• Hi Guest, The forum will be moving hosts on 26 July and as such will be closed from Midday until the move has completed.
    As we will be with new hosts it may take a while before DNS get updated so it could take while before you can get back on the forum.
    I think it will take at least 4 hours but could easily be 48!
    Ark Royal
  • There seems to be a problem with some alerts not being emailed to members. I have told the hosts and they are investigating.
  • Hi Guest Just in case you were not aware I wanted to highlight that you can now get a 20% discount on Inform Racing.
    Simply enter the coupon code ukbettingform when subscribing here.
    We have a lot of members who are existing users of Inform Racing so help is always available if needed.
    Best Wishes
    AR
  • Sorry for the ongoing issues that you may have been experiencing whilst using the forum lately

    It really is frustrating when the forum slows down or Server Error 500 pops up.

    Apparently the hosts acknowledge there is a problem.
    Thank you for using our services and sorry for the experienced delay!
    Unfortunately, these errors are due to a higher server load. Our senior department knows about the issue and they are working towards a permanent resolution of the issue, however, I'd advise you to consider using our new cPanel cloud solutions: https://www.tsohost.com/web-hosting


    I will have to investigate what the differences are with what We have know compared to the alternative service they want us to migrate to.
    Keep safe.
    AR

Snooker

Delboy99

Mare
Tributes are flooding in for snooker legend Doug Mountjoy who has passed away at 78-years-old. The Welshman won the Masters and UK Championship (twice) over a superb career as a professional from 1976-97. Mountjoy also won a string of other events, including the 1989 Classic, while he reached the World Championship final in 1981, beaten by Steve Davis at the Crucible. A much-loved and hugely-respected figure in snooker, who was in his pomp in the late 1970s and into the ’80s when snooker really boomed.
His 1988 UK Championship triumph, 10 years after his first, made him the oldest winner of the event at 46-years-old, a record he still holds to this day. It was a remarkable victory over an up-and-coming Stephen Hendry, with Mountjoy downing the young Scot 16-12 after ousting the likes of Terry Griffiths, Joe Johnson and John Virgo en route to the final. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
An artist's partnership with multiple world snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has helped a 12-year-old girl find a life-saving donor.
John Donaldson, from Bristol, is auctioning a signed painting of the snooker star to help Libby Cott who has a rare bone marrow condition.
Publicity generated by the pair's efforts has helped raise £130,000 in donations.
Libby's auntie Lucy Tant says thanks to the funds, a donor has now been found.
Libby, from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, has aplastic anemia, a condition which leads to her body not producing enough new blood cells, making her more prone to infections.
Mr Donaldson, 40, a former painter and decorator, said his previous work for American rapper Snoop Dogg gave him the motivation to get involved in the push to find a bone marrow donor.
He said: "I'd seen the Libby's Lockdown campaign on Ronnie's social media and I thought I can help her.
"So I got in contact with Ronnie and said I can do this painting and if you sign it we can raise a lot of money."
The highest bid for the artwork currently stands at £2,500.
Mr O'Sullivan said he could tell Mr Donaldson "put his life and soul" into his painting and he was "glad" to be able to help.
He said: "It was heartbreaking to hear about Libby, who goes to the same school as my step-daughter.
"When you are a parent like me it makes you really understand what it must be like for her family."

