Live Blog: PTC Snooker Grand Finals

The PTC Snooker Grand Finals are taking place in college this week. Mark Kelly brings you the latest updates on the tournament…

Mark Selby taking a shot at last year's PTC Snooker.

Mark Selby taking a shot at last year’s PTC Snooker.

Maflin wins frame 4, taking a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately, thats all we have time for tonight.  The session was supposed to be over at 11:30, not after. More updates will follow tomorrow, along with a round-up of the final frame/frames action. For now, good night and enjoy what’s left of this match.

12:17 AM

He doesn’t though. He did very well to keep this alive. He still neds 2 of the last 3 reds though, but he is on course for that. Looking like it’s going to his frame.. and that confirms it. He flukes a red, it lips out of the jaws of one pocket and goes into the pocket on the other side. Doherty needs 2 snookers now. Doherty 21-63 Maflin.

12:12 AM

It’s a long, drawn out frame. But, they are both playing such good safety we can ignore that. Maflin plays a bad safety there though, and Doherty may just have a whiff here. It’s a bad miss though, and Maflin is let off. Nothing easy on though, but he pots a beauty. Frame winning chance here, but he may have just let it sneak away. Doherty 21-24 Maflin

12:03 AM

It’s midnight, and we still have no indication of who is winning this one. A lot of fouling by the white ball going in, interesting game though. When Ken potted the white, Maflin had a mini-break before his safety failed and the white went in. Doherty then had a mini-break too, but failed to pot the red. Back and forth we go in this one, it’s gonna be another hour before we have a winner methinks. Doherty 20-18 Maflin

11:55 PM

To be far to Doherty, he took that half chance really well. There was no real way of controlling the cue ball, and the ball just got to close to the cushion to do anything. The two players trade safeties and then Maflin finds a way to pot a ball (again) but is unable to build on his break this time. He then goes in off the yellow trying to play a safety. Doherty 5-7 Maflin.

11:48 PM

Maflin is on fire. He builds his break beautifully, and he is causing all sorts of problems for Doherty, who hasn’t really been at the table since the 1st frame. Needs to take half-chances now, Maflin is going and getting them. Great play, and its another frame down. Doherty1-2Maflin.

11:43 PM

And just as I say that, Maflin pots a beauty. He pots the yellow into the bottom-right pocket and then proceeds to build a break. Excellent play. Doherty 13-25 Maflin

11:41 PM

Maflin is in a spot of bother here. A great snooker by Doherty makes him give away 13 foul points in total, until he final nails it. Doherty then keeps him defensive with yet another great safety. Really good, high class snooker,  but Maflin has a chance here, and he takes it but leaves himself awkward on the colours. Doherty 0-1 Maflin

11:31 PM

Maflin doing really well. The Norwegian giving it a real go, and he deserves to be even if the truth is to be told. Well ahead, Doherty had one quater-chance this frame and Maflin just hasn’t let him in. Good play. Doherty 1-1Maflin

11:27 PM

Maflin doing well here, Ken hasn’t given him any real chances, but any half chance he gets he is taking. He is doing really well. Good game this, let’s hope it stays that way. Doherty 8-50 Maflin

11:13 PM

Doherty is on fire here. Really wasting no time getting into the balls, making pots. As was his way back in the day, the cue ball is always under control. and it is just whizzing about the table. This is the Doherty who won 6 ranking events including a World Championship. He is going to be hard to stop as he clears the table with a 112 break. Doherty 1-o Maflin.

11:09 PM

That was some reception for Ken Doherty. Good start by Malfin, great 1st pot from a real difficult chance. He starts to build his break, then makes a vital error. His sleeve brushes the black, enough to be noticed and move it, and he is penalised. Ken pats him on the shoulder in sympathy before starting a great break, including showing everyone else how you actual break a pack of reds, something that hasn’t been going well for many today. Doherty 44-22 Maflin.

