Browse content similar to Semi-Final - Part 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This time last week, there were
eight tables in action around York's
Barbican Centre in the early stages
of the better United Kingdom
championship. Then four at the
quarterfinal stages. Today, two
become one, to paraphrase the Spice
Girls song, for the semifinals. And
we have four wannabe winners of the
second biggest title in the sport
this week. It is the coldest weekend
for a year. Ice, snow, sleet, either
with you or on its way. Simple
solution - stay indoors and stick
with us, because couple of semifinal
matches that are sure to bring a
warm front to your weekend. We have
had some big shocks and some big
name Hausding 's after a flurry of
incredible matches. However, these
are the guys who have weathered the
storms here in York. -- we have had
some big ousting is.
And we would share our memories with
Mr John Parrott and a man whose
outright record of six UK titles
might be equalled this weekend
because Ronnie O'Sullivan is
definitely on your tail. He says he
is not driven by records. How well
has he played for you in support of
a sixth title this week?
He is in
the type of form that can win it.
The reason is not that he has been
producing astonishing snooker, but
his shot selection has been great.
He has a good game these days. You
are going to have a couple of scares
along the way, but he is best placed
to win, even though there are some
great players left.
It will be an
interesting matchup, this, because
Mr O'Sullivan and Mr Maguire have
always produced a little bit of
tension. There is always a crackle
when they play one another. And
Maguire is certainly, unlike many
players, not afraid of O'Sullivan.
Oh, no. He will be punching. I have
been obsessed with him all week.
always say he hits the ball
fabulously well, but he has also
kept the lid on his occasional
outbursts of volatility. He has been
on an even keel all week and has
played better for it. The one
feature of his game that has been
very present is that even when he
has been behind, he has cleared up a
All four semifinalists have had
to go through at least one final
frame decider, including O'Sullivan,
who almost went out the world about
84, Sunny Akani. And he was not the
only mere casualties of that fella.
But it has been a very unusual
championship in that regard. In the
four of the top 16 making it to the
You could say it used to be
the best of 17 and now it is down to
the best of 11. You could say that
is why so many seeds got beaten. But
you could also make the case that it
is because the standard of the lower
ranked players is now closer to the
standard of top players. Whichever,
we know it is tough to guarantee
best of 11s. So Ronnie O'Sullivan
gives himself every chance to win
this match is by playing great
competitive match snooker all the
time, even though he has that
specialness in his locker.
looking forward to this one. The
evening semifinal will feature world
number six Sean Murphy, taking on
Ryan Bailie, after 19 years in this
game has managed to get himself into
a semifinal in one of the sport's
major championships, the triple
Crown event. But this afternoon, it
is the Rocket, O'Sullivan, against
the maverick, Maguire.
I am back in the semis again. Two
more matches, and the trophy as
ours, waiting to be picked up.
Stephen Maguire was a top player
coming through, one of the younger
guys. I knew I was in for a tough
match. I remember never just feeling
so good every time I came to the
table, making 90s, 80s, 70s. And I
remember pulling away and building
up a big scoreline.
I'm pretty sure
I was world number to them. He was
world number one and he absolutely
annihilated me. But we have played
since and we will play again. It is
the semifinal. I have won a lot of
matches to get here, I must be doing
something right. I have played well,
but I have not fired on all
cylinders or anything. I have just
played good enough to beat who is in
front of me. I would like to think I
can improve again for the
Maguire, class act. He
is good enough to beat anybody in
the world. He gave me a few good
tidings when he first came on the
circuit. Everyone knows what a great
player he is. So I have to play well
to get a result.
The atmosphere is
different when you play Ronnie. Fair
play, he brings a crowd. There is
nobody that brings a crowd the way
he does. That is the difference when
you play Ronnie. I have been about a
few years, so I know what to expect.
Well, this is the tenth time these
guys have squared up in one of
snooker's triple Crown events over
the years, including a UK final
eight years ago won by O'Sullivan.
O'Sullivan also has an emphatic
strike rate. But that's not tell the
whole story, because these fellas
have produced some electrifying
contests. Meetings have been scarce
in the last five years, so this is
definitely want to look forward to,
from whichever vantage point you
And talking about vantage
point, you will not get one better
than the commentary box. Dennis and
Stephen, what do you make of this
You have a battle of two
snooker bullies, two players who
like to stamp their authority on
matches and overpower their
opponent. Which will be the hardest?
Dennis, sometimes Stephen's
temperament can be volatile. But he
has done well and played better for
He certainly has against Joe
Perry, although Joe didn't perform
anywhere near the way he did in the
previous round. He beat him
comfortably. He has not won a
ranking event for four years, but
that will not bother him. He will
relish playing Ronnie O'Sullivan. I
look forward to this.
Much has been
made about the fact that Ronnie has
not played a top 16 player, but you
just turn up and play your matches.
What have you made of his form?
has breezed through it. He had the
match against Akani, which was
unique. It was almost like a circus.
On paper, this is his biggest test
so far. He needs a draw. He has not
played anyone in the top 16 yet.
Stephen Maguire has not been against
a top 16 players.
Against Ronnie, it
is so important to get a good start.
You would also think that the fact
that he has not been in the
limelight for a while will be
He has to get off to a
reasonable start. He could do with
sharing the first session or even
leading 3-1. He has a lot of
support. I am really looking forward
We all are. We will hear
your words later this afternoon. Rob
Walker, let's get these players out
Good afternoon, ladies and
gentlemen. Semifinal Saturday at
this year's Betway UK Championships,
and what a sense of anticipation
here in this famous old arena. This
match has the makings of an absolute
classic. Two of the sport's finest,
going to do for tomorrow's final,
it's showtime here at Barbican!
Please welcome a player who so often
produces his best at this
tournament. Bidding for his third
appearance in a UK championship
final, winner of this title in 2004,
five times a ranking event champion
in all. He is Stephen the Maverick
And his opponent - after 25 years at
the top of the sport, he is still
going strong. He's already won the
Shanghai Masters and the English
open this season and here he is,
emerging for a tenth UK championship
semifinal. Five times a champion of
the world, link and you will miss
him - the Rocket, Ronnie O'Sullivan!
So it's the best of 11 frames to
sort out whether Ronnie O'Sullivan
will check in for his third UK final
on the trot or whether Stephen
Maguire can muscle into his third
after a decade long wait. Dennis and
Stephen, or yours.
COMMENTATOR: Thank you and good
Ronnie O'Sullivan to play.
O'Sullivan won the toss and he will
break what a reception for both
players, a packed Barbican here. The
crowds have been fabulous all week.
That is what they are playing for,
the trophy there. I hope that was
not a photographer. Just making sure
there is nothing in his line of
sight as he breaks off. The players
are looking at whether the
scoreboard is correct or not.
Meanwhile, Ronnie sits down. Could
be the monitor, maybe, that is not
I think it is just the
Something to do with
the screen, just leave it. Let's get
on with the action.
I hope Stephen Maguire can play to
his true potential, because if he
does, he can beat Ronnie O'Sullivan
today, no doubt about it. For all
his talent, it's been a while since
Stephen Maguire has been at an
occasion like this. So he will need
to get a good start in this match,
And that wasn't the best
start. This is an early test for
Ronnie's cue action.
That is an early indication of how
well is cueing.
Straightaway, a chance to put a
Tremendous start of matches, Ronnie
As all the great
champions were, like yourself. All
the champions seems to start with a
big break in the opening frame. But
no distractions. We are down to one
table. That is what the players
like. There is that beautiful arena
now, with just the one table. Has
Ronnie ran out of position? I think
Before the semifinals, the
table has been recovered with a
brand-new set of balls, so the pace
might have caught him out of it.
That is the first shot he has
overhit. But he will not be bothered
by the pace of the table from now
That was much better from Stephen
Maguire. You could see the end of
the cue of Ronnie O'Sullivan tapping
the table in appreciation. I don't
know if he can get around the back
of those two reds and black. If the
white was off the cushion, he would
have a chance.
I am not sure he can get behind that
This is perfect.
Stephen Maguire is an excellent
tactical and safety player. But
Ronnie O'Sullivan, when he wants to
be, is as good as anyone there has
ever been in the game. On the safety
side of things.
If both of these
players play well, we are in for a
classic. If you are a youngster
taking up the game and wanting to
learn Matt Smith, you could do no
worse than watching this game -- if
you want to learn match Mukha. --
snooker. Looks pretty focused,
He will not be happy with that one.
That was a shocker.
Once again, that is a much better
safety shot from Ronnie O'Sullivan.
Not quite a snooker, but pretty
An extra incentive for Stephen
Maguire to win this match today that
if he does, he qualifies for the
Masters in January. So a huge
afternoon for him in many ways.
