Day 4 World Championship Snooker Extra

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Day 4

Jason Mohammad introduces highlights from Tuesday's first-round matches.

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good evening and welcome to snooker extra, extended highlights of Day


four of the 20 17th that Fred worlds in the championship. Our feature


titan I'd is the second session of the match between John Higgins and


Martin Gould. Higgins opened up the 7-2 lead overnight and was three


frames away from bugging his place in the last 16. Your commentators,


John Parrott and John Virgo. COMMENTATOR: Martin Gould gets this


second session underway. Five frame deficit against someone like John


Higgins, is going to be hard to pull back, JP? Yes. You would think so,


John. One of the best match players, the game has ever seen. And he is


approaching 42 years of age. All his sniggering faculties are still


there, great break-builder. His long game has got better. He has found


something. And he never gives you anything easy, John Higgins. You


have got to earn your corn. There has only been one century break in


this match. The average shot time, 23 seconds. 28 for Martin, but when


you are behind you have to do a lot of thinking time. One century, that


was made by Martin. He could do with a couple of them early on this


morning. To try and get some kind of foothold in the match. He is playing


somebody who has been there, got the T-shirt for times. Recognised by all


as the best match player we have ever seen.


He mentioned about the time it has taken Martin, 28 seconds, but you do


tend to think a lot more when you are stuck in the baulk area. It is


certainly not straightforward. This is an example.


Clever. Normally, a player would try and... Little shake of the head.


Just an inch short. As I looked over at John Higgins, I saw a slight


grimace. So even 7-2 in front, he still disappointed if he doesn't get


it inch perfect. Yes, he will be concentrating like mad in this first


frame, just to dampen any fire Martin Gould has left in him to go


AT two. It starts to look totally forlorn for Martin. This is a


massive frame, John Higgins knows that. All that experience of being a


matchplay. Don't give your opponent any encouragement.


Whilst there is a safety exchange going on, congratulations, you told


me the Grand National winner, eight months ago. Well done to you. Well


done to One For Arthur. Second Scottish winner of the National. And


didn't he win? Could be a Scottish double. John Higgins for the World


Championship. Yes. Towards the corner. Now he needs the


green to come to his rescue. It hasn't. The only thing you would


say, he has a pretty good length of the cue ball. If you play this at


pace, chance of potting it. John just puts a damper cloth on the cue,


to get rid of any stickiness. This is a horrible shot he has been left


with. The angle is all wrong for what he needs. Can't see how he can


avoid a cannon here, if he knocks this in. He will do well to avoid


one. Wow! That is amazing. Where did that gap come from? Good pot.


Amazing, this game. How did he get through there. And it swerved twice.


He is just going to try and nestle behind the green. Making sure he


gets a good cue ball. Just overhit it slightly. He should have stopped


this escape route down the left-hand side of the table, as we look.


That is a better safety shot from John. Just shows you the standard of


his safety play. No shots wasted with John Higgins. You get some


players and they are still playing on the circuit thinking putting the


cue ball in the baulk area is enough. He is always trying to put


you in a position to force a mistake. There is a difference in


that. And there is the mistake. Yes,


kissing the blue. Left the cue ball this side of the baulk line.


He can play the yellow, but I think he would like the blue back on its


spot. Bit more work to do with the cue ball. Couldn't avoid the green.


I don't think he will be getting many more.


OK, it could be made. But his main concern will be getting that cue


ball back to the baulk at end. This is a difficult plant.


Excellent. Perfect length. Well played.


Looks like he is playing the push up and down, trying to lead the cue


ball behind the red on the top cushion. Tried to get it tight, but


there may be a me the pink that goes. But that would top-class


cueing. I suppose at 7-2 down, you might be tempted? There is one thing


clear in your mind when you are this far behind, you have got to come out


and play well. Close. I think sometimes you have got to give


yourself a chance to play well. Just by refusing things and playing


negative, I don't think you can get back into a match with such a


deficit. He knows what he's got to do, Martin. That was a tough pot,


but he took it on. He didn't leave anything. There will be read over


the corner here, can he get through to it? The brown may have covered


it, but a little swerve, the cushion first would pot it. The only thing


is, he won't be certain where the cue ball is going to finish. He will


need a bit of luck for position. Quite a decent swerve. Nearly three


quarters of the ball covered. Got to get it right. The main priority, as


ever, pot the ball. Don't get position, just play a good safety.


But, knock it in. Well done. And I'd tell you what, he will settle for


that. That is a bonus. Little help from his opponent to reduce this


deficit. He has got a good chance to build up a useful lead.


Frame-winning opportunity. Tough call, but just concentrate and try


and get as many points in front as you can.


Good, clean pot but I don't think if he has got enough out of the cue


ball to get the right side of the blue. There we go. Just likely. Just


a run through for the red on the right-hand side now. If the pink


parts in the left-hand pocket as we are looking at the screen, that


would be ideal. -- pots. It obviously does with that


positional shots. Nice chance. Good signs. Struck that one beautifully


right in the heart of the pocket. Didn't look like touching the sides.


We were commentating together on the Gary Wilson much. He is another one


who is predominantly left side. I know he has had one that is stronger


than the other. Always amazes me there with his glasses. It is as


though he looks over the top of them. When you look at the troubled


Dennis Taylor had getting the correct pair of glasses he could


play in. Martin wears glasses and looks like he is looking over the


top of them. Don't tell me he's looking through


the glass there. But it works for him and he has become one of the


most dangerous players on the circuit. Vastly underrated. If those


glasses are working, John, get me a pair.


He has decided to play for the black. Not sure where the black will


go after it is parted. The green spot is available. It is one of


those situations, OK, you would love to win the frame at this visit, but


don't miss anything easy and get what you can. Well, he has played


that absolutely superb. I don't think the black will be available


when it goes on its spot, but he couldn't have hit that any better.


