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Thursday, 3 December 2015

UK Championship Q/F preview with round up of last 16 action

The 2015 UK Championship reaches the last 8 stage tomorrow and I think its fair to say if anyone predicted this line up at the start of the tournament then they possibly be burned for been a witch!

Here is a look forward to the Q/F's & also a look back at the last 16.

 David Grace v Martin Gould
Well what a fairytale week it has been for David Grace,the world no.81 has been making a name for himself recently for his work on the canvas with his fine portraits of his fellow professionals,but this week has stretched his artistry to the table.He reached his first major quarter final here with a hard fought 6-2 win over Peter Ebdon.It must be said Ebdons performance here was a shadow of the display he produced in beating Bingham in th last round,but even still he fought for every ball and Graces victory was well earned.

He will now play Martin Gould who just had too much for Joe Swail,getting the better of the Northern Irish man 6-3 in a match played in the best of spirits.

Well and all as Grace has done this week I think this one may be a match too far for him and expect Gould to reach the semi final without much bother.
Score prediction Gould 6-3

Liang Wenbo v Marco Fu
Marco Fu reached another UK quarter final beating Shaun Murphy 6-4 in a high quality match. These two have always been difficult to separate and so it proved here with the first six frames been shared for 3-3.Fu looked to have made the decisive move when he took the next two to lead 5-3.Murphy pulled back the next to make it 5-4 ,but Fu regained his composure to seasl the win in the next 6-4.

Perhaps some of the pressure Marco was feeling towards the end of that one was something to do with the fact that with the way the top half of the draw has opened up,he has a right chance to reach of making a final,but first he'll have to get past someone who is gaining a reputation as a comeback king here this week,Liang Wenbo.

It was perhaps lost in all the talk of Trumps collapse the other night just how well Liang played in getting back into it from 4-1 behind,but it certainly couldn't be ignored today as he played his best stuff of the match to come from 5-3 down to beat Tom Ford 6-5.

He will again prove a handful for Fu tomorrow,but you just feel Fu's greater experience will tell to see him through
score prediction Fu 6-4

Neil Robertson v John Higgins
Neil Robertson produced the performance of the championship so far with a simply awesome display of scoring,which included three centuries,in beating Stephen Maguire 6-1.This had looked on paper like it could be a real cracker and when Maguire opened with a 118 we looked set for a thrilling afternoon,but that was as good as it got for the Scot as Robertson steamrollered his way into the last eight.

There he will face John Higgins who came through a mid match slump to eventually see off Jamie Burnett 6-4.Higgins has been in fine form this season and looked to be heading comfortably for the quarters when he lead 4-1.From here though the wheels started to slightly come off as Burnett fought his way back to 4-4.Higgins was now starting to rock a bit,but showing once again just how close he is to his best form,he produced two trademark Higgins clearances to clinch the match.

This has the potential to be the match of the tournament and if both play to their best it undoubtedly will be.My feelings are,despite how well Robertson played today,that Higgins might just edge this one,I base this on nothing but a hunch but they can be right sometimes too!
Score prediction Higgins 6-4

Matt Selt v Mark Selby
Its funny how often we see someone who has just scraped through in their previous match suddenly, with the air of a reprieved man,find some formThats what seemed to happen yesterday as Mark Selby put his struggles against Jamie Jones behind him to produce some of his very best snooker to ease past Dechawat Poomjaeng 6-1.That said,its har not to have a little sympathy for Poomjaeng who only completed his extraordinary comeback from 5-0 down against Joyce around midnight & had to come in the afternoon session to play this one.That said though he would still have had to produce his very best to hold Selby here and exactly what Matt Selt will have to do if he is to live with the world no.1 tomorrow.

Selt had found himself trailing Luca Brecel 3-1 at their interval,but managed to take control of things from there,to frustrate the young Belgian,reeling off four in a row to lead 5-3. A superb clearance from the brown pulled one back for Luca to make it 5-4& he nearly stole an exciting tenth frame as well only for adrenalin to rob him prime position on the yellow.Forced to play with the rest,he missed it by miles to allow Selt the chance to seal the 6-4 victory.

To be honest I can't see anything here other than a comfortable Selby victory
Score prediction Selby 6-2


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