Having watched the recent LG Cup from the
guildhall in Preston I was greatly encouraged by the quality of sportsmanship
displayed by Quinten Hann. In his first round match. His opponent made a total
clearance just prior to the interval. Quintens reaction to this break was
a revelation, he obviously enjoyed the break particularly a difficult pot green
and positional shot that would have been a contender for shot of the
championship in almost any tournament.
I cant remember seeing anyone on the
receiving end of a good performance from their opponent reacting with such
obvious pleasure, congratulations to Quinten for the sportsman of the week
award. Interestingly Quinten went on to win the match, the power of positive
thinking in action perhaps?
Steve Davis avoids paralysis by
On the second televised day of the championship
Steve Davis played fluently and quickly in despatching his opponent in a very
Steve once said that "if you could play as if it
means nothing when it means everything then you would be hard to beat". I think
that he managed to put this philosophy into practise for this match at least.
The "interesting" part of this match for me was Steves attitude and how
it seemingly enhanced his performance, he made the game seem easier than of
late and possibly rather than looking like a man struggling appeared like a
possible threat to his opponent.
Confidence has two effects in match play
Snooker, one, it makes you feel good about the situation and two, it makes your
opponent take notice of your performance as well, I feel. It will be
interesting to see whether as the tournament progresses and the opposition
improves Steve can maintain this attitude and enhanced performance?
Ron and John.
Ronnie OSullivan and John Higgins continue
to impress, not since the earlier eighties when Steve Davis and Terry Griffiths
contested so many finals have we had the added pleasure of being able to watch
two players at their peak competing at the highest level.
Centuries galore and a feast of positive safety
play, you can only feel for the opposition of these two stars at the moment.
One perennial problem that I feel undermines
Snooker on terrestrial channels is that it is shown so late in the
I was disappointed to see that Snooker was
relegated to the wee small hours after a repeat of Johnny Vaughans show
'Orrible was replayed from the previous week. Snooker it seems is less
important to the BBC than its experiment of showing programmes more than once
in a week to attempt to compete with the style of some satellite channels. I
like the show 'Orrible so chose to watch it on its first airing, when the
Snooker tournament began on Friday I was hoping that more sensible and
accessible scheduling for Snooker fans might be employed, sadly not.
Stephen Lee beats Steve Davis 5-1.
Perhaps an unremarkable match except for the
fact that Steve Davis made his first century break for many a month.
Stephen Lee played a very nice match as befits
his status as a genuine, top eight player.
Steve Davis can take positive things away from
his brief tour of duty in Preston, I hope that he brings his positivity and
application to the rest of the season.
It was interesting to note Steves comments
about the dress code issue that I have previously mentioned I hope that the
former rules apply in the world championships but have enjoyed the debate and
the fresh look that this tournament has afforded us.
Regarding comfort, I tend to agree with
Steves suggestion and judging from Ronnie and John Higgins
performances to this point in the tournament, so do they. I watched these
matches, it appears with my eyes closed as Ronnie and John wore traditional
Snooker clothing and did so throughout the championship, perhaps this
constricted lack of a relaxed neck accounts for their early exits?
Ronnie OSullivan versus Drew
This match will be remembered for Ronnies
magnificent effort of making his fifth competitive 147 break and the
21st in competition.
This break was fluent, only taking six and a
half minutes to compile. Ronnies green and pink pots have been singled
out as highlights but I feel the red with awkward bridging was just as
impressive as the frame was still in the balance. Well done Ronnie, I hope your
celebrations dont mar your performance in the remainder of the
tournament, I am writing this on the morning after the 147, the way John
Higgins is playing, could this be the first tournament that has two 147s
Not only, but also.
I find myself hoping that Steve Davis and John
Parrott get knocked out early on in the remaining tournaments of the BBC
season, so enjoyable is their presenting input as the championship
Performance of the week?
One more interesting facet of this week was the
resilience of Barry (the new Houdini) Hawkins who seemed to thrive on four all
score-lines, achieving three of them throughout the tournament. in the end
finally bowing out to Joe Swail 4 frames to 5. His must have been the
performance of the week?
The semi-finals were something of an
anti-climax, as they never truly got going for me, one interesting side issue
of course was that there was the needle between Peter Ebdon and Stephen
As things turned out, Lee and Ebdon did indeed
find themselves in the final, leading to a very tense affair, they overcame
Hendry and Swail respectively.
It was something of a surprise that both Ronnie
OSullivan and John Higgins were both eliminated before the business end
of the competition, yet John Higgins had the slight satisfaction of going out
to the eventual champion.
Congratulations to Stephen Lee on a good, solid
match winning performance, in the final. This could be the platform to many
more wins? While Im in congratulatory mood let me congratulate Peter
Ebdon for reaching provisional number three on the world ranking list,
something of an achievement when you look at who number one and two are,
All in all, this week has been in my opinion a
very enjoyable tournament, with shocks, 147s and added tension in some
matches, if the remainder of the season is anything like this. I for one
This is the first of my columns on televised
snooker from the comfort of my armchair, I intend to write others. I also plan
to attend at least one match in the forthcoming world championship in Sheffield
later in the season, and no I wont bother to bring my cue, so look out
for future reports.