Andy : 107, 128, 113, 101, 127, 125, 117 | Odrl : 106, 120, 139, 135, 126, 127, 133

A bit of a nightmare start for me, as I went 4-0 down after some very poor snooker.

Frame 1: A risky safety left Andy a chance. He broke down on about 50, then played a snooker behind the black. I overhit my escape and left a red on. Andy cleared to win the first frame.

Frame 2: Andy hit the middle knuckle on a safety shot and left a red to the middle. I got it, but finished poorly on a colour. I took on a long yellow, with lots of side to get position, and missed it. To make matters worse, I got perfect position. Andy made no mistake, an excellent clearance of 128.

Frame 3: I went for a long red and missed it, but the white went into the pack and knocked a red into the opposite corner. This left me in perfect position, but I missed a black off the spot when trying to split the pack. Andy took advantage with another century.

Frame 4: A stupid shot left Andy an easy starter, but the colours went very awkward. Andy made an excellent break of 50, using mostly the blue, then missed a blue to the corner. I tried to get back into the frame, but everything went against me. I first lost position and had to play safe. I then got a good snooker with three loose reds, Andy hit a red full ball, but knocked it safe to the baulk cushion, with the other two safe as well. A safety shot later Andy left a pot. I tried to develop the black and pink, but they covered each other, so I had to settle for the green. This meant I needed the black off the last two reds, and playing on it from the red in baulk, I went in-off. Andy then cleared to lead 4-0.

Frame 5: Two reds found themselves in baulk on the safety exchange. I played a risky shot and left a possible pot on one, but Andy missed it and left it over the pocket. I made a break of 106, but it was a struggle all the way, especially as the two splits both left me with only a pot to the baulk corner.

Hoping for a better session next time. :)

Frame 6: Very scrappy stuff. I left a red on a snooker escape, giving Andy the first good chance. He got to about 50, then missed a red. I took a couple of loose reds, then played a split from the blue and finished on nothing. I went for a difficult red to the middle and missed it. Andy had another great chance, but broke down again and had to settle for a safety. After quite a long battle Andy left a possible red from distance. I got it, then took the only other loose red, but finished very poorly on the colours, difficult to get the split. I missed it and played safe again. A couple of safety shot later I mishit an escape and left Andy a possible red to the middle. He missed it, giving me the chance to clear. I had to settle for a blue off the first red, which meant I needed blacks off the others to win the frame by a point. I compiled a very slow and nervy clearance to win the first frame of the session.

Frame 7: Another early chance for Andy, free ball with the white in baulk, but he missed the long blue. Andy later left a possible cut when escaping from a snooker. It was into a blind pocket, but I got it, then cleared the table with a break of 120.

Frame 8: I found a good plant in the pack and cleared the table again, this time with a good break of 139.

Frame 9: Andy then pulled away again. He first took advantage of a free ball, when I rested on the pink on a snooker escape. A break of 113 to the last red, missing out on a possible 148.

Frame 10: Annoying frame. I completely mishit a snooker escape, leaving Andy a red to the middle. He got it, but then broke down when he left the white in a poor position for the split. After a safety battle I had a chance of a pot from distance. The white went through the pack and cannoned the black towards the side cushion, leaving me snookered on the other colours. Reds were over pockets, so I could do nothing but go for the black to the baulk corner. I got nowhere near, giving Andy another great chance. He played an awful shot to snooker himself behind a red, but then got a tremendous snooker behind the blue, leaving only a red in baulk. I had to play it and got very close, but it was not to be. Andy then cleared for another century.

I am quite happy to have won the session, but as always, it is annoying to end on a bad note. :)

Frame 11: A marathon frame. It would have been very painful to lose it after all the chances I had. The long safety battle was resolved when I potted a good plant in the pack. I finished on the yellow to the middle, but did not fancy it. With the reds spread everywhere, I opted for a snooker, and Andy left a chance. I made a break of 49 with blue and pink, then played the black and cannoned a red, finishing on nothing. I went for a very difficult cut into a blind pocket along the black cushion and got it. Again there was no colour, so I played another snooker. Andy missed, but left nothing. I then left a possible cut on my reply, and Andy got it. It was a chance to perhaps win the frame, but he put two reds together and eventually settled for a snooker, 42 behind with 43 on. I missed a couple of times, even left a free ball, but with the reds safe, Andy could not take advantage. Another safety battle followed, with me 26 ahead. I was the first to get a good snooker. Andy missed a couple of times, then left things safe. He then went for a very difficult pot and fouled the white. I only just potted a red from baulk, then took the black to leave Andy needing three snookers. It was one of the hardest frames I have ever won.

And the only frame in this session. The match will continue later tonight or tomorrow. :)

What an awful next session, so many sitters missed and chances wasted... Not sure which one of us will be the happier with 8-8. :)

Frame 12: I went in-off from a snooker escape, leaving Andy a chance from distance. He got it, but then missed a red when going into the pack, giving me a chance. I won the frame in one visit to level the score.

Frame 13: The worst frame of the match so far. Andy was first in again, but inexplicably missed a black off the spot. I made around 50, then returned the favour. Andy then missed a red to the middle, failing to reach the pocket, and I replied with basically the same shot. He then cleared the table to win on the colours.

Frame 14: A bit of frustration, as I went off the side cushion to pot a plant. I got it and finished perfectly on the black, then cleared the table with a 135.

Frame 15: Another chance for me to go in the lead. It was finally Andy who made a safety mistake, leaving a free ball after the white finished behind the black. The pink was potable, I got it, but finished on nothing when going into the pack. I played a containing safety, Andy replied, then I went for a blind-pocket cut and missed it. Andy finally made a good break, a flawless 127 clearance.

