Tag Archives: crucible

WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP 2013: Shaun Murphy beats Graeme Dott

Shock treatment riles Dott as Murphy battles to second round win in gripping battle

By
Ivan Speck

PUBLISHED:

23:05 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:51 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Graeme Dott lost a gripping late night second round encounter 13-11 to Shaun Murphy but it was the shock treatment he endured in the morning session which jarred him most.

The Scot felt a static shock every time he played a shot close to the cushion and refused to play on until an official sprayed the carpet with water.

Happy days: Shaun Murphy celebrates his win at the Crucible

Happy days: Shaun Murphy celebrates his win at the Crucible

Shaking hands: Murphy and Dott after their gripping second round clash

Shaking hands: Murphy and Dott after their gripping second round clash

Dott said: ‘I had it once before in Ireland and they watered the carpet there so that’s why I told them to do that today.

‘It was every shot and if it wasn’t
the big shocks I was getting little ones constantly. They wanted me to
finish the frame before they watered the carpet. I refused because it’s
not fair to get an electric shock every time you touch the table.

Murphy, winner here in 2005, said: ‘I
could hear the crack of the shots but I thought water and electricity
together was bad, so I don’t get it.

'I've never seen a man out there spraying the carpet. I thought it was weird.'

On the ball: Murphy battled through to the last eight in Sheffield

On the ball: Murphy battled through to the last eight in Sheffield

Scot of bother: Graeme Dott lost a dramatic second round match

Scot of bother: Graeme Dott lost a dramatic second round match

Dott battled back superbly from 6-2
down to draw level at 8-8 going into the concluding session on Friday
night. The two remained level at 10-10, before Murphy crucially won a
frame that lasted nearly an hour on a re-spotted black.

He then won the next to move 12-10 in
front, and even though 2006 champion Dott stayed alive by winning the
23rd frame, Murphy kept his nerve to book his place in the last eight.

Dott said afterwards: 'It was a good game to be involved in. I played well this morning but yesterday I kept missing unbelievable balls. You don't win many matches where you lose the first session 6-2. I think Shaun played well tonight and was stronger than me, and he deserved to win.'

Murphy said: 'Finishes like that are great fun. That's the whole point of being a snooker player, those moments there. I've lost my fair share of late-night Crucible matches and it's nice to come through one of them.'

Elsewhere on Friday night, world No 1 Mark Selby edged 9-7 ahead against Barry Hawkins.

Earlier in the day, 2011 runner-up Judd Trump fired in breaks of 109, 127 and 112 in building a 6-2 lead against Marco Fu.

Ronnie O"Sullivan says snooker return could be car crash TV

It could be car crash television, but I'll still be worth watching! Returning O'Sullivan says appearance at Crucible will be like a reality TV show

By
Matt Mcgeehan, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:30 GMT, 15 April 2013

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UPDATED:

18:48 GMT, 15 April 2013

Snooker's biggest star Ronnie O'Sullivan joked that his return for the Betfair World Championship at the Crucible will be like watching Big Brother.

The 37-year-old has taken most of this season off, but is returning for the spring showpiece in Sheffield.

And he said: 'It's like my own reality TV show. It could be car crash, it could be good. You just don't know.

'I’ve never been one for doing Big Brother but this is about as close as it gets to it. It’s definitely exciting for me and everyone looking in.

Making his return: Ronnie O'Sullivan poses during the media launch for the World Championship at The Groucho Club in London on Monday

Making his return: Ronnie O'Sullivan poses during the media launch for the World Championship at The Groucho Club in London on Monday

'If I'm cueing all right and feeling all right, then I should be a match for anyone, but who knows'

The snooker world waits with bated breath to see what kind of form O'Sullivan will be in at the Crucible.

He insists that his desire for success, focus, to lose weight and reconnect with friends encouraged him to return to defend his title.

The 37-year-old Chigwell cueman
confirmed in February that he would defend the title he won 12 months
ago, despite not competing in a tournament since.

