Day 4 World Championship Snooker Extra


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

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

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

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

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

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

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second session underway. Five frame deficit against someone like John

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

:01:26.:01:32.

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

:01:33.:01:38.

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

:01:39.:01:45.

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

:01:46.:01:55.

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

:01:56.:02:05.

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

:02:06.:02:09.

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

:02:10.:02:15.

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

:02:16.:02:22.

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

:02:23.:02:30.

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

:02:31.:02:37.

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

:02:38.:02:43.

as the best match player we have ever seen.

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

:02:58.:03:04.

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

:03:05.:03:09.

certainly not straightforward. This is an example.

:03:10.:04:05.

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

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

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

:04:30.:04:36.

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

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

:04:42.:04:47.

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

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

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matchplay. Don't give your opponent any encouragement.

:04:58.:05:15.

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

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

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

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

:05:47.:05:47.

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

:05:48.:06:09.

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

:06:10.:06:12.

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

:06:13.:06:25.

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

:06:26.:06:33.

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

:06:34.:06:38.

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

:06:39.:06:44.

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

:06:45.:06:55.

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

:06:56.:07:02.

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

:07:03.:07:14.

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

:07:15.:07:24.

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

:07:25.:07:31.

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

:07:32.:07:57.

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

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

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

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

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

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that. And there is the mistake. Yes,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Excellent. Perfect length. Well played.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:05.:12:09.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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and get as many points in front as you can.

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

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

:14:13.:14:20.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dennis Taylor had getting the correct pair of glasses he could

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

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

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

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

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glasses are working, John, get me a pair.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:17:01.:17:05.

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

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

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one. I said when he first came to the

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

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

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

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

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

:17:52.:17:56.

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

:17:57.:18:01.

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

:18:02.:18:07.

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

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morning, the cueing looks a lot more assured.

:18:12.:18:39.

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

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

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

:18:57.:19:04.

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

:19:05.:19:12.

was looking for. We could see his second century of

:19:13.:19:41.

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

:19:42.:19:51.

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

:19:52.:20:09.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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He just lost his concentration, probably thinking about the next

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

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century break, has reduced his arrears now the four.

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

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Players of this class with a hand on the table.

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

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

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

:23:46.:23:48.

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

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

:23:57.:24:00.

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

:24:01.:24:05.

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

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

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

:24:17.:24:20.

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

:24:21.:24:21.

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

:24:22.:24:37.

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

:24:38.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:49.

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

:24:50.:24:58.

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

:24:59.:25:02.

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

:25:03.:25:07.

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

:25:08.:25:13.

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

:25:14.:25:15.

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

:25:16.:25:41.

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

:25:42.:25:46.

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

:25:47.:25:51.

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

:25:52.:25:55.

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

:25:56.:26:07.

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

:26:08.:26:14.

Mishap some unintentional side. Particularly when you are striking

:26:15.:26:19.

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

:26:20.:26:23.

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

:26:24.:26:40.

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

:26:41.:26:49.

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

:26:50.:26:54.

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

:26:55.:26:55.

pocket. He will settle for that. Not quite

:26:56.:27:13.

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

:27:14.:27:17.

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

:27:18.:27:18.

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

:27:19.:27:57.

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

:27:58.:28:03.

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

:28:04.:28:04.

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

:28:05.:28:30.

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

:28:31.:28:35.

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

:28:36.:28:39.

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

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

:28:46.:29:04.

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

:29:05.:29:32.

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

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

:29:38.:29:42.

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

:29:43.:29:46.

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

:29:47.:29:51.

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

:29:52.:29:53.

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

:29:54.:30:13.

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

:30:14.:30:17.

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

:30:18.:30:22.

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

:30:23.:30:28.

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

:30:29.:30:34.

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

:30:35.:30:41.

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

:30:42.:30:43.

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

:30:44.:30:59.

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

:31:00.:31:08.

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

:31:09.:31:16.

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

:31:17.:31:21.

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

:31:22.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:52.

to get. Not the right side of the blue this

:31:53.:32:02.

time. Will stun in between the green and

:32:03.:32:25.

