The afternoon session is in the books
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Trump 4-4 Murphy
How many cases of Covid-19 did the Crucible record?
So another highly enjoyable session is over - I can't wait for the next, except we've got another one of Robertson-Wilson first! Snooker, you spoil us. Anyway, it's now Selby 6-2 Williams in the other match, so they're done there too.
Trump 4-3 Murphy (11-79)
Shaun secures the frame and doubles a gorgeous yellow - he's enjoying this and who wouldn't be? Competing against a player this good, on this stage, and playing like this? You'd take it!
Trump 4-3 Murphy (11-33)
A good safety from Shaun forces Judd to try a red into the middle from tight to the baulk cushion; he misses, and Shaun drains a really good one of his own. He should clear up from here, but this game and all that.
Trump 4-3 Murphy (11-18)
Ach! Both players know what a colossal frame this is, and we're seeing that on the table: Shaun pots a red and winds up on nothing; "I could think for a hundred years and I'd still have no idea what shot he was playing there," muses Dom. But he gets the next go, a decent pot of a red, followed by a decent kiss off the yellow, followed by a decent pot of the yellow. Another fine effort follows, a red that splits the cluster, but he winds up stuck to the pink in mid-table; this game!
Trump 4-3 Murphy (11-14)
Oh dear; I wonder if we're seeing the match slip away from Shaun here. A miserable shot lets Judd in and the balls are looking nice enough - what a touch it'd be to get away with 5-3 here, having played pretty much as poorly as you'll ever see him play (which is still pretty good). BUT HAVE A LOOK! He jawses a pink to middle and Shaun has the table at his mercy!
Trump 4-3 Murphy
This is why he's the best. Judd's not played especially well this afternoon and Shaun has, but at very least the sessions's going to finish even and Shaun will be extremely feart of going in two down given how things have unfolded. Oh and Judd clinched that one with yet another century. As I said, he's playing like a total drain, while in the department of eeeeesh, Selby leads Williams 5-1.
Trump 3-3 Murphy (81-4)
A green with the rest - not an easy thing - leaves Shaun needing snookers but as if he's getting a chance to seek them. This is a major punishment.
Trump 3-3 Murphy (69-4)
This is excellent break-building from Judd, expertly navigating the morass of reds to work out a frame-winning contribution. It's not there yet, but it looks inevitable and suddenly Shaun, though only trailing by one, is under pressure.
Trump 3-3 Murphy (22-4)
Judd's in first but can only manage six, then Shaun misses a plant but catching too little of the ball he wants to pot. He gets another chance ... he misses that too, and is the tide turning? Judd is up fast, and this is a big chance for him.
Trump 3-3 Murphy
Shaun can look at the match so far in one of two ways: Judd isn't playing well and is there to be beaten, or Judd's started badly and he's failed to take advantage. We shall see. Anyhow Selby now leads Williams 4-1.
Trump 2-3 Murphy (71-36)
An excellent red, cut into the yellow pocket at extreme pace, secures the frame for Judd and I wonder if we might consider this a turning point when we look back at the match because Shaun allowed this one to escape him. There's plenty of work to do too, but a terrific yellow followed by a terrific green shows the mettle of the man.
Trump 2-3 Murphy (52-36)
Not no more! He leaves himself a tricky but regulation black and overcuts it! Judd is not going to need asking twice and is immediately up at the table to punish, though Dom notes his tight cue-action as a poor positional shot on the final red means end of break. But he's such a brilliant competitor now, and finds a fine safety to maintain control of the frame.
Trump 2-3 Murphy (36-27)
Is Judd feeling the pressure? A terrible shot leaves Shaun at the business end and this looks a potentially frame-winning opportunity, especially when he gets the black back on its spot - it was up in baulk. But as he makes his way up the table to go at it, he winds up looking at three reds that go, except the position of his white means he can't get rid of them. This game! But Shaun is soon back at the table and this time he looks set, strutting about the table methodically eliminating balls.
