After arriving at Dublin port I couldn’t believe my eyes when I seen the cue for the ferry, it was so far back I couldn’t see the entrance to the main building.
On the boat we were told that there was over 1400 foot passengers on board, then there was the car and freight passengers on top of that. This was a ferry made for short haul journeys so lets just say it was cramped.
At Hollyhead I managed to get a train ticket but I would have to make four stops along the way in overcrowded trains .
So after all of that I managed to get into Sheffield at 7.30pm, 14 hours after leaving the house. Into my hotel I have to politely tell my girlfriend that I wanted to go have a long at the Crucilbe, she didn’t really understand why I couldn’t wait until the morning and I was to tired to try and explain.
It was a brilliant sight, having watched it on TV for years I was finally there; I was knackered but extremely excited about the next morning.
10am session – Mark Allen v Tom Ford.
I was in row E for this match level with the middle pockets, great seat. When I first walked in I couldn’t believe how small it actually is and how close the table are, the TV cameras make it look much bigger for sure.
The atmosphere was great and I was delighted to see the defending champion enter the arena along with music which was grand to me.
Mark’s turn to enter and all his fans were there giving him a big cheer, I knew the atmosphere would be bouncing. I bought an earpiece but I only used it for 5 minutes, it takes away from the atmosphere somehow.
Allen was ticking along nicely when in the last frame of the session he had a max attempt, I never felt anything like it at a snooker match before. He pulled out some great shots and you could feel the vibrations through the seat, unfortunately it wasn’t to be but what an attempt all the same.
Hendo up next for me and this is one of the reasons I had to come this year, the old boy hasn’t got that many years left at the top and it would be criminal of me not to have seen him play at the crucible.
All was going well at 4-0 and I thought both my favorite players were going to sail through. Obviously that turned and I was just glad Hendry had any sort of lead for the next session.
There was the odd spare seat around, maybe due to the flying conditions, so I changed my arm and was able to get a ticket for the second session of Higgins v Hawkings. I was right at the very back but event from there it was a great view of the table, John did well to turn it around. (much to the delight of the crowd).
Sunday morning and I was there again at 10am and I meet our very own Sonny who came flashing his very own Mount Rushmore snooker Island T shirt. We were in the Allen match and we managed to get down to row B beside each other, a good chance to get the Island on TV.
Outside the crucible was very interesting. I seen a man called Joe Short who taught me how to play snooker and has worked with Mark Allen in the past, I introduced him to Sonny and he then introduced us to Pat Mooney who was talking with Joe. Absolutely perfect, it if gave Sonny the chance to let Pat know what he is doing with the forum and shotmaster. I also think an interview with Higgins is in the bag.
The next match was Selby v Doherty, the one were everybody is telling me I looked like a right miserable bastard , but really its just my concentration face. Selby picked Ken off easy enough, a failed max attempt in the end but as Sonny said that would have been too perfect given we were both in the front row.
Sonny is a sound guy I enjoyed his company and I am glad we got a chance to meet up. its just a shame I couldn’t get to hang around any longer but that’s how it goes. Also seen Smart for a couple of minutes on the way out of the hotel, nice to get to speak to him also but I couldn’t get to stick around as I had to head for the train.
I would fully recommend that anybody that has never been the Cruible to try and get at some stage, I loved every minute of it and I will 100% be back next year. (hoping its over Easter so I can stick around for longer)
- Posts: 8520
- Joined: 03 October 2009
- Location: Ireland
- Snooker Idol: Hendry Allen