'There's a part of me that wants
instant success,' the four-time champion said. 'That would be nice, but
for me it's just about having fun. I felt it was time to have some sort
of focus in my life.

'Running was a massive part of my
life and I found I got that lazy having nothing to do, I had too much
time to even go and run in the end. I started putting weight on.

'I realised that snooker gave me an
opportunity to meet some good people, to travel and that's kind of what I
missed, missing the routine.'

Ready for the big one: World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and Ronnie O'Sullivan attend the media launch for the World Championship

Ready for the big one: World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and Ronnie O'Sullivan attend the media launch for the World Championship

O'Sullivan has lost a stone since
deciding to come back by returning to a routine and plans to run during
the 17-day World Championship, which begins on Saturday with his
first-round match against Marcus Campbell.

O'Sullivan believes he has plenty to
offer the game, adding: 'If you look at it statistically I've done
pretty well, but from my own perspective I feel like I've still
underachieved. I'd like to win another world title in my forties. I've
not set myself the goal to win this year's world title because that
would be a bit of a silly goal.

'I'd like to be a world champion when
I'm 40. It gives me a bit of leeway. It's the long game I'm looking at,
rather than just the short-term. This is just the start.'

Winning on his comeback would be an
overwhelming experience, O'Sullivan admitted. 'It would be a fairytale
dream, but last year was my greatest performance,' he said.

'I'd had a good season and it was
expected by pretty much everyone that I was going to win the tournament
before it started. To me that is the ultimate achievement, because
anything other than a win would've been seen as a failure in most
people's eyes.

'This year it's a different ball
game. I've come here with no matches under my belt. It'll just be nice
to be out there playing. I don't have anything to prove to the general
public.'

Champion: O'Sullivan celebrates last year's win in Sheffield

Champion: O'Sullivan celebrates last year's win in Sheffield

O'Sullivan is something of an enigma
and has worked with Dr Steve Peters, the sports psychiatrist who worked
with British Cycling and whom he now regards as a friend. O'Sullivan is
instinctive in his game and his life and his recent practice sessions
with Peter Ebdon were 'by coincidence' in Sheffield.

'Peter was the only decent player for
me to play. I had no choice,' O'Sullivan said. 'That's not being
horrible because I love Peter. And I can handle him better now since
I've been working with Steve Peters. I wish I'd been working with him 20
years ago.'

O'Sullivan was speaking at the Groucho Club in London's Soho alongside world No 1 Mark Selby, who is favourite for the title.

Selby, described as an 'invoicing
operation' by World Snooker chief Barry Hearn, has won the UK
Championship and Masters tournaments this year and is aiming to become
the fourth player – after Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams –
to win the 'triple crown' in the same season.

The 29-year-old from Leicester said:
'It's a tough tournament to win. There's a lot of great players in it.
It's great to have Ronnie back playing as well, so it's going to be
tough.

'He's one of the most natural players
to ever play our game. If any one player can do it (win after a year
out), Ronnie's the person.'

Ali Carter says Ronnie O"Sullivan will play at the World Championships

The Rocket will return: Carter tips O'Sullivan to make Crucible comeback

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UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 3 December 2012

Ali Carter has tipped Ronnie O’Sullivan to make a Crucible comeback and defend his World Championship title.

At the beginning of November O’Sullivan announced he would not play again this season, having made only one low-profile outing since defeating Carter to land snooker’s most highly-prized trophy last May.

The explanation was that O’Sullivan had personal reasons for skipping the current campaign, and the Chigwell cueman had said after his victory in Sheffield that playing week-in and week-out on the tour was taking a heavy toll on his life.

Right on cue: Ronnie O'Sullivan has been tipped by Ali Carter to defend his World Title

Right on cue: Ronnie O'Sullivan has been tipped by Ali Carter to defend his World Title

O’Sullivan did not sign up for the ongoing williamhill.com UK Championship, or next month’s Masters at Alexandra Palace in London, but he is expected to have until late February – a deadline has yet to be set – to decide whether to compete at the season-ending World Championship.