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

:32:26.:32:31.

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

:32:32.:32:35.

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

:32:36.:32:39.

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

:32:40.:32:44.

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

:32:45.:32:50.

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

:32:51.:32:56.

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

:32:57.:33:12.

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

:33:13.:33:19.

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

:33:20.:33:27.

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

:33:28.:33:29.

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

:33:30.:34:07.

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

:34:08.:34:14.

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

:34:15.:34:18.

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

:34:19.:34:25.

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

:34:26.:34:28.

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

:34:29.:34:32.

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

:34:33.:34:38.

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

:34:39.:34:46.

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

:34:47.:34:51.

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

:34:52.:34:55.

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

:34:56.:34:59.

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

:35:00.:35:04.

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

:35:05.:35:08.

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

:35:09.:35:14.

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

:35:15.:35:17.

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

:35:18.:35:24.

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

:35:25.:35:28.

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

:35:29.:35:32.

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

:35:33.:35:36.

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

:35:37.:35:41.

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

:35:42.:35:45.

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

:35:46.:35:49.

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

:35:50.:35:50.

well as anybody. You make your decisions and you

:35:51.:36:06.

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

:36:07.:36:12.

win this frame. Is he taking this on?

:36:13.:36:22.

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

:36:23.:36:29.

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

:36:30.:36:54.

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

:36:55.:36:57.

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

:36:58.:37:04.

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

:37:05.:37:14.

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

:37:15.:37:19.

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

:37:20.:37:24.

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

:37:25.:37:29.

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

:37:30.:37:46.

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

:37:47.:37:50.

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

:37:51.:37:57.

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

:37:58.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:07.

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

:38:08.:38:14.

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

:38:15.:38:18.

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

:38:19.:38:22.

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

:38:23.:38:27.

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

:38:28.:38:30.

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

:38:31.:38:35.

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

:38:36.:38:43.

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

:38:44.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:51.

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

:38:52.:39:02.

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

:39:03.:39:06.

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

:39:07.:39:16.

And got it! Wonderful shot. Wonderful.

:39:17.:39:23.

APPLAUSE Wow. He has ported some balls this

:39:24.:39:28.

morning. That was an absolute cracker.

:39:29.:39:40.

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

:39:41.:39:51.

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

:39:52.:39:55.

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

:39:56.:39:58.

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

:39:59.:40:05.

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

:40:06.:40:12.

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

:40:13.:40:16.

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

:40:17.:40:21.

this morning. APPLAUSE

:40:22.:40:50.

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

:40:51.:40:59.

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

:41:00.:41:04.

morning from Martin Gould. In very good form.

:41:05.:41:21.

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

:41:22.:41:35.

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

:41:36.:41:40.

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

:41:41.:41:46.

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

:41:47.:41:50.

still three behind, but you could say match on.

:41:51.:42:03.

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

:42:04.:42:11.

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

:42:12.:42:13.

these. Missed it on the way up. A little

:42:14.:42:37.

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

:42:38.:42:43.

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

:42:44.:42:47.

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

:42:48.:42:51.

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

:42:52.:42:56.

things will just give Martin Gould a little more encouragement.

:42:57.:43:00.

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

:43:01.:43:01.

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

:43:02.:43:17.

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

:43:18.:43:22.

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

:43:23.:43:26.

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

:43:27.:43:32.

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

:43:33.:43:37.

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

:43:38.:43:41.

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

:43:42.:43:44.

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

:43:45.:43:49.

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

:43:50.:43:52.

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

:43:53.:43:58.

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

:43:59.:44:02.

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

:44:03.:44:07.

safety shot? I think he's playing safe.

:44:08.:44:18.

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

:44:19.:44:23.

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

:44:24.:44:33.

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

:44:34.:44:37.

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

:44:38.:44:40.

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

:44:41.:44:44.

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

:44:45.:44:50.

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

:44:51.:45:04.

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

:45:05.:45:15.

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

:45:16.:45:19.

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

:45:20.:45:26.

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

:45:27.:45:32.