Trump 2-3 Murphy (36-0)
Shaun leaves a red and even though Judd's stuck on the bottom cushion, he takes it on nevertheless and sinks it unerringly. He is so, so good, and a succession of difficult pots eventually allows him to address the pack. It doesn't work out though - that's unlucky - so he plays safe.
Trump 2-3 Murphy
Not many players have the game to punish Judd's errors but Shaun is one and he's right at it today. This is shaping up - and so is the other match, Williams getting on the board to trail Selby 3-1.
Trump 2-2 Murphy (44-80)
The green with the rest is key here and Shaun disposes of it, then the brown along the rail. This is great stuff,
Trump 2-2 Murphy (44-30)
This shot might do it; Shaun stuns in the blue for a controlled split of the pack, sending the pink into four reds and opening them up perfectly. It's his to lose now.
Trump 2-2 Murphy (44-6)
Judd finishes on the wrong side of the blue, but sends the white expertly in and out of baulk to drop on a red to the bottom left. Just as he's approaching a half-century though, he misses a red high on the knuckle of the right middle and the break ends abruptly on 44. Shaun's in, and this would be a handy steal.
Trump 2-2 Murphy (8-6)
The players are back, let's get about it. It's a very cage safety exchange for the opening five minutes of the fifth frame, during which Judd catches the pink from a one cushion escape from bother in baulk and gives away six. At the second attempt Judd clips a red, but leaves another on to the bottom left. Shaun tries to jab it in with the rest, but gets a clunking kick that throws the pot off course, and he's left a chance. Judd makes a delicate two ball plant into the bottom left, and he's off.
Trump 2-2 Murphy
Shaun is in terrific touch and he's forcing Judd to find his level to - he's not played that well so far this tournament - but he's there now, and that's four frames in 52 minutes. We'll be back in 15 or so, while on the other table Selby leads Williams 3-0.
Trump 1-2 Murphy (88-0)
This is very good from Judd, who had to sink a succession of pressure pots at the start of this run, doing it with his usual nonplussed aplomb. It looks a lot like another ton is en route.
Trump 1-2 Murphy (50-0)
Shaun takes on a long red and misses but, as Dom notes, he's cueing so well that even the ones he's missing he's getting close to. Judd then tries a long one in similar vein, absolutely clattering it and seeing the ball spin in the jaws before shooting out. His next go, though, is far more sedate, a starter tapped to middle when a careless safety leaves it for him. This is chance, but he spends the first few shots chasing before settling into prime position and you'd expect him to level the match at this visit.
Trump 1-2 Murphy (36-0)
A lax break-off from Shaun leaves a stray red for Judd to go at and he clips it home confidently. He then hammers into the pack off the black but the split works out badly .., so from near to the side cushion and middle pocket, he sends a red into the opposite bottom corner like it's nothing; what a shot that is! But he soon runs out of loose reds and plays for one off another black that he can't get at in the event, so leaves Shaun in the jaws of the green pocket.
Trump 1-2 Murphy
Yep, Shaun takes the lead with an 80, to follow his 78 in the previous frame, and if Judd didn't know he was in a match before, he certainly does know.
Trump 1-1 Murphy (0-71)
Shaun glides home frame-ball, so while he removes the rest, more detail on Judd's miss that handed him the chance: he looked to get back to baulk off the pack, but inadvertently poked a red out and that was all the invitation his opponent needed.
Trump 1-1 Murphy (0-54)
Shaun gets really close to a long one then nails a different one that Judd carelessly leaves - he's in really good nick here. Going out as he did last term, taking the lead against Saengkham then falling apart, will have hurt him, and there's confidence about both his shot selection and shot execution. The run he's on here isn't easy, and in co-comm, Dominic notes that most players like the cue-ball to be near the object ball, but he's so good he's not too fussed.
Trump 1-1 Murphy (0-8)
Judd leaves a red and Shaun sees it away, follows it with a black then whinges about the white and cushion which aren't as he'd like them to be. With no position, he plays safe while we learn that a Selby century has put him 2-0 in front of Williams. His form is looking ominous.
