Last 64 matches:
First up in the afternoon session was the world champion Neil Robertson against PTC winner Barry Pinches. Barry got in first and was looking good amongst the balls but he took to long to take a shot and the clock caught him off-guard which allowed Neil to make a sweet break of 81 to progress 106-15 (Click the frame scores to watch the match on YouTube).
A few match later was 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy v Rory McLeod. This match wasn't a high scoring affair but was an exciting one as Rory fought back at the end to pip Shaun to the post 30-28 demonstrating on occasion that he can perform well in front of TV cameras. Matthew Selt v Alfie Burden was up next. Alfie having rejoined the tour this year after winning the 2009 WPBSA championship's was looking to prove in his first television appearance since rejoining and he did not disappoint. Selt made one bad shot and let Alfie Burden make an amazing 106 break to move through to the next round 106-0, definitely one to look out for in the future.
In the next match Joe Perry made two nice breaks to beat Ricky Walden 130-0 without Ricky even getting a look in! Up next was the Dave Harold v Judd Trump match. After a a few errors from both players, Harold looked certain to storm ahead in the match, but completely forgot about the 15 second slot clock at one point and played a bad shot which allowed Judd to win the match 52-31. Graeme Dott v EPTC finalist Matthew Couch was next which was mostly uneventful but Graeme showed some nice positional play to win the match 99-16.
After loosing position on several occasions, BBC pundit Ken Doherty pulled off two cracking pots to make a break of 53 in beating Masters semi-finalist Jamie Cope 81-1. After falling 30-0 behind to Irish player David Morris, Adrian Gunnell made a nice comeback which featured a 85 break to beat David 85-50. Rod Lawler and world no 29 Gerard Greene were on the Baize next at Blackpool. Gerard looked like his was coming back in after Rod made a 45 break, but Gerard missed an easy pot on 38 which allowed Rod to win the match 55-38.
Welsh no.2 Matthew Stevens was up next against Mike Dunn, who is one of the most popular players on Facebook. After making building up a nice lead Mike missed to let Stevens in. Stevens then broke down on 33, which allowed Dunn to make some cracking pots to win the match 67-33. Stuart Pettman and Belgium no.1 Bjorn Haneveer were up next. It a close finish, Bjorn nearly got back into the match at the end but missed a difficult red which allowed Stuart to go through 41-35. Joe Swail and Hastings pro Mark Davis were next and not a lot of note happened between the two, Mark Davis pulled of a few nice pots though and was the comfortable victor winning 49-6. It was a scrappy affair between the two times Masters champion Mark Selby and Andy Hicks, but Selby proved to be the stronger and won 44-34.
Entering the arena next was tour and television event debutant Anthony McGill against namesake Anthony Hamilton. 19 year old Scot McGill didn't look to phased playing on the big stage making a nice 31 break but missed an easy red to let Hamilton in and win 70-31. We will definitely be seeing more of McGill in events to come, especially as he has qualified for the German Masters next week. The last match was between world no 17 Stuart Bingham and local favourite Ian McCulloch. Ian put in a good show but was too strong for the in-form Stuart who beat him 51-31.
Last 32 matches:
The remaining last 64 matches were played in the evening session. I wasn't able to watch some of the matches but have reports from most of them. The first match up was Stephen Lee v Nigel Bond, both tour veterans. After a horrific miscue from Stephen, Mr Bond stepped up to the table and made a cool 91 break to win the match 95-0. Next up was Judd Trump v Mark Davis, it was one of the closest matches of the day, going down to the last few balls. Judd was able to hold his nerve and run out the clock to win the match 31-30.
EPTC winner Marcus Campbell and Andrew Higginson were the next two players to enter the arena. It went the way of the Scot tonight as Marcus made a difficult long pot then a lovely fluent break of 67 leaving Higginson attempting to get snooker's to no avail, Marcus won 67-1. Mike Dunn made the comeback of the tournament so far after looking out of the match to beat Alfie Burden 66-59 on the colours! Could it get any more exciting? The answer was yes.
Stuart Bingham was 34-6 down to Adrian Gunnell at one point in his match, but he showed the nerve and steel that got him to the quarter-finals of the UK championship last month to come back to pot the blue in the last few seconds of the match to win 37-34. The next match between Tony Drago and Rory McLeod turned out to be one of the most exciting I have seen in ages.
