If there was ever a snooker semi final that had just about everything imaginable, then it was tonights semi between Barry Hawkins and Anthony Hamilton at the Northern Ireland Open.
When we say it had just about everything, we really mean it! This snooker match was a very tense affair.
Prior to the match, the pundits had the match stacked heavily in Hawkins favour but as many saw, it went the whole distance in a nail biting match.
Granted there were plenty of spells where the match wasn’t pretty. Some of the frames were long, hard match snooker style frames but overall it was still a great watch.
It was clear throughout the match the Barry Hawkins was struggling. In fact he was lucky to even get ahead 5-3 at one point as it appeared Hamilton was at the table more, potting more and making the bigger breaks. At 4-2 down, Hamilton knocked in a clearance of 138 that was flawless. After Hawkins won the next to lead 5-3, the match looked done and dusted from Hamilton’s perspective.
Hamilton then took the match to Hawkins by making breaks of 74 and 97 to level the match at 5-5 and force the deciding frame of this intriguing snooker match.
In the deciding frame it was Hamilton who got in first where he had a beautiful opportunity to make a match winning break. Unfortunately for Hamilton, while cueing up to strike a red, he inadvertently feathered the white ball and left Hawkins in among the balls. Hawkins took his chance and made a break of 59 which, in the end, was good enough to seal victory and book his place in the final tomorrow.
The bitter blow this will have on Hamilton will haunt him for years to come. It was so unfortunate to make the mistake he did, but even more so at such a crucial time in the match. As a player coming towards the end of his snooker career, might this have been his last opportunity to reach a final?
In the earlier snooker match today Mark King beat Kyren Wilson 6-2 in their semi final match.
The odds were all on Wilson to win but King stepped up and produced some great snooker.
King got himself off to a dream start by taking the first 5 frames of the snooker match. Wilson was clearly out of form as he missed some easy balls but that doesn’t take away how well Mark King played today. His safety, potting and break building was much better than Wilson’s.
After going 5-0 up, King was bombarded with a 90 and 70 break from Wilson but in the very next frame, Wilson was given another chance to pinch a frame back but broke down at a crucial point in the break. King stepped up and potted what he needed to win the frame and match to book his place in tomorrow’s final.
The Northern Ireland Open snooker final will start at 1pm tomorrow and the final session starts at 7pm UK time and will be live on Eurosport 2 and will once again be an interest snooker match to watch.