On Tuesday 24th April I returned to the Crucible for day 4 of the World Snooker Championship. This time I was watching the second session of Stephen Lee vs. Andrew Higginson.
We arrived about an hour before the evening session got underway and went to the nearby Graduate pub with Kellie and Chris (aka The Statman) to get a bite to eat. After a short while, we headed through the Crucible entrance in time for the session to get underway.
Tonight’s matches were Stephen Lee vs. Andrew Higginson and Mark Selby vs. Barry Hawkins. This session was also a bit historical as it was the first time that two female referees, Michaela Tabb and Zhu Ying, would be taking charge of both games.
Higginson came in to the evening session of the match we were watching with a 5-4 lead and he increased his advantage by taking the first frame to lead 6-4. However, Lee hit back with a break of 102 before the two players shared 2 scrappy frames to make it 7-6 at the interval.
The qualifier came out after the break and scored breaks of 111 and 51 to make the score 9-6 and leave Higginson just a frame away from victory. Both players had chances to win the 16th frame but in the end it was the world number 19 who took it to book a place in the second round for the first time in his career.
I was quite surprised that Lee had fallen at the first hurdle considering his recent good form, but Higginson definitely deserved the victory and played some good snooker in the match.
On the other table, Mark Selby was playing Barry Hawkins and while I couldn’t see the table from my seat, I kept an eye on the score. Hawkins started well taking a 3-1 lead in to the interval, and he continued to play well as he pulled away to take a 6-3 advantage in to the second session against the former World runner up. Selby will certainly have his work cut out if he is to avoid becoming another seed to lose in the first round.
After the session had ended we headed home after another enjoyable evening at the Crucible Theatre. I am back again on Thursday evening to watch Mark Williams vs. Liu Chuang so there isn’t long to wait until my next visit!