'This is incredible'​

Ms Tant said since the artist and snooker player had shared her campaign on social media, more than £130,000 had been donated.
The money was used to pay for swab kits set out by the Anthony Nolan charity to find donors, resulting in a match being found on 12 February.
Ms Tant said the help given by Mr Donaldson and Mr O'Sullivan was "incredible"
"We cant believe that John has spent 63 hours painting this for us. It alone has given us the fundraising that we needed," she said.
"Any more money raised through John's auction will now go towards helping other people find donors.":)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Neil Robertson has withdrawn from the Welsh Open due to personal reasons ahead of his first-round match against Mark King.
Robertson won the event in 2019 and reached the quarter-finals of the competitions last year. He won the UK Championship in December.King now has received a bye into the second round.
Mark Joyce also withdrew from the tournament on Monday after developing Covid-19 symptoms, though he has not yet tested positive for the virus.
As a result, Jimmy White has a walkover into the second round.;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry will compete in his first tournament on the main World Snooker Tour circuit since he retired in 2012.
The Scotsman has confirmed on social media he has entered the Gibraltar Open (1-7 March LIVE on Eurosport) in what will be his first competitive action on his long-awaited comeback.
Hendry scrapped plans to play at this week's Welsh Open, a tournament he has won three times, due to his online entry form failing to register with organisers.
The 36-times ranking event winner, 52, was awarded a two-year invitational tour card alongside fellow icons Jimmy White and Ken Doherty by WST chairman Barry Hearn last year.
Hendry bowed out of the sport after losing 13-2 to Stephen Maguire in the 2012 World Championship quarter-finals.
He had gone seven years without a ranking event victory and was disillusioned with the condition of his game that saw him dominate the 1990s by winning world titles in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1999.
Hendry had initially been scheduled to appear in the WST Pro Series at the start of January as he wanted more time to make sure he was ready for his comeback.
He has been working with coach Stephen Feeney to improve his technique ahead of his return to the sport.
Hendry could also compete at the World Championship qualifiers in April, the final ranking event of the 2020/21 campaign. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Stephen Maguire has confessed he is missing the pub more than pots during the UK's latest national lockdown because a few pints of confidence help to refresh his mind to play better snooker.
The Tour champion was in superb form against his close friend Matthew Stevens in completing a resounding 4-1 win in the Welsh Open second round at Celtic Manor that included breaks of 72, 104, 60, 71 and 100.
He followed that up with a 4-2 success in the third round against Matthew Selt on Thursday morning with runs of 73, 57 and 66 enough to secure a meeting with China's world number 78 Pang Junxu in the last 16.
Despite a trademark exhibition of some magnificent heavy scoring, Maguire admits he is struggling to cope without the social aspect of enjoying a few libations away from the baize when he is forced to entertain himself in a hotel room.
It is a far cry from the days when Canadian giant 'Big' Bill Werbeniuk used to sink between 40 or 50 pints a day to help control a tremor at the table, but Maguire feels the lack of interaction is not healthy for the mind in a Covid-secure bubble.
"We’ve been pro that many years we’re used to playing each other, he (Matthew Stevens) wished me all the best and I’d be the same, normally we’d have a pint after it but obviously we can’t," said Maguire.
"It is, without a doubt (a problem). I’ll be honest, if I’m at a tournament for a week or any longer than that, you’re guaranteed I’ll be out one night.
"It’s not just because I need to get out, it’s because of the social side and being locked in the room.

When you have a night out you’re refreshed again, maybe take a few hours, but you’re refreshed and regrouped again and we can’t do that.
"It’s new to me, it’s new to everyone. You need to let off steam. You need to get away. I know some boys go back and watch a game, watch the snooker at night, that’s not for me.
"I love to switch off and the best place to switch off is with a couple of mates having a couple of quiet drinks and talk about anything bar snooker."
Maguire's frustration boiled over at the Scottish Open in December.
The Scotsman smashed open the pack of reds from a break-off shot in Milton Keynes during a 4-1 defeat to world number 119 Zak Surety, but is aiming for better times ahead with prospect of the pubs opening again this summer.
"I’d love a wee day out, I’d feel better then, but I’m happy I’ve won, I’ve won quite comfortable and I’ve not done that this season," said the 2004 UK champion.
"We’ll see what happens. We can just show up and try and pot balls. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare

Trump slams conditions after Welsh Open exit.​





World No.1 Judd Trump slammed conditions at Celtic Manor

World No.1 Judd Trump slammed conditions at Celtic Manor
WORLD No.1 Judd Trump slammed conditions at Celtic Manor following his Welsh Open exit and suggested he may not return if future tournaments are held at the resort, writes Paul Martin.
Trump was stunned by Hossein Vafaei in the third round in Newport, bringing to an end his 28-match winning streak in best-of-seven matches.
The Bristolian has won four ranking titles in Milton Keynes this season and the change of scene proved far from welcome.
“It’s just so heavy here,” he said. “It’s like playing in China and that’s why the standard has been pretty poor from what I’ve seen of the tournament.
“A lot of my games have been bad. Balls are going safe a lot more often, which doesn’t make for good viewing.
“It’s difficult to play in. People on the outside who stick the tables in there don’t play snooker in there, so they just set it up and think it all looks good.
“When you’re out there playing, it’s a different story. In those conditions, anyone’s going to be able to win.
“I’ll have to see where (the Gibraltar Open) is being played – if it’s here, maybe I’ll give it a miss.”