No path back down the table on the
left side. The black is blocking the
path to that red near the cushion.
He may be forced to taking the pot
on here, Stephen.
Big shot. If he
gets it, he will have such a boost
Can't do much better than that. If
he had missed it, it could have cost
him the frame.
We talk about players
with cue power. Look at the distance
he has had to travel. He not only
part of the red backpacking not only
potted the red, but watch the white.
This is Stephen Maguire's first
This new cloth looks a lot livelier
than the one that was on previously.
A nice cannon here would keep him on
the pink. He is going to take the
black now, because he is hampered
with the pink.
Didn't want to play
If he can put those two reds into
the right corner, that is handy.
Gone too far for the baulk colour.
Looks very good, Stephen Maguire. He
has got that angry table, Dennis.
love watching him. He is one of the
nicest lads you could wish to meet,
but sometimes around the snooker
table, he frightens the snooker
balls with the way he looks at them
That was what I meant when
I did the interview with John about
these players both being snooker
bullies. Tremendous authority around
the table. They really try and
He has won more easy read, and then
things will get more tricky to win
the frame at this visit -- won more
That has developed that red. Good
thinking on his part. He is fully
focused. He needs to give this due
care and attention. He did all the
hard work, but I knew that would
Didn't even get close, really. That
is a long way away.
Ronnie is now looking at the two
reds that Stephen looked at to see
if they could be made into a plant.
He could cannon one here if he
wishes. But it didn't work out.
I wonder if he will try a cannon on
the two reds here.
No, he chose to play for an open
red, but it has not worked out. I am
a bit surprised that he didn't play
that cannon. He had the perfect
angle on the blue.
This table is definitely playing a
lot quicker, because he has gone too
I think he is just OK.
This could be a frame-winner if it
It might have been the new cloth
that helped that go in.
This needs to be struck well. It is
so easy to decelerate on shots like
this. Beautifully played.
tight on the cushion, it will help
this, and it is frozen to the
cushion, as you can see. Jowett had
to drop it in. He played it well. --
just had to drop.
So, that pink that Stephen Maguire
missed good proved to be very costly
and give Ronnie this opening frame.
Just double-checking the score,
As you can see, just needs the
You just can't make a mistake
against this man. The number of
times he punishes you.
61 and a first frame, Ronnie
Stephen Maguire had a
chance, missed the pink and that was
his last shot, Ronnie O'Sullivan
with the break of 61, takes the
opening frame, 1-0. STUDIO:
Brilliantly done by Ronnie
Brilliantly done by Ronnie
O'Sullivan but I think Stephen
Maguire realises this fellow is
going to pounce on any mistakes and
it was just the one on
going to pounce on any mistakes and
it was just the one on the pink.
Crackling opening frame of snooker.
-- cracking. It is easy to cue
across this. If you are being
pernickety, it is one of those, you
might have to stand back and give it
a bit because it is not totally
straightforward but as Stephen 's
leading commentary, did not get near
It felt like he had a
bit of body movement on the shot,
the screw back that started it off,
he kept his body pretty still which
is the most important thing as a
snooker player and that includes
your head, less body movement means
less chance of the cue going through
on a bad line so that is what the
players try to do, getting the
stance right in the first race.
opening red that Stephen Maguire
had, you are cueing up to
demonstrate that! -- you were lining
up to demonstrate that. It was an
extraordinary opening red. If you
were watching us yesterday you will
have seen during the quarterfinal
between Martin Gould and Ronnie
O'Sullivan, a member of the audience
had to be taken out and it caused
some disruption because she was
taken to hospital. Happily, I can
tell you marry Snell is absolutely
fine, it turned out she had fallen
before coming into the arena and had
inadvertently broken her hip but
such was her determination to come
and see the snooker for the first
time, she came in and put up with a
painful good few frames before it
became too much for her and she
fainted and had to be taken to
hospital. She is due to undergo an
operation this morning. We wish you
all of the very best, Marion. That
is the kind of commitment we expect
and admire in our snooker fans!
Incredible story. COMMENTATOR: It
certainly is. All the very best to
Unintentional kiss on the brown
which has not left an easy red, it
will pot in the middle but it is far
Yeah, will be interesting
to see if there is any reaction from
Stephen Maguire to missing that easy
pink. Sometimes, it can really put
Here, we will see it again. He
seemed to come as you said, it was a
tricky shot but he seemed to get
down on it pretty quickly, did not
give it as much attention as he
should have. It was a big shot.
as Steve Davis said, there was a bit
of body movement on it.
definitely leaning into it slightly.
Might have got away with that,
Stephen Maguire. The red does cut
but this is tricky.
The pot was always on but the
position was not straightforward. I
think, Dennis, if Stephen can get
2-2 at the interval, I think he is
in this match. Any other scoreline,
he is really going to struggle.
Obviously, 3-1 up would be great,
but at the minimum, 2-2, and he is
very much in it.
more, Stephen. Meanwhile, he is
faced with an escape route, twice
across the table to try to land on
the red that is near the cushion,
there are, but he has to be careful,
if he slips past that, he will leave
it on. He needs a touch of side as
well. That is a little bit too
narrow but better missing it that
side than the other will stop having
said that, it can still be potted
across the cushion and he can get on
the black so he will have a go at
GASPS FROM CROWD
Amazing now that has worked to
Stephen Maguire's advantage, the
fact he did not escape from the
snooker but this was not
straightforward along the cushion.
Well, he is in first again. He has
got the chance. How many can he
Yeah, got a chance to erase the
memory of the first frame.
Into the bunch, here, screw the cue
ball back to the left-hand side of
the table to leave the red, closest
to the black to the right corner.
Oh, you could see the cue ball moved
to the left but he has snookered
himself on the red. He may have one
to the left middle. Let's see, that
is the movement, the cue ball going
towards that side of the table,
but... A little bit unlucky. He has
got the red to left middle, just
seeing if he can stun for the pink
to the opposite middle pocket.
Good recovery, there, because he was
very unlucky for the White to finish
in there but awkward, bridging,
there, did well.
Still not straightforward, here.
Just has to be careful when he plays
the cannon, here, that he doesn't
hide the cue ball again.
Oh, he got a kick, what a time to
get a kick. He missed the pink in
the opening frame, he has got
himself in here, got the balls at
his mercy and the pink kicks and
That is horrific.
You feel for him, there is, when you
look at the balls. -- there, when. I
said he had to erase the memory of
the previous frame and the pink he
missed and now he's got to erase the
memory of getting a kick on that
pink. A tale of two pinks so far in
this match. I will be shocked if it
does not cost timber frame. -- cost
him this frame.
Yet, you don't mind losing a frame
if you miss a ball, but if you get a
heavy contact, it is just pure bad
I don't think either of these
players, Dennis, are using the new,
special chalk that some of the
players are using that is supposed
to eradicate kicks. Woe, a reprieve.
Can you believe where he has ended
Yeah, he was trying to
get around the back of the black but
a bit unlucky to be snookered.
There's a possible... Couple of reds
that Stephen can go for, here, but
Ronnie had no easy safety shot,
Massive reprieve for Stephen
Maguire. If he can pot this red to
the right middle. Or is he going to
the red to the right corner, then
cut -- thin got? Good shot, got the
Yeah, funny that new chalk that you
mentioned there, Stephen, I was in
the practice from Stephen Maguire
the other day and I asked if he was
using it and he said, no, it is £15
for a little blog of chalk and he is
quite happy to leave marks on the
table, which the new chalk does not.
He was not interested. A bit
expensive, that chalk, Stephen.
Yeah, Ken Doherty had some and I had
a look at it. It is very rough, the
chalk we normally use is a lot
smoother. But a lot of the players
are convinced it is stopping kicks
and bounces off the cushion as well.
Meanwhile, an opportunity of a red
to the far left corner.
Oh, what is happening here? APPLAUSE
Trick shot! Ronnie is trying to
smile, there, because the white was
going in the pocket and suddenly,
the red appeared. Now, the white was
going into the pocket, suddenly, the
red appears, thank you very much. I
think he can avoid hitting the
yellow, here, when potting the blue.
Where our, he was thinking more
about missing the cannon on the
yellow, there. -- well, he was
thinking. Worrying times for Stephen
Maguire, that heavy contact on the
pink and the missed pink may be
still at the back of his mind.
he's not going to have much chance
of winning this match, if he's not
going to take these opportunities,
Stephen, I'm afraid. At the minute,
he is the one starting to look a bit
intimidated although saying that,
Ronnie has just played a shocker.
