The William Hill UK Snooker Championship Round Up
It’s back! Well it’s back on BBC television, the second biggest snooker tournament of the season is back on terrestrial television. The williamhill.com UK championship from York’s Barbican began on the 1st of December with a winner to be crowned on the 9th.
Two days into the tournament and there has already been mammoth shocks, world number one and reigning champion Judd Trump dispatched in the first round by Mark Joyce the world number 50 in an entertaining game on Sunday afternoon. Coming back from 5-2 down Joyce went on a stunning 4 frame streak to win 6-5 against this years form player and crowd favourite Judd Trump. Trump looked distracted and did not live up to the hype which he in part created by stating prior to the tournament that he wanted to ‘destroy’ his opponents. I thought in the match Trump played badly and was at times more interested in watching the game on the other table than concentrating upon his own, Joyce capitalised on Trump’s mistakes to take a memorable scalp.
Elsewhere in the tournament, last years beaten finalist also bowed out of the tournament. In snooker’s grudge match Mark Allen who is currently being investigated by world snooker due to allegations made against his opponent of the day Marco Fu, who Allen accused of cheating. On the baize though, Fu hammered Allen with a comprehensive 6-3 victory which at one point saw Fu up 5 frames to 1.
Chinese interest in the tournament has now ended due to Mark Davis eliminating Cao Yupeng, Ding Junhui losing to Ryan Day and Liang Wembo losing to Barry Hawkins. The snooker loopy Chinese will have to wait another year for a UK championship winner.
Joining Joyce, Fu, Mark Davis, Hawkins and Day in the second round the man with three tournament wins already this season Stuart Bingham, the Captain Ali Carter, Grahame Dott, Shaun Murphy, John Higgins and Mark Selby. There are still 4 games of the first round to go which will be concluded on Monday.
You may notice I didn’t mention one player in my round-up, Stephen Maguire. On Fire Maguire is my favourite player on the circuit and deserves a special mention for his remarkable first round victory. During Maguire’s 6-2 defeat of Fergal O’Brien, On Fire truly was on fire, three century breaks on the spin 103, 100 and 131 – the latter including a failed double on the black, which is a remarkable achievement and illustrates perfectly how good on his day a confident Stephen can be.
Crowds have been disappointing thus far in York as pointed out by Judd Trump after his loss pointing to the fact the auditorium was merely half full, I fully expect attendances to improve as the tournament truly gets going, in the next few days.
So despite world number 1 Judd Trump being eliminated we are still going to be treated to a festival of snooker in the next few weeks. Bookies now believe John Higgins to be favourite to take home the £125,000 first prize, but with Stephen Maguire in such fantastic form my money is firmly on him, either way it’ll be worth watching, I’ll be tuned in.
Tune in on BBC 2, BBC the red button or on Eurosport and guide to the tournaments television schedule can be viewed here, http://www.worldsnooker.com/page/UKChampionshipArticle/0,,13165~2996318,00.html.
Aidan Fulham (@AidanFulham)