World Championship 2009: Day 14 Round-up

Apologies for the lack of updates today, unfortunately I have been away from my computer until now but already it looks like John Higgins is well on the way to sealing his final place…

Higgins homes in on fourth final

After seeing John extend his lead to 8-2 this morning, I had to get in the car to drive to Sheffield, wondering whether Mark would be able to respond or whether John would be able to push on and secure himself a commanding lead going into the evening session.

When I got to the Crucible and asked people what the score was however, I soon had my answer as I learned that Mark Allen had won just one of the eight frames and now the prospect of losing the match with a session to spare loomed large. Barring the first two frames I have not seen what happened so it is hard for me to comment too much. I asked a few people around and while some said that Mark was really poor and did not put up much of a fight, others said that Higgins was absolutely brilliant and did not give him a chance. As ever I guess that the truth was somewhere in between.

At the time of writing Allen has started the evening well to reduce his arrears to 15-6, but just watching the TV coverage he appears to be understandably demoralised and I’m not sure whether he will be able to keep the match alive going into tomorrow. Should he go on to lose, hopefully he will be able to take positives from his experience of reaching the world semi-finals this year and not be too disheartened by a defeat to an inspired Higgins who now looks to be in with a real chance of world title number three…

EDIT: Well done to Mark, he’s won six of the eight frames played tonight and the match WILL go to the final session tomorrow afternoon. A great effort that considering how he must be feeling.

Shaun Murphy 9-7 Neil Robertson

The two other players in the draw might just have something to say about that however, in particular Shaun Murphy who edged the session 5-3 to give himself a slender lead. Having taken five of the first six frames however, including a crucial 50 minute frame ten on a re-spotted black having looked out of it at one stage, he will be disappointed not to be further in front as Neil responded well to make it 9-7.

Ultimately I do expect Shaun to just prove too strong and come through, but full credit to Neil because he is hanging on to him and unlike Allen, keeping himself in a position where he is still more than capable of making a comeback…