Scottish Open 2019 – Mark Selby beats Ronnie in the QF by 5-4

Mark Selby beat Ronnie by 5-4 in a very high quality match. Here are the scores:


There were four centuries, three from Ronnie, one from Selby and there were outstanding safeties from both. There was never more than one frame between them.

There is no point dwelling too much on what could have been, but in the eighth frame this happened:

As you can see Ronnie did hit the red there, it moved. But the referee didn’t see it and called a foul and a miss. I can only suppose that neither player saw it move, or that they weren’t sure and trusted the referee. Mark Selby asked for the ball to be replaced. On the second attempt, Ronnie hit the red thicker and stuck it up, allowing Selby to take a long pot at it, which he got and basically won the frame from there. There is of course absolutely no guarantee that Ronnie would have won that frame had the miss not been called but fact is that Selby had no shot to go at after the first attempt.

In the last frame Ronnie got in first with a fantastic long red, tried to develop the pack from the black, spread the reds open, but ended on nothing. Subsequently, they engaged in a longish safety battle that Mark Selby won by forcing Ronnie to take a long red from tight on the cushion. He missed it and Mark made 63 from it. At that point Ronnie needed one four points penalty to tie. He got it. But then, playing a safety shot he was very unlucky when the last red, deflected by the green ended right over the top right pocket. Mark potted it and Ronnie conceded.

That’s two tournaments in a row where Ronne plays really well and still loses. That said, Mark Selby played really well also, and I’m wishing him the best in the rest of the tournament. I’d like to see him win it now.

Obviously, I would have preferred to see Ronnie win today, but I enjoyed the match, really did. It was snooker at its best, played in great spirit, by two fantastic players.

Here is the report by Worldsnooker:

Selby Wins Classic Contest

Mark Selby won a thrilling encounter with Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-4 to reach the semi-finals of the Scottish Open in Glasgow.

Selby is aiming to become the first player to win more than one Home Nations event in a single season. The three-time World Champion produced a sublime display to crush David Gilbert 9-1 and win the English Open title back in October.

Selby and O’Sullivan have been facing each other on the World Snooker Tour since they first met at the 2002 China Open. Selby won on that occasion and their subsequent battles have seen the fixture become one of snooker’s greatest rivalries.

Despite today’s victory for the Jester from Leicester, it’s the Rocket who holds a 14-10 lead in their head-to-head record.

This afternoon’s match saw both players fire from the start. Selby got off the mark in the opening frame with a sublime break of 120 to move 1-0 up. O’Sullivan hit back immediately with an equally impressive break of 123 to restore parity.

Selby took a scrappy third, before O’Sullivan fired in a century run of 113 to make it 2-2 at the mid-session.

When they returned O’Sullivan composed his third century of the tie with a break of 111 to take the lead for the first time at 3-2. They traded frames, until Selby forced a decider with a run of 56. He then composed a break of 63 to secure victory. Next up he faces a repeat of his English Open final with Gilbert.

“I’m over the moon. To play Ronnie in any tournament is a great feeling and to come out with a win is even better,” said Selby. “At one stage there were four centuries in five frames, which was incredible. After that I didn’t really score as well, but I didn’t miss too many easy pots. I thought my safety was quite good.”

Big thanks to Tai Chengzhe for those great images.

Ronnie will now take a long break: he will not play until next February. He’s currently 17th on the one year list, surely safe to qualify for the World Grand Prix 2020. But he will need good results in that one, and in the Welsh Open 2020, to qualify for the Players Championship 2020, and unless he wins one of them, he probably won’t be able to defend his Tour Championship crown.


There weren’t any interviews with the players on ES after the session. Probably there wasn’t enough time for that before the evening session. But during the evening session preview, the pundits discussed the incident shown above, and how this was dealt with differently from the one involving Mark Allen earlier in the week.

And finally, the Ronnie postmatch interview was shared on twitter on the next day

and here is the review… thanks Kalacs!