Trump 1-1 Murphy
Ok, welcome back people; Murphy has just punished Trump for missing a red by disbursing a run of 80 and we're level. On the other table, Selby leads Williams 2-1.
Robertson 5-3 Wilson
What a jazzer of a session that was, fluent and fulminating at the start, tense and tight at the end. They'll be back tonight for more, likewse McGill and Bingham who are locked at 4-4, while we'll be back in half an hour for Trump-Murphy and Selby-Williams. Don't mind if I do!
Robertson 5-2 Wilson (10-67)
Eesh! Kyren leaves Neil on one - he looks extremely unwell - but after a red and two blacks, a canon doesn't work out and he can't get at the black; he's going to need a snooker now. And when he jawses the blue, an extremely relieved Kyren comes back to make the frame safe.
Robertson 5-2 Wilson (0-67)
Oh, Kyren! He spanks down the black but again loses the white so that he's 67 ahead with 67 on the table, but unable to get at the next. There's a quick break while we make sure everyone's got the score right as there's a problem with the in-auditorium facility; Jan Verhaas goes to look at the screen so he can check how many balls have been potted; Kyren does indeed need one more of them. Aaarrggggh.
Robertson 5-2 Wilson (0-47)
In Neasden snooker club c.1996, I'd be ramming into the pack and hoping (at least) one went, but a poor safety form Neil allows Kyren to slide into centre. He then splatters the pack off the blue, forces home a belting red along the rail, comes back up the table off the green, and the frame is now there for him. Can he take it?
Robertson 5-2 Wilson (0-27)
And it's Kyren who gets in first, quickly getting onto the black. But again, his cue-ball control lets him down and he has to send one long to the green pocket; he jawses it, and because it stays up in baulk will have safety in and off the pack. Yes, we're in potential re-rack territory, people.
Robertson 5-2 Wilson
That frame was and is a monster; losing that will sting Kyren, who really must win this final go-around of the morning session. Early doors, both boys played beautifully, but it's attritional now. Next door, it's McGill 3-4 Bingham.
Robertson 4-2 Wilson (58-37)
It's Neil who gets his man, the yellow seen off, and Kyren is in trouble.
Robertson 4-2 Wilson (44-37)
Or not! This game. This match! Neil leaves it, Kyren can't get position on the yellow, and we're back chasing.
Robertson 4-2 Wilson (44-36)
Now then! Neil feel obliged to take on a difficult cut, misses, and leaves Kyren on the side cushion. He thinks for a bit, then takes on the pot to yellow pocket ... and down it goes. But he can't get onto the final red, a ball which looks likely to decide the frame, so off we go chasing it.
Robertson 4-2 Wilson (44-30)
Nope. Neil can't get position on the third-last red, and we're going to enjoy an almighty scrap with three balls clustered by the bottom cushion close to the yellow pocket. No we're not! Two of them are parallel enough to plant along the rail so Neil does just that, then lays a snooker that will likely force Kyren to split them up. So he tries to hit them dead thin and misses ... is this a free ball? It looks so but no, Neil isn't snookered, so Kyren has to have another go from an even less inviting position. He hits, gets the balls relatively safe, and what an intriguing, thrilling frame this is.
Robertson 4-2 Wilson (28-29)
Neil misses a long red that Kyren's safety forces him to take on - the second time that's happened in this frame - and though he doesn't leave it, he leaves a plant to middle. Down it goes, but Kyren then misses a simple black! He'll be feeling extremely poorly sat in his chair now, watching Neil dash up to baulk where four reds are chilling; if he can see them away, the final frame of the session is absolutely gigantic.
Robertson 4-2 Wilson (17-29)
A poor positional shot leaves Kyren with a tight cut - he sees it away, but has to play safe shortly afterwards. He won't mind that - if he 's going to win this, it'll be because his tactical play is better than Neil's, not his potting.
Robertson 4-2 Wilson (17-8)
Not for long; he runs out of position and drops his safety shot short, allowing Kyren to take control of the exchange; he's soon easing home a long red that takes him onto the black, from there he's into the pack, and this a now a huge and crucial chance.
