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Saturday, 5 May 2012

Semi Round up and Final Preview

The final of The Betfred World Championship 2012 will be contested between Ali Carter and Ronnie O Sullivan as both finished off comfortable victories over Stephen Maguire and Matthew Stevens in the semi's today.

The possibility of an empty session tonight was still on the cards this morning as O Sullivan started needing six of the eight frames this morning to seal his victory. To his credit though Matthew was not for giving up and manages to get back within three of his opponent at 12-9,O Sullivan though this week has managed to produce his best when opponents have threatened to get back at him and won the last threee of the session to lead 15-9 coming into tonight.Stevens again came out out all guns blazing with a century but Ronnie hit back with a century of his own and sealed victory in the next wining by scoreline of 17-10 in the end.

The other semi was given a lease of life last night when Maguire won the last three frames to get back to 14-10 coming into this afternoon and give himself a glimmer of hope of  making an improbable comeback.The one thing he would have known was that for this to happen he needed a good start, This didn't come though as he lost first two frames to trail 16-10.Maguire did manage to win a couple but Carter took his next chance to close out the match 17-12. 

Its funny thing to say about a match over four sessions but the opening eight frames set the tone for the whole match as Maguire fell behind and never really got going again,That said Carter played solidly if not spectacularly and never looked like losing the lead he had built up.

So there we have it then,The 2012 final will be a repeat of the 2008 final which Ronnie won 18-8, the question is will things be different this time?

The widely held view is that O Sullivan has played a level of snooker over the last 15 days that he has not reached since that 2008 championship.He has at times been unplayable and also maybe more impressively shown great patience at times he has been frozen out. Carter on the other hand has come through a couple of sticky matches against Trump and Jones with some good old fashioned hard matchplay.The influence of Peter Ebdon in his corner has been there for all to see as Carter  at times has turned down big shots he previously would have gone for sparking mumblings of discontent among many accusing him.of "negative snooker".This is perhaps a little unfair as Ali has constructed some fine breaks over week albeit not winning many frames at one visit.The question is will that be enough against Ronnie?

For me the opening session of this final will be the key.I feel for Ali to have any chance he needs to be leading after this session to give him something to build on into the night.If Ronnie gets off to a flyer i think the form he has been in he wont be stopped.taking all this into consideration I go for O Sullivan to lift his fourth World Crown by scoreline of 18-10 (Incidentally thats currently 9/1 with Paddy Power)

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