Odrl : 110, 123, 120 | Barteek : 103

Cracking match, and the most tense decider I have ever played!

It started with a couple of mistakes. I wasted two chances in the first frame, Barteek won it on his second visit. I then left a red in the second frame, Bartek knocked it in and compiled a nice century.

The next two frames were mine. I first played the worst safety of my life to leave Barteek a sitter, but a cannon did not go his way, so I got the chance. I took it with a nice clearance of 110. I had a free ball in the next frame. I took pink with the free ball, then dropped a couple more points after playing two blues. I cleared the reds, but the black to yellow was awful, so the break ended on 123.

I had another great chance to take the lead, but finished on a tricky red after the split and missed it. Barteek played a strong frame to take the lead again. The next frame had a long safety battle, until Barteek left a red to the middle to let me in for another century.

The decider was one of the best I have ever played. I do not remember any frame in the past where luck played such a major part. The first bit of luck went my way, as a plant became available on the safety battle. I think I got to 29, before yet another split went wrong, I think for the fourth time in the match. This time there was no recovery pot, so we played a couple of containing shots each. Eventually Barteek left a red on through a tiny gap in the pack, quite unlucky to be honest. I scored some more points, before playing a very nervy shot and finishing in the pack, with only a tricky blue on. I missed it, allowing Barteek in, but there were still some obstacles to overcome. Barteek tried to develop the last two reds behind the pink, but he just missed it. This meant the white finished between pink and black, with no colour on. Barteek got a tremendous cut on the black, but the white flew around the table and cannoned things in baulk. This meant there was now safety played with two reds remaining, both behind the pink. I was mostly in control, getting a couple of snookers. Barteek eventually left a free ball. I cleared the reds, then played the brown to get position on the yellow. But playing the brown at the black end of the table, I completely forgot it would be re-spotted, leaving me snookered. I only needed yellow and green as well. Barteek was in control of the safety on the yellow, until I managed to send it down the table. I think I then got three snookers in a row, one being a fluke, but Barteek left it safe the first two times, then fluked it into the middle on his third attempt. He was left with a tricky green. He got the pot, but cannoned the blue, which came back off the cushion and left him snookered on the brown! He then got another tremendous shot to pot it off the cushion. But there was another twist, as he cannoned the blue safe. We then played a long exchange which I dominated, getting a couple of good snookers behind pink and black. Barteek conceded three fouls, the first one leaving him 18 behind with 18 on, the second and third one leaving him needing two snookers.

Thank you for a great match. You could have easily won with a bit more luck on your side. :)