European Masters 2022 LIVE – Ronnie O’Sullivan aims for the quarter-finals against Ashley Hugill

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Billiards

Ronnie O’Sullivan – Ashley Hugill

15:29-19:59

O’Sullivan 3-2 Hugill

The break ends on 73, and it gets interesting.

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O’Sullivan 3-1 Hugill (0-73)

In commas they discuss the balance between attack and defense when you play against Ronnie, but I think Ashley’s problem is that he was nervous at the start so he didn’t play well. He’s in the game now, though!

O’Sullivan 3-1 Hugill (0-38)

Ashlety enters and again has a chance to reach one; here is the split. He slowly enters the blue, presumably worried about digging too hard for fear of missing, and that’s about right. He’s on one with others he can reach, and now is a winning opportunity.

Around the tables

Sunny Akani 1-3 Ryan Day

Jordan Brown 0-2 Graeme Dott

Fan Zhengyi 0-3 Yan Bingtao

O’Sullivan 3-1 Hugill

This bad move opened up a complex table and Ashley is going to have a very unpleasant interval.

O’Sullivan 2-1 Hugill (41-49)

Oh man, Ronnie is playing a sensessational shot black, screwing the table sideways to get behind the final red along the bottom cushion. It will be 3-1.

O’Sullivan 2-1 Hugill (25-49)

A bad shot from Ashley – which follows a red out by pushing black to the side – allows Ronnie to drop a red left for him, then fall behind the big boy, and it goes down. It’s a huge oversight – Ashley could have hit the pink safe – and it could cost him a frame he worked so hard to win.

O’Sullivan 2-1 Hugill (1-48)

After removing all the easy reds, Ashley now has to deal with those close to the black cush and not getting high enough on the pink to make a troubling easy. So he attempts a blue in the yellow pocket, misses and manages to leave now.

O’Sullivan 2-1 Hugill (1-23)

But he hangs on and cuts a long red in the right corner, then proceeds to add to his score. He’s playing at his own pace, kind and thoughtful, and for the second afternoon in a row, Ronnie could end up with an interval score of 2-2.

O’Sullivan 2-1 Hugill (1-0)

Ronnie positions himself well here and he sends a nice long red into the left corner. But because it doesn’t pass cleanly, he’s not on a flush, placing a snooker behind yellow instead; Ashley escapes, but he is well behind in the exchange.

Around the tables

Sunny Akani 1-2 Ryan Day

Jordan Brown 0-1 Graeme Dott

Fan Zhengyi 0-2 Yan Bingtao

O’Sullivan 2-1 Hugill

Well done Ashley, my love. It is installed now! 77 and frame; do we have a ball game?

O’Sullivan 2-0 Hugill (0-65)

Ach, immediately after, he lacks position and plays it safe, but when Ronnie misses in right midfield, there is an easier ome for Ashley, and he quickly moves to secure the frame.

O’Sullivan 2-0 Hugill (0-36)

He can’t, lacking position and playing it safe, but when Ronnie misses a red from surprising distance, he drives diagonally into the left corner. It was a decent pot, and it’s starting to settle down, I think; I hope.

O’Sullivan 2-0 Hugill (0-21)

Ronnie leaves one halfway and Ashley gently comes home; can it make a significant contribution? He will have to.

Around the tables

Sunny Akani 1-0 Ryan Day

Jordan Brown 0-0 Graeme Dott

Fan Zhengyi 0-1 Yan Bingtao

O’Sullivan 2-0 Hugill

Ronnie takes a yellow after a red, meaning no century – 96 will have to do – but he’ll be fine.

O’Sullivan 1-0 Hugill (61-0)

Quietly, Ronnie reaches the stage required for snooker, and there are just enough balls on the table for him to do another ton.

O’Sullivan 1-0 Hugill (32-0)

Ronnie’s cue ball control isn’t where it usually is, so he has to press on, eventually conceding defeat and playing it safe. But he’s soon back at the table, with Ashely trying to force a long parallel with the side rail to the right corner but biting it; it’s the closest he’s got to any of them so far, but snooker being snooker, I think it’s going to cost him the frame.

O’Sullivan 1-0 Hugill (8-0)

Scared, as you would be, Ashley goes for the Mark J break and sinks the first red, but can’t progress from there, then Ronnie misses one to left middle. So Ashley tries a long and doesn’t get close to it, then when Ronnie misses a double cross and leaves it, he misses the ac ut in the middle. It’s not set yet, and when Ronnie pockets the ball he missed, working his way all the way to black in the process, he has to fear the worst – and rightly so.

O’Sullivan 1-0 Hugill

Ah ah ah ah ! A total clearance of 141, and it looks like Ronnie is good at pool.

O’Sullivan 0-0 Hugill (76-0)

Ronnie also did this against Zhang Anda, earning the first frame in a single visit. But he couldn’t find much form after that, so I guess Ashley can hang on to it. Good luck old man!

O’Sullivan 0-0 Hugill (23-0)

Ashley is 81 in the world and has beaten Ali Carter and Jack Lisowski to get to this point – a pretty decent effort. Ronnie, meanwhile, is, alongside Yan Bingtao and Anthony McGill, one of only three top-16 players remaining in the draw. And he left almost immediately, left a red to cut in the right corner, and if Ashley was feeling nervous about the biggest game of her life, now it will escalate.

The boyz felt…

earlier today

David Gilbert 5-4 Barry Hawkins

Pang Junxu 5-4 Neil Robertson

Noppon Saengkham 0-5 Liang Wenbo

Yuan Sijun 5-2 Ricky Walden

Good morning!

Ready for a bit of Ronnie O’Sullivan? Of course you are, and he plays in-form Ashley Hugill in a realm that’s open to everyone. Let’s see what happens!

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