Look at the top spin. Shot of the morning that one. Hasn't been many


shots this morning, but that's the best one. Can't wait for the next


one. I said when he first came to the


table, it was going to be a tough call for him to win the frame at


this visit. It is looking likely now, just the start he was looking


for. Couldn't agree with you more. This has been a fabulous break. Like


you, I look at the table and thought, OK, there is a few reds


available but that shot on the black was excellent. There is a crispness


about the strike this morning from Martin Gould. Hitting the ball very


well. Lots of authority. Certainly better than yesterday. He got off to


a poor start, 5-0 down. He was a little bit at sea. But already this


morning, the cueing looks a lot more assured.


Red and colour, as soon as he plots this thread, there will be the red.


There will only be 51 remaining. This thread, he will be 59 points in


front. We'll be into the two snooker required stage. If he was to make


this, it would be special. Terrific break, this. And just the start he


was looking for. We could see his second century of


the match. Little bit of a gap. Maybe able to drop it in.


He couldn't do much with the positional side of the shot.


Good pot. Nice kiss on the brown. It's not a bad one. Thing is,


everything has gone right in the middle of the pocket, nothing sloppy


about it. As a player, you always feel good when you find the middle


of the pocket. And even as mentioning it, cannot stop them. He


is in fine Vettel. Overrun a little bit. Little bit of work to do with


the cue ball here. -- fine Vettel. We've already had 18 century breaks


in the championship so far. This brown for 19, John and is not been


any better than this. I haven't seen many centuries better than this.


When he came to the table, it didn't look like he was going to clear up.


Excellent. Well played, Martin Gould. Very well played.


He just lost his concentration, probably thinking about the next


frame. John Higgins, didn't do a lot wrong. Martin Gould, sensational


century break, has reduced his arrears now the four.


That looks to fix. Always a danger. Leave one of these mid-range pots.


Players of this class with a hand on the table.


Had an excellent start to the season, John. Won three events at


the beginning of it and was in superb form. Still been playing


well, obviously. You can lose the final frame deciders, anyone can


lose those. His game has still been all right. When he has time to have


good preparation, but the hours in in Scotland. Turns appear with these


long matches, that is what suits him best. He can win those tournaments


that are best of seven, best of night, but John Higgins' game is


suited to the longer format. When he came in, there was a couple of


quotes saying how well he has been playing, which is unusual, he


normally keeps it to himself. So when John says he is playing well,


you have to take notice. Got into that. I thought he would


have stunned of the cushion. I am certain that was the idea. Got into


it too much and didn't bounce it off the cushion. Tricky blue, this. He


is playing it pretty quick, but it is difficult, this. I was amazed he


got down and played it so quickly. You were right, it was very acute,


that angle. Always horrible, chewing across. You have to make sure you


are in the middle of the white. He has overcooked it. But it was the


shot before. Maybe he wanted to play the screw shot onto the cushion but


got into the white too much. Another example of excellent cueing


and to pot that is tough enough and to flick the red out as well, very


good. I think he might be struggling for another read. There is one goes


there, you can see but he has two pot this and screw back off the


cushion and this requires excellent cueing, to find the gap.


That was a classical example of not hitting the centre of the cue ball.


Mishap some unintentional side. Particularly when you are striking


now and it has pushed the cue ball into the black, hitting it much too


thick. He was a little unlucky to come that close to the cushion.


This will be testing his eyesight, we mentioned before, John. If he has


the right hand side of this pack to clip off, you have got to get these


mighty thin. Anything thick he is going to contact the jaws of the


pocket. He will settle for that. Not quite


how he played it. But where it has finished is not too bad. In fact,


where it has finished, the blue is blocking the left-hand side of the


table of John Higgins. Can he get through to this red? He


may be able to bend it with a trace of right-hand side. Another role, we


say it is all about fractions, another role and he could have


plotted this red comfortably. Well! What that was. -- pot.


Absolutely stunning. I thought he was taking that read on, because he


obviously looked at the safety shot and thought, whatever I play safe


here, I might be sticking a read up, so decided to attack. The way he is


hitting this morning, why not? Once again, beautifully cued.


You just concentrate on the blue. He would love the black back on its


spot, but I wouldn't sacrifice your position for that. Just overscrewed


that slightly. He can still cut the blue in and play a little cannon. I


wonder if he will do that? If he takes the chance, he could bring the


pink into play and maybe promote the reds. Where he's finished, he may


have to play the cannon now anyway. Just needs a little bit of luck


here. He didn't bring the pink into play.


That would have been a bonus. He is on a red so the break will keep


going. He knocked a couple of read out into better positions. As long


as he can keep getting the right side of the blue, which he hasn't on


that one. He should be able to score a few. They always say if you are


going to be the wrong side of the blue, be the well wrong side of the


blue, which he is. No problem there. Didn't have the yellow to avoid.


Made it a little bit easier. Just a 17 point lead. It's not a


straightforward run to the line but we saw in the last frame how well


he's potting. Needs to be right side of the blue this time. Just got


there. Just got there. The right side of the blue, in this case, is


the left side of the blue line. There is the side bar. 60 points the


target. Basically, he's looking for another 29 points from this


situation. Only two reds available at the moment. Not an easy 29 points


to get. Not the right side of the blue this


time. Will stun in between the green and


brown here. He's striking the ball well this morning, John. Yes.


There's a sound to it. You can tell when someone is hitting the ball


with great authority, because the back of the pockets make a sound.


He's not hitting any jaws, everything is pretty clean. This has


been a tough break so far. Got to keep that consideration level up.


Which can be difficult when there is more travel in the cue ball. That's


another terrific shot. Hmmm, well, that's unlikely. Worst


way, you would think he would be on yellow. I think he could pot this


black. Or it is an easy snooker. Go for the easy snooker. He got a 30


point lead and John Higgins will be doing well to hit a red here and not


leave anything on. REFEREE: Foul and a miss, Martin


Gould four. Decision time here, John. Would you take the miss? No, I


would play the pot. I tell you why. You can play it claim ball. Well,


I'm surprised at that. He's got a yellow over the corner pocket. If


John Higgins plays this properly, and there's every chance he will,


there's every chance he will be getting nothing. I would have been


taking that one. That's what he's attempting to do, get that side.