Robertson 4-2 Wilson (1-0)
Anyone know if we re-rack quicker than we used to? I think we do but no one ever mentions it. Anyway, we reach stalemate and quickly go again, Kyren deploying the Mark J. Williams-patented one-cushion break that leaves nothing to go at. Still, Neil gets away with a characteristic long red ... then misses a black by plenty ... then Kyren misses a long red by plenty. That didn't even hit the knuckle, and Neil is right back in!
Robertson 4-2 Wilson
Neil will be fuming with himself; you can't be handing a player as good as Kyren a chance as good as that by taking on a shot as unlikely as that. Bingham now leads McGill 3-2, having lost the first two frames.
Robertson 4-1 Wilson (0-51)
He refuses a tricky black though, so we're back playing safety ... but not for long. A poor three-ball plant attempt from Neil - with 5-1 there for the taking you can understand why he took it on, but really old mate? - hands Kyren the chance he desperately needs, and he absolutely must deal with it.
Robertson 4-1 Wilson (0-32)
A magical long red from Kyren sets him away in frame six, and he really needs to extract full value from it. He sets about doing just that, a succession of recovery pots eventually landing him in prime position ... then he kisses a red he planned to slide by sp has to take on a red that's very close to the white, but needs to go long into the green pocket. He misses it by a way, and the cue-ball control that's his biggest weakness is costing him again I'm afraid. Neil, though, sees a gentle red to middle that looks absolutely in drift off course, and red rattled into the yellow pocket allows Kyren another go at the table.
Robertson 4-1 Wilson
Kyren pots the brown but Neil despatches the blue, and already we've got ourselves a situation. An end-of-session deficit of more than 5-3 is a big ask to retrieve. On the other table, it's McGill 2-2 Bingham at the interval.
Robertson 3-1 Wilson (59-33)
Yes! But no! He drains the yellow but can't get to the green, so sticks that on the bottom cushion on-line with the brown, blue and pink. Kyren misses with his escape, Neil strokes in the next pot, and that'll be the frame. I'm sure Kyren will play on for the snooker he needs, though; good luck old mate.
Robertson 3-1 Wilson (50-33)
Neil was of course mortified by his good fortune, apologising to Kyren before milking it for all it's worth and enjoying the process. The colours aren't perfectly set and getting to the yellow, which is near the green pocket and protected by it, will be the key shot - but you'd expect a way to be found.
Robertson 3-1 Wilson (29-33)
Another belter of a rest-pot from Kyren removes the final red stuck to the pink, and now we're talking ... if Kyren can sink that pink. Which he can't! H was on the stretch too - why didn't he deploy his best mate again? But what an escape! Neil sees away a starter, rams the blue towards the middle, it shoots off diagonally towards the yellow pocket then zooms a long the cushion into the green pocket! Absolute scenes, and that might just be a framewinner. Kyrizzle's gonna need a bucket.
Robertson 3-1 Wilson (10-15)
Neil's escape doesn't go as he'd like and Kyren glides a tremendous red to middle, right-hand side helping create the angle he needs. The black is on the green spot and the pink's tied up, but this is a chance nevertheless.
Robertson 3-1 Wilson (10-6)
Now it's Neil with a fine red, cut to middle, and Kyren will be wondering; he can't be going 4-1 down. Neil, though, can only pot brown and red before jawsing the yellow - he too gets lucky with where the white ends up ... only for Kyren to lay a stonker of a snooker, sticking him tight between yellow and bottom cushion. Great shot.
Robertson 3-1 Wilson (4-6)
Kyren leaves the white short, tempting Neil with a long one; naturally he takes it on ... no he doesn't, he tries to feather one and misses. So he goes down the other side of the table next time, no harm done. But a few shots later, Kyren rams home a beautiful straight red ... then misses his cut on the yellow, getting very lucky to land the white on a red. Meanwhile, on table one, it's now Bingham 1-2 McGill.
Off we go again!