Another left off. This is
incredible. -- left off. A bit of a
comedy of errors, this frame,
Yeah, I don't think it will
continue, that is for sure. He could
do with knocking this in, here,
giving his confidence a bit of a
Just a little awkward with the
yellow of its spot, as we show you
this pot that went right in the
centre of the pocket. It would have
been a lot easier if the yellow had
been sitting on its spot, to get
back up to the reds, but I think he
is almost straight on this. He needs
to avoid the brown on the way back.
Yeah, he had just enough angle to do
that. But he has not dropped nicely
on a red. So another mistake.
Stephen Maguire, three.
Just a safety shot, here. The reds
are all covering each other near the
pink spot, there.
Oh, dear! That was a kick as well.
You could hear it.
If he does not
get the kick, there, Ronnie can't
see this red to the right of the
green. He is still not going to play
I think if the cue ball was of the
cushion a little bit, he would play
it because he would be able to get
to the bottom of the cue ball, to
stun, bring it back to the ball
cushion, but he cannot do it from
tight. -- the baulk cushion.
he is just concerned that he does
not send the red straight into the
pink but he is going to play the
shocked that you suggested. -- play
the shot. It is OK because those
four reds are all covering each
It is always nice to see the big
breaks going in but this sort of
frame can be very entertaining and
exciting to watch. Just two points
the difference. Quite a low scoring
Now he's coming up a long way short
so this is a bit of a chance for
Needs a good, favourable kiss, here.
Well, the fact he slipped past it,
he might have the yellow to the
middle with an angle to get up to
the red macro to the left of the
blue, yes, he's OK. -- up to the red
to the left of the blue.
But the other three reds are not
ideally placed. They are away from
the cushion but they are not in an
easy position to pot.
If he's got a good angle on the
brown, he might be able to screw up
between the two reds. Just depends
on the angle. No, it is not good on
the brown but it is on the green.
That looks pretty good if it pulls
up. About the best he could do,
Well, this is a tough one up into
the corner. Looking to screw back
for the black, here. Key shot coming
up, here. Nope. It was perfect on
the black as well to get to the
last, difficult red if he had potted
Another example of Ronnie
O'Sullivan, he does take many risks.
-- doesn't take many risks. Was not
even tempted by that straight red to
the yellow pocket.
He will be tempted by this one.
Is it going to pull up in time, it
is very, very quick, this cloth. It
is quite thin. Stephen Maguire has
had a good look at it. From that
picture, it looks like he can cut it
It had to be thin. And that has
developed the last red. But there's
no easy pot available.
He is looking
at pink but now there is pressure on
this, now he has brought that red
into the open.
even taken on the pot?
I could not have
refused that, Dennis, could not have
refused that pink. That is very
cagey. It just shows the respect he
has four Ronnie O'Sullivan, does not
want to go 2-0 down.
Yeah, he pushed
the pink safe because he has got a
14 point advantage.
And look at this shot.
He will be
able to take the pink on now. It was
a very negative shot, I feel. Things
like that give your opponent a lift,
as well, you see that he is not even
going to take the pink on and it
gives you a boost, which is why he
is a bit afraid.
I remember the
great John Spencer, three times a
world champion, giving me some
advice, he said, "If you are at the
table, you have got a chance, take
it because if you play a shot like
Stephen Bate, you can be in trouble
when you come back to the table". It
is about playing the percentages,
knowing whether to go for it and
there is a little smile on Stephen's
face because he knows he is in all
sorts of bother, here. The green is
in the way of the one-cushion
escape, the brownies in the way of
the two cushion escape. -- brown is
in the way. He will do well to get
out of this and get it safe. He has
had to go so close to the brown.
That is a brilliant shot, it really
You can tell that Stephen Maguire
just wants to get a frame on the
Ronnie is looking at the
shot, here, to stun, take the pink
off the cushion, if he leaves the
cue ball there, puts the red across
the table, snookers Stephen behind
the green and the brown.
He thinks it is too risky. Worried
about getting the red over in that
left corner. He needs something to
come to his rescue. I think Stephen
Maguire can pot this red.
Yeah, don't worry about the cue
ball, just put everything into the
He's overcut it. But he may have...
Well, I was going to say he might
have got away with it but if the
white pulls up, Ronnie can take on
the pot and bring the pink
interplay. It might be a bit narrow
Well, he has done that. APPLAUSE
And he has knocked the pink up
towards the left corner pocket and
he may have to take it, now. So, one
good pot, and one good positional
shot, it could be 2-0.
If he gets that far, it is blue to
think which is going to be the
tricky one. -- Bluetooth
-- blue, to pink.
At one point, I did not think the
cue ball was going to make it there
because he put the yellow into the
right-hand side of the pocket.
You should have gone for that pink,
This was always going to be the
tricky one, blue to pink, and he
hasn't played as he would have
If Ronnie O'Sullivan misses a shot,
it is normally always thin.
Avoided the black, no problem. The
priority was to get the pink safe.
As I mentioned earlier, it's nice to
see the big breaks going in, but
this sort of frames can be very
That is a pretty good cue ball. It
would be ironic if he takes this on,
which is much more difficult than
the one he refused. He is normally
very attacking, Stephen Maguire, so
it's make your mind up time.
Fabulous shot. Absolutely fantastic.
That was brilliant cueing.
That black was not a gimme. He
didn't push the cue through in a
He has played this well.
This might turn out to be the
longest frame of this semifinal. And
it's an exciting one.
He has hit this all wrong. Certainly
not as he intended, and it's a very
thin snick that Stephen has come to
have a look at. This is tough.
Well, he put absolutely everything
into the pot, and it looked as if it
was in, but look where it stopped.
A fascinating end to the second
frame. It ebbed and flowed, but in
the end Ronnie O'Sullivan knocks the
HAZEL IRVINE: the Scotsman had two
goodbye to that in France and sub
2-0 down. It is a tale of the pink
for Stephen Maguire. He missed one,
got a kick on one and refused one.
An amazing friend, lots of twists
and turns. -- an amazing frame.
Look at this situation with Stephen
Maguire. Stephen Hendry said an
commentary that he had a great
chance to put the pink and win the
frame. He decides that if he puts
the pink safe, then Ronnie
O'Sullivan leads the pink, so he
decides to play a snooker and put
the pink safe. It's like an old
school shot, whereas Stephen Hendry
was much more going for the attack.
Arguably, Stephen Maguire never got
as good a chance of that one. But
you live and die by your shot making
decisions. It was a fascinating
He refused to that one and
then did pot and unbelievable pink.
Damaging from his point of view?
Extremely. You are playing one of
the best players who ever lived. If
you have a chance like that with the
black, you cannot miss it.
hit that black so well that when it
does wobble, it stays in the jaws.
If you miss it by further away, it
2-0 to the Rocket.
It could so easily have been
This is a big ask for Stephen
Maguire Nel, 2-0 down, to keep the
belief that he can win this match. I
said earlier that I think he needs
the two remaining frames of this
session. Ronnie has been anything
but impressive in the first two
frames. But Stephen has not been
able to punish him.
He put everything into the pot
there. Try it to glance off the red
with the cue ball and hit it to
As you mentioned, he has had
chances. It could easily have been
2-0 to Stephen.
That was a poor shot, Stephen. Very
careless. He wants to play for the
red that is just above the black to
left corner. He was hoping for an
angle on the brown. He will have to
play off four-cushion is now --
offer four cushions.
The previous shot on the red was the
bad one, wasn't it?
The body language is not the same as
it was at the start of the match. He
has taken a few hits in the first
He will have to bend this around the
brown. That has got the game back to
That is a long way short again with
the safety. So he is struggling a
bit at the moment, Stephen.
Far from an easy chance, but he is
on the right side of the blue to get
up to the business end of the table.
They are all sort of covering each
How different could do match have
been if Stephen had part of that
pink in the first frame? Now the
body language is not the same. In
the best of 11, the first frames can
be so important.
It is fascinating watching Ronnie
O'Sullivan when the balls are tied
up like this, how he goes about the
Much more difficult now that he
hasn't got on the blue as he would
Matt and has just gone
over the hour mark. It's quite slow.
You would not have expected that
from these two players, but the
first two frames have been quite
How does he play the pink? Not easy.
Look at that shot, played with the
opposite hand. Gives himself a
chance of cutting this red in.
needs a couple more reds to win this
third frame. He is not liking this
one. And that is why, because the
cue ball ran wild.
If it is
touching, he has got to nominate the
colour. But it's not touching.
He has got the green safe and he has
got the snooker, so he's in the
driving seat in this third frame.
He was in a bit of a hole there. All
you can do sometimes is hit and
hope. A tough start for Stephen
You never settle until you get your
first frame on the board.
With 3-1, he would be pleased. 4-0,
and he wouldn't be happy.
There is an argument for saying that
3-0 and the match is over, but if
Stephen doesn't win the next frame,
there is no doubt...