Well, this looks nice, this looks nice! Well, he didn't hit it off the


back addition, but he hit it. As John said, probably now the wrong


decision from Martin to have it put back. Well, definitely the wrong


decision. Any time you are given a free shot to nothing like that, and


the way he has ported this morning, you would fancy him to knock in that


red five times -- nine times out of ten will stop the yellow was over


the pocket, no position required, you are guaranteed to be on a ball.


Of course, we'd played in an era where the miss rule wasn't as


prevalent as it is now, and I think some players think, I've got him in


a snooker now, I could get 20 points out of this snooker. The wrong way


to think. I see that a lot now, particularly when there are a couple


of reds left on the table. They think, they can get a tough snooker,


they can get past the winning line just by getting foul points. In that


instance as well, if you were playing against someone who didn't


know his way around the table all was totally attack minded, then


maybe yes, but you know this fellow knows his way around the table as


well as anybody. You make your decisions and you


stand and fall by them. That will all be forgotten if Martin Gould can


win this frame. Is he taking this on?


He did. Now, the red is running loose. Where is it going to finish?


Well, he's left it. John just checking there. All he's


got to do here with the cue ball is stunted, leave the cue ball


basically where the red is, because the yellow will go through the gap


between brown and green. Just concentrate totally on the pot. No!


That was a surprise. Sometimes when you're that close to a ball, once


again, he's just not found the middle of the cue ball, there are,


or he sighted it wrong, didn't get of the shot. -- didn't get in the


line of the shot. In it went. And this blue, I assume he's going


to play the blue... Would put Martin 40 points in front with a possible


59 left, so he is still looking for two reds in two colours after this


point. Yeah, the positional side of this is not straightforward. He's


got to try to play this with a little bit of screw and side, get


between the two reds and the pink if he can. Or maybe flick one of those


out. Hmmm. It was always a little tricky, that. Couldn't quite get


into the cue ball enough to get through the gap, and if you played


it like that, the position could go astray. It's one of those, after the


event you think I could have done with hitting it a bit harder, but


that's after the event and we are all wise after that.


40 point lead, not a bad one. Yeah, I think if he can play a safety, he


can put a red on the side cushion as well, it might be worthwhile just


chipping off the one above. If he can just see the edge of that, push


it on the side cushion maybe... Yeah, because the other two reds


won't pass the pink. He obviously can't see enough of that. Is he


playing this red to the middle? I think he is!


And got it! Wonderful shot. Wonderful.


APPLAUSE Wow. He has ported some balls this


morning. That was an absolute cracker.


He's only going for anything that's round, John, this morning! Well, I


admire him. He could have left the one that was tight on the top


cushion, but he has given himself a chance to see how he's playing this


morning and so far he's playing well, and he must be very pleased.


But take nothing for granted. And that's it. Snooker is needed --


snookers needed. John Higgins had a chance when he had a red to this


corner pocket and missed it. Didn't have much chance in the first frame


this morning. APPLAUSE


Nice little shop here, play this with a bit of running side to try to


make it hard with the cushion. There you go. Every shot you like this


morning from Martin Gould. In very good form.


The frame is over. He can't make a century break. He doesn't want to


play this, really. John said to him, don't bother, that will do! You've


done enough! Nice to see a smile, but what a start this morning from


Martin Gould. Absolutely superb. He's played great snooker, he is


still three behind, but you could say match on.


Of course, there's a possible ten frames in this session. We will play


four before we get to a mid-session interval. Two very important frames,


these. Missed it on the way up. A little


scratch of the head, there, from John. He could have left an easier


chance. He was playing with lots of left-hand side to try to swerve it


that end, and he missed it. He pushed the cue ball out and it


hasn't come back. That's what has happened there. All these little


things will just give Martin Gould a little more encouragement.


Especially when you see someone like John Higgins making a mistake on


that safety shot. Well, if he can get through to the


blue, he will settle for it, but obviously he can't. A little


unlucky, there. I have to say that John was a bit fortunate to leave


the cue ball near the side cushion, there you see him on the blue, that


meant that he couldn't do much with the cue ball, he had to trust quite


a bit to luck. That was massive there. If you just flicks out and he


is on the blue, what a difference that makes. Because he's got


momentum at the minute and he is scoring well. So he's going to take


the brown on. A little bit tricky because he is also slightly hampered


by a red that is under his arm there, when he's playing. This is


one of those instances, even though you've been attacking all morning,


do you just take this on or do you be a bit more prudent and play a


safety shot? I think he's playing safe.


Well, that's the balance you were talking about. I wouldn't disagree


with that. He was a little unlucky, there. I'm quite impressed with


that, actually. Sometimes it's really difficult to reel yourself


in. You can be playing really well, knocking everything in, and you feel


you should be making more of an opportunity, but he has been very


professional there, just played the right shot, until there. This is the


right shot for the instance, I'm going to play it.


Close. It's over 20 minutes now since John Higgins has ported a ball


-- has potted a ball, and I think he may have left this red just do the


right of the black. Maybe not. It's close, that. Well, he wouldn't have


been on a colour but he was just trying to contain the situation.


Obviously Martin can't get through to the potting angle of the red that


is immediately to the right of the black. Otherwise he would have


played it by now. Well, is he playing the pot here? Well, he


played the safety, off that. It always looked a bit risky to me. He


just had to cover the one on the left. Initially he was going to


play-off that one on the left and cover the cushion but he knew the


only place he could play the cue ball was at the right-hand side, so


is what he decided to do. He could have done with better length with


the cue ball. That was a very aggressive safety


shot, and look at the length of the cue ball. OK, an inch short, but a


good one, a telling one. Yeah. He's got a bit more to think about here.


I'm just wondering if he can play off the red that is near to the


blue. The two reds near the left-hand pocket, that is the


problem he's got. There is a safety off that read near the blue, but


unless you get a really good cue ball, you could be leaving yourself


open. Yeah, that is the shot that John is referring to. But you need a


good cue ball to find that baulk cushion. Also, don't hit it too thin


and catch the bump of the middle pocket. Oh! He's missed the bump.


