Day two at the Crucible and after a first day dominated by the return of Ronnie,things returned to normal today with four player more players joining him in round two.
When the draw for the first round was made people immediately started to look at it to see what seeds were vulnerable and one of the games that was pin pointed was the all Welsh clash between two time former champion Mark Williams and Crucible debutant Michael White.
In his first World Championship in 1997 Williams defeated Terry Griffiths in the first round and it was very much seen as the passing of the torch in Welsh snooker to the next generation,In years to come we may very well be talking about this match in the same terms.as White showed great character to win this one 10-6.
Coming in this afternoon White held a 5-4 lead,which in truth could have been more only for a Williams rally late in the session.That became 5-5 when Williams won the opening frame this afternoon.The next was a scrappy affair but it was White who took it to regain the lead 6-5 before breaks of 65 and 72 extended that to 8-5 at the interval.
White now had 20 minutes to sit in his dressing room and contemplate what he was about to achieve and in the next those thoughts were maybe still in his mind as he started to miss a few and Williams won it to close to 8-6.Throughout his career we have often seen Williams dig in and rescue matches from similar positions to this,so it a measure of just how good this young man is that White perhaps played his best snooker of the match to win the next two frames with breaks of 90 & 96.
For Williams this was a disappointing finish to what has been a disappointing season,He will have to start thinking seriously about where he see's himself in the game going into next season.Hopefully a few weeks off will give him the perspective he needs to come back stronger next season.
As far as White is concerned you feel this is the just the beginning of what promises to be a long and successful career.In his post match interview he came across as a very nice,level headed and well spoken young man These thing can only be a plus for someone who we will be an awful lot of in the coming years
Another young man expected to make the leap to the very top level in the game is Jack Lisowski,but he will have to wait another year to make an impact on the games biggest stage as he went down here 10-3 to the very impressive Barry Hawkins.
These have been a good couple of monthes for Lisowski and a lot was expected of him coming in here but it was not to be as he just couldn't cope with his more experienced opponent who controlled the match from the outset.It's a steep learning curve but I'm sure he will learn from the experience and come back stronger
As for Hawkins he started tonight at 6-3 and took the opener,before reeling off the next three to seal the 10-3 win before the interval.In this form he will be a match for anyone this week.
This match finishing so quickly this evening meant that Shaun Murphy and Martin Gould had the arena to themselves as they resumed with Murphy holding a slender 5-4 lead.This one was one of those "too close to call" encounters that was pinpointed when the draw came out.and it looked like we were in for a long night as we started with a first frame that took 58 minute.Crucially though it was Murphy who won it and from there he just went from strength to strength
Murphy took the next two with runs of 95 and 78 to go 8-4 .Gould did manage to pull one back before the interval to make it 8-5,but Murphy was in no humour to hang around and with breaks of 106 and 95 he sealed the 10-5 win.
Murphy in full flow lie this is a joy to watch and ne has played like this at various stages this season.his problem has been sustaining it all the way through and it will be interesting to see if he can do it here.
In the other match that finished today Ricky Walden quickly added the two frames he needed to seal a 10-1 win over a badly out of sorts Michael Holt.
Talking of players low on confidence.the same very much applies to Peter Ebdon who seemed at times unable to even pot a ball as he limped through his first session with Graeme Dott.This one finished a frame early with Dott leading 6-2 and it will take something extraordinary to happen overnight for Ebdon to get back into this one.
Another former World champion with his work cut out tomorrow is John Higgins,as he will resume 6-3 down to Mark Davis.. Higgins has struggled of late after playing some superb stuff early season and he will have to at his very best if is to overhaul Davis who continues to prove there is life after 40 for a snooker player.
2 down 17 to go.