It is not as easy as it looks, but
Ronnie O'Sullivan leads the arena
needing Stephen Maguire 3-0. --
Yes, Stephen Maguire still sitting
in the arena as Ronnie goes out for
a bit. And even more time to ponder
what might be the key moment of the
entire match in the frame before the
last one, limits on the black.
When you play against the top
players like my right honourable
friend here and Stephen in the
commentary box, when you make a
mistake as big as that, you can bet
your bottom dollar in the next
frame, they will make you remember
it. Ronnie played a brilliant frame
of snooker and kept him in his
chapter most of it. He has had a bit
of a walk out there to compose
himself at 3-0 to let Stephen know
what the scorers.
Do you agree that
the next one is key if this match is
Every frame is important,
but sometimes it feels like there is
a significant insert and friends.
The problem for Stephen Maguire,
like a lot of players who play
against Ronnie is, he's starting to
try too hard to not make mistakes.
You know the significance of trying
to clinch your chances. That is not
how you play your best snooker. You
play at your best when you are just
competing and enjoying the
competition. The moment you start to
try even more a fraction than you
would normally, that is when the
errors start to creep in.
COMMENTATOR: And when you try too
hard, you concentrate so hard on the
pot that your position goes awry.
Nothing comes automatic. The worst
thing about coming from behind to
beat Ronnie is that he never plays a
wrong shot! So he doesn't give you a
What were you saying?!
That was amazing. He needed
such a thin snick on this, and he
hit it too thick. He would have
gotten away with it if the red had
not gone in the yellow corner.
He has already stopped in his tracks
a little bit. Shouldn't be a
You see the shake of the head. He
overscrewed the ball by about two
inches. I don't know if he can get
as much action on the cue ball from
this angle. But he still played it,
just couldn't generate the same
pace. He is concentrating so much
for making sure he puts the ball is
that the perfect position is
He was a bit unlucky,
because this red doesn't pass the
other red, by the looks of things. A
That was a bit careless. But that 54
break that money made, the balls
were very awkward -- the breakdown
You have got to keep this fella on
the cushion. You can't keep leaving
him with these sorts of chances.
Hit it absolutely perfectly.
That wasn't easy. He had a straight
red, but it was no good for him. He
can see enough of the green, I
This is quite a rarity, Ronnie
O'Sullivan using the rest.
Right in the middle of the pocket.
That has left him a choice of one to
the yellow pocket. Because he plays
every shot with his left hand as
well, he never seems to use the
rest. He is not bad when he does.
That was a strange position all shot
from Ronnie. I don't think he had
made his mind up where he was going
to leave the cue ball.
Astute watch that red, that is why
he's back with the rest again. The
green was hampering him slightly.
So, terrific with his right hand,
brilliant with his left hand, and
pretty good with a rest.
Yeah, he's OK. He's got enough angle
to get that onto the black, here.
Lots of left-hand side. He was
Another one of
those pinks that you have two sort
of stun in -- have to sort. They are
not easy, believe you me but
sometimes, he makes them look so
I know in his interviews with Hazel,
he sometimes says he is not that
bothered about records, but make no
mistake, Ronnie O'Sullivan will want
to beat every record set in the
game. He has overtaken my colleague,
here, Stephen Hendry, in quite a few
of them with regards to century
breaks, maximum breaks made, and
hundred breaks made in the UK
championship, something he did just
yesterday. The only record he has
not overtaken, he has won five world
titles to your seven.
And he puts an awful lot of practice
in. Don't think he just turns up.
That he's a natural player, he just
turns up and plays like this, he
puts powers and hours of hard into
the game. -- puts hours and hours of
He is going to need one of those
reds, near either cushion, after
this one, to win the frame at this
visit. He's had a look to see if
that red to the left side can be
ported. You would have to be right
behind it, perhaps it looks easy on
the screen but it's not. He would
like to have been maybe a little bit
closer than this. I don't expect him
to miss it. It could have been
missed, and he wanted to be a little
closer to that red.
Well, if this red drops, it is 4-0.
They are very sharp, these middle
pocket. So a little bit of hope in
this frame before the mid-session
interval, for Stephen Maguire.
The 36 point lead does not really
mean anything, the way the balls are
sitting, here, one mistake and the
frame will be over, either way.
And... Not quite as he played it.
This is a big shot but you know,
Stephen Maguire won't shy away from
it. Well, he won't shy away from
GASPS FROM CROWD
You cannot get your breath. He has
conceded the frame. That was an
unbelievable bit of misfortune there
for Stephen Maguire and they head
off to the mid-session interval and
it is 4-0 to Ronnie O'Sullivan, what
a way to lose the brain. STUDIO:
Stephen Maguire would probably have
a case to say that he might be
cursed at the moment and he's
probably feeling like it at the
Well, yeah, you can't
account for bad luck, that is part
of the game, isn't it? But
sometimes, as we said yesterday, it
seems like the balls don't forgive
you. It is a stupid thing to say, so
stupid, they obviously can't think
but they punish you severely! We are
all mentally scarred by these balls.
This comes up a lot, you talk about
this but it is almost like, you are
The snooker gods
never stop watching and if you have
the chance after he missed that
brilliant pink in frame two, and you
don't take it, that is your lot,
they don't forgive you, and the rest
of the afternoon, nothing goes for
him, and he's up against one of the
best players who ever lived, so
things tend to go a bit wrong. We've
mentioned it many times, it is just
mentioned it many times, it is just
It is quite laughable to
say it. We are supposed to be
experts but we are coming out with
stupidities like that but you can't
operate and Ronnie puts a lot of
pressure on you, even though he has
not cleared in one visit all the
time, he keeps knocking balls in,
couple of pink in the middle pocket,
running them in.
Stephen made a good
point earlier, in terms of Maguire's
response to this, you have two
bullies out there and one is running
away with this, so how does the
other one respond?
The only good
thing is, the interval has come
because if they had carried on, it
might have been 6-0. I think he's
got a good chance to come out, clear
his head, may become an hit a few
balls if he wants to and the fact he
has got a few more frames, it is not
like best of nine so he's got a bit
more of a cherry to bite but he
needs to get out and pot a few
Yeah, I mean, in a way, the
tables are currently empty, you
don't get that Lonmin interval and
if you are in the right frame of
mind, you come to the practice
table. If you've already given up,
there's an argument to say you don't
come to the British table.
knows? You might come in shortly but
Stephen Maguire certainly has a lot
to think about this afternoon, 4-0
down in a first six semifinal. The
second semifinal this evening at 7pm
second semifinal this evening at 7pm
sees world number six, Sean Murphy,
taking on Welshman Ryan Day. Shaun
Murphy won this event in 2008 and
Ryan Day is the Riga Masters winner
and that was his first trophy after
many years of misses. He's come
through three final point decided in
a row to get this far and it's the
first time he's made it to the
semifinal of one of the sport's
triple grand events, it will be
quite an occasion for the Welshman
I think there is no doubt that I'm a
better player than I was last year.
My potting, scoring, break-building
has always been and as I say, I'm
going out there with some
confidence, enjoying my snooker,
enjoying being out there with the
crowd and who knows?
I'm playing OK
and I've won a couple of close
matches and that is all it takes
these days. He's a fantastic player.
He's got very few weaknesses. If I
want to compete and beat Shaun
He's got very few weaknesses. If I
want to compete and beat Shaun, I'm
going to have to up my game.
Day, a player I've known since we
were 11 or 12 when we met first on
the Junior tour, great at potting
and break-building, I don't think
there's many better break-builders
on the tour and now he has won his
first ranking event, he's a
different animal, someone who now
knows how to do it. That makes him
very dangerous and got my hands
We are talking more than 20
years, I have known Shaun two
different tournaments and whatnot,
came through the pro ranks, he has
won reachable ground but we looking
forward to the semifinal. Ryder it
feels as if with each match, I've
played slightly better and I can't
wait to get out there.
survived a bit of a scare in the
second round, coming through a final
frame decider that Davidse Liam
Highfield, and we were sitting there
listening to him breaking himself
about not having control of the
white ball but he seems to have gone
a roll since then, some of his
cueing has been fantastic.
potting is as good as anywhere in
the game, last night you could have
done top ten, it was ridiculous, one
of the bottom cushion that he potted
and run-up to the blue was the best
shot I've seen all week. He's giving
his fine form he got away with it a
bit against Ricky Walden, winning
6-1 when it was not that scoreline,
gave a few lifelines, did not give
quite as many against Mark King
which was a good sign but there's
the occasional glitch where he gives
the opponent a chance he should not
which is the only thing stopping him
from winning consistently the top
'S confidence is high, three
big finals already this season,
winning the champion of champions
against Ronnie a few weeks ago, how
do you assess a challenge this year?
