Betfred World Snooker Championship 2009: Day Five Action

Day five at the Crucible and already we have seen another two seeded players advance into the last 16, click below to read who they are…

Robertson and Murphy advance

Resuming at 7-2 up, Neil Robertson wasted little time in seeing off six-times champion Steve Davis to book his place in the last 16 of this year’s tournament. The match followed a similar pattern to last night, Steve having chances but struggling to make anything of them before being duly punished by Robertson.

That said though, Neil played much better than he did  last night and in particular made a top class clearance of 125 in frame 11 which included a terrific exhibition shot on the final pink. If he can keep scoring like that then he will push Ali Carter close in the next round I imagine.

While Neil had it easy though, Shaun Murphy had a really tight match with Andrew Higginson, just about coming through 10-8 in the end and avoiding becoming the third seed to exit the tournament. As was the case yesterday he really struggled with his game today and really looked to be there for the taking if Andrew could perform like we all know he can.

Unfortunately for Andrew though, he just could not get going either and this allowed Shaun to cling on and get himself level at 7-7 with a possible five frames to play. What came next reminded me a lot of the performance of Ding Junhui yesterday as despite having struggled for much of the match, Shaun found another gear when he really needed it the most and knocked in breaks of 69 and 101 to move just one away at 9-7. He looked to be cueing really well now and despite Higginson taking the next with his second highest break of the match, Murphy completed a 10-8 win with another break of 69 in frame 18.

For Shaun it will be a big relief to get through a match that could easily have gone against him had Andrew been a bit more on his game. I know that he has been suffering with a heavy cold this past week and that he had some personal issues on his mind relating to his wife so it was a good performance to respond in the way that he did. Against Marco Fu in a repeat of the UK final however he will have to play much better if he is to progress to the quarter-finals.

Andrew will be really disappointed to have lost because Shaun really looked beatable during this match and if he had performed to his best he had a genuine chance of winning. As a debutant at the Crucible though it was always going to be tough and in the end it just proved too hard a test for him. He seems like a nice guy though so hopefully he will be back in the future.

Day powers ahead as Higgins/Holt remain evenly matched

I did not see anything of the first session involving Ryan Day and Stephen Lee but it is Ryan who holds a 6-3 lead going into the final session and will be confident of moving into the next round. That said though, Stephen did recover from 6-3 down in his final qualifying match against Judd Trump so will not have given up the match just yet, particularly as he recovered from 5-1 down at one point.

John Higgins and Michael Holt meanwhile are currently playing out a very entertaining session which has seen a century break from Michael and a number of very dramatic frames that have come down to the last few balls. For a while it looked like the Hitman would emerge from the session with a lead as he was 4-2 in front and on a break, but he missed  a simple pink and John has responded like the champion that he is to take the next three and end the session with a 5-4 lead.

Still a long way to go in that match though…

Evening Session

Stephen Maguire has started well against friend Jamie Burnett and in going into a 4-1 lead, came relatively close to making a maximum break. As the score ticked over to 96 though he missed a tricky 13th red to the left-centre and had to be content with just the frame. Still though he will be happy with how things are going so far.

Ryan Day meanwhile is racing along against Stephen Lee who for whatever reason have just not got going in this match. Ryan has had a couple of chances to secure the win as the score currently stands at 9-4, but he has not been able to take them and if Stephen could up his game then he could put some pressure on. To be honest though he does not look to be playing anywhere near well enough to do that and I expect Ryan to finish this one off sooner rather than later…

And Ryan has finished it off, Lee just never looked like getting into it, even when Ryan missed a few balls.

Well at 6-1 Maguire looked like running away with it but Jamie hung in there, took advantage of a few errors from Stephen and took the last two to keep himself in the match at 6-3…