12 thoughts on “Scottish Open 2019 – Mark Selby beats Ronnie in the QF by 5-4

  1. Not only is there precedence it’s literally in the rules posted on the wpbsa website, freely downloadable by anyone, in Section 5.1 The Referee (c):

    I don’t know why this is still questioned. Last year at the EO Ronnie (rightly) insisted the commentators should have intervened, as he had when being a commentator once in a Mark Williams match at the German Masters (similar incident to here, foul and miss called when a ball did move).
    I mean, to be fair, in the EO match there might not have been enough time before “next stroke” was played. But it was different in this match.

    People joked last year as well about banging on the glass or an audience member jumping up. But how else do you expect the ref to know he missed a foul if no one speaks up??

    The ref of course doesn’t have to listen or change his ruling! But yes, I think you are allowed to bang on the glass! Especially if there’s that much time before the next stroke is played, I think they (or at least the Marker, especially if he was listening to commentary, as co-refereeing is actually part of his job) did a disservice to the game there.


    On another note, people do like to make a big deal about fist bumps. I mentioned it to my sister. That Selby did ‘rock, paper, scissors’ to start a match, which she didn’t get the humor of.
    I tried to explain it was because Ronnie was doing fist bumps and people were complaining because you’re supposed to shake hands – and that’s when she interjected “God! It’s such a stuffy game!” which pretty much ended the conversation, because yeah.

    But I’ve read some real dumb comments around the internet on it. Most posters I’m giving the benefit of the doubt, that maybe English isn’t their first language, or the phrase “I’m a bit OCD” just isn’t as common where they live so they didn’t understand Ron’s meaning. Also assuming so many calling it a “fist pump” is autocorrect. But maybe the gesture in it’s entirety is just too foreign lol xD

    Anyways, Fox News once called Obama’s a “terrorist fist jab”. So still 2nd place for over reaction.

    • I didn’t question it, and I know the rules. What I questioned is the lack of consistency. In the Mark Allen match, the marker, who hears the commentary when it’s a televised match, reacted and intervened, in the Ronnie match, he or she didn’t. That’s one element: they should get clear directions regarding what to do under the circumstances. Because, lets be both honest and practical, you can’t allow members of the public to intervene, unless they are specifically asked their opinion by the referee in charge. That would create chaos. So only the television table(s) with live commentary would benefit from this additional scrutiny. Also the commentary is usually composed of one sports journalist and one player. Neither are qualified referees. The cases we’ve had this week were obvious enough, but that’s not always the case. As for knocking on the glass … I doubt it would be heard in the arena, and, if it is, it would definitely not be on if there are multiple tables in use. And, BTW, I’m one of those “foreigners” …

      • I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be so aggressive in my reply here. Just let my annoyance at other websites, overflow here. I greatly admire you and was not meaning any offense here towards you or what’s been written on this website. I was more trying to be flippant and funny, but obviously let annoyance color my tone too much.

        I know you’re knowledgeable, in this case I was trying to bolster your writings, not attack you in any way and I’m very sorry I instead came off as condescending and argumentative. Truly very sorry about that.

        I agree about the consistency, I just don’t know why what’s expected to be done is a question, when it’s already literally outlined in the rules document, regardless of Mark Allen’s match, though that it came up so shortly after that ‘refresher’ just makes it more glaring.

        Perhaps the ‘how’ is up for question.
        So as for practicals, sure, the rules are wrote for general use, I assume spectators (where the meaning is members of the public) intervening would only really be used in a club setting (what’s the likelihood they’d see anything from a distance anyways lol).
        But commentators, and off duty referees, and photographers, and anyone else simply milling about regardless of their depth of knowledge, also fall under the label of spectators. Not to mention watching a video feed can fall under ‘best placed for the observation’. That’s why I highlighted that part.