Played it well. Very good shot. Excellent, that was. He's in a spot


of bother. He did get very close to that middle


pocket, that has made a huge difference, not hitting that bump.


It would have been unlucky, but it does happen. Well, as he left


anything? Yeah, it looks like that was a fortuitous kiss on the green.


If he had just run past the green, he would have left maybe a choice of


two reds that were to bowl -- that were possible. His long game and


medium game has been excellent but there is a lot more pressure on this


one when you could be leaving something. That's the first one he


is cued across. But has he been fortunate?


Well, he has certainly covered the one down the left-hand side. Those


of those have been covered. John is already playing the red down the


right-hand side of the table, taking that pot on. All the hours of


practice in your club, this is what it's for, shots like this.


Beautifully struck. He has missed a couple this morning, John Higgins.


But that will give him a bit more confidence. That was a beauty. And


it's time for John to score, now. He has seen Martin playing very well


this morning, winning two quick frames. He needs to restart his


authority back on this match. Just a little overhit, but one of


those shots that John has just played their where you're frightened


of not getting up far enough on the blue. He has just overhit it, but


the brown is available. Actually, the green is, so he can see both of


those. Oh! And that is not the worst kiss.


It's not what he played, but it's an opportunity now in potting this red


to play for the black and get it back on its spot. When the black


does go on its spot, it won't be available in either corner pocket.


So he would like to get on one of the reds that would stop the black


going in the corners. I don't think he'll be able to get


through to the red immediately to the right of the black. But in


moving this red, the black will become available into this corner


pocket. He can't play for the black off this, but that is when you're


thinking a few shots ahead. Once again, I think he went up for the


blue, but would rather be too hard than soft. I think he's got a good


angle as well. The green looks perfect to me, top spin, for the red


to the side of the black. There are three that go but the one just above


the black to the left-hand side would be perfect. And if he is on


the bottom one, well, that is just perfect. Yeah, that's a bonus. As


long as he pots it. He won't be taking it for granted, but getting


this red out of the way makes the black available into both corners.


Yes, it was quite a clever shot off the green. He played it full-blooded


and he knew full well if he wasn't on one he would be on the other. He


has got on the perfect red. He has had a nice couple of little kisses


and nudges in this break. It has been really well construct it. He


will want to win the frame in this visit, John Higgins, just to stem


the tide. He needs another 32 points. To get to the


snookersnookers the snookers required stage. There


is a red on the left-hand side of the table available.


Hmmm. Over done that. There you see it, 53 ahead, 75 remaining. He has


given himself a little bit of work to do here. May be about a foot too


far with the cue ball there. You still expect him to pot this, but a


bit more on it will stop he has recovered the situation beautifully,


there. Good pot, good position. This black would put him 61 points in


front with 67 remaining. So this black, one more red and a colour and


he will have his first frame on the scoreboard this morning. Yes, and it


all started off with that excellent mid-range red, really crisp pot into


the top right-hand corner from John Higgins. Lovely when they go in.


Players spend hours playing these shots. And that is what it's for,


when you're in the heat of battle, you need to lock them in. -- you


need to knock them in. The pink spot not available. It goes


on the highest available one, and that is the yellow spot. Just a red


and a colour needed. Good thinking, that. He is tuned in there. Not many


people would have noticed that the pink wasn't going to go back on its


spot there, so decided that was the way to go about it. Yes, he has


taken these well, considering he has not had much table time so far this


morning. But that is what all the great players can do, of course.


They can be frozen out. It was over 20 minutes since he potted a ball


and then the first chance he gets, he wins the frame. He's a class act


and he always has been. I'm a big fan as well off his cue action,


John. I've always said I like watching John play. He lets the cue


do the work. A modern phenomena, people have gone more compact and


tighter into the cue ball, but John lets the cue ball do the work. I've


never seen him be separate. If I were teaching someone starting off,


I would prefer this cue action. He nearly comes -- it nearly comes off


his bridge hand, he takes it that far back. But he always hit it


straight and it's always smooth. I know you worked a with Frank Allen,


was he the one that started this off? John worked with him and he has


picked that up practising with Stephen watching Anne Frank was very


much advocate of letting the -- letting the cue do the work.


Worked with Steve Davis and Ken Doherty and yourself. He worked with


several world champions, Frank. Sadly passed away last year. Great


character, loved his snooker. So, the 20th century so far. Last


year, the record number of centuries was equalled, and I think it's going


to be bettered this year. Yeah, it's a good shout. I hope so, John. It's


better to watch, people making hundreds breaks. As long as they're


not every frame! You like to see the close frames. But this has been an


excellent contribution. I think he has just played one poor positional


shot. This has been top draw. That's why he's the champion that he is.


Good shot trying to come round. Where's the cue ball going?


Perfectly on the black! Wonderful. We have been treated to


three marvellous frames so far this morning. It seems to be all Martin


Gould. John Higgins, showing what a competitor he is.


Mid-session interval, after this frame. Three marvellous frames we


have seen this morning. There is nothing worse than doing that. You


have played a great frame, made yourself a century then all of a


sudden you make a break of like that and stick the red close to the


centre pocket. You can see it in John's face. He is annoyed with


that. Yes, he's going to finish close to the cushion, so he needs a


nice angle on the blue. That's not bad. Not bad. Doesn't have to do


much with the cue ball, just roll the blue in. I think he will


probably play for the red that is at the back near the black. Seems like


he has enough angle to just come off the side and be on that one.


