It is quarter finals day at Telford and by close of play tonight we will know one semi final pairing. One thing is for certain though – there will be a Scotsman in the semi finals.
More of that later – I’ll keep that till the end of this entry.
As the news reverberates around the press room that Alan Pardew is set to be named as Newcastle’s next manager (yes I can hear you asking why already – believe me I still can’t fathom it myself, this will not go down well at all with the fanatical Toon Army who still think the board got it very badly wrong in sacking Chris Hughton) but hey what do I know? I am just a mere fan. Who am I to criticise them?!!!
Well I do know about snooker and both matches finish at 9-7 within five minutes of each other as Higgins edges through against Maguire and Mark Allen ends the run of Stuart Bingham.
The remaining two quarters are played tomorrow. Will Shaun Murphy make it a bad week for the Aussies by beating Neil Robertson, and who will prevail in the match between Mark Williams and Walsall’s Mark Joyce?
As they say in the movies, to be continued
JOHN Higgins came through a gruelling encounter with Stephen Maguire 9-7 to book a place in the semi finals of the 12BET.com UK Championship.
Resuming 5-3 ahead of Maguire, Higgins was largely confined to his seat for the opening three frames as Maguire fired in a total clearance of 137 to account for the opener and then pieced together a 76 to move 6-5 in front. But Higgins once again raised his game and hammered in a long red and stroked in an 82 to level the match at 6-6 at the mid session interval.
The break was just what Higgins needed, returning from the intermission he stroked in a long red and with the balls well split compiled a frame winning break of 83 to move in front of Maguire at 7-6. As the match edged towards it’s conclusion so the pressure intensified. The fourteenth frame rested on an horrendous kick that befell Maguire on a cutback brown that missed the “green” pocket. Worse was to follow for Stephen as the cue ball presented John with an easy starter. Higgins birdied the red and then striding confidently around the table made a critical 70 that put him two frames in front at 8-6, and just required one more for victory. Maguire now had it all to do.
Maguire though was not going to yield easily as he put together an impressive 106 to close to within one frame at 7-8. It was the 29th century of the season for Stephen. But century breaks only win one frame and badly judged safety shots can lose them. And that was to decide the outcome of the match as Maguire’s attempted thin clip on the red caught the blue in the face and left John with the reds at close range.
Higgins though erred on 29 when he overcut a red to the corner. But he was soon back at the table when Maguire twitched on a red to allow Higgins a second chance to clinch the match with a vital 45 to seal victory at 9-7 and move into the semi finals.
But who would he face in the semi finals – would it be Mark Allen or Stuart Bingham? Allen had resumed with a 5-3 advantage over the Englishman but Bingham soon reduced his arrears to just one frame with a 48. The next two frames were shared to leave the Antrim man in front at 6-5 before Bingham levelled at the mid session interval with a magnificent 142. Unfortunately the interval came at the most inopportune time for Stuart, while for Mark it was a chance to re-group. And on the return Allen claimed the 13th, and despite an 80 from Bingham, to level at 7-7 took the following two frames to enter the semi finals against Higgins.