It is significant, should that be
the final. Anyone who thinks Ronnie
is going to walk away with it, could
look at that match. I think we have
got, arguably, the four most
consistent players this week in the
semifinals. There have been some bad
performances from players who have
not followed it up but I think these
lads have been on it most of the
time. You can't guarantee every
match is going to be a breeze.
Disappointing for Stephen Maguire
but I expect the match tonight to be
Ryan Day arguably
has had possibly the toughest time
because he's come through three
final frame decider in a row to get
You cannot say he has not had
enough practice! He was saying that
he likes to use it up and we were
having a laugh about it before. In a
perfect world, you would like to be
winning 6-1, 6-2 but you know now
that if it comes down to the Di
Grassi, you can get over the line.
We are looking forward to that one
at 7pm on BBC Two, we hope you can
join us but let's get back to the
man who has been pre-eminent for us,
you might say because Ronnie
O'Sullivan has been in four big
titles, winning two titles already
and as Dennis was saying, he has
surpassed Stephen Hendry's total of
maximums and indeed centuries in
this particular championship. But as
he has consistently shown as he has
come in for interviews and talking
to people around the venue, it is
not snooker that controls his life
these days. He's a much happier
person away from the table and Steve
had an interesting chat with him
when he talked about the numpty
factor and also about following this
fellow into the celebrity jungle at
Ladies and gentlemen, to
night belongs to 17-year-old Ronnie
Ronnie, have a look at
this, 1993, UK Championship, just
Baqer Greenhow excited are you? It
has not really sunk in yet but the
reception was unbelievable. I can't
believe it. I've got a cold sore on
You just wanted more of it?
Was that after I had won? Really?
Fantastic moments for you but
saying, you just wanted more of it,
at that time you were eager to play
smoother and after this many years
in the game of course it is a
different type of motivation,
I think I just play more for
fun, now, you know? I learned from
you and Stephen Baxter, you know,
probably not to expect too much of
myself but I enjoy being at
tournaments, I enjoy travelling and
that kind of stuff. You know,
without snooker, then I would not
get the benefits of that, I'd be
stuck at home. I like to be busy. I
think snooker gives me that
opportunity to have a purpose in
It is a long season
and if you play every tournament, it
is quite tough so probably wisely,
you have been picking and choosing
which in its own way has perhaps
improved your longevity in the game.
Yeah, maybe. I don't really know. I
enjoy competing and playing. I don't
take the game too seriously in many
ways. I looked at tournaments
sometimes just as practice sessions
sometimes, go in there and treat it
like an exhibition, try not to put
too much meaning into it but you
know deep down you are trying
because that is your natural
competitiveness. But you know, I
make going to tournaments beneficial
for myself, you know. When I'm
going, I know that I am happy with
everything when I get there. It
makes it a lot more enjoyable.
a competitive game, motivation for
competition comes into the equation
and there's always the record books.
You know, I'm trying not to put
words in your mouth, you are not
really worried about the sixth UK
championship, are you?
No, I'm not.
You don't want to equal anybody's
record? Radradra no, I don't you
feel about records but I got the
Masters one, I thought it was quite
nice but it is not something... It
does not interest me. I would much
rather somebody offered me five
years of playing at the top of my
You might not win everything
but you would enjoy every minute. I
would take that over records all day
long. Maybe some people are more
about the records and I'm all about
getting the feeling and the buzz for
To do that, sometimes you
have to make the game interesting
and keep your freshness so lots of
things off the table and that is
something I try to do, we all tried
to do. You have had lots of hobbies
off the table which I think our help
Yeah, always, every
tournament I go to, I link up with
the local running club, made most of
my best friends that way because we
have that thing in common. Yeah,
that's been fantastic for me. You
know, yeah, I thought if I just play
snooker, it will drive me mad, you
know, I need distractions. If I've
got a distraction going on in my
life, then snooker is the easy part
in a way.
As long as it doesn't
distract too much, writing a book
takes a lot of time.
No, the more
Do better? Put it
Yeah, seriously, lots of
players go down that superstition
route, but I have none of that, I
was having breakfast at like
12:30pm, you know, just chilling out
with my mate and I'm playing at 1pm.
I honestly just think there is no
point taking it too serious.
about the distraction of winding up
people on the tour, winding up the
occasional numpty? Were you sitting
out there, thinking about those
words? Thinking it was coming back
to bite you and you should never
have said that?
Numpties can beat
you, that is their problem because
their thinking is, they are very
positive people, normally, quite
deluded, they think they are a lot
better than they are and if they are
having a good day, they can take you
out. Listen, I've been beaten by a
lot of numpties before and there
will be a lot of numpties that beat
me but sometimes, you just think,
"Not another one!" But I do like
Next year, obviously, it seems
like, from what we are hearing, that
you may not be in the UK
Championship. If the jungle
I don't know, yeah. I
said to my agent, as much work as
you can get me away from snooker.
You can't get further away than
Exactly, you can't pick and
choose when they are, obviously it
clashes with this tournament, I'm
not saying I'm definitely going to
do it but if the offer is there, I
think at this stage in my career, it
is more important to enjoy things
and grab life by the scruff of the
neck and make the most of these
opportunities. I think if a lot of
other snooker players have the
option, they would probably do it,
Parachute jump? Radradra get, I
don't mind a bit of that. Spiders?
Yeah, fine, I'll eat them.
will get comfortable with snakes
before I go. I'm going to start
loving snakes, walking with a big
part around my neck, King of the
I would not put it past him,
life according to Ronnie. We were
talking about numpties and there's a
couple of them out in the Fourier,
there's certainly a chance to make
yourself a numpty out there with
crazy snooker, John and Steve, how
are you doing?
Crazy snooker, happened as to give
All this stuff on the table.
The first hole, take the cue ball
The first hole, take the cue ball
pot the yellow. It is called fun.
But it is not snooker.
But it is not snooker.
on baby. He's missed
on baby. He's missed the
He's It's there, come
yellow, it is impossible, now we
will go on to two, down here. Take
the cue ball right round there, pot
Had a bit help your
technique? What is the point.
is fantastic, brilliant, number
three, this is superb. You will want
a go in a minute, honestly. Got to
go all the way down there, through
the gap, through the tunnel.
Now you want a go.
Wears number four?
Go up there,
chipped the blue and popped it in
the middle pocket.
Do I have to do
hit the blue?
hit that? I'll have another go.
got to be coming down the right-hand
I know that!
I'll take my chewing gum away.
think I got -- I got a kick. One
more go. It's impossible!
touched it! Where is number five? It
is your go again. This is brilliant,
you just go up and it comes down,
popped the ball up and goes over
Get in there.
That is the
link and find one, it has to be
clever there are three holes and you
don't know which one it is. Not that
I've got a funny
feeling I know which one it is. It
might be... That one! The commie you
can have fun, Steve Davis having
fun, would you believe it? -- yeah,
you can have fun.
I did not like
Numpties! Anyway, no
shortage of technique in there, and
shortage of technique in there, and
no shortage of technique where
Stephen Maguire is concerned. He won
this great championship 13 years
ago, right here in York.
If I was to ask Peter what he would
say would be your biggest strengths,
what do you think he would say?
think he would probably say, long
potting, break-building and rest
we are talking about Shaun Murphy,
and Shaun Murphy's semifinal is
deceiving against Ryan Day and we
will be talking more about that
later but let's talk now about what
we were originally supposed to be
talking about, Stephen Maguire!
Wherein we are doing these character
assassination... Analysis pieces, I
think probably Stephen Maguire
thinks he cannot win because you are
asking a player to fire in
determination but if they go a
fraction of, they are hot-headed and
it is ruining their game.
Steven is one of those players that
the fire in the belly, the hunger to
succeed, the wheel helps him and I
think his best performances have
coincided with when he has been like
that, when you see him wanting to
win so badly.
But then we rip into
Listen, you won't hear me
doing that, I think it helps him and
spurred him on. It gets him up for
the match and when he gets in that
frame of mind, you can beat anybody,
I've been for
Stephen, I agree, I think he needs
that and if you think back to the
days when Stephen Hendry was at his
absolute best, if he missed and he
was absolutely distraught with
himself, he would put its head down
and look at the floor but if the
opponent made the mistake of
thinking that they had got him, one
more chance and that was it, he
would clear up. I think in that
respect, Stephen Maguire is quite
similar to Stephen Hendry. They are
setting themselves such a high
standard. Most people just want to
win but for players like Stephen
Hendry, yourself, yourself, Steve,
and Stephen Maguire, it is not just
about winning, it is a level of
expectation that they have to meet
otherwise there's major
So let's be slightly
critical, what is lacking then? What
has stopped him, he did him?
