Premier League Snooker 2008: And then there were two…

Premier League Snooker – The Final from Hopton, SkySports3, 7:30pm

Mark Selby v Ronnie O’Sullivan

After somewhat contrasting wins in their semi-final matches last night, the final of the 2008 Premier League will be contested between arguably the two best players in the world at the moment, Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan

Mark Selby v Ronnie O’Sullivan

So it comes down to this, the four-time defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan against the man who topped the league phase unbeaten and has generally looked like the form player throughout the competition.

So what favours O’Sullivan? Of course he is one of the fastest players in the world, for sure the man who has managed to combine speed and accuracy to the greatest effect during the last few years. This undoubtedly helps him when it comes to coping with the 25 second shot clock, as evidenced by the fact that he has won the competition during every season that it has been enforced. Also he is known to revel in the one-off nature of the event, favouring the format of this competition more than the long ranking event tournaments which go on for over a week.

He has not actually played great snooker for all of this season but as the world number one and defending world champion, he undoubtedly has something of an aura about him at the moment, though if anyone looks capable of breaking it, then it might just be Mark…

Ever since that four frame burst to overcome Ding Junhui in this season’s opening league match, Mark has looked so comfortable in the event and not at all like a League debutant. Managing to finish top of the league and unbeaten in such a strong field is an achievement that should not be underestimated and that is before you get to his outstanding semi-success against Stephen Hendry, a performance including three terrific centuries.

On paper it looks very much like this could be the closest Premier League final since the shot clock came in and I would not like to call a winner. Selby looks to be in the better form but having won every final since 2005, O’Sullivan certainly cannot be underestimated. Indeed it is often these occasions where there are doubts over Ronnie that he pulls out his best form and I have a feeling that he might just do it again tonight…

Apologies for the lack of a review last night, unfortunately I was out, though as a Hendry fan it might have been for the best!


+ £3,000 Mark Selby 5-0 Stephen Hendry
83(34)-34(34), 110(110)-4, 133(128)-0, 115(115)-4, 77(77)-0
+ £1,000 Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-4 Joe Perry + £1,000
68-55(40), 0-93(85), 93(79)-20, 8-76(72), 93(62)-24, 0-95(94), 4-100(100), 104(104)-4