Nothing to do with this but we're celebrating life, so
Robertson 3-1 Wilson
That's the best mini-sesh I've seen in absolutely tiiiiime, and another ton for Neil sends him for the break like a boss. See youse in 15! I can't wait!
Robertson 2-1 Wilson (83-0)
But for an amazing clearance from Kyren, Neil would be four up, but had Kyren not missed the final black in the previous frame, it'd be 2-2. Which is to say he should be well pleased with his morning's work.
Robertson 2-1 Wilson (39-0)
A banging red from Neil opens frame four and he's quickly into things. It's so rare you watch a contest, in any sport, featuring two elite-level performers at the absolutely top of their games, but so far this is that and there's so much more of it to come. Kyren, though, will be perturbed if he ends this mini-sesh 3-1 down, but it looks a lot like that's what's going to happen.
Robertson 2-1 Wilson
Another brilliant frame; Neil will be relieved, Kyren will be ill, and here comes another! On the other table, it's now McGill 2-0 Bingham,
Robertson 1-1 Wilson (63-55)
Right in the heart of the pocket! The black, though is a brutal cut-back ... and he's given it too much! Neil has a long black to claim what he already thought was his ... AND HE DOES!
Robertson 1-1 Wilson (56-49)
Kyren bounced up quickly there, but has work to do. The brown is blocking part of the green pocket, and draining those will be the key ask here. Yep, they both disappear, but the latter via poor shot that leaves the white on the middle knuckle; forcing an angle for the pink will be harder than it should've been ... he does it, but this is a pressure pot....
Robertson 1-1 Wilson (56-21)
Lovely shot from Neil to drain the pink and develop three reds sat below it, then another on a cut-back red. BUT THEN HE JAWSES A STRAIGHT BROWN INTO THE GREEN POCKET! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! WHAT A CHANCE THIS IS FOR KYREN!
Robertson 1-1 Wilson (28-21)
What a red from Neil! He caresses the white the length of the table to impart the tiniest tickle which sends red to right corner and sets him away with the table at his mercy. He'll expect to sort things at this visit now, and we expect him to too.
Robertson 1-1 Wilson (0-21)
You've got to laugh (unless you're Neil). He leaves Kyren a starter to the green pocket; out comes the rest and down goes the ball. Quickly, he gets down to the business end but goes into the pack sooner than you'd expect and it doesn't work well, so after one terrific long and redemptive red, he sticks Neil on the bottom cushion. I feel like I'm going to say this a lot, but I'm absolutely loving this match and it's barely warmed up.
Robertson 1-1 Wilson
Neil inadvertently pots the pink and that's that. This is shaping up, let me tell you - both players look bang on it and bang at it.
Robertson 1-0 Wilson (48-64)
On the other table, McGill has stolen the first frame off Bingham by clearing blue, pink and black, while back in our match, Kyren has removed all the reds and despatches a glorious green to middle. This is a phenomenal contribution, it really is, all the more so given he'd not potted a ball for a frame and a half - and though he can't double the tricky pink, Neil returns to the table 16 behind with 13 remaining.
Robertson 1-0 Wilson (48-32)
And a tremendous green brings him up the table to start dealing with those problem balls, only for him to finish too low on the black. He clumps it to the centre and screws back gently to the top cushion, pocketing a tricky one along it. Key shot coming up: can he pot the black and develop two further reds via cannon? Yes he can! This is a framewinning opportunity now, and already a superb break.
Robertson 1-0 Wilson (48-11)
There we go! Kyren gets a shot with the rest and that's all the invitation he needs; has anyone used it better in the history or our sport? The reds aren't beautifully positioned, four of them on or close to black cush, but he's good enough to resolve them if he can keep hold of the white.
Robertson 1-0 Wilson (48-0)
Neil leaves Kyren a tempter, almost the full length of the table ... but though he cues nicely, he can't quite glide it home and is still to pot a ball in the match.
Robertson 1-0 Wilson (48-0)
Having picked at the loose reds, Neil has to coax a tricky one to middle and winds up in baulk, forced to play safe off the yellow. Kyren then benefits from two felicitous flicks - I promise not to use that phrase again - that stick white to aforementioned yellow. Neil responds well, and both are finding their lengths well.
