I’ll start us off with two memories of mine from 2011 that’ll live long with me. One somewhat bigger than the other, but all memories/tales are welcome.
The first being my day off earlier in the year to watch one of the days play in the China Open. I had Annual Leave to use, so picked a day when the China Open was on. I’d only just moved home a few weeks previously, and that’d been a hard process. So I thought I a day of watching snooker and chill-axing was in order.
The day I picked, almost at random was the day of Mark Williams vs Stephen Lee. Sitting down in my pyjamas at 6am I put the match on. And what a match it was. Mark Williams standard was about as high as it possibly can be without winning the match. 4 centuries and a 50-break in a best of nine. At one point he looked like he was going to run away with it, but Stephen Lee gritted in and won the match. One mistake in the deciding frame by Williams is what decided it. That match must’ve been the best bo9 match ever. Probably ranks up amongst the best matches under any format ever. I was honoured to say I watched it.
I then walked to the end of the road and got some fried chicken, and sat around whinging that the second match I wanted to see (Ding Junhui vs Kurt Maflin) wasn’t being shown. But hey, what a day.
The second memory of 2011 is somewhat bigger. I had tickets for all four sessions of the Crucible Final between John Higgins and Judd Trump. Classic match though that was, there was one memory that stuck with me over any other that weekend. The ovation at the start of the fourth session as both men walked out. Rob Walker had done his usual spiel about giving it the large so everybody watching at home knew you had the best seats in the house, but this was different. Nobody needed Rob Walker to tell us to enjoy it, we just did. The all time great vs the young lad who had lit up the tournament. The match had already been a classic, and we needed no more encouragement to show our enthusiasm. For anybody who says that snooker is boring, the crowds are only ever dreary or that fans want to see a whole match in one session, I provide that ovation as my rebuttal. It was genuine, and it was a pleasure to be there. When I got back home and looked on the internet, pretty much everybody on the internet forums were saying how much they’d have loved to have been there for that session.
So what about everybody else? What are your snooker memories from 2011?
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