11PM

Well, that was something…

Alfie Burden “I was gutted not to win 4-2. I missed 2 or 3 balls to win. I’m not used to playing in big venues and I let the pressure get to me. When I missed the 2 or 3 balls, I thought my chance to win was gone, but thankfully I got it back in the end. I beat Higgins this year, he’s a better player than Trump in my opinion. Still, always nice to beat the World Number 1, means a lot. I cahnged clubs for training, and I am training with Anthony Hamilton. He is so knowledgeable and it is making me a better player. Makes me want to practice more, in my old club I didn’t have the same drive. I had no-one to train with so I’d go in, maybe train for 2 hours than pack in my cue. Having Hamilton to train with is making me want to train more and enjoy my snooker more. It’s a best of 7 vs Xiao, it doesn’t matter who you play. Anyone can beat anyone. Everyone in the top 50, 60 is capable of beating anyone on their day.”

10:44 PM

Trump is in real trouble here. Burden is playing well, looking relaxed and on top. Making a good break as well, if he keeps it up he is through and Trump, the number 1 seed is out.. and that’s it, it is so good from Alfie. He is through to the next round, and Trump is sent packing in the 1st round for the 2nd year running. A century to go along with it too, so amazing. Reaction from Jamie coming up soon.

Alfie Burden (27) (Eng) 4-3 Judd Trump (1) (Eng)

10:36 PM

Start of the final frame, Burden gives Trump a chance. Which he snatches at, kinda takes then fumbles it. He makes 6 in a good situation, unable to control the cue-ball again. Trump then gives Burden a have chance, which he takes. It’s all about developing the reds now, Burden has to get down the other end of the table to do that. Trump 6-15 Burden

22:30 PM

Judd you are a lucky, lucky boy. It looks like Burden is going to win the match, he clears up and gets nicely on the blue near the top cushion. However, he over judges his approach to the match-ball (the pink) and can’t pot it. A game of safety ensues, with both players trying their darnedest to either pot or put the pink safe. In the end, Trump pots it but he can’t get position on the black. He plays safe and then Burden tries to do the same. He butchers it and leaves the black right over the middle pocket, which makes it easy for Trump to finish. Into a deciding frame we go! Trump 3-3 Burden.

22:18 PM

That hurt to look at. Just when Trump looks like he is on the way to forcing a decider, he leaves a relatively easy pot go. The pink was nowhere near the middle pocket and now Burden has a chance to take his place in the next round. Decent pot of a red over a pocket, now to build on that. Real chance to knock the number 1 seed out here. Trump 44-20 Burden

10:14 PM

Finally Trump gets in on some pots. Burden leaves a long, tough pot for Trump, who sinks it with ease. He then goes on to add a few more, the cue-ball sometimes running away from him a little. He shows his potting prowess though, and keeps the scoreboard ticking over nicely. Trump 26-0 Burden.

10:09 PM

This is something else from Higgins vs Carter earlier on. A lot slower, a lot scrapper, safety play is quite tedious and Trump doesn’t know what he is at. Burden strings together 3 pots but gets pulled out of position on a colour by the pot. Trump 0-5 Burden.

10:04 PM

Alfie Burden take a bow. Beating Judd Trump and good value for that win, a bit of luck and it might have been 4-0. For now, Burden almost clears up (only missing the black) and moves into a 3-2 lead on frames.

9:59 PM

Ohh, Burden after a safety battle has an easy chance to pot a red into the left middle pocket, but fails to do so. Trump capitalizes and begins to build a lead, before missing a routine blue while trying to open up the reds. Back to a safety scrap before Trump fails and gifts a real chance to Burden. Should go on to win it from here now. Trump 25-55 Burden

21:56 PM

One has to question what Judd is thinking. He plays two scrappy frames to pull even then just gifts it back with bad safety play. Burden gets in and causes damage, racking up 39 very quickly. He can’t get a good angle on a loose red though, and plays safe. Judd then tries to play safe again, rolling up to the reds but leaves it well short. Trump has got to start playing, or he is going to crash out. Fairplay to Burden though, doing one heck of a job. Trump 0-43 Burden.

