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A decade of snooker completed part two

Postby Tubberlad

2005: The Masters of 2005 would see one of the great performances, as Ronnie O'Sullivan smashed John Higgins 10-3. The affable Scot went as far as waving his white towel in surrender after the twelfth frame. Stephen Hendry claimed his last ranking title of the decade with a 9-7 win over Graeme Dott in Malta, before Ronnie made it back to back wins at the Irish Masters and Welsh Open. Ding Junhui became a ranking event winner at 17, defeating the great Stephen Hendry 9-5 in Beijing. The Rocket went to the Crucible as hot-favourite, but was very nearly knocked out in the opening round. He trailed third favourite Stephen Maguire 9-7, but after Maguire missed a match winning black in the dream first round tie, Ronnie was unstoppable, winning 10-9. Elsewhere, Mark Williams compiled his first maximum break against Robert Milkins. Peter Ebdon ended Ronnie's hopes with a controversialy slow-paced performance in the quarter-final and by the semi-final stage, Matthew Stevens was hot favourite to pick up the trophy at last. However, despite leading the final 10-6 against 150-1 outsider Shaun Murphy, the outsider triumphed 18-16 in one of the great Crucible shocks. John Higgins thrashed Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-2 at the Grand Prix, compiling a record four century breaks on the spin against O'Sullivan during a devestating display. The year ended with Steve Davis making it to the final of the UK Championship, but came unstuck against Chinese sensation Ding Junhui 10-6.

2006: John Higgins came out on top of a brilliant Masters final against Ronnie O'Sullivan. The Rocket appeared to have won the deciding frame when he led 60-0, but after Higgins made a brilliant 64 clearance to take his second Masters crown. Ken Doherty's brilliant season reached it's peak in Malta, coming from 8-5 down to win 9-8 against Higgins, while Stephen Lee and Mark Williams also returned to winning ways. That year's World Championship was a strange one. John Higgins, arguably the best player in the World, was knocked out in the opening round, and by the semi-final stage we were left with 4 players who had show little form all year. Graeme Dott stunned Ronnie O'Sullivan to make the final, while Peter Ebdon came out on top of an absorbing tussle with Marco Fu, having seen a 15-9 lead turn into a 17-16 win. Dott led Ebdon 15-7 in the final, before the 2002 champion won 7 of the next eight. A brilliant clearance in frame 31 helped Dott over the line, and take a shock World Title. Ding Junhui became only the third player to win three ranking events before the age of 20 by winning the Northern Ireland Trophy. Sadly, October of this year saw the death of one of the game's best and most likeable players, Paul Hunter. It remains the greatest tragedy in snooker's history, and the Leedsman is still sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. He died just days short of his 28th birthday. Neil Robertson won his first ranking title at the Grand Prix, and it was Peter Ebdon who became UK Champion in December.

2007: Ronnie O'Sullivan hammered the up and coming Ding Junhui 10-3 at Wembley, a result which took a long time for the Chinaman to recover from. Ding was in tears afterwards, but memorably, was comforted by Ronnie afterwards. Andrew Higginson was a shock Welsh Open finalist, but came up just short against the ever-improving Australian Neil Robertson. It was John Higgins who starred in Sheffield though, and in spite of a spirited comeback from Mark Selby, was an 18-13 winner in a game that finished at 12.52am. Stephen Maguire returned to winning ways at the Northern Ireland Trophy, but was crushed 10-2 by Ronnie O'Sullivan at the UK final.

2008: The improving Mark Selby was the King at Wembley, and also at Wales, making the Jester one of the favourites for the World title. Selby went out in the first round though, losing out to Mark King. Ronnie O'Sullivan was in sparkling form when he faced Stephen Hendry in the semi-finals, winning out 17-6, and Ali Carter emerged 17-15 against Perry. Ronnie was never going to be beaten though, clinching a third World title with an 18-8 win. The Bahrain Championship turned out to be a farcical affair, with five top players missing due to a clash with the Premier League. Neil Robertson took full advantage, beating Matthew Stevens in the final. Shaun Murphy won in a deciding frame against Marco Fu at the UK Final, an outrageously fluked pink helping him in the decider.

2009: Ali Carter was the winner in Wales, his first ranking title, but it was John Higgins who emerged victorious in Sheffield, beating Shaun Murphy 18-9 in the final. At the Grand Prix, Neil Robertson made it 4 ranking titles, beating Ding Junhui 9-4. Higgins nearly fell apart against Ronnie O'Sullivan in their UK semi-final. The Rocket came from 8-2 down to take it to a decider, but Higgins prevailed. It wasn't to be for the Scot though, Ding repeating his 2005 win. Off the table, Rodney Walker lost the chairmanship of World Snooker, with Barry Hearn taking the role and promising sweeping changes.

Re: A decade of snooker completed part two

Postby Tubberlad

Thanks oneball. Sorry it's a bit vague in places, that's because of the character limit on 606. Will update it but can't be fussed now :)