Llandudno Round 2 Roundup

The trend continued in the last 16 as John Higgins, Mark Allen and defending champion Judd Trump all lost yesterday. In Trump’s case however, it was already know that he was unwell – indeed he suffers from tonsilitis – and his defeat to Stuart Bingham was to be expected. Credits to him for trying despite his illness.

Ding Junhui’s return to form is continuing and it keeps his hopes for a Crucible automatic spot alive. For Kyren Wison however, a defeat to Joe Perry means that it will be very difficult to get into the top 16.

Joe Perry quietly continues to string good performances and I fancy him for the title this week. Shaun Murphy is also playing really well and he’s the other one I see as a favourite. Stuart Bingham is also improving, after a rather terrible season, and will be looking to build some confidence ahead of his World title defense. Ryan Day is still in it as well, carrying all Welsh hopes. Finally Liang Wenbo is consolidation his top 16 spot and Thepchaya Un-Nooh is not to be written off. Yesterday “Theppy” was on a 8 seconds per shot average at a time … Ronnie is a snail  by comparison.

You can find all the detailed results on cuetracker, thanks to Ron Florax.

Llandudno Round One Roundup

The last 32 round of the World Grand Prix saw a few surprising results: all three of Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Ronnie went out.

Neil was very poor against Peter Ebdon, who wasn’t exactly brilliant himself. There must be something in Peter’s game that doesn’t suit Neil because their head to head is 6-2 in Peter’s favour.

Ronnie lost to Michael Holt who, truth to be said, played fantastic snooker, especially in the first three frames. From 3-0 down Ronnie fought back to 3-3 but it wasn’t enough.

Mark Selby fell 3-1 behind against Tom Ford, after winning the first frame, and, for once, wasn’t able to come back. He had chances, but he too wasn’t at his best. Tom is a very good player but his temperament has let him down at times. Not this time, and Tom himself admitted that having known Mark since childhood – they are both from Leicester – helped him relax in this occurrence.

Three players who didn’t mess around and looked very solid are John Higgins, Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy. There is however a concern regarding Judd as, yesterday evening, his manager was asking advice on twitter about a doctor in Landudno, saying that Judd needed to see one urgently. John Higgins beating Stephen Maguire (and not Joe Swail as the sponsors seems to think) means that the latter is now in real danger to have to qualify for the Crucible.

Two players still in the draw and in contention for an automatic Crucible spot are Kyren Wilson and Liang Wenbo. ITV4 showed the last frames of the Kyren Wilson v Jamie Jones match, and the way Kyren won the fifth frame, after needing two snookers, was really impressive.

All Welsh hopes now are on Ryan Day’s shoulders, the only local man still in it. He’s facing John Higgins later today …

You can find all the detailed results on cuetracker, thanks to Ron Florax.

World Grand Prix 2016 – Ronnie exits in last 32

Ronnie lost by 4-3 to an excellent Michael Holt in the last 32 of the world Grand Prix 2016. Find here the match details (source cuetracker):

Scores (Michael Holt first) : 88(88)-0; 80-16; 119(119)-0; 0-82(82); 8-84; 15-69; 110(76)-1

Read here the match report on Worldsnooker (excerpt):

Nottingham’s Holt dominated the early stages and surged into a 3-0 lead with top breaks of 88 and 119. World number four O’Sullivan then reeled off three frames in 26 minutes with a top run of 82 to make it 3-3.

Holt made 34 early in the decider then came out on top of a tactical battle as O’Sullivan missed a difficult and risky pot on a red to a centre pocket. That proved his last shot as Holt added 76 to seal the result.

O’Sullivan said: “I wasn’t really on form tonight. I gave it my best and I was pleased by the way I stuck in there and tried to turn it around. I couldn’t have got any more out of myself. My game just wasn’t strong enough to over-ride whatever Michael was doing. He scored well and I didn’t get much of a look in for the first three frames. He deserved to win. I won the Masters even though I was abysmal that week, then I had one good week at the Welsh Open. I’ve just been papering over the cracks and I need to find some sort of consistency if I’m to have any chance of a decent run in Sheffield. I need to do some work over the next few weeks.

You can watch the match (again) here:

Big Thanks to Tain Chengzhe for these images:

 

Some personal reflections to conclude:

For someone who claimed recently that he isn’t bothered with any tournament, Ronnie looked pretty upset to me at the end of the match. Which is good to see. Also, I believe that if the match had been longer, best of 9 or certainly best of 11, with an interval, he would probably have got on top. That said Michael Holt played impressively well and his work with Terry Griffiths seems to be paying off. In the past, Michael was always a very, very good player but he had a history of losing matches despite being miles in front. There was absolutely no sign of that yesterday.