Sportsbeat
Fri, 19 February 2021, 9:00 am·3-min read


World No.1 Judd Trump slammed conditions at Celtic Manor

World No.1 Judd Trump slammed conditions at Celtic Manor
WORLD No.1 Judd Trump slammed conditions at Celtic Manor following his Welsh Open exit and suggested he may not return if future tournaments are held at the resort, writes Paul Martin.
Trump was stunned by Hossein Vafaei in the third round in Newport, bringing to an end his 28-match winning streak in best-of-seven matches.
The Bristolian has won four ranking titles in Milton Keynes this season and the change of scene proved far from welcome.
“It’s just so heavy here,” he said. “It’s like playing in China and that’s why the standard has been pretty poor from what I’ve seen of the tournament.
“A lot of my games have been bad. Balls are going safe a lot more often, which doesn’t make for good viewing.
“It’s difficult to play in. People on the outside who stick the tables in there don’t play snooker in there, so they just set it up and think it all looks good.
“When you’re out there playing, it’s a different story. In those conditions, anyone’s going to be able to win.
“I’ll have to see where (the Gibraltar Open) is being played – if it’s here, maybe I’ll give it a miss.”

The 31-year-old has been a consistent critic of the humidity inside the match room throughout the week, comparing the table to a waterlogged football pitch after overcoming Si Jiahui in the second round.
“I always like to moan after I win, otherwise no-one does anything – but still no-one does anything,” he added.
“It’s not just this tournament, it’s happened in the past – I’ve moaned in the World Championships and no-one ever does anything.
It just makes the standard a lot poorer than it should be. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Jordan Brown dismantled Stephen Maguire in the Welsh Open semi-final on Saturday afternoon, hammering the Scot 6-1 to reach his first ranking event final. The Northern Irishman was playing in the first ranking event semi-final of his career against Maguire but he looked like a seasoned veteran as he dismissed the challenge of the former champion. It was an incredible performance from the 33-year-old, settling in perfectly by making a break of 135 in the first frame. The Antrim Ferrari lost the second frame, despite a break of 52, but then won the next four frames to go within one of victory, with breaks of 113, 59 and 56 along the way.
While Brown was in excellent touch for much of the game, Maguire was a long, long way from his best, struggling with pots at almost all ranges. He largely kept his emotions in check, but it was clear that the Scot was fuming with his own performance after a string of excellent displays that brought him to the semi-finals. Brown did all the running in the last frame and although Maguire played on for snookers his hopes were forlorn, the Scot couldn’t get them and as he knocked in the last red by accident, the game was over. ‘He was far too good,’ said Maguire. ‘He put me under pressure from the very first frame.
‘Listen, it’s nothing about me. He deserved it and all the plaudits should be to Jordan and I hope he does well in the first ranking final that he’s in.’ The Northern Irishman now takes on either Mark Williams or Ronnie O’Sullivan in Sunday’s final as only the second man from the country to make the final of this event. Joe Swail made a shock run to the final in 2009 where he was beaten by Ali Carter at the Newport Centre. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Ronnie O’Sullivan has a fight on his hands in the Welsh Open final, as he trails 5-3 to Jordan Brown ahead of the second session on Sunday evening.
The world champion had been in imperious form in advancing to the final, but his timing looked awry for long spells on Sunday afternoon.
Brown took advantage to open up a three-frame lead, and even though O’Sullivan fought hard with back-to-back tons, the underdog took the final frame of the session to take a two-frame lead into the evening session at the Celtic Manor Resort.
The first frame was a story of errors and misfortune. The majority of errors came from the cue of Brown, while plenty of misfortune befell O’Sullivan who suffered an awful kick when well set and twice went in-off. To Brown’s credit, he did take the final chance that came his way to secure the opening frame.
Brown had an excellent chance in the second, but missed a mid-length red into the bottom-right pocket and it handed the table to O’Sullivan. With his break on 25, there was a collector’s item this week as the world champion missed a routine pink into the left middle.
The error was completely unexpected, given he came into the final having lost a mere two frames all week, and it cost him the frame as Brown knocked in a break of 58.
After the shock of the miss in the second frame, O’Sullivan knocked in an excellent long red to get in at the start of the third. But a surprising miss with the break on 60 stunned Eurosport analyst Neal Foulds.
“Goodness me,” Foulds said. “That was as bad as Ronnie has ever hit one.
“It’s an expression used in snooker, we say when someone butchers a shot. It’s rarely used with O’Sullivan, but he butchered that one.”
Fortunately for the Rocket, the red made its way from the jaws of the bottom-left pocket and dropped into the middle.
O'Sullivan acknowledged his fortune by raising his hand to Brown, and he took advantage of his slice of fortune with a break of 74.
Brown was not fazed by O’Sullivan getting a frame on the board, as he took the fourth to secure a two-frame lead at the first interval of the match - and he returned after the break to knock in his fourth century of the tournament - a 107 - to move 4-1 ahead.
Trailing by three frames, O’Sullivan required a response and he delivered in some style. He was handed an easy starter as Brown left a red over the bottom-right pocket, but from that moment he oozed class with a single-visit kill of 135.
O’Sullivan has talked this week about tinkering with his technique, and that it is a work in progress. It appeared to click into gear in the second half of the session as he knocked in a second successive ton, a 121, to move back within one frame of Brown.
The final frame was the longest, and scrappiest of the match. It went Brown’s way after he got the better of a lengthy safety exchange to secure a two-frame lead ahead of the evening session. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare

