Premier League Snooker: Night Two Review

Match One: Higgins steals unlikely point

In what was a scrappy first match of the evening, Scotland’s John Higgins managed to snatch a point from his match against Ding Junhui despite having been 3-0 down at one stage.

Indeed the match was a disjointed affair from the very start, both players missing several chances to take the frame before Ding eventually wrapped it up on the final blue. The second frame was a similar affair with Higgins being the first in with a break of 47 before being unfortunate to end up in a tough position having gone into the reds. One missed brown and later Ding was in to steal it for 2-0, though both frames could have gone either way.

The run of missed opportunities from Higgins was to continue into frame three where despite having several chances to win the frame, he failed to take them and allowed Ding to secure the frame with a break of 76. This guaranteed him his first point of the campaign and left him needing just one for the win.


Higgins however had other ideas as although having played nothing like he can up until this point, he was not in the mood to give up and soon showed why he is a double world champion.

The fightback begun in the fourth frame where Ding looked in good position before seemingly being distracted by the bleeps in the arena as the shot clock counted down and missing a routine yellow. This time it was Higgins’ time to steal a frame with a break of 57 to make it 3-1.

Then came what was arguably the most important point of the match with Ding well ahead in frame five before taking on a risky blue, against the advice of Sky commentator Neal Foulds who advocated putting a colour safe. Indeed this was to come back to haunt Ding as Higgins got back to the table and managed to steal the frame

With the pressure now right on Ding in the decider, Higgins gave him little chance and for the first time tonight played like he can, making an excellent break of 78 to snatch a point that didn’t look likely at 0-3.

On balance this was a fair result as neither player really showed their best form, though given how the match unfolded Higgins will obviously be much the happier of the two. Having played in both of the first two weeks that will be the last we will see of John in this competition before the end of October when he faces old rival Stephen Hendry in Sheffield.

It doesn’t get any easier for Ding however as next up for him is tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan on October 9th in Great Malvern. Having led his first two matches 2-0 and 3-0 he will be very disappointed to have only take one point so far and needs to get his season up and running sooner rather than later.

Quotes from SkySports:

John Higgins:

“I had good chances in the first three frames and didn’t do anything. Then I was fearing the worst,” Higgins told Sky Sports.

“At 3-0 then I thought Ding would get a bit of confidence and run away with it. Luckily for me I won the last three.

“I’d have loved to have won the match, but I’ve played Ronnie and I’ve played Ding, two of the best players that play this sort of format, so I’m delighted with two points.”

Match Two: Perry edges over the line for dream start

For the second week in a row the Premier League witnessed a stunning debut performance, this time from Championship League winner Joe Perry who managed to defeat the four times defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 in the second match of the night.

The match was an intriguing one from the start, first O’Sullivan getting in before Perry was presented with a chance to score heavily. Initially he looked to have got on top of his nerves from the off, cuing well until he missed a simple pink to the left centre. From this point it looked for all the world that O’Sullivan would clear up to take the frame but remarkably he missed a straightforward final pink that allowed Perry to move 1-0 ahead.

This miss appeared to unsettle O’Sullivan who when given a chance early in the second, again made an uncharacteristic error and although Perry needed two chances, breaks of 50 and 55 doubled his advantage.

Frame three was the one where SkySports presenter Andy Goldstein has predicted that O’Sullivan would make a 147 but it turned out to be Perry who would be the one to shine. A very well taken break of 103 not only earned him a £1,000 bonus but had guaranteed his first ever point in the Premier League

Tense finale

Much like Higgins previously though, O’Sullivan was not going to give in easily. In frame four and he capitalised on a mistake from Perry who was looking good until that point before again taking advantage in the next frame with a break of 58 to bring the score back to 3-2.

The deciding frame was to be full of drama however as Perry struggled to close out the match. He was given several frame-winning opportunities but as he has done in the past, he just couldn’t seem to pot the final ball that he needed. But then just as the match appeared to be heading a draw, with just five balls remaining and the white tight against the bottom cushion, Perry managed to pot a simply stunning long green which prompted the immediate concession from O’Sullivan.

His first career victory against Ronnie, that is a great result for Perry, especially given that it was his first match in the competition. Hopefully he will be able to take great confidence from it and perform to the same standard in the upcoming weeks, starting with his next match against Steve Davis next week in Derby.

O’Sullivan meanwhile won’t be unduly concerned, indeed he lost his first two matches last season. That said however, he will be hoping to get his first win of the season under his belt when he meets Ding Junhui on October 9th.

Quotes from Matchroom Sport:

Joe Perry:

“I’m really pleased with that and I didn’t know what to expect from the match,” said Perry.

“Once I won the first frame I started to relax until at the end and I got a bit twitchy. It’s hard to beat Ronnie and this is the first time I’ve ever beaten him in anything but it was hard to get over the line.

“I was a bit nervous in the first frame and got a bit lucky but then went on from there.”

September 18 – The Anvil, Basingstoke

£3,000 – John Higgins 3-3 Ding Junhui – £3,000
43-64, 47(47)-68(39), 46-82(76), 59(57)-15, 68(50c)-58(50), 78(78)-4
£2,000 – Ronnie O’Sullivan 2-4 Joe Perry – £5,000
44-59(40), 6-105(50,55), 0-103(103), 63(38)-47, 90(58)-0, 28-64

For a list of centuries, money earned and the league table, please click here.

To read my tournament preview, please click here.

To read my week one review, please click here.