yellow, green and
brown to seal victory.
With 12 points the difference, if
Liam can get a chance, he will not
need the difficult black.
pink would be enough. There have
been so many twists and turns
towards the end of this match. It
has been quite incredible.
Unbelievable drama. The Betway UK
You see, he cannot screw this yellow
and miss the pink and leave the
white on the cushion. He is
concerned that the yellow does not
go into the black. He needs to be
careful. He just decided on a
containing safety. It is all right.
It might have handed the advantage
to Liam. If he can get a good cue
ball in behind the pink or start
behind the black. He had a couple of
options. That is OK.
-- or stop behind the black. No
matter how good a player you are, to
come off the cushion, and strike the
yellow and get it safe, you need
some good fortune. Just trust to
The yellow does cut.
This is very thin. He is playing it
with right-hand side, which means he
will have to play two overcut it, to
allow for the throw. He did not. Can
you believe this match? Quite
incredible. The reason why the
yellow when the egg was because of
the right-hand side that he imparted
on the cue ball. Can Shaun Murphy
play a good positional shot?
It is too hard, much too hard. He
still needs the green and the brown.
Well, the number of times we have
told you that this is the best
player in the game that has ever
been using the rest. Does he need it
Is a good green. Good cueing needed
on the brown.
He just pushed a cue through in a
straight line. The man in the
studio, John Parrott, was brilliant
He needs to get this
because he could be moving the black
away from the cushion. Like -- that
is why he played a dead weight. What
a great shot.
Sometimes you get confused,
reckoning the score, but Liam does
need a snooker.
As Peter said, we have had
absolutely everything in the
deciding frame. Surely Liam cannot
get to the snooker and keep it
going. He has potted the blue when
he did not want to. It is going to
be tough to get a good snooker with
the black as it is. He could get a
possible snooker. He has not hit it
What an incredible deciding frame.
That was a great match in the end.
Liam Highfield, he was 4-2 down, he
won three frames in a row and he
looked like he was going to knock
out Shaun Murphy, but in the end,
Shaun scrapes over the
out Shaun Murphy, but in the end,
Shaun scrapes over the line, 6-5.
goodness, nothing like a bit of
Sunday afternoon drama. I know this
is a time of seasonal gifts but that
was bordering on the ridiculous.
What an extraordinary last few
frames. You watch this game for
hours and hours, you see all these
matches, and you never know what is
coming up. That was a brilliant
frame of matchplay snooker. He was
in Alcatraz, Highfield. There was no
way he was getting out. He looked in
trouble, one shot turns it around,
and the snookers Shaun. What has
cost, the shot on the last red, to
not get on a colour correctly was a
stinker. That will really hurt him.
He just needs to land on a colour.
If he gets on the brown paint he had
a chance of a clearance. A great
green from Shaun. Especially when he
left the cue ball in the cushion.
The green was a wonderful shot, with
running side. With the brown, he
knows he will get a cannon on the
black, so is the object ball does
not going, he will leave the black.
All these things are going through
your brown and a final frame
Shaun Murphy is through.
What an almighty scare. He is on his
way just now. Do you kick on or puff
out your cheeks and thank the stars
that you are there?
will go home and relax and think, I
should have been out of this
tournament. I have seen loads of
people do it in the past, when they
should have gone out in around, and
they come back and win the event.
has got to count his blessings. 3-1
up, 4-2 up. It ends like this.
Congratulations. That was a
It was never in doubt.
My goodness. Well done.
Why do you
do this to yourself? I have got no
idea. I do not drive. Even in that
frame, I was thinking, do I put the
ball safe. He had everybody. I
should have put the black safe, the
You were so comfortable and
then you find yourself having to win
the last couple of frames.
wrong? I do not know. I was trying
to work it out. Mark Selby summed it
up yesterday. If you do not play
somewhere near their best, you lose.
The game is so tough. With the brown
to win, I cannot avoid the black.
That is my only saviour.
The ball is
almost turn on you. It turned when
you live the blue over the pocket.
You have come too short. That is a
lack of concentration. You were
thinking you had position. When it
happened it never forgive you.
is the equivalent of a professional
golfer chanting the trip. I have not
played a shot like that since I was
It was horrific. Then there was
the snooker that Liam was trying to
get out of on the last red. You must
have thought you had him but he got
out of Alcatraz on that one.
mathematical point, I am looking at
the scoreboard going, here's missed
a red. I have got to move the red
myself. He is in trouble. I would
have loved another ball safe. In the
end, I did not fancy it.
I think you
did the right thing. To come out of
that snooker was hard but to get
another snooker, it is just one of
those things, you cannot account for
that. You have done the right thing
by putting it back in.
You have done
it, you're through. What will you
aim to do better in the next round?
I will try not to leave balls in
front of the pocket. I thought I
played all right. I scored well in
the balls and was hitting it nicely
but I need to tighten up on the
Well done. Thank you for
sprinting into share your relief
with the nation.
We will see you in
the next round. Go and have a lie
This is what else is happening
today. Ronnie O'Sullivan is through,
no problems against Michael
Georgiou. A different story for
The only one not there, Alan
McManus. That is going to be the man
that Shaun faces, it will either be
Alan McManus Jimmy Robertson.
looks like it is going to a final
frame decider. We will see you later
on for the highlights. There is more
light snooker on the red button and
on the BBC Sport website. We will
mop you down. I buy. -- goodbye.