        How to get the ref’s attention isn’t outlined, just that any persons actually are allowed to. Even if they might be risking getting thrown out for disruption 🙂 That not every table will have an audience or video replay or a person might call something incorrectly and waste the ref’s time, I think is largely irrelevant.

        I was being too harsh with my last sentence in my first comment, as I do think the commentators were doing all they could, from their understanding, and that it’s the Marker who failed his job here. As it’s the Referee’s decision on whether a foul is committed or not, the Marker should have simply passed the message along.

        But I suppose we don’t actually know if the Marker was listening to commentary, though obviously the commentators were under the impression that the Marker was in this match.
        So unless a statement comes out that the Marker brought it up to the Referee, who decided his decision stood regardless, and the commentators had simply missed that; or the Marker didn’t have commentary through his headset, it’s a failure to follow something already outlined in the rules document.

        But really, if you don’t want someone to bang on the glass, don’t ignore the more subtle ways they think they have to get your attention. <- Rhetorical again, not actually aimed at you, Monique, but the wpbsa/match officials if commentary wasn't available to the Marker.

        At least that's where my opinion falls which pretty much lines up with yours as I understand it. I just felt the need to say "Yes Agree!" in a very long winded way.


        As for use of the word foreign, I meant that in the "strange and unfamiliar" way. I'm a foreigner too, because I'm American. So a fist bump is pretty common in America, maybe it's foreign – as in a weird unseen gesture – in Britain. I don't actually know, although I was saying that as a joke, because I'm pretty sure it's quite well known.

        Same with the ocd expression, purely because it's bandied about online so much, it's hard to think a person could really be unfamiliar with its use (or not utilize google).

  2. “There weren’t any interviews with the players on ES after the session. Probably there wasn’t enough time for that before the evening session”
    Only the UK Eurosport (+Quest UK) showed the review:

  3. I am very sad because at the UK if he beats Ding he should’ve won the title as the tournament went after that last 16 match.
    Similar here: something was clicked after being 3-1 down against Dale. From there he played very very good snooker. His attacking snooker worked well.
    Everybody mentioned that foul-not foul frame frame 8, but I know Ronnie is very attacking player and etc etc etc but why did he played split here?
    Ronnie loves to play little cannons during breaks.and I think the bottom red of the pack was available to the right corner pocket.
    After an excellent red it was only 8. Sadly.
    And he was very unlucky in the end of the decider there after Selby missed the easy black Ronnie dominated the table.
    2 heartbreak defeats for me in 2 weeks.
    I hope Ronnie enjoy his break and if there is something his foot I strongly hope he’ll be fine for the February.

  4. Ronnie should not have attempted that red in the final frame. It was too difficult, and the red next to the green that was available into the yellow pocket should have tipped the balance. Selby looked very edgy, but managed to keep going, at least until that careless miss on the black.

    Still, it was a good match by both players.

    Ronnie now has a break. I assume he has other plans for early January, hence the avoidance of the Masters. Then I’d imagine a couple of weeks intensive practice for the Coral series, where he sets himself a challenge. Given the varying degrees of fatigue shown by many players this week, Ronnie appears to be looking to stay fresh for April.

    • Could be Lewis, but during the NI Open Ronnie said that he was going to see someone in January about his foot injury. From what I know, after he broke his ankle in 2014, played on it and still won the UK, Since then, he’s been in pain because the bone didn’t heal properly. It developped osteophytes. He’s frustrated because he can’t run much anymore, which he loves to do. So, maybe, this is (part of) the reason why he decided to skip the Masters and take this longish break.

      • Yes I have heard that. Perhaps a medical procedure is the reason for missing the Masters. Anyway, it is what it is, and nothing to do with us. But a lot of players seem to be jaded at the moment, just like the previous two seasons, so some kind of schedule management is worth trying.

  5. It was an excellent match (except the outcome). My fear is that tomorrow Selby will just go and lose to Trump. And it is quite sad that Ronnie played so well and seemed to like it and 1) he lost and 2) he takes this long break and can’t build on the momentum. 😦

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