What a week for Jordan Brown.​


Jordan Brown pulled off one of the biggest snooker upsets in recent memory as he became the lowest-ranked player to win a ranking tournament in nearly 30 years after seeing off Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-8 to win the Welsh Open.
World number 81 Brown edged O’Sullivan in the deciding frame after the six-time world champion produced a 116 break to level the game at 8-8.
It completed what was comfortably the greatest week in Northern Irishman Brown’s career with the 33-year-old having never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a ranking event prior to the Welsh Open.
Brown, who also beat Mark Selby and Stephen Maguire en route to clinching the Ray Reardon trophy, admitted that he had been ‘spurred on’ after hearing O’Sullivan’s comments at last year’s World Championship in which the 45-year-old said he’d need to lose an arm and a leg in order to drop out of the world’s top 50.
“It did annoy me, but it just spurred me on because I just wasn’t having that,” Antrim player Brown told Metro.
‘Today I’ve definitely proved him wrong, that I’m not a numpty. I’ve definitely proved a lot, not just to him, but to everyone on tour, people in general, that I can play this game and to a very high level.

‘Why is he getting on like that?’​

“I’ve had so many messages from my fellow competitors and it means so much to me.
“I’ve been very critical of Ronnie, especially recently because I’ve always looked up to him and when he’s making comments like he did, you think to yourself, ‘What’s he like? Why is he getting on like that?’
“He’s not proving himself to anybody, he should be the role model, the benchmark for everybody else. I just think he lets himself down.
“But I’ve sort of changed my opinion of him today, you could tell that was genuine at the end, so thank you to him.”
O’Sullivan was, however, magnanimous in defeat on Sunday as he showered ‘fantastic player’ Brown with praise.
“Listen, I’ve enjoyed every minute of that today,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “I’ve had such a fantastic time. I love playing Jordan, he’s a great guy. I’m so happy for him. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
2015 world champion Stuart Bingham admits he was suffering from a crisis of confidence before his stunning 6-5 win against world number one and defending champion Judd Trump in the first round of the Players Championship in Milton Keynes.
Bingham enjoyed breaks of 113, 112 – both of which were maximum attempts in the sixth and eighth frames in twice levelling the match – 93 and 58 in a rousing performance against Trump, who recovered from trailing 2-0 to lead 3-2 and 4-3 boosted by runs of 81, 105 and 76 only for Bingham to win three of the final four frames to progress.
The 'Ball-run' from Basildon will face UK Championship semi-finalist Zhou Yuelong or 2013 world finalist Barry Hawkins in the quarter-finals, but admits he surprised himself after dreading the trip to face Trump following his 4-2 first round loss to Robert Milkins at the Welsh Open in Newport last week.
"I'm really pleased. I was practising yesterday morning before coming up here and I didn't want to get in the car. I felt really bad and had a chat with my missus, my manager and my coach," revealed Bingham.

