Andy : 122, 124, 100, 107, 133, 102, 105, 124, 128, 127, 102, 120 | Odrl : 150, 103, 101, 113, 109

The World final has finally started. :)

2-2 after the first session, with four centuries between us, but it was not as high quality as it looks at first glance.

Frame 1: Only a couple of safety shots from each player, then Andy left a red when escaping from a snooker. I played an aggressive shot into the pack, and amazingly, four reds went in at the same time, in three different pockets! The first time I had seen anything like that. With three reds out of the picture, I made a very low total clearance of 101.

Frame 2: This time it was me who left a red from a snooker escape, but Andy only scored 8 points off it. He tried to play a very delicate positional shot and overhit it. I then attempted a plant to the middle pocket, which let Andy in for another visit. At that point we got disconnected and had to restart the frame. I played a terrible shot, splitting the reds everywhere and fouling at the same time, so Andy had another great chance. He played a poor positional shot, so had to settle for a snooker. I could not find an escape, so I played a hit and hope, almost getting away with it. Andy only had a very difficult red to the green pocket, but to his credit, he got it and cleared the table with his first century.

Frame 3: I missed the reds and left a free ball for Andy, and he hit another century to take the lead.

Frame 4: A safety mistake left Andy a half chance. He got a good red, then played an excellent split off the blue. It looked like 3-1, but he lost position pretty early. He then attempted a very difficult cut to the middle. It went in and out of the pocket. I was given an excellent chance, but I played a very poor shot and failed to finish on a red. I attempted a delicate snooker behind the pink, but got the double kiss. The white finished in a position where there was nothing on for Andy, and no safety either. He did his best, but left a thin cut, which I got. I then cleared the table with a 113 to level the score at 2-2.

Two more frames played, and two more centuries scored...

Frame 5: After a period of safety, I decided to play a tricky 4-ball plant and missed it. Andy punished me with a total clearance of 133.

Frame 6: An almost identical development, but this time I got the plant. I then made a break of 103, before losing connection on the final yellow.

We had a lot of connection problems today, so we decided to continue another time. :)

Session 2: Andy benefited from some good fortune in this session. After winning the safety battle and having a poor split, only 1 red was pottable in baulk with the white the other end of the table. Andy missed the red, but cannoned sideways into the other red, potting it into the yellow pocket. Another attempted split saw a red nearly go in, but stop just short. The remaining clearance was of good quality though for 124.

Andy then continued the run of centuries in every frame with a 128 in the second frame.

The next frame broke that pattern though, followed by the next. In both these frames, both players had opportunities. One frame came down to the colours after andy could not get on a difficult yellow. After some safety, Andy made a pretty good cut to pot the yellow in the green pocket.

The final frame saw an \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'in and out\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' pink at the middle pocket. Andy had some work to do, but succeeded in clearing up for 92 to secure the frame.

An annoyingly big gap has opened up in the 4th session...

In the first frame I went for a silly plant, which gave Andy an easy chance to clear up. I learned nothing, as I played an identical shot in the second frame. Andy played a very poor positional shot, not finishing on a colour, so I had a great chance, but I snookered myself behind the blue on 50. I got a good double, then played a snooker behind the black. After some safety, Andy went for a tricky red to the middle, which finally allowed me to secure the frame for 8-4.

Andy then took control of the match. First I wasted a free ball, not getting on a colour, then played a poor snooker escape to gift Andy a great chance. In the 14th frame of the match I decided to raise my game a bit, concentrate properly and not make any mistakes. It was not to be however, as Andy still won 5 of the next 6 frames.

First I got myself into great position, but planted the pink to the yellow pocket off the split. Then I had two frames where I went in-off on a safety, allowing Andy a long pot from hand. Another frame, I was in again, but finished on nothing easy after the split, so I missed a tricky red to the green pocket. Andy took advantage with heavy scoring, including four centuries tonight.

I then finally had some luck, making a new highest break of 150. In the last frame I left a possible pot from distance. Andy missed it by a mile, but fluked a red into another pocket and won the frame in two visits.

19 frames down, 16 to go. :)

A very successful 5th session for me, finally the kind of snooker that got me to the World final in the first place. Andy did have an early scoring chance in the first two frames, but could not split the reds. It took very disciplined safety for me to force two openings, and I was able to win the two frames in one visit.

I went for a plant in the third frame, trying to cover a potential miss with the pack, but I just left it on for Andy. He initially missed the split on about 40, but was fortunate to land on a single red which enabled him to split the others. I played on for snookers, but did not get near.

I had an easy opening in the fourth frame of the session, but I hit it too hard and knocked the white off the table, trying to force position. After another good safety battle I found a 3-ball plant and did enough to win. Andy played on for snookers, but I managed to get the snooker on the final red first. 3-1 for me in the session... good start, but I will need an even higher ratio to get back into the match. :)

Not to be today, as I made too many unforced errors to seriously challenge Andy. First I left an unlikely red on a snooker escape, Andy made a 127 total clearance. In the next frame I left an easy pot from distance, another century from Andy. With Andy just one away from victory, I took on a red to the middle, missed it, and gave Andy the chance to win the match. He was left with nothing easy after the split. He left a red hanging over the pocket. The white traveled in and out of baulk and knocked it in, but followed it into the pocket. I cleared the table to pull a frame back. I then left another chance from distance. Andy took 15 reds and blacks for 120. The yellow did not go into its own pocket, so he had to play a tricky positional shot and snookered himself.

So, a one-sided scoreline in the end... Andy was clearly the better player, playing his usual reliable safety and scoring very well. I played well at times, but nowhere near consistently enough to seriously challenge him. There is always next year though. :)

Thanks for a great match, and enjoy your year as World champion. ;)