Frame 16: A tremendously poor shot allowed Andy a golden chance, reds already split and the black available, but he missed another black off the spot. I had a couple of obstacles to overcome, but I managed to win the frame and level the score again.

If I was playing against last year\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Andy, the match would be over by now. :)

Frame 17: I take the lead for the first time after an epic frame, one of the best and most enjoyable of the match so far. Andy dominated the safety and got the first chance, but finished on the cushion with little chance to split the pack. We then played an epic safety battle, during which reds slowly moved towards the left corner. Andy was the first to make a mistake, but I played the red poorly, leaving myself no shot to split the cluster. After another safety exchange Andy left a free ball, already 50 points ahead after all the fouls I committed. The table was tricky, but I managed to first nudge a red out of the cluster, then split them quite favourably, even though all of the reds were still crowded on the left side of the table. I made an 89 break, arguably my best of the match, to leave Andy 46 behind with two reds left. He potted one, but missed the pink and conceded.

Just one frame in those 150 minutes of play, but well worth it. :)

Frame 18: I left a red from distance after a long safety battle. Andy got it and scattered the reds everywhere. The black was tied up, but Andy got past snookers required with pink and blue. Lucky for him that there was no black off the spot to miss. ;)

Frame 19: One of the better frames of the match. It was re-racked after a long safety battle, as the baulk colours found themselves on cushions, and the pack remained tight. Another hour of safety on the restart, with the pack slowly developing into an interesting shape, with pairs of reds from pink to black spot. Andy finally made the mistake, hitting the knuckle on a snooker escape. I only had the pink to work with, but I managed an excellent break of 67 to leave Andy needing snookers.

Frame 20: A pretty short frame. I left a possible tempter from distance and Andy once again got it, scattering balls everywhere. Well, they actually finished in a perfect position, with the black spot free as well. Andy then cleared the table with a flawless 125.

This was probably the highest-quality session of the match, as there were no silly misses and no wasted chances. Maybe we will get a better second half of the match. :)

Frame 21: Epic frame. The safety battle thinned out the pack and brought the green to the black end of the table. I was the first to make a mistake, leaving a free ball, but no easy pot for Andy, so I got away with it. We played for almost two hours before Andy finally made a mistake, leaving a tough red from distance. I got it and split the reds at the same time. With the black available, I took the loose reds and got past snookers required in one visit.

Frame 22: A pretty scrappy frame. I went for a risky plant and let Andy in. The black was tied up, so he had to build his break with the blue, and he eventually lost position when a cannon did not go his way. He took on a tough red to the middle and missed. I faced a similar struggle, having to play blue and green, and I eventually broke down as well. A safety battle followed until Andy was forced into a tricky cut. He got it, then opted for a snooker behind the yellow. After some more safety Andy left a red from distance. I got it, then developed the other two remaining reds, and only just avoided an in-off from the frame ball black.

Frame 23: An equally messy frame. Andy had an early chance but could not split the reds. A long safety battle followed, until I left a free ball. This time Andy got himself in position, but then cannoned the black into the pack on about 50. I got the next chance after Andy pushed two reds into a plant. I was lucky to develop everything, but then lost position on the final brown with the green on the baulk cushion. I opted for a safety, got the snooker, but Andy left it safe on his escape. I was 20 ahead with 22 on. We played some containing safety, until Andy went for a double into the green pocket and got it. Annoying to say the least. :)

So, 12-11 it is, with the match now approaching the business end.

Frame 24: A long safety battle during which the baulk colours found themselves on cushions, so we decided to restart the frame. I then immediately made an unforced error, hitting the knuckle when I had a touching ball. Andy was left with a sitter and cleared the table with a 131.

Frame 25: Andy again had the first chance after I knocked the yellow in and left a free ball. He got straight on the black, then left himself with a very difficult red and decided to play safe instead. I then went for a plant off the side cushion and missed it. The balls were there for Andy, but the table was a bit of a mess, so Andy did very well to clear with 128 and take the lead again.

Frame 26: Poor frame to lose really. I got a good plant to get in, but played a nervy shot and quickly lost position. I went for another plant and missed it. Andy then had a chance, but went in-off when trying to develop the black. The balls were there for me, but I again struggled with position and missed a pot. 14-12 to Andy.

Frame 27: I played a great couple of frames after that. Andy first left a cut below the pack. I got it, finished low on the black, but got that as well and cleared to the black with a 126.

Frame 28: I went for a tricky red from distance, got it, then managed to get in prime position for another total clearance.

Frame 29: A similar story, got a good pot from distance and won the frame in one visit with an 80.

Frame 30: Again I went for an ambitious pot, and got that as well, followed by another total clearance of 133 to go 16-14 in front.

Frame 31: Andy first got a good plant below the pack, but then screwed in-off when trying to leave himself the angle for a split. He later got another chance after I played a poor escape from a snooker. He made a good break to win at that visit.

Frame 32: A sloppy shot left Andy a red to the green pocket. He found himself with a very difficult position after the split, but played a brilliant recovery shot and secured the frame in one visit.

Frame 33: I went for another plant but it just wobbled in the jaws. It was on for Andy, but he wasted the chance when he angled himself in the jaws. A couple of shots later I made a similar mistake to the one two frames previously, and Andy punished me with a break of 117.

Frame 34: I played a pretty good frame. I worked hard for a chance, Andy leaving a red to the middle. I was left with a tricky position after the split, but got a good recovery pot, then made a good break to leave Andy needing five snookers. I was prepared for a decider, but Andy played on and managed to get a free ball. He used it to get a tight snooker behind green and brown with two reds left, and had the balls replaced a couple of times after the miss was called. I will keep my opinion about this tactic to myself. As the result shows, Andy battled to eventually take the frame on the pink, and thus win the match and the title.

Even though we played crap at times, it was still an enjoyable match with some good snooker from both of us.