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

:45:33.:45:36.

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

:45:37.:45:43.

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

:45:44.:45:52.

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

:45:53.:45:57.

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

:45:58.:46:02.

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

:46:03.:46:06.

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

:46:07.:46:11.

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

:46:12.:46:12.

the cue ball. That was a very aggressive safety

:46:13.:46:27.

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

:46:28.:46:40.

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

:46:41.:46:44.

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

:46:45.:46:52.

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

:46:53.:46:56.

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

:46:57.:47:01.

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

:47:02.:47:07.

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

:47:08.:47:16.

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

:47:17.:47:23.

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

:47:24.:47:40.

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

:47:41.:47:41.

of bother. He did get very close to that middle

:47:42.:47:50.

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

:47:51.:47:54.

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

:47:55.:48:10.

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

:48:11.:48:19.

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

:48:20.:48:27.

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

:48:28.:48:32.

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

:48:33.:48:36.

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

:48:37.:48:44.

is cued across. But has he been fortunate?

:48:45.:48:56.

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

:48:57.:49:02.

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

:49:03.:49:06.

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

:49:07.:49:14.

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

:49:15.:49:27.

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

:49:28.:49:32.

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

:49:33.:49:43.

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

:49:44.:49:46.

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

:49:47.:49:50.

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

:49:51.:50:42.

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

:50:43.:50:47.

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

:50:48.:50:54.

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

:50:55.:51:02.

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

:51:03.:51:05.

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

:51:06.:51:18.

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

:51:19.:51:26.

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

:51:27.:51:31.

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

:51:32.:51:33.

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

:51:34.:52:02.

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

:52:03.:52:08.

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

:52:09.:52:13.

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

:52:14.:52:17.

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

:52:18.:52:25.

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

:52:26.:52:28.

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

:52:29.:52:36.

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

:52:37.:52:39.

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

:52:40.:52:52.

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

:52:53.:53:03.

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

:53:04.:53:07.

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

:53:08.:53:16.

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

:53:17.:53:20.

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

:53:21.:53:33.

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

:53:34.:53:38.

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

:53:39.:53:45.

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

:53:46.:53:52.

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

:53:53.:53:58.

snookersnookers the snookers required stage. There

:53:59.:54:12.

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

:54:13.:55:01.

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

:55:02.:55:15.

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

:55:16.:55:21.

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

:55:22.:55:27.

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

:55:28.:55:33.

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

:55:34.:55:39.

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

:55:40.:55:44.

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

:55:45.:55:51.

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

:55:52.:55:54.

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

:55:55.:56:01.

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

:56:02.:56:07.

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

:56:08.:56:10.

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

:56:11.:56:27.

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

:56:28.:56:35.

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

:56:36.:56:40.

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

:56:41.:56:44.

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

:56:45.:56:50.

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

:56:51.:56:54.

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

:56:55.:56:59.

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

:57:00.:57:03.

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

:57:04.:57:18.

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

:57:19.:57:22.

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

:57:23.:57:29.

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

:57:30.:57:34.

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

:57:35.:57:41.

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

:57:42.:57:46.

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

:57:47.:57:54.

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

:57:55.:58:01.

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

:58:02.:58:11.

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

:58:12.:58:16.

picked that up practising with Stephen watching Anne Frank was very

:58:17.:58:18.

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

:58:19.:58:33.

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

:58:34.:58:37.

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

:58:38.:58:40.

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

:58:41.:58:58.

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

:58:59.:59:03.

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

:59:04.:59:09.

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

:59:10.:59:14.

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

:59:15.:59:19.

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

:59:20.:59:29.

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

:59:30.:59:41.

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

:59:42.:59:43.

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

:59:44.:59:56.

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

:59:57.:00:02.

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

:00:03.:01:21.

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

:01:22.:01:29.

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

:01:30.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:38.

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

:01:39.:01:43.

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

:01:44.:01:50.

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

:01:51.:01:55.

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

:01:56.:02:02.

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

:02:03.:02:06.

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

:02:07.:02:11.

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

:02:12.:02:24.

