Selby to break after the mid-session interval. Ding sends the cue ball back towards the green pocket, flirts with it suggestively, and leaves Selby with an awkward safety. The world No1 clips the object red far too thin, but the cue ball, between mid-table and baulk, has the blue between it and anything meaningful.
His next safety is much better, and although Ding gets the white back up the table, Selby has a chance. But he plays it as a shot to nothing with enough weight to get tightish to the top cushion. We might have a few minutes of this. Unfortunately, what I failed to acknowledge is that the whippet-like youngling Alan Smith, also of this parish, was also in the race.
And he beat the lot of them, with a fine time of 3hrs 15m 13sec. So belated congrats Alan. Intriguingly, some of Ronnie times can be found in his profile on the Power of 10 website.
I knew he enjoyed his running, but I had no idea he was quite that good. His Parkrun 5km PB: So he has me licked by over six minutes no gauge of class in itself by the way.
Back on crap holdy-uppy things in the crowd, important thoughts from our own Owen Gibson, which can apply to all sports everywhere …. Another proposed new law: A4 efforts in felt tip not acceptable. He visibly relaxes as the ensuing pink also goes down, reducing the possibility for the Selby snooker-a-tron kicking into life for the first time tonight. And Ding goes into the mid-session interval with a clearance of As Lenny Kravitz once sang, much to my annoyance ….
Paul Collier, officiating the final, shows his displeasure as another mobile chimes out, shattering the decorum at the table. Ding is not to be chimed out of his composure however, and his next shot is an outstanding, red-developing rasper.
But with his break at the 22 mark, he gets an unfortunate double-kiss trying to play safe off the green. Cracks in the Selby armour. A badly misjudged dink on to a red finishes short, and leaves Ding well set once more. But then Ding finishes short playing for the blue!
Plenty of capacity for things to go badly wrong, but playing it round the green pocket with lots of side takes him back in touch with the reds. Clustered reds leaves lots of mileage in this frame however.
Also available on the Guardian tonight, more sport with potentially news-making potential. Currently eight minutes in …. A phenomenal long pot from Ding to get the scoreboard moving. But the ensuing yellow fails to drop.
Mercifully, nothing of note left for Selby. A re-rack looked a shoo-in, until Ding leaves the cue ball touching one of the reds. Easy safety for Selby, playing away. I am following along from the Race Rocks lighthouse perched on a tiny island off the west coast of British Columbia!
Only about 10 miles from Victoria, hometown of Cliff Thorburn! Not like the 80s when there were 3 or 4! Although I read somewhere that Marco Fu grew up in Vancouver. Myself and Mrs Goodwin hit our year anniversary mark next year and are heading Canada-wards.
More phone-based dickheadedness in the crowd. Just put them on silent, folks. Ding composes himself and sinks an awkward black. But Ding gets over the line. He needed to seal the frame to leave himself with more than a margin of error to play with — and he has.
And develop them he does. Well, two of them anyway. Time for The Safety Dance. He will be doing extremely well to make a shot and leave Ding without a red on. Almost three minutes after Selby took the table, he tries a tap off one cushion into the base of the cluster.
But he leaves a red on for Ding to the right centre pocket. Ding has cut a calm figure this evening but just before the crucial black in frame 27 his face was suddenly doused in sweat. If this match is to go much further he needs to rally in almost as grand a style as he managed at this time yesterday.
Early stages of this frame, great pot from Ding cueing from the bottom cushion to sink a red into the right centre. Couple of shots later, time for another key black to take the cue ball into the clustered reds. Krygios' antics getting more extreme 19d. Simona Halep is No. Serena on 'catsuit' decision: Injury problems made my comeback sweeter 25d.
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