That's a good shot. Tight onto the cushion. John, JP here was known as


one of the best players of the cushion. I would have been content


to drop that in dead weight. But he achieved that beautifully. -- Kuyt


that. It is amazing how your mind thinks because he would have played


that shot exactly as Martin did. I was fortunate enough to be able to


play of cushions. It is one of those things, never had any problem with


it. He struck that lovely. Played that OK. He would like to


have been another six inches away. I prefer playing the screw shot on the


type of shot. You just feel like you have more control. He has opened up


the reds. It is about potting the black and getting a nice position on


the next red. Just wondering if he will play a little storm into the


three reds, little cannon? I don't know if he can drop this in and get


on one. Could have done with catching it


slightly via the way. He has read to the left middle and want to the


right middle. But just a little bit. Particularly the one to the left


middle. Almost hitting the ball too well this morning. He got into that


beautifully, a good, solid strike again. Just to the other side 's


likely would have been perfect for the bottom read. Now this is tricky.


I just think he cannot get the right side of the blue. If he plays this


one, he would naturally be on the black. But this is a trickier red.


Slightly blind pocket. It is there, no problem. Nicely in position and


this is, as I say, the frame before the mid-session interval. It is a


big one. As long as he can keep John Higgins two frames away from


history, he has a little bit of room to manoeuvre.


I don't think that is entirely how he played it, but he will take it.


This has been a fabulous little mini-session this morning, it has to


be said. Standard is superb. Are they paying us for watching this,


John? It has been absolutely marvellous. Proof of what we were


saying, 94% pot success for Martin Gould this morning. 91% for John


Higgins. Wonderful stuff. And, take your hat off to Martin Gould,


playing one of the best players who has ever picked up the cue. Coming


into this 7-2 behind. He has had such a good approach to the match.


That takes a bit of doing. Just let the cue ball will loose there. Once


again, he will be relying on a little cannon. Can't really


guarantee his position. Pot the black, main priority and keep


yourself on the table. Just hope you can get a little cannon that keeps


you in position. But it is not straightforward. Well played. One in


the middle. And one in the corner. If he can just win this frame in one


visit, which is a distinct possibility he can, it will make him


feel good at the mid-session interval. Not like winning at one


visit, John? He will settle for the blue in the far corner. That is OK.


He has not done a lot wrong this morning. It just shows you, has made


a wonderful century and he plays the break off and caught the end read a


little bit too thick. But sometimes you think, maybe the reds will not


set up right for the red to appear. But it looked, when we saw it then,


he had hit it too thick. Perfect. I think that break of


thing, it happens quite a bit after you have done something really good.


Little dip in your concentration, just made a century, stand your


authority in the match, and you don't concentrate at the break. Then


you sit in the chair and think, why did I do that? We have all done it.


But the worst thing is, you have to do sit down and suffer. This has


been excellent stuff from Martin Gould. Excellent stuff from both


players. He really is a cracking session. I am impressed with the


belief he has shown this morning. Yes. I was impressed with the safety


shot he played. I thought it was one of the best things I had seen this


morning, because he was playing so well. He pulled his homes in and


said, this is the right shot. I remember him refusing the shot on


the brown. That show somebody thinking clearly.


When they started this morning, obviously he would have loved to


have won the four frames they played. He has played a poor


positional shot. If he gets out of this 3-1, he has done some damage.


He was a little bit too far, not sure. If he just plays up, the


higher he goes up the table, the more he will be on the red in the


corner. One thing you couldn't be was short. This is a tricky pot.


Might not look it on your screens, but it is quite acute. Might have to


flick a bit of side on this, so has to be careful. That flick on the


second red has worked out perfectly. Scare over. John Higgins looks


now... He started the morning session with a five frame lead, it


is going to be cut to three. Another good example. To get ideal


positioning, you might have had to put aside on it, but he said no, I


will make sure I just pot the ball. Good thinking again. Very


impressive. Yes, very good. I don't think John Higgins will bother


coming back to the table if this black goes in.


We have already had two centuries. Out of the first three frames this


morning. Will we see a third one? It is not beyond the realms of


possibility. Just choosing to play this one,


little cannon. What a pity we didn't see a century, but it was more than


enough. Martin Gould should be very proud of our performance. He came


out, no negative thoughts, he trailed 7-2, it is now 8-5. This


match will now be played to a finish. No more intervals. John


Higgins, needs two frames. Martin Gould needs five. Every credit, the


way he has come out and fought this morning, Martin Gould.


Decent safety shot from John. No easy path back to the ball, unless


he can get past the blue. He has had a few looks. Must only be


the edge of the red. He probably didn't think he could


hit it that thick. Catching the blue was dangerous, but that yellow has


come to his rescue somewhat. This pot is on to the right corner, but


John will be hampered by the yellow. Might just put him of playing the


pot. If the yellow was in there, you would play it, no doubt. -- was not


there. Looks like he has decided he is.


Maybe his thinking is, if he just runs through a little bit on it, the


only one he could leave is the one he's taking. Brilliant. It is a


great pot, but just lost the cue ball.


Tough enough pot, that was. As John rightly said, being hampered. All


friends here at the Crucible are big, but this one is massive. 9-5,


John Higgins will be thinking, he is more or less home and hosed. Martin


Gould will be extremely disappointed. At 8-6, it is looking


a little precarious. A better shot if Martin hadn't have


flicked the yellow. Easy if John, with his hand on the table.


Who is going to get the first chance? Always interesting piece


tactical battles at the start of the frame. The way both players have


performed this morning, even though Martin Gould has won three of the


first four, John Higgins has played his part. Made a marvellous 127 in


the 12 frame. This is a good shot. This is excellent. Couldn't have


played that much better and a little tap on the table from John Higgins


in appreciation. Couldn't risk trying to get back to


the baulk and, so just containing safety.


John, just checking. Not looking for a planned so much, just making sure


he doesn't knock one over towards the left corner. It is a strange


frame when the brown is off its spot. Not many places you can hide


the cue ball. It is a very good shot as well. Nearly got the pot. But


that wasn't what it was about. It was about getting the cue ball up


behind the yellow. This has got to be thin, which ever way you hit it.


If he hits it thin enough, he could pot it. And he has done. Is that a


good flick on the blue? It's not a bad one. It's not a bad one. You


better is. Wow! Great pot. I didn't thing he cut that in. Excellent. But


the flicked on the blue, what a bonus that is. Absolute natural


angle. Now, what shot does he play? Does he try and go into the reds


odessey come round and play on a loose one?