Such a return as mooted by Carter would be audacious, as O’Sullivan would be lacking match practice when compared to any other entrant.

But after speaking with the four-time world champion at a recent exhibition match in Poland, Carter can see O’Sullivan, who turns 37 on Wednesday, cutting short his break from tournament snooker.

'Am I missing him No, not at all,' said Carter.

Taking time out: O'Sullivan said he wanted time away from the sport

Taking time out: O'Sullivan said he wanted time away from the sport

But Carter added: 'Obviously I think he’ll be back for the World Championship. I don’t care what everyone says now. There’s no way Ronnie O’Sullivan could miss that event in my opinion.

'We were in Poland and it’s personal reasons (that) he did talk to me about, that I’m not going to discuss.

'I think he’ll be back for the World (Championship), but I don’t think he knows until he wakes up in the morning what he’s going to do, and I don’t think he knows then.'

Without the man regularly branded the most natural player ever to take up the game, snooker has lost its main box-office attraction.

Crowds in York for the UK Championship appear to have suffered for the absence of O’Sullivan and the now-retired Stephen Hendry, with the balcony level at the Barbican Centre closed to spectators who were allowed access last year.

Prediction: Carter says he thinks O'Sullivan will play in the new year

Prediction: Carter says he thinks O'Sullivan will play in the new year

Any tournament without O’Sullivan gives the rest a better chance of coming away with the trophy.

Carter, who has twice been beaten in Crucible finals by his fellow Essex player, knows that certainly applies this week.

'Of course it opens it up,” said the 33-year-old.

'Ronnie’s beatable when his head’s not on but it was clear for everyone to see that this year at the World Championship his head was completely on.

'He hasn’t got four world titles, five UKs and four Masters – or whatever it is – for no reason.'

O’Sullivan actually has four of each, but Carter’s point stands.

Former world champion Graeme Dott would rather O’Sullivan was in York, but the Scot is losing no sleep over his decision to stay away, believing strength in depth means the sport can get by without him.

Dott said: “Ronnie is obviously the best player and everyone wants to see him, the players included would rather have Ronnie in the tournament than not in it.

'If Ronnie wasn’t here seven years ago you’d miss him a hell of a lot more than we’re going to miss him just now.'

Ronnie O"Sullivan"s career in doubt

O'Sullivan's career in doubt after world champion pulls out of China tournament

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 October 2012

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s snooker career looks to be on the brink after his latest tournament withdrawal.

The Rocket pulled out of his planned comeback from a six-month break at this week’s 600,000 International Championship in China at the weekend.

And the 36-year-old, who scorched to a fourth world title in May, now looks certain to lose his top-20 position.

End of an era Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of another event over the weekend

End of an era Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of another event over the weekend

O’Sullivan has entered just one more ranking event this year, December’s UK Championship, with no guarantee he will show up.

And sources close to the player claim he has no intention of returning to the fray at the moment.

The player seems poised to snub next year’s Welsh, World and China Opens for which the entry deadline is November 12.

After such a magnificent display at The Crucible this year it seems inconceivable O’Sullivan would not defend his title there. But the world champion may have to do it with no match practice for a season, ranked in the 30s, and risking humiliation.

Six-time world champion Steve Davis, though, reckons snooker’s switch to a prize-money ranking list could yet save O’Sullivan.

That would enable the world No 17 to cherry-pick big-money events, rather than play all year.

Golden oldie Davis, 55, was in action at the Wyldecrest Park Homes World Seniors on Sunday.

He said: ‘Picking and choosing will suit Ronnie more than the current system. He may not be in the top 16 that qualify for the Masters, but he won’t be getting out of the game.’

Mark Allen queries Ronnie O"Sullivan"s late withdrawal from International Championship

Allen queries O'Sullivan's late withdrawal from International Championship

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UPDATED:

15:22 GMT, 27 October 2012

Mark Allen has asked the first questions of Ronnie O'Sullivan's withdrawal from World Snooker's new flagship tournament in China.

The International Championship in Chengdu offers world ranking points on a par with the UK Championship and a first prize of 125,000.