I just found a bit of something from somewhere. I think it was the first chance on the maximum at 3-2 behind. Something clicked and I just fancied the job.

Bingham appeared on the verge of a 6-4 win only for Trump to produce a superb pot on the penultimate red before dishing up to pinch the tenth frame by three points in forcing the decider.
"It's what has been happening all season when I couldn't get over the line in the tenth frame when I missed an easy cannon for 6-4. Judd showed what a class act he is by potting a great red before clearing up," said Bingham.
"I'm just over the moon."
Bingham admits he was inspired by 750-1 outsider Jordan Brown's 9-8 victory over world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Welsh Open final on Sunday.;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Ding Junhui in the first round of the Players Championship on Tuesday night but admits he feels bad after showing his frustration during the match by chucking the rest on the floor. The Rocket edged out the Chinese superstar 6-5 in Milton Keynes but was furious in the 10th frame as he missed the final green playing with the rest and then threw the instrument on the floor. The world champion immediately picked it back up, but hoped afterwards that he hadn’t bothered his opponent with his actions. Ding won that frame but Ronnie would go on to claim the decider and progress to the quarter-finals where he faces Jack Lisowski, but he wasn’t happy with his performance or show of frustration.
‘I feel really bad there, throwing the rest on the floor,’ O’Sullivan told ITV. ‘I hope I haven’t upset Ding because I was just frustrated, I couldn’t get to grips with my game. ‘No matter how philosophical you can be, when you’re cueing, not striking the ball as great as you want to…I don’t dwell on it but it’s just hard out there when you’re fighting the elements, the elements of snooker shall we call it?’ The Rocket narrowly lost the Welsh Open final 9-8 to Jordan Brown on Sunday night and admits that he does not find it easy to continually keep playing with little rest in between.
;)
 

Sameernasri

Yearling
Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Ding Junhui in the first round of the Players Championship on Tuesday night but admits he feels bad after showing his frustration during the match by chucking the rest on the floor. The Rocket edged out the Chinese superstar 6-5 in Milton Keynes but was furious in the 10th frame as he missed the final green playing with the rest and then threw the instrument on the floor. The world champion immediately picked it back up, but hoped afterwards that he hadn’t bothered his opponent with his actions. Ding won that frame but Ronnie would go on to claim the decider and progress to the quarter-finals where he faces Jack Lisowski, but he wasn’t happy with his performance or show of frustration.
‘I feel really bad there, throwing the rest on the floor,’ O’Sullivan told ITV. ‘I hope I haven’t upset Ding because I was just frustrated, I couldn’t get to grips with my game. ‘No matter how philosophical you can be, when you’re cueing, not striking the ball as great as you want to…I don’t dwell on it but it’s just hard out there when you’re fighting the elements, the elements of snooker shall we call it?’ The Rocket narrowly lost the Welsh Open final 9-8 to Jordan Brown on Sunday night and admits that he does not find it easy to continually keep playing with little rest in between.
;)
Dont know much about snooker but heard Brown caused an upset by beating OSullivan 9-8.
 

Delboy99

Mare
...... yes! quite an upset as Brown was ranked 81st in the world but played out of his skin to beat Ronnie in the final frame and raised a few eyebrows. Message 729 above relates to the match. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Kettering’s Kyren Wilson produced a superb display to break his quarter-final hoodoo this season as he beat Neil Robertson 6-2 to move into the last four at the Cazoo Players Championship.

