Ronnie O'Sullivan racks up number five - and a dollop of history to boot
A brilliant weekend, rounded off in some style.
Okay, so it wasn’t quite the epic Premier League final I was anticipating, or indeed seemed to be promised at Potters between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby.
I asked Mark the question after the match, whether he played too well on Saturday in beating Stephen Hendry 5-0 – which in turn could have left him a little flat tonight.
He didn’t think so, but for me he certainly seemed to struggle to find his rhythm, while for Ronnie, rhythm is simply a prerequisite for turning up.
The Rocket was on top form. He is brilliant at doing what he needs to gain success, and racing into a 5-0 lead in the first-to-seven race left Mark with too much to do.
So it wasn’t the ding-dong final we would have seen had both players been on top form, but there was plenty to appease a packed out Potters crowd.
Why, during a frame of snooker – which is a quiet affair, in case you didn’t know – would you try to open an envelope? That’s what the old woman in front of me tried to do. It was obviously so urgent, she didn’t need it until the following frame, whatever was in the mystical white packet.
Also, some of the heckling was pretty harsh. It surprised me how vociferously pro-Ronnie the crowd was, considering Mark is a long way from being unpopular as a player.
As for complaining at him because the score was 5-0 and the tickets had cost £17.50 to the paying public, I doubt Mark was not trying to win a frame – and such a question was unlikely to make him want to hang around either.
In the end, both were good to chat too after the event.
Mark a confident talker and an honest bloke.
Keeping Ronnie's attention seemed tricky at times – in a delicate genius kind of way. He almost seems to have two personalities. One the wonderfully cocky man around the table; the other like an insecure, distracted and complex little boy.
But the guy is a supreme snooker talent and, to be honest, he can do what he wants.
Just to shake his hand and speak with him after he’d made history was good enough for me.
posted on 08 December 2008 01:41 byMichael Bailey - Sportsdesk