O'Sullivan withdrew on medical grounds, prompting World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman Jason Ferguson to say it would mean 'huge disappointment' for the Chinese supporters.

Northern Irishman Allen, among the likely title contenders after overcoming a passport blunder to travel out, wrote on Facebook: 'So ronnie pulls out of china again!! Thoughts'

Outspoken: Mark Allen

Outspoken: Mark Allen

The 26-year-old added in a later post: 'Don't understand why he enters though. If he doesn't wanna play don't enter. It affects draws, rankings, sponsors, seedings and all.'

O'Sullivan's condition was not disclosed – but he was able to play an exhibition match against Jimmy White in Liverpool on Thursday. Last year he suffered badly with glandular fever and pulled out of the Haikou World Open in China and the PTC finals in Ireland.

The Chigwell man has expressed a dislike for the heavy schedule and travel demands on players in the game, with the ranking system in its present guise placing an emphasis on the importance of players turning out each week.

Despite winning the German Masters and World Championship this year, by taking a four-month break from competition following his Crucible triumph O'Sullivan has drifted out of the world's top 16. His ranking – currently 17th – will continue to slide for not travelling to China.

While the 36-year-old recovers at home, Allen will be looking to claim his second major ranking title, having won his first also in China at the Haikou Open earlier this year.

Missing out: Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of the International Championship

Missing out: Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of the International Championship

That came after Allen, on arrival in Haikou, launched a fierce attack on the tournament and local people which saw him reprimanded by World Snooker.

He almost missed the trip this time, having taken his wrong passport initially, leaving behind his visa.

But Allen is a player full of confidence and form, having recently won a minor tournament in Belgium by defeating world number one Mark Selby in the final.

'That win has been a long time coming,' Allen said.

'I was really struggling earlier in this season, but I've spent a lot of time with my coach Terry Griffiths up at South West Snooker Academy.

'He's helped me get my mind right. And I've practised hard leading into this event. I had a good attitude throughout.

'I'm really pleased to be playing well again. We've got some very big tournaments coming up, the International in China next week and the UK Championship is not far away.'

In the title hunt: Allen has a chance of victory in China

In the title hunt: Allen has a chance of victory in China

A dark horse for the eight-day Chengdu tournament is Stuart Bingham, who enjoyed 6-0 wins over both Selby and Neil Robertson in the Premier League in Guildford on Thursday, firing in four century breaks.

He and fiancee Michelle are due to marry next year, and Bingham's 16,000 one-night winnings will cover the cost.

'We're getting married in Cyprus in May so that pays for everything,' Bingham said.

'In practice everyone can play like that but to do it on the main stage was unbelievable.

'I've beaten the world No 1 and former world champion – well I hammered them.'

Absent from China along with O'Sullivan will be Stephen Lee. The world number seven has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation by the WPBSA into betting matters.

The action in Chengdu sees former world champions Shaun Murphy, Robertson and Ken Doherty all start their campaigns.

Ronnie O"Sullivan slumps to defeat to world No 76 Simon Bedford in first match since winning worlds

O'Sullivan slumps to defeat to world No 76 Bedford in first match since winning worlds

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

13:16 GMT, 8 September 2012

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UPDATED:

13:17 GMT, 8 September 2012

Ronnie O'Sullivan was beaten by world No 76 Simon Bedford as he returned to the snooker tour four months after winning the World Championship.

Back in action at the Players Tour
Championship event at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester,
O'Sullivan led 2-0 and 3-2 but Bradford left-hander Bedford forced a
deciding frame and took it with a fine break of 98 to claim a terrific
4-3 victory.

O'Sullivan, having paid 100 to enter, leaves with no prize money as a loser in the last-128 stage.

The 36-year-old said after his fourth Crucible triumph in May that he would be taking six months out of the sport, and then he initially refused to sign the contract players must return to World Snooker before being eligible to compete.

Appearance money was a factor behind O'Sullivan's delay, but talks with World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn eventually saw him sign.