The world no.5 was in fine form as he opened up with a break of 130 before racing into a 3-1 lead in Milton Keynes.
Robertson hit back with back-to-back frames but breaks of 95 and 126 put Wilson in control and he was even on for a maximum 147 break in what proved to be the final frame before it broke down with 10 reds and 10 blacks on the board.

In the end, that break of 80 proved to be enough to wrap things up and Wilson was understandably pleased with his display having failed to win a last-eight match on seven occasions this season.
“You have to put in those performances to beat the class acts like Neil,” Wilson told ITV4.
“When I felt I was over the line in the match, I lost a little bit of concentration on the black and playing for the red in the middle because you are still partly focused on winning the frame and winning the match.
“I lost a bit of focus on that black and tried my best for the cut back red and nearly potted it.

“I have been playing at this standard all season really. Like I have said many times, I am coming up against the likes of your Neil Robertsons in the quarter-finals and I am falling at those hurdles.
“You have to keep putting yourself in that position and just try your best to get over that hurdle and I was delighted to do that today.”
The Kettering star will now play either Mark Selby or John Higgins in the semi-finals on Saturday night as the two former world champions go head-to-head in the last eight tomorrow afternoon.
And Wilson added: “It doesn’t get any easier does it?
“That’s why I always enjoy being part of these ITV events, every match could potentially warrant a final and they are both legends of the game.
“For me, it’s always an honour to play these guys and try to learn off them in the meantime.” ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Ronnie O'Sullivan has booked his spot in the semi-finals of the Players Championship with a near-flawless performance against Jack Lisowski, running in breaks of 63, 79, 124, 93, 125 and 59 in an exhibition of break-building.
The Rocket won the clash 6-1 to set up a last-four tie against Barry Hawkins and looks to be in supreme form, despite his shock loss to Jordan Brown in the Welsh Open final last week.
The first frame was decided by a lengthy safety battle which O'Sullivan won before he made a break of 63 to move ahead.
His lead was soon doubled, despite an early miss on a red to the centre pocket. Lisowski could only make nine and the six-time world champion made no mistake when presented with another opportunity.
Lisowski missed a long red early in the third and O'Sullivan didn't look back from there, making a total clearance of 124 to hammer home his advantage.
And, prior to the interval, he won his fourth straight frame, making 31 and 93.
The break did nothing to quell his appetite, notching his second century of the night, 125, to move within a single frame of the win.
Lisowski finally got on the board courtesy of two breaks in excess of 50 - 57 and 68 - but it mattered little as O'Sullivan won the seventh on the back of a 59 to seal a fantastic win. In total, he missed just two pots all night,
"It was alright!" O'Sullivan said after the match.

I played good, played decent, felt good, cued alright and I felt like I was getting a pop out of the white tonight. I can play alright sometimes!;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
John Higgins defeated Mark Selby in the quarter-finals of the Players Championship 6-0 in Milton Keynes on Friday afternoon.
The Scottish veteran gave Selby close to no chance with the Englishman able to score just six points over the course of the whole match.
That allowed a ruthless Higgins, helped by consistently heavy scoring from the off, to dominate.
Breaks of 60 in the first frame, then 70 and 63 in the second and third respectively, plus a 100 break in the fifth frame allowed him to cruise to a 5-0 lead, requiring just another frame to reach the semi-finals.
Higgins then gave up a single point to Selby, but another half-century break, this time of 60, helped him to a winning 114-1 sixth frame.
Higgins will face Kyren Wilson on Saturday evening, with Barry Hawkins and Ronnie O’Sullivan playing for a place in the final later on Friday. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare

Head-to-Head: Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins Finals.​

Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins will add to their list of encounters in finals when they compete for Players Championship glory on Sunday at the Marshall Arena.
There will be a champion’s cheque worth £125,000 on the line as they encounter each other for a record-extending 71st time in all competitions since turning professional at the same time in 1992.
A staggering 17 of those have been title-deciding contests, underlining their longevity as two of the game’s all-time greats.
Let’s take a brief look back at all of the previous finals between O’Sullivan and Higgins since their first 26 years ago.