You can't miss the blue, Martin. Very surprising. How many times do


we say, when you look at the shot it looks easy, but quite an acute


angle. It wasn't that accused, to be honest. He will be disappointing to


miss that after the excellent opening red. The way the balls are


situated, it might not be that costly. It's not an easy table, by


any means. I would settle for the last kiss.


Looked like he could have been nothing. A coming of the other one


has put him on the black. But as you say, it is not an nice table at the


moment. The blue is off its spot, which always makes a difference.


Brown is on the side cushion. I don't think John will be on anything


after that when the black gets spotted. It could be the end of


break. Just needed that cue ball to run up


a fraction further. That situation when the referee spots the black,


you want to say, thanks, rest. It's like the referee takes great


pressure in slowly putting the black on its spot. I'm sure he doesn't,


but as a player you feel that. So that missed blue only cost him a few


points. Court that a little bit too thick


and that's why he's not quite reaching the baulk line. John coming


out to have a look what's available. If the blue passes the red to the


right corner, he will take this red on. It does. Not much margin of


error, but he will feel the only red he could leave in playing this is


the one he is playing. Good, solid pot. An perfect on the blue. That


was always looking like the shot. Beautifully cued. But where is his


position coming from here? Is he going to go up the table and round?


I think that is what he will have to do. But with the yellow not being on


its spot and the brown not on its spot, not too many obstacles to


avoid. Judged this nicely. Very good. Good cueing yet again.


And from looking like an unpromising position, John Higgins pots this


black, easy red on the right, leaves himself an angle and into the pack.


Then, who knows? It might be enough points to win this frame. Has left


himself a nice half bowl angle to stun into the pack or screw into the


pack, however he sees it. Little stunned, up there I would suggest


here. If the split goes right, good chance to win the frame.


Where is the Red Bull going? Can he get past the blue?


Didn't get into the cue ball. Just a tiny fraction of. He feels he can


swerve around the blue to pot this bread. So close to going in. He


thought he could swerve round, but in the end he was very lucky to pot


it. Very lucky. Lucky not to go in. Fractions. They favoured him then.


Looks like the blue, we'll just go past the yellow.


If he is on that red and found the gap, that is an excellent shot. He


will be so pleased with himself with that shot. To find back. Will


he got lucky with the one over the middle pocket. He will take it. That


blue was lovely. This is the last of the open reds.


Got a 43 point lead. Still a possible 83 remaining. So still


going to need three more reds, you would have thought to clinch the


frame at this visit. He needs a good angle on the colour of this red to


try and bring the three reds just below the pink into play. Looking to


see if one of them goes to the middle.


I don't think he's got the best angle on the black, but he may have


a good angle on the pink. Although he's looking once again to see if


the end red goes to the middle. It must be tight. If he plays the pink,


he can open them up. It looks like he has a nice angle on the pink. But


he would rather play this one, because the black is still missable.


Because it is virtually touching the other one or close to it, he has got


to get in the right position. It's not straightforward. Got to get that


position in the right place, so the red is possible. Had a look at it a


couple of times and I think that is perfect. If he pots this, he


releases the other two reds into good positions. That will be


sufficient, these three reds with colours. He will be past the point


of snookers required. This really has been a break of the highest


quality. OK, the red over the middle pocket, he was lucky with the


double-kiss but the shot on the blue, to find the gap. And the rest


of it, the way it has been constructed has been pure John


Higgins. Wonderful control of the cue ball. I have to be honest with


you, when he came to the table I didn't think he would be winning the


frame from there. No, but it was a poor safety shot from Martin. It


shows you, at this level, if you don't find the baulk cushion, you


are in trouble. This, to win the frame.


Just rolling the black in. He will do well to pot the next red. Plans,


that is what he's at. -- a plant. Well, that was asking a


lot, but it didn't matter. And Martin Gould says that's enough.


That was an excellent contribution. You can see a puff of the cheeks


from John Higgins, but he is now one place away from a place in the


second round. -- here's now one frame away. He leads 9-5. Tea and a


cigarette would be one of the biggest things I like to do in the


morning. That would be one of the guilty pleasures. Someone like Adam


Sam Love may be. I'm probably easy-going, very laid back. It's a


bit of a strange one because I do have a short fuse as well when


somebody wines near. I'm a big fan of steak so it would have to be


something like a rib eye steak or a fellow steak. Doing a roast for


myself on the week which normally turns out to be a roast dinner that


is supposed to be for one but it could feed about five. I was sat


next to Frankie Dettori and I couldn't believe it was him! I had


to look at him to three times to be convinced it was him, and I still


didn't bring myself forward to just speak to him. Have like 75 of them!


You just put them all in one room and I would be like, next, next. I


would go back to 1966 and the World Cup final, see for myself if that


ball actually did cross the line or not.


Well, John Higgins would love to win this frame because Martin Gould has


certainly put himself under a little bit of pressure this morning. But


now Martin in the situation where you can't afford to make a mistake


are basically. You've got to play "Don't miss snooker". He's taking


this on. He needs to get it. Oh! Solid.


APPLAUSE It begs the question, how did he


start this session 7-2 down? I tell you why, because he lost the first


five frames. And we always say, you don't settle until you get your


first frame on the scoreboard, it took him a long time. 70% long pot


success, that's good. That's not bad from John Higgins. The reason I


don't look for 90% on long pot success is because some of them are


half played as a shock to nothing. Pot success isn't bad either. Could


win any match, anything at 90% or above is good.


Well, he didn't play that cannon but he has done well there. Good little


shot. He will take where that has finished. Just trying to get through


the gap. There is an expression we use and we say sometimes when people


are in this position, he's got to pay" no miss snooker". -- to play.


When the judges come, they got to go in the pockets. Otherwise he'll be


going home. -- when the chances come. He's playing the run-through,


which surprises me because the black doesn't go in the opposite corner.