Some media of course are (over)using the word “shock” for this match outcome, but over such a short format, against an experienced and on form player who has spent most of his career in the top 32, it isn’t really a shock. Neil Robertson losing to Peter Ebdon was much more of a shock to me, because, frankly, Peter Ebdon wasn’t playing that well at all. Neil was shocking in that match.

Poole Lighthouse – 5 March 2016

It was another packed and successful night at the Snooker Legends, as Ronnie and Jimmy White hit the Lighthouse in Poole.

At the end of the show Jason Francis tweeted:

Ronnie won tonight. Massive crowd too,  thanks for your patience on signings. Sorry we couldn’t offer individual photos for all 1000 of you.

Jason must have been very busy because he didn’t keep us up to date during the show itself, as he usually does. All we got to know was that Ronnie won the first frame with a 63, and later, that he went 4-1 up.

But fans on twitter looked happy and, apparently Ronnie played very well.

Some pictures by Jason and fans on twitter

Harlequin Theatre Redhill – 4 March 2016

RedhillShow4.3.2016.1

It was Jimmy White’s day in Redhill as he gave Ronnie a good hiding!

According to Jason Francis on twitter, Jimmy ran to a 4-0 lead before the break. Ronnie woke up with a 86 to make it 4-1, but couldn’t prevent Jimmy to take the next and win the match. Of course, they played two more frames and Ronnie hit a 145 and a 80 to end the night on 5-3 to Jimmy.

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Dennis Taylor was the host and compère and played some trick shots ahead of the show.

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The fans had the opportunity to meet the players as well.

Championship League Snooker 2016 – Ronnie Runner-up

Ronnie’s unbeaten record in 2016 came to an end yesterday afternoon when he lost to an excellent Mark Williams in the last match of the League stage in the Winners Group of the Championship League Snooker 2016. Ronnie was on a 24 consecutive matches winning streak but somehow we saw that coming: he wasn’t at his best over the last two days and yesterday, both of his first League matches went to a deciding frame. But 24 matches won in a row, isn’t too bad eh? The 88 in the deciding frame against Ali Carter was a failed maximum attempt.

Screen RonCLSWinnersGroupLeagueDay2.png

Actually, Ronnie looked very tired at the end of the day yesterday and I wasn’t expecting too much in the play-offs, especially as he has already qualified for the Champion of Champions 2016 (by winning the Masters 2016) so maybe didn’t have as much an incentive to fight and win as the other players still in the tournament.

But he actually played better in the Semi Finals and the Final than he had in the League Stage. He beat Matthew Selt quite convincingly.

The Final was in fact an entertaining match played at breathtaking pace, except for the 4th frame. Ronnie actually scored more points in that match than Judd and made two centuries, his first this week. But it’s the scrappy 4th frame that made the difference. Judd was first to build a lead and Ronnie had to play catch up. He closed the gap aided by a very good break: he had to work hard for it because the table situation was far from promising. But crucially he wasn’t able to dislodge the last red from the side cushion and ultimately it was Judd who won that frame, forcing a decider. In the deciding frame, Judd knocked a long red from Ronnie’s break off and made 73 from there. Ronnie came back at the table already needing snookers. He won the safety battle but missed immediately a red, playing with the rest. Judd finished the job. Well done to Judd Trump, he is the Championship Leagues Snooker 2016 Champion, and the only multiple winner of the event. He’s won this tournament three times now.

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All detailed results of the tournament are on cuetracker, thanks to Ron Florax.

League Stage:

Ronnie 3-2 Matthew Selt

MissingClip 2016 CLS WG GM: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Matthew Selt

Ronnie 3-2 Ali Carter

2016 CLS WG GM: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Allister Carter

Mark Williams 3-0 Ronnie

MissingClip 2016 CLS WG GM: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Mark J Williams

Semi Finals:

Ronnie 3-0 Matthew Selt

MissingClip 2016 CLS WG SF: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Matthew Selt

Final:

Judd Trump 3-2 Ronnie

MissingClip 2016 CLS WG FINAL: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Judd Trump

Championship League Snooker 2016 – Winners Group – Ronnie wins 3 out of 3

Ronnie wasn’t at his best but he still won all three matches he had to play today and, to quote Clive Everton in commentary, he couldn’t have tried harder if he was at the Crucible. This means that, although there is still one match to be played today, he will be top of the table at the end of day 1. He’s back playing tomorrow at 11 am, local time, and will face Matt Selt.

Here are Ronnie’s matches today, thanks to SnookerRoom:

Ronnie 3-0 Judd Trump

2016 CLS WG GM: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Judd Trump

Ronnie 3-2 Mark Selby

2016 CLS WG GM: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Mark Selby

Ronnie 3-2 Stephen Maguire

2016 CLS WG GM: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Stephen Maguire

Here are the detailed results thanks to Ron Florax (source cuetracker)

RonnieCLSWinnersGroupDay1