Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Crucible is alive, with the sound of kicks.

Judd Trump tonight deservedly beat Neil Robertson and the 10-8 scoreline could have been a tad wider. Trump missed some important balls but still played confidently enough even when under the cosh and in this easier quarter of the draw is now a live pick in the Championship - currently best-priced at 16/1 (Bet365, stanjames).

I thought the tables didn't play great today. The pockets played big because of the new shiny cloth though they will tighten up a little. But the biggest problem was the huge amount of kicks although this is often the case in Sheffield especially with the two table set-up. This was at an extreme in the Mark Williams - Ryan Day match although things did improve slightly this evening. The humidity always seems raised at the Crucible and this, combined with the close proximity of the spectators and all the enclosed energy sources it's sometimes akin to playing in an arena which is electrically charged.

Going back here three years and the memorable second round match where Liang Wenbo beat Joe Swail there were so many kicks Swail said he was playing shots expecting one.

There was slight controversy in the first session of the Jamie Cope - Andrew Pagett match. In frame five Cope had been 26 adrift with 27 on the table and after fouling the black (intentionally or not) to be 33 behind conceded the frame which he was entitled to do (apart from the rules of etiquette). However it looked as if referee Eirian Williams didn't see the foul and considered it was a concession while the frame was still 'live' - a clear breach of the rules and promptly warned Cope. As things stand he will be reported to the Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA . Although it didn't affect the rest of the opening session which ended up with Cope leading 5-4. They play to a finish tomorrow morning.

Until then.

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