Crucible 2016 – Barry Hawkins beats Ronnie by 13-12 in last 16 thriller

Ronnie’s bid for a sixth World Title in 2016 came to an end yesterday evening, as Barry Hawkins beat him by 13-12 in the last session of the last 16 round.

It was an absolute thriller of a match, both players playing to a very, very high standard. Both players gave it absolutely everything they had and should be commended for the way they played. The way Ronnie fought back to close the gap from 12-9 down to force a decider was absolutely fantastic. How Barry played the decider, after losing the last three frames in next to no time, was equally remarkable.

This was a real treat for the fans and by far the best match of the tournament so far, even of the season in my opinion. It’s really a shame that those two had to clash at such an early stage because both showed a form that could win them the title. I now wish Barry the very best and would be delighted if he can lift the trophy next Monday.

Here are the statistics after 24 frames, it’s telling it all:


Detailed results and scores can be found on cuetracker as always, this is an excerpt:

Scores (Barry Hawkins first) : 74(54)-23; 0-139(139); 102(102)-25; 0-88(88); 31-107(103); 90-21; 62-21; 60-0; 73-68(68); 1-118(118); 74(74)-1; 0-82(82); 106(65)-0; 0-89(89); 0-78; 81-0; 3-98(93); 68-55; 26-71(70); 68(54)-30; 94(94)-0; 0-124(124); 0-92(88); 52-64(63); 70(56)-15

Centuries: Barry Hawkins: 102;  Ronnie O’Sullivan: 139, 103, 118, 124

Referee: Brendan Moore

As you can see, Ronnie made 12 breaks over 60, in winning 12 frames and still lost the match. In his postmatch, he made a good and unbiased analysis of how this could happen.

Here is Ronnie’s postmatch press conference, very balanced, even positive I’d say

A few pictures of the match, courtesy of Tai Chengzhe, thank you Tai.

If you haven’t seen the match, or want to watch it again, here it is:

Session 1:

Session 2:

Session 3:

I was sat in the arena for this match. I remember having no expectations. I knew that Ronnie had been unwell mentally after his first-round match and I was amazed that he was playing at all. The key in that match was that Ronnie was not able to win the close frames;

10 thoughts on “Crucible 2016 – Barry Hawkins beats Ronnie by 13-12 in last 16 thriller

  1. He was not, obviously, in the right frame of mind and the shape as a few years ago. Talent is simply not enough without effort and he could have won this time, too, but he did not seem very keen to do so. It is up to him now, he can let it all go or he can get back in shape and put the effort in to win another title. We will see. A wsc without him is indeed not very exciting to watch.

    • I believe that you are mistaken there Lavinia. Ronnie really wanted to win it this year, wanted it too much in fact. He was extremely anxious and tense from the start and was putting a lot of pressure on himself which didn’t help. He also did put a lot of work in ahead of the championship. But form is not something any player can produce “on demand”, it’s not a tap you can turn on and off. His form wasn’t great and, in my opinion, what he needs is to play more competitive matches next season to sharpen his tactical game be cause that’s where he was found lacking

      • Yes, you are right, it is probably not the right thing to say that he did not want to win. I just said that because I watched him in his previous years in the Crucible and he had been really focused on the game, he had not left much room for mistakes, but now he did not seem to enjoy himself so much, even if he played well. Pressure does not work indeed and as he says, ‘defeat hurts’, so hopefully he will come back and fight for the sixth title, this is ultimately what we want. And what he deserves, after all.

  2. Ronnie has a lightening career with shadows sometimes. He has won 5 worlds, 5 Uk and 6 Masters. Only Hendry has won more triple crown titles, with 18. 5 world titles are a lot, believe me. He has the great opportunity to win the sixth two years ago, but he lost with Selby. This year Ronnie won also the Welsh Open playing sublime snooker. The fact is that he can’t win always and when he want. He doesn’t like a certain kind of pressure, on and off the table. If he will find in the future the same frame of mind he has had at the Crucible in 2012 and 2013, he will win another world title. If not, Ronnie has won enough to be one of the greatest player ever. He can pleased for what he did on the baize and for the massive emotions he gave to us fans.

  3. Thank you very much for this post. I am very grateful for the video press conference with Ronnie. I listened to him with tears in his eyes, though, and do not understand English at the hearing. Read and translate I can. I am glad that Ronnie is calm, at least it was evident at the press conference. I really want him to survive this defeat and to be in harmony with itself. Hopefully, he’ll be fine. Anyway, he’s the best and I love him.

  4. Congratulations, Ronnie, for such a great session of the tournament, you are a very skilled and talented player, it is a delight to watch you play and people love you. It is great to have you in a tournament, even when you do not win, of course we cannot always match all the expectations, but that is ok. You have to be extremely proud of yourself and of your accomplishments, it is very rare that a sportsman sets the standards so high. In this last session, you scored more in every aspect of the stats, so in my opinion, you are the champion anyway. No one at the moment plays the game as you do. Good luck and all the best!

  5. Outrageous. I still can’t believe what happened in the decider. Ronnie was so much better, he is much more exciting to watch. Barry is not a player I would ever be enthusiastic about. I don’t think Ronnie will win another world title. Yesterday was the worst day of my life by far.

    • This is not very encouraging. Ronnie will come back and win again if he decides to, have no worry about that. We cannot always stay at the top, we are all human after all. If you really appreciate Ronnie, you respect this and give him credit for everything good he has done for the sport and the fans so far. He has delivered a great performance, so as you say, he is still the best. One frame cannot decide fairly the fate of a champion. Only great champions come back as Ronnie did and he will do it again, I am sure.

      • He doesn’t seem to like this tourament. I’m sure he will be very successful in the next few years but I wouldn’t say he’ll be a favourite to win the world title anymore. He’s simply not played well enough in the last three years at the Crucible. By the way, I decided not to watch the wsc anymore this year. It’s so painful to watch it when he’s not in.

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