1995 Masters: O’Sullivan 9-3 Higgins
Their fourth meeting overall but a first in a final, the duo stunned their fellow top-16 members to reach the last two of the Masters while both aged just 19.
O’Sullivan duly became the youngest winner of the prestigious invitational with a 9-3 drubbing of Higgins, in what would transpire to be the first of three Masters finals against one another.


1995 British Open: Higgins 9-6 O’Sullivan
Higgins bounced back strongly to win the International Open at Steve Davis’ expense the week after that year’s Masters, and less than two months later he gained his quick revenge on the Rocket with a 9-6 victory in the final of the British Open.
Their tug-of-war rivalry at the business end of some of the biggest events on the calendar had well and truly begun.


1996 Charity Challenge: O’Sullivan 9-6 Higgins
A unique invitational in which the players competed for their respective charities, it was O’Sullivan who picked up the £30,000 cheque on this occasion.
It was a victory that stood as the Englishman’s only one of what transpired to be a disappointing 1995/96 campaign in general.


1998 Scottish Open: O’Sullivan 9-5 Higgins
Higgins was in the midst of a remarkable run of form that would see him reach six out of the eight ranking event finals of the 1997/98 snooker season.
The Wizard of Wishaw ended the term as the world champion and the world number one, but O’Sullivan had the last laugh on the Scotsman’s home turf.


1998 Charity Challenge: Higgins 9-8 O’Sullivan
Still, a mere week after that loss Higgins got one back on his rival, and indeed made up for his previous reverse in the Charity Challenge from two years earlier.
Higgins withstood a late comeback from his opponent to prevail in a deciding frame – their first final to last the distance.


1998 Scottish Masters: O’Sullivan 9-7 Higgins
Around this period it seemed as though they could only cross paths in finals of the Charity Challenge or in Scotland.
Higgins was again denied on his own territory – this time in Motherwell – as O’Sullivan took the invitational spoils.


1999 Charity Challenge: Higgins 9-4 O’Sullivan
Back to Derby for, you guessed it, the Charity Challenge – the last time the tournament was staged under this guise.
O’Sullivan had reached the last four finals in the competition but it was to be three consecutive losses at that hurdle as Higgins won for a second successive season.

2001 World Championship: O’Sullivan 18-14 Higgins
Their first of ten finals between O’Sullivan and Higgins after the turn of the century may not have been their best battle, but it was certainly their biggest.
O’Sullivan had watched fellow Class of ’92 members Higgins and Mark Williams both claim the big one in Sheffield, and now it was his finally his turn, making the most of his first-session 6-2 buffer to successfully hold the 1998 champion at bay. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
“He’s only got one friend in the world, and that's me," jokes a mirthful Matthew Selt ahead of meeting his old mucker Stephen Hendry in snooker’s most eagerly anticipated comeback story of this or any other year.
Selt’s sportive mood will give way to a rather more serious outlook on Tuesday night when he confronts the seven-times world champion over the best of seven frames at the Gibraltar Open. Hendry is brimming with anticipation more than expectation. Yet when you boast such a glorious back catalogue, there is always room to dream. Daring to dream is no bad thing when you once regally lorded it over the old green baize's land of hope and glory and then some.
Despite sport being forced behind closed doors due to the pandemic, the man dubbed the 'King of the Crucible' for his heavy-scoring domination of snooker in the 1990s returns with more fanfare in Milton Keynes than Elvis Presley at Burbank in 1968.
While the King of Rock and Roll spent seven years away from public performance, the king of pot and roll will bring an end to a nine-year absence that will greeted by snooker diehards with more expectancy than John Virgo doing his Hurricane Higgins impression back in the day.
“If I start to play well then the expectation will build and I’ll want to win more,” commented Hendry.

One of the reasons I retired was because I couldn’t win any more. I have to control those expectations. I’m hitting the ball better in practice than I was when I retired.
This will be Hendry's first competitive match on the main World Snooker Tour since he was annihilated 13-2 by fellow Scot Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals of the 2012 World Championship, a fairly gruesome epilogue to such a gilded 27-year career.:)
 
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