Tony Drago and Rory McLeod entered the match, being known as almost the polar opposites of each other. Tony being a fast, instinctive player whilst Rory likes to take his time on occasion! This match culminated in one of the most dramatic conclusions to a match ever! Watch it yourself to see who wins 61-57.
The matches kept up the pace throughout the night up next was Mark Selby v Stuart Pettman. Stuart potted two balls but broke down, which allowed Selby to take control of the match and win with relative ease 89-6. UK champion John Higgins looked out of the match at one point being over 54-20 down with less than a minute to go, but tried his best to "pot as many balls as you can" by running around the table, but was just ran out of time and lost to Leeds player Peter Lines 54-47 who came across very well in that match.
The next match was almost as exciting as the Drago/McLeod match. Neil Robertson was looking down and out against Alan McManus being over 49-20 down with only around a minute to go on the clock, but Neil wasn't going to be deterred and shifted up a gear to pot the final black to beat Alan with only 1 second left on the clock, 50-49. What an amazing night so far!
Up next was the "Rocket" Ronnie O'Sullivan against Rod Lawler. Ronnie got a nice fluke on the blue after missing it into the intended pocket, but failed to capitalize on the fluke and let Lawler back in. But Rod buckled under the pressure and Ronnie finished the match with some exhibition shots to win 93-34. Wasn't around to watch most of the rest of the matches, but saw most of Mark King's match between Steve Davis. Mark made a great break of 112, but Steve wanted to play on for 30 seconds more to let the clock run out to give the crowd value for money, what a legend!
Last 32 results (courtesy of Global Snooker)
Alan McManus 49-50 Neil Robertson
Nigel Bond 96(92)-0 Stephen Lee
Mark Davis 30-31 Judd Trump
Peter Lines 54-47 John Higgins
Allister Carter 48-57 Fergal O`Brien
Marcus Campbell 67-1 Andrew Higginson
Mark Selby 89-6 Stuart Pettman
Mike Dunn 66-59 Alfie Burden
Robert Milkins 54-9 Tom Ford
Stuart Bingham 37-34 Adrian Gunnell
Rory McLeod 61-57 Tony Drago
Ryan Day 53-40 Graeme Dott
Rod Lawler 34-93 Ronnie O'Sullivan
Joe Perry 25-83 Ken Doherty
Mark King 119(112)-0 Steve Davis
Dominic Dale 14-52 Anthony Hamilton
Last 64 results (courtesy of Global Snooker)
Stuart Bingham 46-31 Ian McCulloch
Anthony Hamilton 70-31 Anthony McGill
Andy Hicks 34-44 Mark Selby
Joe Swail 6-49 Mark Davis
Stuart Pettman 41-35 Bjorn Haneveer
Matthew Stevens 36-67 Mike Dunn
Gerard Greene 38-55 Rod Lawler
Adrian Gunnell 85(85)-30 David Morris
Jamie Cope 1-81 Ken Doherty
Graeme Dott 99-16 Matthew Couch
Judd Trump 58-31 Dave Harold
Joe Perry 130(53,71)-0 Ricky Walden
Alfie Burden 106(106)-4 Matthew Selt
Shaun Murphy 28-30 Rory McLeod
Peter Lines 54-24 Barry Hawkins
Barry Pinches 15-106(81) Neil Robertson
Mark King 79-0 Jimmy Robertson
Jimmy Michie 21-32 Marcus Campbell
Peter Ebdon 24-72 Steve Davis
Ronnie O'Sullivan 113(113)-0 Marco Fu
Mark Williams 7-93(93) John Higgins
Ding Junhui 15-71(70) Dominic Dale
Michael Judge 26-72 Alan McManus
Jimmy White lost to Allister Carter
Andrew Higginson 27-16 Jamie Burnett
Tom Ford 84(84)-0 Stephen Maguire
Robert Milkins 82-6 Martin Gould
Fergal O`Brien 55-29 Stephen Hendry
Nigel Bond 46-24 Joe Jogia
Stephen Lee 62-34 Michael Holt
Mark Allen 31-72 Ryan Day
Tony Drago w/o Liang Wenbo