Personally, sometimes I think you
can be too aggressive in his shot
selection because you can't keep on
getting those kind of balls. If I
were to advise anybody playing
Stephen Maguire in a big match, it
would be to wait for your chances,
play the right game, play a sensible
game. Let him be dominant and
aggressive because he can't keep on
being that aggressive and keep
getting away with it. He can't keep
potting the ball is so that would be
my advice for anyone who wanted to
beat him over a long match.
does he do from now on? How does the
approach the rest of his career with
a view to improvement or will he be
happy with his lot? Surely not?
think he has to keep going, keep
potting in the hours and the time. I
am sure he would agree if he was sat
here that he would have liked to
have won more tournaments and
dominated in the major championships
but I don't think his career is
finished by any stretch. I think he
might just be halfway. I think he's
got plenty more to give. I think the
game has got plenty more to give him
It's going to be a long way back for
Stephen Maguire today, 4-0 down
against Ronnie O'Sullivan. Does the
Scots still believe he can make it
to a third UK final? Let's find out
with Dennis and Stephen.
COMMENTATOR: Thank you, Hazel.
with Dennis and Stephen.
COMMENTATOR: Thank you, Hazel. Don't
make any mistake about it, Stephen
Maguire won't be thinking he is out
of this year's UK championship just
yet. As long as your opponent needs
to map your friends you always feel
you are in with a chance.
frame five, Ronnie O'Sullivan to
Ronnie to get the fifth frame
I might question whether he believes
he can win it at this point but if
he could win maybe a couple of
frames, then the belief might come
back. At 4-0, he won't be feeling
Let's see how positively he plays
this red. Can he stop the cue ball
short of the baulk colours? Yes.
That is a good start.
Very positively played.
Just gone a little bit further than
He will want to get up near the
black spot area as soon as possible,
he can do that in a few shots time.
Yeah, in Ronnie's previous round, he
led 5-0 against Martin Gould and
Martin came out and won three in a
row. That is what Stephen Maguire
has got to do, here. And now he is
back at the high-scoring end of the
So it looks like there is just one
more red available. I don't know if
the two to the right of the pack, I
don't know if the bottom one pots to
the left corner. He will land flat
on the black, here, level. That is a
big target, because of those two
loose threads, he can screw the cue
ball into the joint of the bottom
red and the pack and bring the cue
ball to the right-hand side of the
table. It is a nice pack to into,
please. Oh, he did not get into the
right part of the pack.
Hitting it too far to the left of
the bunch. That is a disappointing
end to the break.
Well, it was a nice start from
Stephen, a bit unlucky with the
split but as Stephen said, he did
not quite get the cannon as he
Yeah, you always need a little bit
of good luck in snooker and when he
played the cannon, he did not get
much luck and he didn't have much
luck before the mid-session
interval. He had a chance here and
he cut this beautiful red, and for
the white to drop in the middle
pocket, as the crowd were all
applauding, they could not believe
the white went in, none of us could.
And he has underhit that by a long
Now, Stephen, what a chance.
Ronnie's turn to be a long way away
from the pot.
A wry smile from Stephen. He put
everything into potting the red and
forgot about the position.
he is struggling a bit with the pace
of the table. It is certainly
playing a lot quicker than they were
earlier in the week. New cloth on
Don't hit it too hard. That is the
At the moment, the interval has
certainly affected Ronnie
If he takes this red on, he could
drop on the black. He is just
looking to see if he comes across
the table. There is every chance he
could finish on pink or black. He is
perfectly on the black hair. --
You have to get that first frame on
the board to give yourself any
Just a quick glance at the
scoreboard to work out how many more
he needs. A few more pots, and the
frame is safe.
He is looking at the scoreboard
again. And he is now looking at the
more difficult pink. He has got to
get on a red.
He hasn't made it easy for himself.
It ran 12 inches further than he was
hoping. Should have been a nice,
easy red into the middle to secure
the frame. At the moment, Ronnie
could tie it with one good pot into
the corner. He will be feeling a
little better now.
Ronnie has nodded to the referee.
Stephen Maguire has his first frame
on the board, but he is still 4-1
That is what you would hope from
Stephen Maguire, to come out
fighting. The aggressive intent was
clear from ball one.
It took him a
couple of bites of the cherry to win
the frame, at the opening red showed
He hit it like a shot
to nothing, and the cue ball goes
back into the bog area. Stephen
Maguire was thinking, I am potting
this. It looked like a positive
And it will definitely help
him feel more positive about the
task in hand.
That's right. Going
back to the point we made after the
interval started, Stephen Maguire
didn't come in the room to practise.
So I don't know if his general way
of doing it is to always sit in the
dressing room, regardless of how the
game has gone, but you would expect
someone who had not had that much
table time and missed a few shots to
come in and get their arm going. To
knock the ball in the first frame 20
minutes later is amazing.
the crampons now, he has got a bit
of a climb against Ronnie
O'Sullivan. That he has a frame on
the board and we have a semifinal
that is back in competitive mode
So Stephen breaks off after winning
his first frame. He needs to get a
bit of momentum going. He needs to
win a few frames in a row.
A lackadaisical shot from Ronnie
O'Sullivan. He doesn't look focused
at all since the interval. Stephen
Maguire recognised that.
That was the typical Stephen
Maguire. A very attacking shots. He
was a bit unlucky. Played with lots
of right-hand side and didn't quite
hit the pink. It was a thin one, but
it free of the black. -- it freed
the black. A very aggressive shot,
and he was a bit unlucky again. But
Stephen Maguire has one thing on his
mind at the moment, and that is
all-out attack. These are so
difficult. When you are this close
to the object ball, you have to be
careful. Well played.
He took a bit of a risk there, going
into the bunch. It has not worked
out great. This is awkward.
Well done. The cue ball just stopped
in time to have a pot on the brown
or the green. Another role, and he
would have had a pot on.
Just hampered slightly here with the
green. Well played. He has had a bit
of good luck for a change.
We always say the mid-session
interval can turn things around.
That is certainly the case at the
Stephen on his highest break of the
match. Not surprising, considering
that he was 4-0 behind. If he starts
winning frames in one visit, that
will really give him confidence. If
he is scrapping frames, it doesn't
give you the same confidence.
Nice positional shot.
Just needs a bit of assistance to
get to this one.
Played it well.
He could play for the loose red and
anything from the brown upwards, and
leave Ronnie needing a snooker.
He has done well here. As Stephen
said, if he can win the frame with
one visit, that will certainly boost
the old confidence.
This red will keep Ronnie in his
This is more like it from Stephen
Maguire. He is a very powerful
snooker player. The way he started
this break, the blue into the bunch
and then the red into the bunch, got
things into the open straightaway.
He will need a good pot here.
No century, but that was just what
Stephen Hendry needed, a one visit
when. -- win. Yes, excellent
recovery from Stephen Maguire,
helped no end by a tricky blue.
Remember the blue and white that
were close together ) is the type of
shot many players have trouble with.
If that the cue goes through and
hits the red and that it follows
through, you are effectively double
hitting it. In the effort to get the
ball to the pocket, that cue ball
goes through like that. The other
side of the coin is, if you don't
hit the ball hard enough and you
quit on the shot and you try and
pull the cue backwards afterwards,
you don't even hit it with enough
pace. So a little tip and something
you can try if you have trouble with
this shot when the balls are close
is, there are no guarantees it will
work, but when the balls are close,
don't look at the cue ball. Look at
the object ball. And you will get a
better hit because of that.
O'Sullivan to break.
He is just so interesting, Isner,
Steve Davis? -- isn't he? He is a
very interesting DJ as well. What a
nickname, DJ Thundermuscle.
Ronnie has looked at this red, but
it's too thin, so he is playing the
Doesn't want to hit the yellow. Once
again, chance of a long pot for
The black is not going to go back on
its own spot. But he is starting to
gain a bit of momentum in this
match. He has got that look about
him again that he had in the first
frame, before he missed that easy
pink. He overscrewed that by a long
way. It looks like the pink is still
It's amazing that there are just two
points difference, but he's 4-2
A bit unlucky for the black to go
almost tight on the cushion.
He is in aggressive attacking mode
at the moment, Stephen Maguire. He
has played that beautifully. He has
got to be on something there.
Played it perfectly, but he was a
bit unlucky, because if he drops
this red in the middle pocket, the
blue won't go past the other red.
That was the best he could do, so
another good shot is required to get
from yellow to red.
That was a tough shot to try and
power that cue ball with top spin
off two conditions. -- cushions.
was unlucky when he scattered the
reds not to finish better.
It is not an easy chance until he
gets the black back on its spot.
Black is just a little awkward.
wonder if money will be tempted to
go into the cluster of reds -- if
Ronnie will be tempted.