Robertson 1-0 Wilson (23-0)
No, Neil malingers with a pink to middle, then gets right back to it. I absolutely love watching him play, all the more so in his lockdown barnet. Sat at the side, Kyren looks concerned.
Robertson 1-0 Wilson (8-0)
Neil rousts home a long red, a felicitous flick allows him to hold for the black, and already, this reeks of 2-0 - and a sizeable break, including you know what.
Robertson 1-0 Wilson
A break of 100, all the balls down, gives Neil 70 tons for the fourth season in a row. Decent, imo.
Robertson 0-0 Wilson (94-0)
It's fairly surprising that Neil's only won one of these - his talent and application demand more - and recently he said that if he'd come to England younger, he'd be an even better player than he is. But he's got a serious chance here, though is on the more brutal side of the draw - next, he either plays Trump or a version of Murphy playing well enough to beat Trump.
Robertson 0-0 Wilson (49-0)
Kyren plays a container, and there's a potential plant available for Neil into the middle, but it's not easy as the ultimate object ball needs a tight cut ... but it's there! Excellent shot - and a framewinner too, I'd wager.
Robertson 0-0 Wilson (25-0)
Kyrizzle takes on a long red and misses it, inviting Neil to the table with the black available to both pockets; ah. Quickly he gets to work, hair and all, digging into the pack ... and somehow winding up on nowt. That's a huge escape, and the quest for a telling safety is not an easy one, requiring a spider. Which is ironic, as I've just seen a spider chilling on my desk. Anyway, Neil plays onto black cush and let's see what happens next.
The boyz are baizeing
And while they\re at it, I'm going to say that I think Robertson, Trump, Williams and Bingham will be the final four.
I've not a clue who's going to win these matches
Robertosn has been playing really well recently, but as Trump found out last term, Wilson has the game to trouble the greatest potters over the stretch; Selby and Williams are both bang it; McGill and Bingham likewise; and Murphy's best is superb, while Trump's been missing his.
Oh my absolute days
What a day of snooker this is! This morning we'll be focusing on Neil Robertson v Kyren Wilson, with updates on Anthony McGill v Stuart Bingham; this afternoon, we've got Mark Williams v Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy v Judd Trump, then this evening we've got this morning again. I cannot wait.
'Sorry!' - Allen smashes balls to avoid bizarre loss to Selby
Mark Allen appeared to suffer a form of torture in facing Mark Selby in their World Snooker Championship clash at the Crucible.
There are few things worse in snooker than being unable to find your way out of a tough spot and your opponent repeatedly - and mercilessly - insisting on you taking the shot again and again.
That was the pain that Allen seemed to be suffering under in what proved to be the final frame in Sheffield - and as Selby turned the screw in ruthless fashion.
'Sorry!' - Allen smashes balls to avoid losing match against Selby
The Jester from Leicester gave his opponent nothing to smile about as he marched through to the quarter-finals without a flicker of emotion.
With a 9-0 advantage and holding a 12-7 frame lead, Selby got Allen in a nasty spot behind the yellow and requested re-spots as his opponent twice failed to get out of the predicament.
As the Northern Irishman could see a red, the referee even had to inform Allen, with Selby just one frame from victory: "Okay, Mark, I'll next have to call a miss and it will be frame to Mark, okay? Sorry!"
Former world champion Joe Johnson, on commentary for Eurosport, noted:
He'd forgotten about that, hadn't he? He'd forgotten about the 'three misses and you're out' rule!
Allen proceeded to simply give up on getting out of the hole he found himself in with cute play and simply launched the cue ball into the pack of reds, scattering the balls around the table.
"Well, he certainly hit one! And he very nearly got away with it," said Johnson with a chuckle.
'What a brilliant pot!' - Selby strikes 'sensational' long pot
How to watch the World Championship
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'A bit hurtful' - Selby taken aback by Bingham 'gamesmanship' comment
Why Selby’s unapologetic pursuit of greatness gives snooker headache