21:40 PM

Burden sends it back to Trump to shoot at the green again, this time Trump is succesful. Then a safety battle ensues, which ends when Burden gets a horrific kiss off the pink and leaves the green open. Its a tough, long pot, but Trump pots it into the top-left pocket and then misses the brown. Burden tries to snooker him again, but this time fails and Trump tucks away the brown to finish the frame. Trump 2-2 Burden

21:42 PM

Apologies, but the pizza man cause massive problems here in the media room, as in we had to leave the room to find him. Judd wrapped up frame 3 well, even though it was so scrappy. He is leading a scrappy fourth frame and will pull even, Burden needs a snooker to stay in the frame, a tough task. In other news, the Mayor of Galway is in the media room! We are getting lots of famous people in here today! And Burden has got his snooker, game on! Trump 59-35 Burden (25 left on the table)

20:58 PM

Dear oh dear oh dear. Trump tries to drill the green into the pocket, but the power stops it from going in, as it hits the back of the cushion before bounding back out. He had left himself in a good position too, something Burden takes full advantage of. This may be a step too far for Trump if he loses this frame…. Trump 8-20 Burden.

20:55 PM

Trump’s head isn’t in this properly tonight. He tries a mid-range pot, one you’d put your house on for him to get… and he misses!! Luckily, Burden misses too and Trump takes advantage, however he leaves another long-range pot for himself. He sinks it into the top-right pocket though, and all is good as he nails the green. Trump 7-0 Burden.

20:50 PM

Burden really cleaning up here, he has played some scrumptous shots so far. He gets to the frame deciding red, which is right on the cushion nearer the middle pocket than the top, and he nails it. Frame to Burden, who then proceeds to clear the table, but misses the brown. Trump 0-2 Burden

20:45 PM

Judd doing well now, motoring along… ohhh, maybe not anymore. He tries to pot a red and open the pack at the same time, but he misses the pot and now Burden has a real chance to go 2-0 up. Taking his chances well is Alfie, has to keep the pressure on Trump though. Trump 30-17 Burden

20:42 PM

Bit of safety play here at the start of the frame. Burden tries a half-chance, but he misses and leaves the red safe. Judd is always going to prevail here though, and he makes Burden give him a chance which he converts. He proceeds to rack up the points, and Burden’s frame lead may not last much longer. Trump 18-0 Burden

20:33 PM

Burden opens up the pack well, and clears up to devastating effect. Judd seems a bit on the ropes here, and Alfie is up for the fight. Trump 0-1 Burden

20:27 PM

Trump misses an easy red, then Burden misses a tough one. Judd has a problem knocking pots in, and he misses an easy blue. This allows Burden to swoop in and claim an early lead. He is taking control of this frame, its just all about how he develops the pack now. Trump 17-38 Burden

20:22 PM

Massive cheer for Trump when he came in. He starts well does Judd, but he misses an easy black after knocking in a red, black and red to leave him in a bit bother. Burden does very well, leaving him with a chance. However, he pots a red and goes into them. This causes one of them to knock in the black over the pocket. Trump takes control again, but he has a half-chance that he tries. It doesn’t come off, and then he leaves Burden another chance. He takes it, but misses and easy red. Trump 17-15 Burden

8:14 PM

A happy Carter in the room. He said the pink was tough as if he went too much “he would be in-between two shots”. Very joyful as he said “Get In!”, but that’s just nice to see.

