On Monday 30th April I returned to the Crucible Theatre to watch the end of the second round of the 2012 World Championship.
Upon arrival, I saw Matthew Stevens signing at the stage door for a few fans after his 13-11 victory over Barry Hawkins. I had a picture with him and he is always happy to have a photograph. Later on, as we were walking down Tudor Square Andrew Higginson walking past us and so we wished him good luck ahead of his game this evening and he thanked us and had a photo.
The evening session saw the conclusion of the last two second round matches. Crucible debutant Jamie Jones led Andrew Higginson 10-6 while Ronnie O’Sullivan had played near perfect snooker the previous day to lead Mark Williams 11-5 coming in to the session.
Prior to the players introductions, BDO Darts players Martin “Wolfie” Adams came on to the stage and had a brief chat with Rob Walker about his visit to the snooker and comparing the atmosphere at the Lakeside and the Crucible.
From our seats, we could see both tables and so I watched the conclusion of the O’Sullivan vs. Williams match first. A 66 break from O’Sullivan moved him just a frame away from victory, but the Welshman pulled one back to make the score 12-6. In the 19th frame, O’Sullivan was placed in a tricky snooker which resulted in 9 consecutive misses before he finally hit the red at the 10th attempt. However, in the end these fouls made little distance as a break of 65 saw the Rocket book his place in the Quarter-finals for the 14th time.
Over on the other table, Andrew Higginson had won all 4 frames before the interval to pull the score back from 10-6 to 10-10.
During the break, my Dad was talking to 1981 World finalist Doug Mountjoy and I had a photograph with him under the ‘Welcome to the Crucible’ sign in the entrance. Matthew Stevens was also there and I asked him if he would be kind enough to come and have a photograph in front of the ‘World Championship advert inside the Crucible. Always obliging, Matthew walked over and happily had the photographs.
Jamie Jones came out after the interval playing much better and he took frame 21 to lead 11-10. A magnificent break of 135 moved him just a frame away from victory and the Welshman reached the last 8 of the World Championship for the first time with a 13-10 victory.
After a drink in the Crucible bar with some of the regulars, we headed home to complete another great day at the snooker. We are not back until the Sunday evening of the final so it will be interesting to see how things play out with the tournament really beginning to take shape.