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Saturday, 19 April 2014

World Championship Day One

Day one at the 2014 World Championship and we started off the way last years championship finished,with a victory for Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Its one if the traditions in our sport of course ,that the defending champion completes his first match on the opening and it has often proved to be tricky in the past,but O'Sullivan put those fears to rest early here,quickly establishing a 3-0 lead,helped in part by a break of 124 before Robin Hull managed to get off the mark with a century of his own to make it 3-1

It looked like the Finn was going to pull another one back in the next,but Ronnie got the snooker he required on the yellow and cleared to go 4-1.From there the score was to go 5-1 before Hull got another frame on the board ,but Ronnie closed out the session,taking the final two frames to lead 7-2.

Into tonight then and it seemed Ronnie was mentally already in the next round as four scrappy frames before the interval were shared to leave it 9-2.On resumption of play,the end wasn't long coming as Ronnie wrapped up a comfortable 10-4 win which really taught us nothing other than that Ronnie is in Sheffield and brought his cue along.There will be far more testing days ahead in than this one.

Elsewhere Stephen Maguire has his work cut out for him if he is to advance to Round 2 as he trails Ryan Day 6-3 after their first session.The Scot, who has been struggling with a back injury of late,did get off to a good start here taking the opening frame before Day responded with a 130 break to level it up and the next two were also shared to go to the interval at 2-2

From here Days high quality break building continued as he moved to 4-2 before also taking a couple of scrappier ones to lead 6-2. These were now worrying times for Maguire,but he at least managed to keep himself in with a chance,winning the last to make it 6-3 & set up a big final session tomorrow evening.

Also finishing off tomorrow night,in what is already looking like it could be one of the sessions of the tournament,will be Shaun Murphy & Jamie Cope and this one couldn't be more delicately poised with Cope leading 5-4.

This was another high quality session and indeed Murphy will,probably with some justification,be wondering how he is behind having played some wonderful stuff,but behind he is having seen his 4-2 lead turn into a 5-4 deficit.

Another match with nothing in it is the clash between  Stuart Bingham and the 1997 champ Ken Doherty with Bingham also holding a slender 5-4 lead. The standard in this one wasn't of the highest order,but it was Bingham who took the early lead at 3-0. Doherty to his credit battled back to 3-2. Bingham made t 4-2 before Doherty pulled it back to 4-3 with a 91 before letting a couple of glorious chances to level it up slip through his hands as Bingham made it 5-3, Doherty did win the last to set things up nicely for their final session in the morning.

Finally in another match that is too close to call Ali Carter leads Crucible debutant Xiao Guodong 5-4.It was Carter who had taken the early initiative in this one leading 4-1 before the Chinese came back strong to level it up at 4-4.The final frame of the session could have gone either way,but it was Carter who took it to lead by the smallest of margins going into the second session tomorrow afternoon.

So concludes day one then and with all the above in mind,we seem set to be in for quite a day two tomorrow.

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