PLS 2011: Three Strikes and Out For Carter (Inc Video)

Drama in Doncaster yesterday evening as Ronnie O’Sullivan defeated Ali Carter 3-1 to win the latest event of the 2011 Premier League season in the strangest manner, Ali forfeiting the match by failing to hit a red on his third attempt despite being able to see a number of reds full ball. Click below for a few thoughts on that and the evening as a whole…

As John Virgo would say, it is amazing what can happen on a 1×6 snooker table and last night saw another example of that as Ali Carter lost out to Ronnie O’Sullivan as you can watch above. I have seen a lot of things happen in professional snooker down the years but this was the first time that I have seen a frame lost in that manner, not just in person but even on television. I was not the only one either as WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson who was in attendance also said that he had never seen that happen in the professional game also.

Of course it has happened before, notably to Ken Doherty shortly after the rule was first introduced during the 1990’s, but as regular viewers will be aware, once the referee has warned a player after the second miss that a further miss will forfeit the frame, it is normal for the player to change his shot selection to something less risky.

Yesterday however Ali chose to again attempt a thin contact on the reds and remarkably had the same result as previously, losing the match to a surprised O’Sullivan in the process.

Generally speaking it was a good evening, if a relatively short one compared to the past couple of events which with a Shootout frame have run past the scheduled time. Once Ronnie had dispatched Welshman Matthew Stevens in 28 minutes however the evening did not look like it was going to be a long one.

Matthew could count himself slightly unfortunate as O’Sullivan did miss a couple of balls but as can be the case in such a short match, he did not leave anything easy on and was able to take advantage of Matthew’s mistakes.

I did not catch a great deal of the second semi-final, though understand that Ali Carter played well against Ding Junhui in recording a 3-0 whitewash. He continued that way in the final, taking a scrappy opening frame before Ronnie levelled up at 1-1. The third frame however was the most impressive of the evening from the defending champion as an excellent break of 68 put him 2-1 up before he won it in such strange fashion.

A good result then for O’Sullivan who moves top of the table on eight points, while Ali moves up to sixth following his participation in just one event.

Aside from the action it was a good opportunity for me to catch up with a number of people from the snooker world, not just the players but also the likes of referee Paul Collier who kindly took me backstage, as well as Brendan Moore, Joe Jogia, Jason Ferguson and a number of others.

It was also interesting talking to commentator Phil Yates about the set-up at Perform where the commentary for the live streaming of various sports for the betting sites is recorded. All in all it sounds like a highly impressive facility and perhaps it is no surprise that the live streaming has so far been relatively trouble free.

All in all then a good evening and the Premier League will next move on to Weston-Super-Mare next Thursday as Judd Trump makes his first appearance of the season in the competition.

Click here to view the latest league table.