As long as he doesn't leave himself
straight. Stephen Hendry finished
the previous frame on a red.
The red to the middle is tricky.
That is the one he played for. Great
He made that red look as if it was
hanging over the pocket. It was
anything but. That was an acute
He was always going to be OK there
because of the reds.
Normal service resumes for Ronnie
Just shows the
difficulty when you are chasing
someone who is frames ahead. You
can't afford to miss. Although won
the first two friends, you can't
keep Ronnie out forever. Looks as if
he's going to win this frame and be
one away from victory. That first
session is so important. Stephen had
to stay with him in the first
No really big breaks so far
in this semifinal. Ronnie's highest
was a break of 64 in frame four. He
had a 61 in the opening frame.
You have to say Stephen Maguire was
unlucky going into the pack. Not
having an easy shot to play
He only needed the one chance.
That is an unbelievable red he has
just potted. Absolutely incredible
Jos Buttler one nutrition will do.
He can take the pink off here with
this brown, just to nudge the pink
over the left middle pocket.
He needed that pink off the cushion
to make the century. This will be
his seventh in this years Betway
Championship. And his 91st of the
tournament. And that is now 913 for
Ronnie O'Sullivan, centuries.
Absolutely incredible. He did not
score a point of two frames, and
when he got a chance, a break of 111
and now he is just one away from the
place in the final, 5-2 to the
Rocket. STUDIO: Well, no wonder
Stephen is brooding in his chair,
bumped, absolutely pounced upon that
mistake, tried to power the yellow
in earlier but why am!
mistake, tried to power the yellow
in earlier but why am!
and he looks like, nice word, by the
way, whammo, new one, he's lost
position and you think this is the
end of the break but the red he pots
end of the break but the red he pots
in the middle pocket, you would be
struggling to drop that in but he
screws it with left-hand side.
It comes right round and
straight on the black and then the
red to make the century but the
frame was already over but never
mind, what a pot!
mind, what a pot!
essentially break from something
that was not guaranteed was the
reason why a use bordering on 1000
century breaks. It is not when as
long as he keeps playing, ... Sorry,
We know what you mean.
his 44th birthday, a present?
reckon another couple of years, all
right but in terms of the
psychological blow to Stephen
Maguire's hopes because he really
was in the groove, there.
just getting a foothold in a match,
you could see he was playing well,
there was a positivity to him, the
way he was walking around the table
and striking the ball, but just cued
through the -- cued around the
yellow when you have to do it
straight through. It was a body blow
because he was just starting to get
involved in the match but of course
the great champions turn up when you
make a mistake.
91 from Stephen
Maguire in the
make a mistake.
91 from Stephen
Maguire in the sixth frame, 111 from
Ronnie, there, and suddenly, Ronnie
is on the verge of yet another place
in a seven UK final. -- seventh UK
Back to square one for
Stephen Maguire. From when he came
out at 4-0.
How did that not go in? That is what
you call a wide, Dennis.
Yes, he was
trying to screw the white up to the
safety zone. Missed it by the
It goes without saying, Stephen is
that the point of no return now, 5-2
down, no room for margin, now.
He has just got to not miss. He is
capable of running three or four
frames in a row without missing. But
doing it in this situation, against
the calibre of opponent he is
playing is a different matter.
That normal chalk that Stephen
And this barbican crowd giving him a
round of applause. I think they
would like this semifinal to go on a
He can't go into the bunch, here, it
is too awkward with where the open
red is just to the left of the pink.
If he was going... The red that I
mentioned, if he hits the right hand
side of it as we look, in between it
and the pink, just glance that red,
that is the way to play it and that
is what he did. Not bad.
don't often see it played that way.
Have a look at this, he's got top
spin on it. Usually, it comes back
quickly but look at how the white
got out of that awkward position.
That was very well played.
He was very unlucky in the previous
frame, Stephen mentioned, when he
went into the pack, he split them up
and was very unlucky, he had to drop
a red and then missed forcing the
He is certainly going to give it his
best shot, that is for sure. He
looks in a bit of a determined mood,
I am just watching his body language
around the table.
There might just be a little bit
left in the tank for Stephen Maguire
because as I said, he is looking
He can be a dangerous animal when
his back is against the wall.
Sometimes you can just go in relaxed
mode and your arm loosens up, and
you are 5-2 behind, nowhere to go.
You can see that he is speeding up a
Still six seconds behind his
He knows that any missed shot could
be his last in this match.
Well he did not hit that as he
intended, in fact, I think he
thought he might have missed it, he
groaned, there. Oh, well, look at
the jump. I mean, the red left the
bed of the table, there, and that is
why he is not on the black as nicely
as he would have been without that
It was difficult to keep the white
at this end and that was all caused
by that kick on the red and he did
not get on the black as he would
have done normally. He could see the
red jumping, there. And it just
meant he had a difficult cannon to
play and it just slid off the side
of the reds.
He is keeping the attack going.
GASPS FROM CROWD
Stephen Maguire, 51.
You can see his
reaction. It is pretty close.
Well, this is certainly not the
easiest chance to win the match from
here. It would be an incredible
He may be tempted to take that red
into the far right corner, the green
pocket. That is the one where he can
get his hand on the table. Well,
looking at this one.
GASPS FROM CROWD
Ronnie O'Sullivan, six. That should
Already 53 points ahead.
Just this red to make absolutely
sure of the frame.
But he has looked pretty good since
the mid-session interval, it has to
be said, he could not do much about
the last frame. He was unlucky in
that as well although Ronnie had a
magnificent century, Stephen Maguire
was in first. Certainly since the
mid-session interval, he is back
playing the way he did all week,
He's gone into the 90s, now, 91 with
his pot success rate, Roddy sitting
at 93 which is very good. -- Ronnie
sitting at. Ronnie nods to the
referee so Stephen Maguire is not
finished just yet. He has got
another frame back but there is
still a long way to go, 5-3, Ronnie
O'Sullivan. STUDIO: Still some
mileage in this semi-funny yet.
O'Sullivan. STUDIO: Still some
mileage in this semi-funny yet. Now
we are celebrating the 40th
anniversary of this great
championship -- semifinal yet. But
this weekend also sees the
celebrations marking the 40th season
of a real sporting institution, very
proud to have done ten years on this
programme itself, it is officially
winter when Ski SUnday scores -- Ski
Sunday calls the tune.
It is back, the theme tune, the
mountain vistas, the action and
adrenaline, as anticipation builds
ahead of the biggest Winter Olympics
ever. Ski Sunday returns this Sunday
on BBC Two.
Graham and Ed will be an holes, skis
and snowboards, looking forward to
seeing them but is it downhill fast
for Stephen Maguire or has he still
got some mileage?
Oh, no, he is
still in there, punching way, we
keep harking back to the frame when
he missed the black, totally
different match if he doesn't but he
still punching in there and he won't
give up, that is one thing about
income he still looks positive
around the table and he will believe
he can win.
He really put the work
in this summer. He made it to the
Regal Masters final in the first
event of the season and for the
first time in a long time, he did
not really take a summer holiday, he
said he worked right through and has
begun to graft after having dropped
out of the top 16 which was a bit of
a shock to the system for him.
you are going to be a professional
and stay on tour, you have do work
and graft, interesting what Stephen
Hendry said it felt like Stephen
Maguire suddenly upped his pace.
Really, you should play at the pace
which is best for
Really, you should play at the pace
which is best for you all the time,
not change it. That is why Ronnie
O'Sullivan is so good, he never
changes, he plays the same, win or
lose, behind or in front, his pace
is always the same.
It is an
intriguing semifinal and it is not
This match has mirrored
slightly yesterday's match between
Ronnie O'Sullivan and Martin Gould
when he went 5-0 up and Martin Gould
relaxed because he had nothing to
lose and started playing his best
snooker. Slightly similar situation.
I don't know what the spectator said
but Stephen offered him his cue,
maybe someone in the audience is a
better long potter than he is. That
was a nice bit of light relief.
Someone said something, so, yeah,
you have a go!
Excellent pace on the cue ball. But
he has put this red over the left
corner. It all depends on how strict
it is. If Ronnie can get the cue
ball out of there. -- house
-- how straight it is. A little bit
Well, I thought he had got a way
with it for a moment but that red
has come back up the table. There
might be a pot on but where is the
position. He did well to get away
with that, Ronnie, once he missed
that pot and went into the reds. He
could have left something easier but
this one came all the way back up
the table. Awkward bridging. To get
to a colour is going to be very
That is pretty well played. From
that awkward position. Once you
reach the baulk line, you know the
pot is not going to be
Well, he is on this
brown but I am trying to see a red
that he can just drop on with the
natural angle. Maybe the one to the
He has played positive, into the
bunch. How is your luck?