Well, maybe it does. Maybe it does. Yes, it does. I know what you mean,


it's quite tight. It's tighter than it looks there. When it gets close


to the red there won't be much margin of error. You've got to cue


this well. APPLAUSE


Did well. Now, I'm going to say that the black doesn't go in the same


pocket as this red he's going to play, so he's got a bit of work to


do with the cue ball. I think you're right with that one! My


commentator's eye is back! Now, it would be easy if the pink would go


to the left middle. I'm not certain that it does. If it doesn't, he


could screw twice across for the black in the opposite corner. Well,


the pink obviously goes. So it's a decent chance. And when we say don't


miss snooker, don't miss anything easy. If you run out of position,


you can always play safe. But don't miss a pot that you're committing


to. The way these two have been playing


this morning and scoring, you would probably think this is frame over,


such has been the standard. John Higgins didn't miss much this


morning to be losing that first mini-session 3-1, Martin Gould was


excellent. Made a brilliant break in the last frame, John Higgins. And


Martin Gould looks like he's in stroke here as well. Very high


quality. Good stuff. A little bit bid to extend between,


here. Straight on the black would have been ideal. Straight on the


pink... Just got a little bit of work to do with the cue ball here. I


don't know why he played the shot he played, John. I thought it was


perfect to drop it in plain ball. Because he stunned it, he got a bit


too close to the black, there. And all shots are coming alike at the


minute to Martin. Yeah, he played that well. He has won a major


ranking event, won the German Masters in 2016. I saw young Yan


Bingtao, 17-year-old, playing yesterday. Martin now at the ripe


old age of 36. But it seems to be not a barrier to winning


tournaments. We've had Anthony Hamilton this year winning a


tournament in his 40s. Mark King. Yes. I haven't had a chance to see


Anthony since he has won, so if you're watching, well done, really


pleased for you. Too good a player never to win a tournament. I spoke


to Mark King after he won and he was still in the Illyria makeable of


weeks afterwards. Yeah, and it was great for his father, Bill, as well.


Because you know what it's like, the family follow you, they suffer all


the heartbreak. And to get that victory and seek Bill's reaction was


wonderful. Yeah. Just this red and a colour required. And he's keeping


his hopes alive. You could say slim hopes, but as John has just alluded


to, when he's getting his chances, Martin, he's making sure he scores.


He will keep John Higgins on his toes, that is for sure. I've been


very impressed with Martin Gould this morning. His attitude, his


commitment and his play. Yes, very good. I suppose similarities in some


ways with the Marco Fu match yesterday. Marco just didn't have


his game than night before. 7-1 down at one point. Humming back to win


10-9, incredible result. Played so much better. I bet Martin wishes he


had started this match is a bit different. Different kettle of fish


coming back against John Higgins rather than Luca Brecel, who is a


very attack minded player, you tend to get a few more chances against


him than you would with John Higgins. But in a way, a similar


story. I think Marco lost the first five frames. All of a sudden you are


playing catch up. You've done all the practice, you think you're


playing well, you lose the first five frames and then start to


question everything you've done. Well, it's not going to go in, but


it won't matter. John will stay in his seat. So, a very good


contribution there from Martin Gould. A break of 80. He is still up


against it but still three behind, and one away from winning -- three


behind John Higgins, who is one away from winning the match.


Another couple of rolls and it would have been an excellent break-off


shot. But John can just get past the yellow. No pot, just a safety.


A bit pacey, this. Is it going to run up behind the yellow? Well, it


has given John a problem here. He can't see a path back to baulk. Yes,


I'm right down the line of it, John, and that is the only thing John has


got, which isn't too advertising. REFEREE: Foul and a miss, Martin


Gould six. Hmmm. I think you will have it replaced. There's no value


in it from there. He wasn't far away from the two-cushion escape. I think


if he makes a minor adjustment I fancy him getting it, but sometimes


you can over adjust. He was trying to catch the red just below the


pink. Only just missed it. John was doing the old lean back there. There


was a bit of limbo going on there, wasn't it?


CHUCKLES You see that in the club with some


of the club players, he kept thinking that if he moved he was


going to make the ball move! I know. It can get you like that, sometimes.


I've seen people in snooker clubs, they play a thin cut and they are


like running down the table, seeing if it's going to go in! Body


movement after the shot. The same shot. This time, can he hit the red


just below the pink. If he over adjust, he can hit it too thick. But


this time... Well, he just caught it a little bit too thick and called


the blue. But he's not left anything that a simple pot. Those two reds to


the right of the pink, the right-hand one won't go and it's


only the left one that will. I'm not sure that is the best potting angle


to get position on pink or black. Hmmm... Well! Well, well, well. I


thought that had stopped in the jaws for a second. Thank goodness for


gravity. Well, I bet you his heart skipped a


beat that, because for all the world it looked like that was going to


stay on the jaws. Maybe just the pace and the fact that the clocks


are still so new, just let that slide in. I know it struggled in,


but fair play to him for playing it that way. It was the only way he


could get position on a colour, by rolling it in dead weight. Not the


easiest thing to do, particularly using the rest, and the scoreline as


it was... A brave shot. But I still don't know how it went in, but it


did. Even on the replay! Martin could do with getting an


angle on a baulk colour here and then coming down and trying to


cannoning to the pink and black. Because he isn't going to score much


on colours up there. The problem funny thing is the blue is actually


a problem there, where it is. He wants about a half ball on the green


or something, pot the green. Although this will help, get the


blue back on spot, that will be something. And then he can pot the


red, up to the blue, and then play a cannon into the pink and black. But


he's certainly going to have to move them. And, John, I suppose if you


play that cannon, the black is going to go into the reds, if you get into


the pink the black will move the reds about, so a chance here. He


just needs to get good position. Hmmm, just overscrewed it a touch.


You see the shake of the head, a bit disappointed. He could still cut


this blew in, but when it's been like this, you can't inject a lot of


pace in the shot. The green is unmissable but off the green, he's


going to have to play a good positional shot for the next red.