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

:02:25.:02:31.

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

:02:32.:02:36.

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

:02:37.:02:44.

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

:02:45.:02:50.

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

:02:51.:03:01.

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

:03:02.:03:04.

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

:03:05.:03:31.

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

:03:32.:03:35.

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

:03:36.:03:41.

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

:03:42.:03:46.

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

:03:47.:03:52.

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

:03:53.:03:54.

on one. Could have done with catching it

:03:55.:04:10.

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

:04:11.:04:16.

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

:04:17.:04:21.

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

:04:22.:04:25.

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

:04:26.:04:31.

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

:04:32.:04:41.

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

:04:42.:04:46.

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

:04:47.:04:52.

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

:04:53.:05:00.

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

:05:01.:05:04.

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

:05:05.:05:09.

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

:05:10.:05:14.

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

:05:15.:05:31.

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

:05:32.:05:38.

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

:05:39.:05:43.

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

:05:44.:05:53.

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

:05:54.:06:02.

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

:06:03.:06:06.

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

:06:07.:06:11.

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

:06:12.:06:17.

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

:06:18.:06:24.

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

:06:25.:06:33.

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

:06:34.:06:39.

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

:06:40.:06:43.

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

:06:44.:06:58.

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

:06:59.:07:04.

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

:07:05.:07:10.

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

:07:11.:07:22.

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

:07:23.:07:32.

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

:07:33.:07:36.

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

:07:37.:07:42.

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

:07:43.:07:49.

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

:07:50.:07:53.

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

:07:54.:08:08.

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

:08:09.:08:12.

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

:08:13.:08:16.

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

:08:17.:08:21.

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

:08:22.:08:28.

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

:08:29.:08:35.

been excellent stuff from Martin Gould. Excellent stuff from both

:08:36.:08:40.

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

:08:41.:08:45.

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

:08:46.:08:56.

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

:08:57.:09:01.

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

:09:02.:09:06.

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

:09:07.:09:11.

the brown. That show somebody thinking clearly.

:09:12.:09:27.

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

:09:28.:09:39.

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

:09:40.:09:47.

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

:09:48.:09:53.

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

:09:54.:09:58.

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

:09:59.:10:02.

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

:10:03.:10:11.

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

:10:12.:10:16.

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

:10:17.:10:31.

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

:10:32.:10:37.

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

:10:38.:10:39.

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

:10:40.:10:58.

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

:10:59.:11:06.

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

:11:07.:11:17.

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

:11:18.:11:19.

coming back to the table if this black goes in.

:11:20.:11:33.

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

:11:34.:11:43.

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

:11:44.:11:44.

possibility. Just choosing to play this one,

:11:45.:12:21.

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

:12:22.:12:25.

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

:12:26.:12:31.

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

:12:32.:12:38.

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

:12:39.:12:44.

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

:12:45.:12:52.

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

:12:53.:13:07.

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

:13:08.:13:13.

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

:13:14.:13:26.

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

:13:27.:13:48.

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

:13:49.:13:55.

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

:13:56.:14:00.

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

:14:01.:14:05.

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

:14:06.:14:08.

there. Looks like he has decided he is.

:14:09.:14:26.

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

:14:27.:14:30.

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

:14:31.:14:39.

great pot, but just lost the cue ball.

:14:40.:14:47.

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

:14:48.:14:57.

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

:14:58.:15:03.

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

:15:04.:15:07.

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

:15:08.:15:11.

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

:15:12.:15:51.

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

:15:52.:16:12.

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

:16:13.:16:19.

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

:16:20.:16:23.

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

:16:24.:16:27.

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

:16:28.:16:39.

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

:16:40.:16:43.

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

:16:44.:16:45.

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

:16:46.:17:28.

the baulk and, so just containing safety.

:17:29.:18:05.

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

:18:06.:18:20.

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

:18:21.:18:25.

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

:18:26.:18:33.

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

:18:34.:18:42.

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

:18:43.:18:47.

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

:18:48.:18:52.

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

:18:53.:19:00.

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

:19:01.:19:07.

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

:19:08.:19:17.

