On Tuesday 19th April I was back at the Crucible Theatre for Day 4 of the World Snooker Championship to watch 2002 World Champion Peter Ebdon play Stuart Bingham.
We arrived at the Crucible about an hour before the evening session and we decided to do our usual walk around to see who we could spot. In the Winter Gardens I saw Dominic Dale, who had been beaten 10-2 by Ronnie O’Sullivan earlier in the day, and he was happy to have a photo. Dominic had a chat to us and Matt from Pro Snooker Blog, telling us how when your playing Ronnie you can look around at something for a minute, look back at the scoreboard and he is 40 or 50 points ahead. I found this interesting and a good insight into how difficult it must be to play Ronnie O’Sullivan.
We had a quick chat to a few more people we knew, including Matt from PSB and Brian who always sits on the front row in the seat by the players, before heading in for the evening session.
Once again, I was on the front row wearing my ‘ryan147.com’ t-shirt which meant I would probably get on TV!
Stuart Bingham had come from 4-2 down in the first session of this match to lead 5-4 overnight, but Peter Ebdon slowed the play right down in the early parts of the session, and this along with the balls falling badly in all of the first 4 frames meant the match was scrappy with few high breaks.
The 2002 World Champion managed to grind out the first three frames of the session to lead 7-5, before Bingham took frame 13 to reduce the deficit to just one frame at 7-6.
We decided to miss a couple of frames after the interval to have a drink with The Statman, Kellie and Cameron, who gave me his ticket for the Stephen Hendry v Joe Perry match on Sunday.
In the two frames we missed, Ebdon had extended his lead to 8-6 before Bingham pulled back another to make it 8-7. Bingham looked to have found his rhythm and was playing much better snooker, looking like he would win the frame every time he got in. He managed to take the next two frames quite quickly to lead 9-8.
The curtain had now gone up with the other table’s session between Mark Allen and Matthew Stevens having finished, the players had the arena to themselves as they played out an exciting and tense finish.
Peter Ebdon looked like he would take the match to a decider but he got a horrendous kick on a simple black off the spot, leaving his opponent in the balls and with the chance to win frame and match. Bingham managed to get over the winning line with Ebdon need four snookers to win, but he still fought on desperately trying to save the match. It wasn’t to be for Peter Ebdon as Bingham potted the yellow to seal the victory and his place in the second round against Ding Junhui.
I had another good day, seeing a tense finish to a good match and meeting another top player. I will be back tomorrow for all 3 sessions!