Once again, he struck that beautifully. He really did hit that


nicely. So he has got a shot with the rest now. Just looking to see


whether he has got the angle. Well, he had a good look at pink and black


but surely they don't pot. Eight out of eight with the rest, Martin. So


he would like to keep that going. Just looking at this angle, John, I


don't know whether he can... It looks like it is too much and he


would go too close to the blue, I think, to leave that angle back to


pink and black. So he has played for the baulk colour. Now, here's his


chance. Yellow, five cushion, into the pink and black and the pack.


Absolutely. That's what you suggested before he could not be


better situated now. This is an ideal opportunity. In an ideal


world, he would like to just hit the black half ball and then run into


the reds. But if the shot that John is referring to. As I say, you would


love to just nudged the black before hitting the reds. Well, that doesn't


surprise me. That doesn't surprise me. The only thing I can think of,


is maybe he's going to play it the other way, off the blue. Well, it


did look like he had a good chance to do it there. Act up for the blue


and then playing a similar shot into the pink and black off the blue,


again. You've got to go now. If he doesn't go now, I will never believe


it. He will go now. Their play to him, I think you mentioned it


earlier this morning's session, when he refused a shot, he is still


thinking clearly and playing the shots that he thinks is the right


one. Well. I'll never believe it. You've got to go into the pink and


black, there. Yes, wrong choice. You can chip away as much as you like,


but he needed those reds in the open. And it was a chance to bring


the reds into the open and the pink and black. I mean, I know you're


trusting to luck a little bit, John, but you're not going to win the


frame from the way the Bulls are situated. No. The first decision


that I would question from him this morning. Just got a little bit


negative, there. Didn't think positively enough. He's been


thinking positive all morning. Now he's taking this red on, it's risky.


Well, he's potted it. Is he on a colour? Pressure brown. That's what


he's left with. Straight into the top. You always


feel with these as though you would rather play them into middle. Into


the middle. No. Well... A disappointing end,


there, from Martin. I think he made the wrong shot choice. And it caught


up with him in the end. Yeah, it's a strange one as well, because he's


been so positive this morning. That's the thing that got me, every


shot he has fancied, he has taken it on, but it was just so obvious to go


into that pink and black. The funny thing is, the last shot he played


has made the pink and black possible for John Higgins now, as he comes to


the table. Yeah, there you go. So all in all, the last couple of


minutes has been a bit of a shocker for him.


We said that he had to play no miss snooker, and missing that brown


could be so, so costly. It is his challenge for the Betfred World


Championship ending there? It could well do.


He's always had a wonderful way of finishing off matches, John Higgins.


He knows where the winning line is and he knows how to get over it.


He's done this hundreds of times before. Can he do it again?


Looks to have the perfect angle on the pink just to stun it in and play


for the red in the same pocket. Still got a little bit of work to


do. It's not a formality he can win the frame at this visit. Yeah,


initially played in the other red there, but when he finished at that


angle, he knew full well that with a little cannon he could flick the


reds into possible positions. OK he has gone slightly awry because of


it. But his intention was just to get them out in the open as soon as


possible. But there's a bit more to do because of it. Yeah, just the


wrong angle. If he were slightly the other side of the pink, it would be


a formality. Let's see how he plays this, trying to develop a red with a


cannon. He'll settle for that. He will settle for that! Hmmm, just a


bit! Obviously the brown, slight problem


with this break, you just have do not a view in before then, but he


will want to move that brown so that the red will be pottable in the top


corner. He's played that nicely. Had to


screw up with a bit to get the correct side of the pink. So now


when he stands down he can get the red above the black. If he can come


and he may just play on the brown here. Yeah, I think he will have to


play on the brown. Just got to be careful here when he plays this


cannon. He doesn't want to leave himself too thin on the brown, but


he doesn't want the black to block the red from going into this pocket


he's playing into now. Yeah. That was about the best he could play


that, John. May just be able to play a double screw back here and take


the red into the same pocket. They ate cannon onto the brown. Yeah. So,


it worked out well. Yeah, the only downside is that he is slightly


hampered by the brown here. The other thing of course is that he


would like to have got the brown up onto its own spot. That would have


made the rest of the clearance a bit easier. Although he is is probably


past the winning post by then, I would think. Taken these well, John,


hasn't he? Rulli well. Martin Gould had a chance. Just question his shot


selection at a vital time. Well, he's going to need good cueing for


this. These can be missed. Red and a colour required.


In it goes. Flicked the yellow, but that will do nicely. This yellow


will put him 28 points in front with just 27 remaining. Martin Gould's


race looks to have been run. And I have to say, John, if Martin Gould


had been playing one or two of the other players this week, he would


have been knocking some of them out, the way he has played this morning.


He has played superb this morning and I give him every credit for it.


OK we questioned one of two of the shots and he could have been more


aggressive in this frame, but he has given John Higgins a little bit of a


fright, and John Higgins will be very relieved now to just add the


finishing touches to this match. And he has had to work hard today, make


no mistake. He has had two absolutely outstanding breaks in


this match. The one a couple of frames ago was brilliant and this


one to win the match has been better. He's still got it, John. Yes


he has. He started off and had a bit of a lull but he certainly proved


early on in the season that he can still produce the goods, and he has


produced it here and gone all the way four times before. Who's to say


he can't make it five? In goes the pink, handshake, and Martin Gould


will be saying well played and best of luck for the rest of the


tournament. Every credit Martin Gould, did really well there, showed


a really good attitude. He will be back for more, that is for certain.


But John Higgins is now safely through to the second round. He wins


by ten frames to six. STUDIO


So, a very good fightback by Martin but not enough. John Higgins will


now face Northern Ireland's Mark Allen in that last extreme tie which


begins on Friday. That is it for now but we are back with more live


coverage from the Crucible at ten o'clock. Get some sleep, goodbye to


now. Once again your champion, Mark


Selby! Spring is arriving -


in a whirlwind of pink. We're in Japan to celebrate


the sakura. So join us on Friday,


21 April at 8.30 on BBC TWO. You are the cream


of the French aristocracy.


Jason Mohammad introduces highlights from Tuesday's first-round matches.