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

:19:18.:19:23.

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

:19:24.:19:27.

odessey come round and play on a loose one?

:19:28.:19:36.

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

:19:37.:19:47.

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

:19:48.:19:54.

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

:19:55.:19:58.

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

:19:59.:20:03.

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

:20:04.:20:05.

any means. I would settle for the last kiss.

:20:06.:20:25.

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

:20:26.:20:29.

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

:20:30.:20:34.

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

:20:35.:20:40.

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

:20:41.:20:45.

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

:20:46.:20:46.

break. Just needed that cue ball to run up

:20:47.:21:09.

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

:21:10.:21:18.

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

:21:19.:21:22.

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

:21:23.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:36.

points. Court that a little bit too thick

:21:37.:21:56.

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

:21:57.:22:05.

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

:22:06.:22:10.

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

:22:11.:22:20.

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

:22:21.:22:28.

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

:22:29.:22:36.

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

:22:37.:22:42.

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

:22:43.:22:48.

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

:22:49.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:53.

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

:22:54.:23:28.

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

:23:29.:23:35.

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

:23:36.:23:39.

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

:23:40.:23:48.

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

:23:49.:23:55.

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

:23:56.:24:01.

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

:24:02.:24:13.

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

:24:14.:24:28.

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

:24:29.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:43.

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

:24:44.:24:52.

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

:24:53.:25:00.

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

:25:01.:25:17.

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

:25:18.:25:27.

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

:25:28.:25:37.

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

:25:38.:25:43.

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

:25:44.:26:07.

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

:26:08.:26:12.

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

:26:13.:26:18.

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

:26:19.:26:21.

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

:26:22.:26:25.

see if one of them goes to the middle.

:26:26.:26:40.

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

:26:41.:26:45.

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

:26:46.:26:52.

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

:26:53.:26:56.

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

:26:57.:27:01.

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

:27:02.:27:07.

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

:27:08.:27:11.

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

:27:12.:27:18.

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

:27:19.:27:21.

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

:27:22.:27:28.

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

:27:29.:27:32.

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

:27:33.:27:43.

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

:27:44.:27:48.

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

:27:49.:27:51.

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

:27:52.:27:56.

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

:27:57.:28:01.

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

:28:02.:28:05.

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

:28:06.:28:09.

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

:28:10.:28:14.

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

:28:15.:28:18.

are in trouble. This, to win the frame.

:28:19.:29:07.

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

:29:08.:29:14.

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

:29:15.:29:32.

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

:29:33.:29:36.

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

:29:37.:29:42.

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

:29:43.:29:45.

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

:29:46.:29:54.

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

:29:55.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:08.

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

:30:09.:30:14.

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

:30:15.:30:18.

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

:30:19.:30:23.

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

:30:24.:30:27.

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

:30:28.:30:31.

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

:30:32.:30:36.

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

:30:37.:30:39.

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

:30:40.:30:42.

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

:30:43.:30:53.

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

:30:54.:30:59.

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

:31:00.:31:03.

ball actually did cross the line or not.

:31:04.:31:17.

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

:31:18.:31:23.

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

:31:24.:31:29.

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

:31:30.:31:38.

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

:31:39.:31:42.

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

:31:43.:31:50.

APPLAUSE It begs the question, how did he

:31:51.:31:58.

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

:31:59.:32:03.

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

:32:04.:32:07.

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

:32:08.:32:13.

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

:32:14.:32:17.

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

:32:18.:32:20.

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

:32:21.:32:26.

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

:32:27.:32:51.

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

:32:52.:33:00.

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

:33:01.:33:09.

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

:33:10.:33:14.

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

:33:15.:33:22.

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

:33:23.:33:28.

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

:33:29.:33:34.

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

:33:35.:33:41.

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

:33:42.:33:52.

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

:33:53.:33:58.

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

:33:59.:34:02.

this well. APPLAUSE

:34:03.:34:09.

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

:34:10.:34:13.

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

:34:14.:34:17.

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

:34:18.:34:25.

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

:34:26.:34:28.

