Crucible Diary 2010: Gould shocks Fu to move into last 16

Thankfully I am home a little earlier today from a third day at the Crucible which saw our first upset as Martin Gould saw off Marco Fu to become the first qualifier to move into the last 16. Click below for my day three story…

Having got home so late the previous evening it was never going to be realistic for me to be back in Sheffield for the 10am start this morning so I aimed to get there for the mid-session interval of the Williams/Campbell match, hoping that the two got off to a slow start. My wishes were duly answered as on my arrival at 11:30am, the scoreline was only 2-1 in Mark’s favour as the two appeared to be struggling. The match on the other table though was already past the interval, Marco Fu leading his lower ranked opponent Martin Gould 7-6 at that stage.

Having caught up with a few friends who were as worse for wear as I was the previous evening, I headed in following the interval in the match between Williams and Campbell and took up my seat on Row B. As far as incident in concerned the session was in rather short supply as although they play did speed up, there were few breaks of real note as Mark moved into a 5-4 lead at the end of the session.

The real interest however was over on the other side of the curtain as having slipped 8-6 behind, Martin managed to turn things around against Fu with an excellent three frame burst to leave himself just one away from a famous victory. Although he could not take advantage of a gilt-edged opportunity in frame 18, leaving the arena ruefully tapping the table, he was able to keep himself together and get over the line in a decider with a fabulous break of 90.

Having struggled to match his results of last season for much of 2009/10, Martin has saved his best run until last and now moves into a tie with either Neil Robertson or Fergal O’Brien is set to get underway on Friday. Prior to this match I had fancied Marco to get through based on his greater experience and his form in the recent Championship League but for whatever reason that form was just not there during this match and after the first session I had a feeling that Martin could well cause the upset. Marco looked ok in flashes but for the most part looked like the player who has struggled for most of the last 18 months during the season’s bigger events. Although Marco’s top 16 place should be safe for another year, down in 26th place on the one-year list he will have to regain his consistency next season if he is to maintain his run for another year.

Following the match I headed outside and following a detour tot he chip shop came across Martin Gould at Stage Door and despite knowing from past experience how much he hates having his photo taken, couldn’t resist asking him for one this time around.

Not having a ticket for the afternoon or evening session I hung around the venue with a few friends and bumped into a few other players such as Fergal O’Brien (who had with him his daughter), Neil Robertson and also John Parrott and Ken Doherty who were in Cue Zone. Neil seemed to be in a fairly relaxed frame of mind as he prepares for his opening match tomorrow while Ding Junhui was also around, recording a bit of TV footage for the BBC, walking down the stairs inside the Crucible.

Having had CJ from Eggheads around for all of the weekends, today’s celebrity was EastEnders star Dean Gaffney, though personally I remember him more fondly for this. Although I did manage to catch him for a photo, darts star Adrian Lewis was to evade me, although Ryan who I spent a bit of the day with was able to get him.

The final player we came across as the evening session approached was Gerard Greene, who I spoke to about his final qualifying round victory against Rory McLeod which I was present for as well as his manager Paul Mount and his upcoming match against Shaun Murphy. We also came across MC Rob Walker who despite the criticism that he does get from more than a few fans, is a top bloke and was happy to chat with us about a few things for around 10 minutes.

With the Davis/King match looking like it could well be a long one (indeed there were people leaving after the re-rack in the first frame!), I decided to head home and get a slightly earlier night than previously. I will be back tomorrow however to watch Stuart Pettman (who I also saw today), taken on Ding Junhui in the morning match…