Day three at the Crucible and further evidence,if it was needed,that for all the quickfire best of seven events we now have on the circuit,nothing really compares to the unfolding drama you only get in long format matches.
That was certainly the case in the extraordinary match we witnessed between Marco Fu & Luca Brecel.
When Fu knocked in a century to take the last of the first session,it looked as if it was only small consolation as he still trailed the young Belgian 7-2 overnight,but nobody told Marco that as he came out all guns blazing tonight to try and claw his way back.
The first two of the session were shard to make it 8-3,but from here Fu really got going & against an opponent who seemed to be wilting before our eyes he amazingly took the next five to level it up at 8-8.
Considering all that had gone before Brecel did brilliantly to take the 17th frame to go 9-8,but Fu forced the decider taking the next and after one of those tension filled frames,Fu took got in first and having built an early 48 point lead he controlled it eventually getting over the line to complete what at the start of the night seemed the most unlikely of comebacks,and break the young Belgians heart.The score 10-9
Meanwhile in the other side we were having one of those old fashioned ding dong matches with Mark Allen eventually pulling away from 8-8 with Jimmy Robertson to win 10-8.
Earlier in the day 2005 champ Shaun Murphy managed to secure his place in the next round,but only after surviving a real scare against the young Chinese sensation Yan Bingtao.
Starting the day leading 6-3 Murphy took the opening frame to go 7-3,but Yan took the next two to close to 7-5.This gave the last before the mid session interval added importance,but when Murphy took it and then the next when they resumed the writing looked on the wall for the 17 yr old.
Yan though wasn't prepared to say goodbye to the Crucible just yet and visibly warming to the task he took the next three to close within one at 9-8.This was now game on and in a way it was sad that the decisive moment came when Murphy fluked the third last red and cleared to nick it on the black and secure the 10-8 win.
Murphy can now look forward to a last 16 encounter with Ronnie O'Sullivan while Yan can look back with great pride on his Crucible debut.I know its a cliche,but we will certainly be seeing a lot more of this young man in the years to come.
Elsewhere Stuart Bingham finally saw off the as always determined challenge of Peter Ebdon 10-5 to advance to the last 16 and a meeting with Kyren Wilson.
In the matches that started today two of real contenders for this title moved within touching distance of the second round with convincing first session displays.
Ding Junhui produced the scoring display of the tournament so far to lead his fellow Chinese Zhou Yuelong 7-2 and John Higgins did likewise later to also open up a 7-2 lead over Martin Gould.
So it only looks like a matter of dotting the i's & crossing the t's tommorrow in those matches,but having witnessed what we did today,can we ever be certain of anything in this sport