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

:34:29.:34:33.

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

:34:34.:34:39.

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

:34:40.:34:46.

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

:34:47.:34:51.

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

:34:52.:34:52.

to. The way these two have been playing

:34:53.:35:46.

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

:35:47.:35:51.

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

:35:52.:35:55.

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

:35:56.:35:59.

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

:36:00.:36:04.

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

:36:05.:36:07.

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

:36:08.:36:49.

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

:36:50.:36:53.

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

:36:54.:36:58.

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

:36:59.:37:03.

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

:37:04.:37:12.

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

:37:13.:37:17.

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

:37:18.:37:22.

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

:37:23.:37:36.

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

:37:37.:37:42.

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

:37:43.:37:45.

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

:37:46.:37:51.

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

:37:52.:37:56.

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

:37:57.:38:02.

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

:38:03.:38:07.

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

:38:08.:38:11.

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

:38:12.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:21.

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

:38:22.:38:30.

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

:38:31.:38:34.

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

:38:35.:38:39.

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

:38:40.:38:44.

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

:38:45.:38:47.

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

:38:48.:38:55.

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

:38:56.:38:59.

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

:39:00.:39:03.

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

:39:04.:39:09.

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

:39:10.:39:16.

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

:39:17.:39:19.

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

:39:20.:39:23.

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

:39:24.:39:26.

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

:39:27.:39:30.

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

:39:31.:39:35.

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

:39:36.:39:38.

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

:39:39.:39:40.

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

:39:41.:39:51.

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

:39:52.:39:56.

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

:39:57.:40:03.

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

:40:04.:40:09.

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

:40:10.:40:18.

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

:40:19.:40:24.

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

:40:25.:41:06.

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

:41:07.:41:17.

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

:41:18.:41:25.

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

:41:26.:41:26.

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

:41:27.:42:11.

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

:42:12.:42:16.

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

:42:17.:42:23.

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

:42:24.:42:27.

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

:42:28.:42:34.

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

:42:35.:42:40.

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

:42:41.:42:45.

CHUCKLES You see that in the club with some

:42:46.:42:50.

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

:42:51.:42:56.

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

:42:57.:43:03.

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

:43:04.:43:07.

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

:43:08.:43:12.

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

:43:13.:43:18.

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

:43:19.:43:25.

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

:43:26.:43:28.

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

:43:29.:43:35.

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

:43:36.:43:42.

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

:43:43.:43:44.

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

:43:45.:44:09.

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

:44:10.:44:10.

gravity. Well, I bet you his heart skipped a

:44:11.:44:27.

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

:44:28.:44:30.

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

:44:31.:44:34.

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

:44:35.:44:48.

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

:44:49.:44:52.

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

:44:53.:44:56.

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

:44:57.:45:02.

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

:45:03.:45:04.

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

:45:05.:45:25.

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

:45:26.:45:29.

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

:45:30.:45:36.

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

:45:37.:45:41.

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

:45:42.:45:46.

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

:45:47.:45:50.

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

:45:51.:45:57.

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

:45:58.:46:00.

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

:46:01.:46:05.

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

:46:06.:46:09.

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

:46:10.:46:17.

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

:46:18.:46:22.

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

:46:23.:46:26.

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

:46:27.:46:35.

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

:46:36.:46:40.

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

:46:41.:46:54.

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

:46:55.:47:04.

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

:47:05.:47:10.

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

:47:11.:47:16.

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

:47:17.:47:20.

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

:47:21.:47:24.

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

:47:25.:47:28.

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

:47:29.:47:35.

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

:47:36.:47:40.

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

:47:41.:47:45.

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

:47:46.:47:50.

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

:47:51.:47:53.

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

:47:54.:47:59.

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

:48:00.:48:03.

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

:48:04.:48:10.

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

:48:11.:48:15.

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

:48:16.:48:20.

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

:48:21.:48:24.

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

:48:25.:48:29.

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

:48:30.:48:34.

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

:48:35.:48:39.

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

:48:40.:48:42.

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

:48:43.:48:52.

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

:48:53.:48:57.