The body language is not good.
There might be one to the left
middle. It is very tight. He is
having a long, hard look at it.
Great shock because you have to say,
to Dennis, today he has not had much
luck going into the bunch.
thinking exactly the same. He has
not had a run of the ball, usually
it evens itself out over the longer
matches, you think, but he has not
had a particularly good run, here.
And even there, he was awkward over
the reds. Has not got as far up the
table as he wanted.
Good shot. Good, solid pot. Now
there's five or six reds around the
black, they are all blocking each
It looks like he will just have to
stay on blues and pinks for a while,
until he can clear a path to start
moving those reds around the black.
He looks like he believes he can do
it, to me, he has got that more
positive look around the table.
Well, he has won three of the last
four frames, no reason why he can't
keep it going. But he knows he can't
make a mistake.
This was a good red to get out of
the way, the one he is going to play
now. This will open everything up.
Just screw the cue ball, Canonbury
red to the left of the black. -- can
the red. It is therefore taking,
now. -- it is their for the taking,
now. Well, what have you done there,
I mean, surely he was playing for
the red closest to the left corner
He would love to have another go at
that last shot. Have a look at this,
you just thought, the way the reds
are, he is bound to be an one but he
finished in the most awkward
position. This is very tricky with
Just watching a replay, he
might have got a bit of a big
Yeah, rescued the situation well.
Just going the right side of the
blue as well so it is a matter of
dropping this in and he is back in
Yeah, this is brilliant stuff from
the battling Stephen Maguire, here.
This is the fourth time they have
played each other in the UK
Stephen defeated Ronnie in 2004, the
year he won it, Ronnie in 2006 and
2007 beat Stephen.
It is just interesting, again, any
young players watching, trying to
learn something today, Ronnie
O'Sullivan is just sat in his chair,
you know, completely emotionless.
Completely calm. That is what you
have to be because just in case
Stephen Maguire misses, you have to
be ready to pounce.
Excellent stuff, though, from
Stephen Maguire, you have to say.
He's not just scrapping the frames
out, he's winning them in one visit.
He is doing what he has to do. A
look of disgust from Stephen Maguire
because he had to use the rest
again. He has played some careless
He's had to play a couple of
cracking shots with the rest and he
is back in prime position again. You
have got to admire this play here
from Stephen Maguire, you really
have, this will be four frames out
Stephen Maguire made 32 centuries
last season. He is on 17 this
season, he has already made four
this year in the UK. His highest was
128. He had a 91 break in frame six.
91 century so far this year and if
this width goes in, it will be
another. -- if this red goes in.
Absolutely brilliant from Stephen
Century number 372 of his career.
And this probably will be as good as
any of them, coming at just the
right time to keep himself in this
If he popped the pink and the black,
he will beat his highest break --
pots the pink.
From 4-0 down, suddenly, Stephen
Maguire is right back in it. He is
still one frame behind, though, it
is 5-4, Ronnie O'Sullivan. STUDIO:
is 5-4, Ronnie O'Sullivan. STUDIO:
Well I don't know what he said to
himself in the interval or indeed
what kind of conversation he had
with his dad, Pat, who is down here
but a different player and the guys
were talking about the speed at
which is going round the table now,
has that had been -- a big impact in
He just looks very
positive and we said, sometimes the
things can change matches, I'm
pretty sure if he carried on without
an interval, the match might have
been over because it was one-way
traffic, he missed the black in the
second frame which did not put him
in a good frame of mind and using
the matches ever but sometimes going
out and having a word with yourself,
which is probably what he did, with
a few expletives in there, I would
imagine, he's given himself the
proverbial kick up the backside and
played so much better at the
It would have been so easy
for him to have cursed is luck and
said it was not going to be his day
at 4-0 down.
As I said, he did not
come into practice in the interval
and I don't know if he does normally
so let's take it as he does not
usually, but there is an element of
the fact it is not so much throwing
caution to the wind but there is no
pressure on you when you 4-0 behind,
you have less to lose but now we are
getting to the nitty-gritty, you he
might start to try a bit harder and
see how it goes, from that
perspective, he does not want to
full-back and if he can continue to
keep up this rhythm and take it to
Ronnie, it is an interesting
They have only played twice in the
last five years and Stephen has not
beaten Ronnie for five years. They
have played a UK championship final,
and they have always put up some
And he announced
himself on the big stage. He's not
of playing him. Stephen used a good
expression, he is a snooker bully.
He's good enough to beat anyone, and
he is trying like mad this
He sure is. A possible
two further frames in this
At 4-0, it looked like Ronnie
O'Sullivan was cruising to the
final. Anything but now.
Did well to get the cue ball back to
the baulk. There is pressure on this
now, Dennis. When you have nothing
to lose and you go for them, you
relax. But now he could win the
There is a bit of a gap, but
there are a few obstacles in the
way. Good effort. There is no easy
starter for Ronnie O'Sullivan.
the pressure switches back again
from being relaxed with not much to
lose, then all of a sudden you are
back in it.
This will get him onto
the black. Great cheering. --
He has missed two or three long
balls since the interval. But that
This man has seen every scenario in
the game of snooker in his long and
illustrious career. There is no way
he is going to panic.
There is every chance that Stephen
Maguire might have played his last
shot in this match. He will be
fearing the worst.
Ronnie O'Sullivan always manages to
find an extra gear when required. He
let that one go a bit. That was
There are not many more
available to him. Amazing what can
happen in this game. Went slightly
out of position, took the aggressive
route and was very unlucky to pop
the pink when he knocked to the blue
Ronnie overhit that by about a foot.
Very loose shot. The consequence was
that he had to play a difficult
That is an awkward position for the
referee to be in to get the pink in
a straight line, direct in line with
the blue and black.
He has purposely opened up the reds.
A lot of players would have glanced
off that, but he played that in such
a way that it opened the game up.
That was far more difficult than it
looked on the screen. It was a
positive shot, but he might be
regretting opening the reds up.
didn't think he was going to leave
that one. Now Stephen has to sit and
see how many Ronnie cannot in -- how
many he can knock in.
Great chance to get into the final.
I think he will forget about the
black and concentrate on the pink.
Not absolutely perfect.
Very delicately played, back in
prime position again. Just that one
safety shot that he played. He
wanted to open the reds up, but he
didn't get the cue ball where he
It looked like it was all going to
be one-way traffic when Ronnie led
4-0. Stephen played some brilliant
snooker to get right back in this
match, winning four frames out of
five. But a few more pots, and it's
all over for this year for Stephen
Maguire. Ronnie O'Sullivan keeping
himself on track to equal Steve
Davis' record of six UK titles.
wouldn't say he has been at his
brilliant best, but he has always
been able to find something when it
has been needed.
When Stephen came
back from 4-0 to 4-2, Ronnie knocked
in the century break.
He is finishing the match in style.
No century, but smiles all around. A
great comeback from Stephen Maguire,
but in the end, Ronnie O'Sullivan to
O'Sullivan into a seventh UK final
and a third in a row. Stephen
Maguire, we thought it would be a
runaway by Ronnie in the end. But
Stephen reeled him in.
Every time he
has been asked the question, he has
produced a little bit of a better
standard. From Stephen Maguire's
perspective, disappointing to get
off to a poor start, I suppose.
a great response in the end to make
a proper game of it.
expect him to try. But ultimately,
it costs him. Fantastic match, but
class came through in the end.
Ronnie is talking with Rob Walker.
Ronnie, congratulations, yet another
UK championship final.
Yeah. He was
coming back at me there and I was
lucky to be 4-0 up. Stephen didn't
capitalise on the chances in the
first four frames, so I got away
with it and just tried to stay ahead
after that. Pleased to be in another
From a neutral point of
view, it became a really interesting
match because at one stage, it
looked like you were going to
railroad him and then he showed his
class to give himself a chance.
Yeah, I knew he was playing well
because I have watched him playing
on TV and he looked to be doing
pretty good. So I knew I had to play
decent today and luckily, I was able
to do enough.
See you tomorrow. Well
The second semifinal will be on this
evening at seven o'clock. We have
the world number six, Sean Murphy,
taking on Ryan Day. It is a huge
evening for Ryan, because it is the
first time he has been in a
semifinal of a Triple Crown event.
So we look forward to that. Guys,
thank you for your contribution to
what has been an interesting
afternoon. I hope you have enjoyed
it. It's a big evening of semifinals
tonight on the telly. No need for
judges or indeed for votes on BBC
Two, because that is where we will
be at seven o'clock, where it will
all be down to Shaun Murphy and Ryan
Day. I had to cut you down. In the
meantime, enjoy the rest of the
afternoon. -- I hope to catch you
then. Bye for now.