Day One at the Crucible and what probably amounted to the earliest conclusion to the days play we can expect over the next fortnight,as both matches been played to a conclusion ended before the sun had fully set in the sky.
As is always the case the defending champion got things underway this morning and Mark Selby was in no mood to hang around as he flew out of the blocks to lead Fergal O'Brien 4-0 to the mid session interval. It was hard not to feel for Fergal, who after a long and draining week at the qualifiers, could surely have with a few more days rest before commencing his tenth crucible campaign.As it was thoguh things were to only go from bad to worse for the Dubliner when they resumed as the scoreline moved to 8-0 and the possibility of a whitewash loomed large.Thankfully for him though he managed to avoid that embarrassment by taking the last of the morning to make it 8-1
Into the evening then and although O'Brien was to get another on the board the world no.1 quickly put things to bed,running out a 10-2 victor.
So the perfect start for Selby then who was more solid than spectacular.,but there is plenty of time for that to come later in the tournament.for now he can sit back for a week and watch all the other fight to join him in the last 16.
Another man through with the minimum of fuss is Stephen Maguire who,although unseeded and forced to qualify,managed to ease his way into the second round with a convincing 10-2 win over Anthony McGill.
The first four frames in this one were shared ,but from 2-2 Maguire upped a gear to lead 7-2 at the end of the mornings play and he quickly got the three he needed when they resumed tonight to book a last 16 clash with Trump or Mcleod
In the other games that started today we have perhaps a sniff of a real upset as Gary Wilson trails Ronnie O'Sullivan by just one frame at 5-4 at the end of their first session
As expected Ronnie got off to the better start here against the debutant and when he won frame six on a respotted black to make it 5-1, having earlier got the snooker he required,another runaway victory looked on the cards.Wilson though has been in sparkling form all week at Ponds Forge and took the next two to close to 5-3.
Ronnie seemed set to take the next ,but missed a tricky frame ball red to the middle on a break of 63 & although he did later pot a red to leave his opponent needing a snooker,Wilson got it to leave things beautifully poised going into tomorrow afternoons concluding session.
Also very much in the balance is the clash between Kyren Wilson & David Grace after the debutant Grace showed his battling skills to go into tomorrow mornings session trailing also by just one at 5-4.
So as I said, an earlier finish to day one than we might have expected,but I doubt it will be the norm as things are only just warming up!