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

:48:58.:49:01.

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

:49:02.:49:06.

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

:49:07.:49:11.

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

:49:12.:49:14.

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

:49:15.:49:19.

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

:49:20.:49:24.

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

:49:25.:49:30.

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

:49:31.:49:39.

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

:49:40.:49:42.

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

:49:43.:49:56.

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

:49:57.:49:57.

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

:49:58.:50:32.

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

:50:33.:50:40.

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

:50:41.:50:43.

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

:50:44.:50:49.

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

:50:50.:50:53.

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

:50:54.:50:58.

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

:50:59.:51:04.

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

:51:05.:51:07.

minutes has been a bit of a shocker for him.

:51:08.:51:24.

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

:51:25.:51:36.

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

:51:37.:51:42.

Championship ending there? It could well do.

:51:43.:52:02.

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

:52:03.:52:09.

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

:52:10.:52:14.

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

:52:15.:52:27.

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

:52:28.:52:38.

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

:52:39.:52:46.

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

:52:47.:52:58.

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

:52:59.:53:03.

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

:53:04.:53:08.

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

:53:09.:53:11.

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

:53:12.:53:15.

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

:53:16.:53:26.

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

:53:27.:53:30.

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

:53:31.:53:37.

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

:53:38.:53:41.

bit! Obviously the brown, slight problem

:53:42.:54:02.

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

:54:03.:54:05.

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

:54:06.:54:11.

corner. He's played that nicely. Had to

:54:12.:54:40.

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

:54:41.:54:44.

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

:54:45.:54:49.

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

:54:50.:54:59.

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

:55:00.:55:03.

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

:55:04.:55:08.

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

:55:09.:55:15.

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

:55:16.:55:23.

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

:55:24.:55:26.

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

:55:27.:55:35.

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

:55:36.:55:44.

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

:55:45.:55:48.

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

:55:49.:55:52.

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

:55:53.:55:59.

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

:56:00.:56:06.

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

:56:07.:56:18.

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

:56:19.:56:23.

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

:56:24.:56:37.

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

:56:38.:56:47.

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

:56:48.:56:54.

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

:56:55.:56:58.

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

:56:59.:57:01.

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

:57:02.:57:05.

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

:57:06.:57:11.

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

:57:12.:57:14.

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

:57:15.:57:17.

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

:57:18.:57:23.

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

:57:24.:57:30.

no mistake. He has had two absolutely outstanding breaks in

:57:31.:57:38.

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

:57:39.:57:41.

one to win the match has been better. He's still got it, John. Yes

:57:42.:57:47.

he has. He started off and had a bit of a lull but he certainly proved

:57:48.:57:50.

early on in the season that he can still produce the goods, and he has

:57:51.:57:54.

produced it here and gone all the way four times before. Who's to say

:57:55.:58:00.

he can't make it five? In goes the pink, handshake, and Martin Gould

:58:01.:58:04.

will be saying well played and best of luck for the rest of the

:58:05.:58:08.

tournament. Every credit Martin Gould, did really well there, showed

:58:09.:58:12.

a really good attitude. He will be back for more, that is for certain.

:58:13.:58:16.

But John Higgins is now safely through to the second round. He wins

:58:17.:58:20.

by ten frames to six. STUDIO

:58:21.:58:24.

So, a very good fightback by Martin but not enough. John Higgins will

:58:25.:58:28.

now face Northern Ireland's Mark Allen in that last extreme tie which

:58:29.:58:32.

begins on Friday. That is it for now but we are back with more live

:58:33.:58:35.

coverage from the Crucible at ten o'clock. Get some sleep, goodbye to

:58:36.:58:37.

now. Once again your champion, Mark

:58:38.:58:40.

Selby! Spring is arriving -

:58:41.:59:01.

in a whirlwind of pink. We're in Japan to celebrate

:59:02.:59:04.

the sakura. So join us on Friday,

:59:05.:59:06.

21 April at 8.30 on BBC TWO. You are the cream

:59:07.:59:10.

of the French aristocracy.

:59:11.:59:17.

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