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Saturday, 16 January 2016

The Masters Semi Finals Day

Ronnie O'Sullivan will face Barry Hawkins in tomorrows dafabet Masters final after a day of thrilling semi finals action at the "Ally Pally".

Barry Hawkins reached his first final here with a hard fought 6-4 win over Judd Trump in what was a exceptionally high scoring match.

With the memory of his superb performance against Robertson yesterday fresh in the mind,Trump started the day as a warm favourite,but he could do nothing in the opening two frames as Hawkins flew out of the traps, knocking in back to back centuries (130 & 128) to lead 2-0.

Hawkins was also in first in the next before an unexpected miss allowed Trump a chance to counter which he duly did with 51 and he followed it up with 58 to level it up at 2-2.

Hawkins was first in when they resumed with 74 to edge ahead at 3-2,but runs of 103 & 72 gave Trump the lead for the first time at 4-3.

Hawkins though has been in superb scoring form this week and runs of 78 & 100 put him ahead again at 5-4.The tenth frame was to be the only one that didn't feature a 50 plus break but it was to prove the most dramatic,as Hawkins cleared from the last red including a great blue,to seal a place in the final 6-4.

So maybe a slight case of "after the lord mayors show" for Trump today,but that is to take nothing away from Hawkins who thoroughly deserves his place in the final.

There he will face Ronnie O'Sullivan who had to dig deep to finally see of Stuart Bingham in a hard fought semi final.

To have a chance here you figured Bingham needed a good start and although the first four frames could have each gone either way it was Ronnie who lead at the interval 3-1.

Although he has been scoring alright this week Ronnie has never really had the cueball on a string the way we normally expect from him,but a fluent 121 in the next moved  him 4-1 up.

Bingham got in first with 67 in the next,but when Ronnie got the snooker he needed on the last red ,he duly wrapped up the frame to go 5-1.

It was surely now only a matter of time,but Bingham to his credit dug deep & with Ronnies concentration gone walk about he took the next two to close to 5-3.

The ninth frame was another close dramatic one,but a superb long red from under the black cushion, which Ronnie stunned in to stay on the blue,proved the telling moment as he cleared the colours to win 6-3.

Tomorrows final then will see Ronnie play in his his eleventh Masters final take on Hawkins playing in his first.Ronnie will obviously then start as a warm favourite,but Hawkins has been in fine form all week & if he can stick with Ronnie through the first session who knows?

Whatever happens lets hope for a great final to round off a great week.

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