Ali Carter “I’ve been struggling with Crohn’s disease again recently. It’s tough as I got no practice in since winning in Germany, so it’s great to win. It’s frustrating missing events, I missed the last 2, one by choice and one not by choice. The changes in the sport have made it hard. One minute your winning in front of a massive crowd in Berlin and the move to play in a cubicle in Sheffield. But I guess if that’s the way Barry Hearn (owner of World Snooker and Billiards Association) says it is then we have to live with it. I was gutted to miss the Welsh Open, as I won it before. It was massive to win the 1st frame. I knew when I got in I had to clear up, but it’s not easy when your 50 or 60 points behind John (Higgins)”

7:59 PM. 

Higgins gives Carter a half-chance and man has he took it. Great pot, it was a really tough one, he knocks it home to leave him with a hell of a chance. He pots up to yellow, tough cutback…. AND HE NAILS IT! Just has to get to black to win now, Higgins looks forlorn in his chair. Carter deserves this, he has opened the game more. Onto blue now, just 2 to go for the win. In goes the blue, he is on the pink perfectly, he needs this, in it goes but he leaves himself straight on the black.. but in it goes, and Ali Carter knocks John Higgins out of the PTC Grand Final.

Ali Carter (10) (Eng) 4-2 John Higgins (4) (Sco)

7:53 PM

Higgins and Carter tussle for control and a shot, and it’s Higgins who buckles first. He presents Carter with a half-chance, and Carter takes it. He knocks in a green to move closer to Higgins, but Ali has to play another pot. Around we go again, and Higgins forces Carter to make a tough shot with a great snooker. He does very well does Ali, but it leaves Higgins with a chance and he takes it again. He puts away a black, but then has to play safe again and we dance the dance again. Higgins 46-22 Carter.

7:46 PM

Higgins not letting this chance go to waste. He is knocking the balls in dead center of the pocket. He breaks the pack of reds which leaves him with a tough task. He struggles to get on a colour, so he plays the safety. Carter wriggles out of it though, and the safety duel is back on. Higgins 38-16 Carter

7:42 PM

Dear oh dear. Carter misses an easy blue after knocking in a tough red, and gives Higgins a chance. Higgins takes full advantage and fires in a red, brown and another red, followed by that darned blue to move within 5. He then hits the red and breaks a bunch. Higgins 12-16 Carter.

7:37 PM

Carter broke beautifully, leaving absolutely nothing for Higgins to go off. He tries his best to play it safe, knocking a red into the pack, but that dislodges more the other side and gives Ali a chance. He has no bother knocking it into the left-bottom pocket before hammering in a brown. He adds another red and a blue to put him in control. Higgins 0-12 Carter

7:31 PM

Higgins playing a real blinder in this frame. Picking off all the loose reds and knocking the colours in beautifully. His cue-ball control and cuing action are a joy to behold, and the confidence is showing. He tries a tricky plant and nails it superbly. Frame is his, he just plans to finish off in style. However, he misses a pink and it finishes Higgins 83-1 Carter. That makes it Higgins 2-3 Carter, still all to play for here!

7:25 PM

More back and forth safety play from the restart, both players covering themselves nicely. Carter sees a half chance and takes it, but can’t find the colour to match. Higgins then takes up the slack, potting a beauty of a red before knocking in the green. Higgins 5-1 Carter

7:15 PM

After 3 and half great frames, the errors are slipping in. Carter pots the yellow and green, but has to get position on the blue stuck to the top cushion. He can’t, as the ball doesn’t spin enough and he has to play safe. However, Higgins lets him out of jail when he attempts the pot, missing before the white hits the right middle-jaw and bounces back into position. Carter clears up, and its Higgins 1-3 Carter

7:13 PM

Carter is motoring along nicely until he realises there is a big bunch of reds to crack open. He can’t get an angle from the blue, so he plays a safety shot. It’s decent, but it gives Higgins an opening. He takes the pot beautifully in the left-bottom pocket, but misses an easy black and lets Carter back in. Carter takes advantage, and puts himself in sight of winning the frame. Higgins 61-40

7:08 PM

Just as I was getting ready to say Higgins has this all sown up, he messes up. A bad pot leaves Carter a chance, which he takes, potting a red, black and a tough red. He gets ready for a tough pink up the table, and he puts it away beautifully. This is what snooker is all about ladies and gentlemen. The crowd are getting some treat. Higgins 52-16 Carter

7:04 PM

Some people don’t like watching the safety part of snooker. I encourage those people to tune in and watch some of the shots these 2 snooker giants are making. Higgins finally leaves a chance into the bottom-left corner, but Carter fluffs it and Higgins capitalizes  Mesmerizing stuff here.

