Out of bed at 8.30am today, look out of the window – hooray, no snow! Oh wait a minuite I am in Telford not Durham.
Strange day, four matches reach their conclusion, while eight are starting out. And joy of joys England have been thrashing Australia around the Adelaide Oval with Messrs Pieterson and Cook taking up squatters rights at the crease. One Australian does win – and Neil Robertson completes a 9-1 thrashing over Rory McLeod. Oooh the number of Ashes quips you could get out of that one. I’ll leave you to do your own jokes about them.
Quick look at the newspapers and there are no snooker stories on the front pages – the papers seem more interested with some competition in the jungle, God knows what that is all about. Oh, and a daily account of X Factor – dear me.
Better to concentrate on what is going on on the table and John Higgins completes victory over Stephen Lee, and Graeme Dott recovers against Gould. Andrew Higginson causes a minor upset ousting Peter Ebdon. Meanwhile the showdown between White and Hendry ends up as 4-4 overnight, while Williams builds a commanding lead over Mark Davis.
To come tonight Ronnie O’Sullivan against Stuart Bingham. Oh and if you want to dash off and catch the strictly results I’ll tell you now – Ann Widdecombe’s bid for election to the semi finals failed.
And I haven’t even mentioned what happened in West Brom and Newcastle – well I’ll let you guess why.
JOHN Higgins ended the dreams of Stephen Lee with a 9-6 victory on his retun to domestic snooker.
Resuming at 4-4 it was Higgins who was quickly into his stride as he raced through the opening frame of the session with the help of a 99 break. Lee though was not phased and quickly responded with a 137 to level at 5-5. The snooker was of the highest calibre and mistakes were being punished as the match now became a best of seven encounter. But Higgins now raised his game as he moved 6-5 in front with a 87, and then took the last frame before the mid session interval with the help of a 64 to lead 7-5.
With that timely break behind him Higgins returned after the interval and stretched his lead to 8-5 when Lee missed a red to the centre from baulk, leaving the Scotsman a half ball red to the corner from mid length. Drilling the red in Higgins cleared with an 80 to move three frames in front and leave himself one short of victory. Lee, though was still cueing well and scoring heavily when in the balls. And he issued a timely warning to John that he wasn’t prepared to put away his cue and surrender as he slammed in a 137 to trail 6-8.
Lee though will surely kick himself because he was well placed in what was to be the final frame only to miss a long red when on a break of 56. With a look at the table Lee turned and walked back to his seat. Higgins, given a reprieve seized his opportunity with what was to be a decisive 60 before playing safe after snookering himself on the green when clearing up.
Higgins did not have long to wait for another opportunity as Lee’s safety saw the green come to rest just off the top cushion. It was a thin cut but there was to be no mistake from the Scotsman as he took green to pink to seal a 9-6 victory.
Seconds later Higgins knew his last 16 opponent as Graeme Dott reeled off six straight frames to triumph over Martin Gould. Dott had trailed 3-5 at the mid session interval before rebounding on the resumption to doom Gould to a 9-5 defeat.
Elsewhere, finally some good news for Australians, who are fed up of seeing their cricketers being thrashed around the Adelaide Oval by Messrs Pieterson and Cook as Neil Robertson completed a resounding 9-1 demolition of Rory McLeod inside 45 minutes with breaks of 105 and 84 to move into the last sixteen and meet Andrew Higginson who won a long drawn out struggle against Peter Ebdon 9-7.