Team England won the “decider” in Goffs by 18-13. On the second day of the Cup, they steadily increased their lead, finishing session 3 on a 11-7 score, and bettering it to 16-10 after session 4. The Irish Team put on a gallant fight in the second part of the last session and in the black ball shootout out phase, but England needed on 2 more points by then, which Ronnie and Mark Selby provided!
With the line-up being all professional players this time, the quality of the snooker was very high, everyone played great. Jimmy White in particular played really, really well and if he can carry that to the professional competitions he has every chance to secure his professional status for the next two years through the one year list; he’s already well placed to do this. Mark Selby had the highest break, a 127 or 128 … not sure anymore. Everyone enjoyed themselves, the players as much as the crowd. The Irish crowd BTW was of course supporting their team, but showed great sporting spirit and appreciation for all the players performances.
Ronnie played well too, his safety game was outstanding at times. Only his long game wasn’t quite at its best level (yet). He won all but one of his single matches, and the one he lost probably provided the most exciting frame of the whole week-end. Ronnie had taken full advantage of Mark Allen’s weak-ish break-off and knocked in a long red followed by 8 other reds and 9 blacks. However, the split, from the 9th black, hadn’t really worked out that well and, although the balls were spread, he was on nothing easy, and in particular no red that would allow him to comfortably get back on the black next. He though long and hard about it, but, being the entertainer he is, eventually decided to attempt a difficult long red to the green bag, and to screw back for the black. He got the position, but not the pot. Mark Allen came to the table 72 behind, with 75 on … and cleared to win by 73-72. It was far from straightforward. In particular he didn’t land on the last pink as he wanted and had to go for a difficult pot, combined with a difficult positional shot. He made the pot but finished so close to the black it was nearly touching. He also thought long and hard and decided to try to pot the black anyway … and got it, prompting a massive roar from the crowd. Ronnie got his revenge when they met again in the next session, making no mistake this time and knocking in a 116 … Yes those events ARE competitive!
Here are the pictures albums on facebook:
And here are some pictures of Ronnie in action: