Day Two from Hamm

Click below to read Monique’s excellent report from day two of the exhibition event currently going on in Hamm as Ronnie O’Sullivan entered the fray…

Click here to read the report over at The Snooker Forum or carry on reading here:

“So here comes day 2 report …

It all started early afternoon, 2:30 pm, with two “quarter finals”.
Neil Robertson vs Mark J. Williams: 1-5. To Neil´s “defence” it must be said that after the Pragues exhibition he and Ronnie had a very short night. I heard they landed in Dusseldorf already as 7am and then were driven to Hamm before breakfast. No wonder he was a bit out of sorts He nevertheless made the only one ton in the match. But nothing taken from Mark who played very solid.
Ryan Day vs Barry Hawkins: 4-5. Barry started very strongly leading 4-0 while Ryan was obviously “cold”. Everyone expected a short match … but then Ryan recovered, and how! He won four on a row to make it 4-4. Decider was on. Barry held himself very well, and finished in style … only missing the century ball! Enthralling match and good snooker.

At 7 pm we got the evening session.
I started with the “semi final” between Barry Hawkins and Mark J. Williams.
Very hard fought match. Until the final frame there wasn’ t more than one frame difference between the players. Both playing well and building some good breaks. I’m afraid I lost count of the centuries … I think both made at least one. Finally Barry got the better of Mark and won 5-3. His reward is to play Ronnie tonight …

Then we had some “fun” with a “speed snooker tournament”.
1. Potting ten reds as quickly as possible
2. Random spotted colours … pot then in order as quickly as possible
3. “Shot out”. Five reds in a line between the middle pocket, to be potted in the “top pockets”, each player in turn … “penalty” style.
Shaun Murphy vs Ryan Day: 2-1 … it must be said that both players struggled with penalties Shaun the winner by 1-0
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Neil Robertson: 1-2 … Neil potting all five “penalty balls” while Ronnie missed the fourth
and finally Neil Robertson vs Shan Murphy 2-0. So Neil is now official ” World and Hamm Champion od Speed Snooker”

Last part: exhibition match Shaun Murphy vs Ronnie O’Sullivan: 2-3 … with three centuries in the process, one for Shaun, two for Ronnie. So you guess it it was quality. Although Ronnie’s long potting was almost not there, when in the balls he was lethal and didn’t need many chances to make the most of it. Some very clever shots to rescue the second frame after a bad start …

The venue was fully packed and even more… My estimation is that there must have been about 2000 persons there. All players were supported warmly but when Ronnie was introduced … he got a long standing ovation and you could have feared the roof would come down. It was a bit crazy
All players expressed their satisfaction and awe at the support they got and wished to be back in Germany soon possibly for a ranker!

After the match there was a autograph session. It went for about two hours: almost all of the estimated 2000 wanted something signed by Ronnie it seems.
People who are coming again today were asked to give priority to the others.
Many went home disappointed or even angry alas. Ronnie signed a zillion things, books, t-shirts, cues and piles of posters. He didn’t sign programs or tickets though, his manager making the “filtering” … I’d want to say that this was not his decision, it was not being “moody” neither. Perry and me were both in the VIP room when this was decided by the venue manager and Ronnie’s manager. Without disclosing the content of a private conversation we overheard only because they were standing just next to our table, I can assure all disapointed fans that they had some good reason for wanting the schedule kept within reasonable limits – as it was, it already finished well after midnight – and that Ronnie wasn’t even asked about it, he wasn’t even at the venue at that moment. He signed everything he was presented with, including some tickets and programs from people who had gone through the seeve, and wrote many, many personalised messages on people’s request… It was just not possible to do more.

Day 3 report tomorrow”