Snooker stars thrill Weston crowds
PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 November 2010
WESTON was the focus of a worldwide television audience of more than 250 million sports fans this week.
That’s because the town played host to the latest round of Sky Sports’ Premier League Snooker competition.
A packed audience saw two of the sport’s world champions among a four-man line-up, with current champ Neil Robertson facing the competition’s surprise leader Marco Fu, and 2005 champ Shaun Murphy taking on up-and-coming Mark Selby.
Robertson began the night at the foot of the seven-man league, and despite a fluent 70 break in the opening frame, never looked like claiming the win he needed to move back into contention.
After that early setback, Fu rallied strongly, and strong safety play allowed him to reel off four frames in a row, winning two of them by a single point.
Robertson’s consolation break of 90 in the final frame gave the crowd a glimpse of what they had been missing – but it was scant consolation for the Aussie, whose 4-2 loss leaves his tournament hopes in tatters.
But while the first match was a tense affair, the second game was a breath of fresh air, with two of the game’s finest attacking talents going head-to-head.
The opening two frames were shared – thanks to breaks of 80 by Murphy and 100 by Selby – but when Murphy rattled off two more 50s to race into a 3-1 lead, it looked as though he was closing in on the win.
But Selby refused to buckle, clawing his way back into the contest with a fine 91, and then holding his nerve during a fascinating snooker exchange to snare a 3-3 draw.