Higgins v Williams: Session One Updates

So then here we go, time for the talking to stop and the snooker to start as John Higgins takes on Mark Williams in the final of this year’s UK Championship…

Frame One

Having made a high break of 82 all week to reach this final, Mark Williams has got this final off to a terrific start with a run of 83 to take the opening frame following a failed attempt at a snooker from John. Can he keep it up?

Frame Two

First chance in frame two falls the way of John Higgins following a badly mishit attempt at a long red from Mark, but with pink and black both out of commission he will do well to win it in one visit. So it proves as John soon runs out of position on a colour, but a solid plant from distance has got him back in amongst the balls and with the black now in play, he has a better chance of levelling the match…

He cannot do so immediately but a 58 point lead with just four reds remaining leaves him a strong favourite now…and in goes another red. 1-1.

Frame Three

A familiar story for Mark this week, another failed attempt at a long red leaves John in again…but John has made just three from that chance, a let off for the Welshman who now has his own chance to score…he was to be denied by a horrible however, giving John a chance to move into the lead…

But a missed brown from the Scot looks to have given Williams the chance he needs to take the frame.

Frame Four

This is getting to be very interesting already, John Higgins in amongst the balls first but as he has done throughout the afternoon so far he looked to be very nervous. Following one red that wobbled a few times before dropping, a missed pink to the left-centre has given Mark the chance to move two clear at the first interval…which he takes.

Frame Five

A fabulous long red from Mark gives him the first opportunity after the break and he again looked excellent in amongst the balls, a run of 55 before losing position putting him in pole position for this frame.

But what a stunning response from Higgins, facing a possible 4-1 deficit, John was able to clear the table, making some real pressure shots along the way to get himself right back into the match at 2-3. Stephen Hendry was saying during the mid-session interval how he thinks that John is one of the best players in the world at stealing frames from 50-60 points down and that is exactly what happened as he recovered from 0-60 to win on the black.

Having looked nervous up until that point, John is now back in the match and from a match point of view will hopefully settle down a little now…

Frame Six

Mark Williams restores his two frame lead but it could have been so different as having needed two snookers, John actually managed to get them to give himself a chance of taking the frame. A poor safety though let Williams back in and he made it 4-2, thanks to a red going in off the green…

Frames Seven and Eight

The next two frames were over in a flash as Mark Williams continued to dominate proceedings and open up a 6-2 lead at the end of the session. Cueing far better than he has done at any other stage this week, it is hard to see him losing from here but you can never write off Higgins who will have to come out of the blocks quickly tonight…