Welsh Open 2009: Day Five News

Quarter-final time in Newport and it is looking like being the most thrilling day of the tournament yet. During the rest of the day I will continue to update this post as the results come in so please keep checking back…


Stephen Maguire 4-5 Joe Swail
54-65, 13-73(43), 89-0, 0-81(47), 76(50)-54, 10-79(51), 72-23, 68-61, 47-66
Allister Carter 5-2 Shaun Murphy
29-66(47), 75(74)-0, 83(73)-7, 90(62)-0, 72(39,33)-1, 56(56)-62(62c), 75-44(40)
Mark Selby 3-5 Anthony Hamilton
32-75, 0-72(72), 60-0, 65(54)-15,36-73(60), 104(63)-20, 40-75, 41(40)-62
Marco Fu 2-5 Neil Robertson
25-107(107), 68(51)-25, 29-50, 93(93)-0, 49-64, 104(66)-15, 8-84(44)

To view the latest scores you can use either the BBC website here, the embedded live scores on the official World Snooker website here or the relaunched Global Snooker site here.


Joe Swail has come through an incredible contest with world number two Stephen Maguire this morning to reach his first ranking event semi-final since the 2001 LG Cup.

For the most part the match was not the most dramatic, indeed there were few big breaks and moments of incident until the eighth frame when everything seemed to happen! For a while it looked like Swail was going to ease to a 5-3 victory, leading by 23 points with just the blue, pink and black remaining and Maguire seeking the snooker he needed to force a re-spot. Unbelievably though for Swail, though he managed to escape from them, on one occasion he not only hit the brown, but went in-off with the cueball and suddenly Maguire was back in it. A few shots later he had potted the final three balls and a re-spot it was with even the coin toss going the way of the world number two as he put Joe in to break. While there was nothing wrong with Swail’s shot, he left the opportunity of a double on for Maguire and he duly knocked it in to force a decider.

But just when you thought that things could not get more dramatic, frame nine proved to be even more so! Swail again got off to the better start, moving 43-0 up before a missed pink to right-centre gave Stephen a chance to get back into it. This he did until when trying to free the green from the side-cushion from the final red, he left himself tight on the cushion and missed the subsequent yellow. Joe though looked to be a bag of nerves at this point and did not even get close with his attempt to the left-centre.

A few shots later Stephen managed to knock it in, but left himself a tricky cut-back on the green which he missed and left hanging in the jaws. Just when it looked like Swail would clear however, he potted the green and remarkably potted the brown before sending the white down the table and into the pink, knocking it in!

Joe could not believe it, but with the brown back on the table and the blue over the yellow pocket, a fascinating safety battle ensued as both sought the last few balls they needed for a dramatic win. In the end with the brown and blue both hanging over the pocket and Maguire snookered, the key shot came when he attempted to escape and made contact with the wrong ball, knocking the blue in and leaving the brown over the pocket. Swail promptly cleared to pink and will be a hugely relieved man to come through what was an epic conclusion to the match. Next up for him will be a tie with either Marco Fu or Neil Robertson who play later tonight.

Note now that with this match overrunning until 2:30pm, the remaining three matches are now running 75 minutes behind schedule.

While this morning’s match was a tight one, the second one was an altogether more straightforward affair as Ali Carter hit top form to end the challenge of Shaun Murphy and move into yet another ranking event semi-final this year. It was Shaun who made the better start, taking the opening frame in no time but that was as good as it got for the 2006 finalist. Ali really upped his game after that and with statistics such as 94% pot success and 100% long pot success, he simply did not give Shaun a chance to get into any sort of rhythm.

He did have a bit of a wobble at 4-1 up when he gave Shaun the chance to pull one back with a good clearance but despite a couple of good long reds in frame seven, the damage was done and Ali managed to win the match 5-2.

With perennial nemesis Ronnie O’Sullivan already out of the tournament, this might represent Ali’s best chance of that breakthrough ranking event title yet…

Good news for the schedulers too, this match was a far quicker contest than the first match today and though we are still running well behind, the situation could have been worse had we had another marathon clash here.

Those famous last words, it’s now 8:30pm and Hamilton and Selby still have a possible three frames to complete so it’s going to be a late one…

What an evening, after another four hour plus epic match, Anthony Hamilton defeated the defending champion Mark Selby to move into his first ranking event semi-final since the 2006 Welsh Open.

It was a gruelling match from the start, beginning with Mark Selby being served with a writ by a member of the audience (more here), and despite a few decent breaks from both players, it was fairly slow going. The seventh frame in particular summed things up as the pair went for nearly half an hour without potting a ball, beating the previous record set by Cliff Thorburn and Doug Mountjoy in the 1980 World Championship which stood at 21 minutes. During this time Hamilton sought the one red he needed to secure an important frame and move just one away from victory, but he was unable to make the most of his chances.

Eventually though he got over the line and took frame eight shortly after 10pm to not only secure a great win, but allow the final match of the day between Neil Robertson and Marco Fu can get underway, three hours after it was scheduled to begin.

A word though on Anthony Hamilton who has really done his chances of retaining a place in the top 32 a lot of good this week. Whatever happens in his semi-final with Ali Carter, it will hopefully be a big boost to his confidence and we will see his form carry over the China and also the World Championship, assuming that he qualifies next month. One of the finest players not to have won a ranking event in my opinion, might it be that time has not run out just yet…

And finally at 1am we are done for the night as Neil Robertson completes a straightforward 5-2 victory against an out of sorts Marco Fu. Starting at nearly half past ten it looked like we might be in for a really late night if this match were to last as long as some of the others today, but Neil raced into a 3-0 lead in under an hour and never really looked back. Marco kept on fighting but like at the start of his match with Ronnie, he was not taking his chances and Neil was playing too well to let him get away with it again.

Neil now goes into the semi-finals and it would be no surprise to see the 2007 champion go on and win it again now, though tomorrow’s opponent Joe Swail might have something to say about that…