6:59 PM

Well, that didn’t take too long! Higgins races into a 30-0 lead, but misses a tough red to the bottom-left pocket. It gives Carter a chance, but he hits it too hard. It bounces around the jaws and comes out violently, smashing the pink as it rolls mid-table, sending the pink high up into the baulk area.  Higgins and Carter exchanging safeties again.

6:50 PM

John Higgins is right outside the media center waiting to use the restroom. There is only one bathroom upstairs, and he is studying Patrick Clancy’s poster for Welfare. Fun times.

6:48 PM

Higgins needs 2 snookers to win after Carter pots the green. He follows that up with brown, blue and pink to take the frame. Higgins 1-2 Carter, and they are off for a bathroom break.

6:46 PM

Carter sinks an absolute beauty! Great pot by the two-time World Championship runner-up, and he pots the black. Sends the other red into the left-middle pocket, and should have this all wrapped up now after nailing a pink. Carter 54-38 Higgins

6:42 PM

So close!! He wasn’t far away at all, and it’s back to safety shots we go. The 1st 2 frames were full of action, potting and breaks. This less so, but the tension is palpable and the play-making is terrific.

6:40 PM

Both players playing very safetly, stalemate going on her with only 2 reds left on the table. But Higgins has a chance now, slight, but it’s a chance…

6:36 PM

At the moment, 4th seed John Higgins and 10th Seed Ali Carter are both battling it out in what has so far been an epic encounter. John Higgins hit a 118 century to tie the top of the biggest break leaderboard. The winner gets €2,000 for their troubles, not too shabby! At the minute it’s tied 1 frame each, and in the 3rd frame it’s Higgins 38-39 Carter. Stay tuned for more updates, and also for updates of the matched later on which are

Judd Trump (1) (Eng) vs Alfie Burden (27) (Eng)

Ken Doherty (20) (Ire) vs Kurt Malfin (30) (Nor)

6:30 PM

So, want to know what’s happened so far eh? Well, I can help you out there. In order of play from yesterday to today, here are all the results. Also, beside each player is their ranking in the competition and nationality.

All results are best of 7 frames;

Tuesday, the 12th of March

Tom Ford (18) (Eng) 4-2 Martin Gould (15) (Eng)

Barry Hawkins (13) (Eng) 4-0 Li Hang (32) (Chn)

Neil Robertson (3) (Aus) 4-2 Jamie Burnett (22) (Sco)

Joe Swail (31) (NI) 4-3 Stephen Maguire (5) (Sco)

Mark Allen (8) (NI) 4-0 Mark Davis (11) (Eng)

Jack Liswoski (24) (Eng) 4-3 Mark Selby (2) (Eng)

Wednesday, the 13th of March

Rod Lawler (28) (Eng) 4-2 Cao Yupeng (29) (Chn)

Ding Junhui (7) (Chn) 4-3 Andrew Higginson (19) (Eng)

Xiao Guodong (23) (Chn) 4-1 Graeme Dott (12) (Sco)

 

6:14 PM

Welcome one, welcome all to the biggest event in Galway this year. The annual Player’s Tour Championship (or PTC for short) Grand Final is being held in Galway for the 2nd year running. We have all your favorite players including Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Ali Carter, John Higgins and of course who can forget the one, the only Ken Doherty! I’ll be here all week for ye guys, keeping you up-to-u date on all the events and matches happening. So, if you want to know how your favorite snooker player is doing, you can count on me!

Drop us a comment!