Bahrain Championship Latest: Ebdon out as Milkins progresses

This afternoon saw the seeded players Peter Ebdon and Neil Robertson come up against Robert Milkins and the maximum man, Marcus Campbell respectively. Click below for the latest…

Peter Ebdon 3-5 Robert Milkins

Another day, another seeded player out as Robert Milkins became the seventh qualifier to reach the last 16 with a 5-3 win over Peter Ebdon.

Milkins took the opener as Ebdon looked well out of sorts, though Peter did look like he was getting into his stride in the second with a well-taken 66. Milkins responded nicely with a superb century break in frame three to put himself 2-1 ahead as they entered the final frame before the interval.

In a frame full of drama and tension, both knew how important it was to win it and for a while it looked like Milkins had it in the bag as Ebdon needed a snooker to stay in it. To Robert’s horror though, Peter got the snooker and gave himself a chance to win back the frame and keep himself well in contention at 2-2. Both players looked increasingly nervous however and both missed a number of long range attempts on the final red as it was virtually frame ball with the colours positioned where they were. In the end it was Ebdon who made the costly error as having missed an attempt along the cushion at pace, he got the dreaded double kiss and left the red hanging over the pocket for Robert to knock in.

At 3-1, Ebdon was up against it and when they resumed after the interval, he initially looked like responding as he amassed a large 50 point lead. Milkins however edged his way back into it, laying a snooker that Ebdon struggled to escape from, ultimately giving Robert a chance to snatch the frame. Although the colours where not well placed with the green down near the black spot, he held his nerve and did enough to move into a 4-1 lead.

As has often been the case with Peter Ebdon however, he did not allow this disappointment or the scoreline to get the better of him and responded in fine style with a 118 in frame six, the second highest break of the tournament so far. The next frame was more scrappy, but again Peter kept his focus and got the score back to 4-3, really applying pressure on his lower ranked opponent.

In frame eight however, after a long tactical exchange it was Ebdon who cracked first, attempting to pot a red cushion first and just missing it. This left Milkins in amongst the balls and with a great chance to put some points in the board. Though he needed a second chance, Milkins soon made a 46 break to move just one red away from the match before running out of position when attempting to split the remaining bunch.

Though Ebdon had a chance to make a comeback and send the match into a decider, a tough missed red into the green pocket handed the frame and the match to Milkins who was grateful to scrape over the line in the end. This is a great result for Robert who before this tournament looked to be in real danger of losing his place on the main tour. Two wins in qualification at Prestatyn and two wins here in Bahrain this week will give him a big boost though and send him back up the rankings again.

For Ebdon however it is another disappointing result as he would have really wanted to do well here given the proximity of the venue to his new home in Dubai. Furthermore it is another blow to his chances of retaining a spot in the world’s top 16 as he was already down to 16 on the latest list before this defeat.

Hopefully for him he will do better at the UK Championship, the tournament he won two years ago in York. He is always better suited to the longer frame matches so will be tough to beat there in December.

Neil Robertson 5-4 Marcus Campbell

After his 147 heroics a couple of days ago, Marcus Campbell could not overcome the Melbourne Machine Neil Robertson who got the better of him this afternoon with a 5-3 win.

As happened in Ken Doherty’s match yesterday, the opening frame went to a respotted black as Campbell levelled the scores with a break of 67 to force the tie. This was to be in vain however as it was Robertson who got the final black, before consolidating his lead with a 53 in the next.

Though Marcus kept himself in it by taking frame three, it was Neil who would take the next two frames either side of the interval and leave himself in a commanding 4-1 position. It should be remembered however that he did lose from this position against Steve Davis in Shanghai earlier in the season, and Campbell certainly did not give in as he took the next frame to make it 4-2. Having taken frame seven as well, he must have started to believe that he could come back here and indeed he did, taking the next frame to level it up at 4-4 and force a decider.

In a nervy final frame though it was Robertson who came out on top and ended Campbell’s brave fightback. He will undoubtedly be hugely relieved to scrape through and avoid losing another match from a dominant position.

Following a difficult 18 months or so for him, this is an important result as he looks to retain his place in the top 16 for another season. Having slipped down to 21 on the latest provisional list, he will have at least stopped himself from falling any lower, but he really needs to add to his total when he meets Mark King or Stephen Lee in the last 32.

Marcus will be disappointed to have lost out in this manner, but having already secured the biggest pay cheque of his career with his 147 break in the wildcard round, I imagine that he will be happy enough with his progress in the event when he looks back at it.


Peter Ebdon 3-5 Rob Milkins 23-79(33,38), 86(66)-18, 2-122(114), 36-70, 58-70(35), 119(118)-0, 65-26, 25-78(46)
Neil Robertson 5-4 Marcus Campbell 74(52)-67(67)(respot), 83(53)-20, 5-73, 59-15, 91(58)-0, 52(36)-70(55), 21-62, 54-67, 62-30