Defeat: Ronnie O'Sullivan

Defeat: Ronnie O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan took the first two rather scrappy frames to leave Bedford, also aged 36, needing to win four of the next five.

Remarkably he managed to do so, taking advantage of O'Sullivan errors initially by picking off points in several visits to take the third frame.

Bedford levelled the match but then a run of 47 from O'Sullivan saw him inch ahead again.

Once more, Bedford hauled himself level, and then with the pressure on showed no sign of nerves as he almost finished off with a century.

Bedford qualified for the World Championship in 1998 but has not been back since. He won just 10,013 in prize money over the last two seasons and supplements his playing income by coaching in his home city.

O'Sullivan signed his playing contract too late to be eligible for the Shanghai Masters, which begins on September 17, and having pulled out of the Premier League may have little competitive match practice before the International Championship in Chengdu, China.

That new event begins on October 28 and offers a top prize of 125,000, ensuring the world's leading players will make the trip.

By way of comparison, this week's event in Gloucester pays 10,000 to the winner.

He complained last year that he felt he was being 'raped' and 'blackmailed' when competing in the PTC events, which despite the low prize money on offer carry valuable world ranking points. O'Sullivan later apologised for the comments.

Ronnie O"Sullivan to play in UK Championship after resolving contract issues

O'Sullivan to play in UK Championship after resolving issues with snooker chiefs

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UPDATED:

09:55 GMT, 7 August 2012

World snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has settled his differences with the sport's governing body and is set to return to the main tour.

The 36-year-old announced after landing his fourth Crucible title that he intended to take a lengthy break.

It later emerged that the unavailability of appearance money was a factor in his refusal to sign a World Snooker players' contract, which he said was 'too onerous'.

Glad to be back: World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has returned to snooker

Glad to be back: World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has returned to snooker

He has missed ranking tournaments in China and Australia.

Today, at midday, was the deadline for O'Sullivan to sign and be eligible for December's UK Championship in York.

His management company Grove announced on Twitter: 'Good news. @ronnieo147 may be playing again. Contract clarified. Uk and international in china entered.'

O'Sullivan added: 'Happy to be back in snooker. See you all soon xx'

After beating Ali Carter 18-11 in the World Championship final on May 7, O'Sullivan said: 'I work as hard as anyone in snooker and I just want to be treated fairly.

'That's up to the governing body to treat players right.'

The growth of the professional tour since Barry Hearn stepped in as World Snooker chairman in December 2009 has been a factor in O'Sullivan's growing frustration.

He said in May there were 'certain pressures that I can't do with anymore', and the calendar becoming become crammed with tournaments carrying world ranking points had meant there was added pressure to appear everywhere.

Hearn's contention is that snooker has never offered so many opportunities for players to earn.

Last season O'Sullivan, the sport's guaranteed crowd-puller, was close to falling out of the top 16 and having to go through qualifying to reach round one of the World Championship.

And while he eventually made the cut and his world title lifted him to ninth, by remaining inactive since then the Essex-based cueman has slipped to 15th place.

His return to top-level snooker is set to come at the new International Championship in China, which runs from October 28 to November 4, offering a top prize of 125,000 and the same number of ranking points as the UK Championship.

Judd Trump slams Peter Ebdon"s slow play after five-hour win over Ding Junhui

Your slow play is a joke! Trump slams Ebdon after he takes nearly five hours to claim victory

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UPDATED:

18:24 GMT, 12 July 2012

Judd Trump has hit out at Peter Ebdon after the former world champion took almost five hours to grind his way to victory over Ding Junhui at the Australian Open.

Ebdon beat the Chinese player 5-4 in Bendigo, with each frame taking an average time of 32 minutes, leading to an outburst afterwards from snooker's newest superstar.

'How Peter Ebdon is allowed to play that slow is a joke,' Trump said on Twitter.

Outspoken: Judd Trump was not short of an opinion

Outspoken: Judd Trump was not short of an opinion

Trump, who told Sportsmail last year that he wouldn't object to a shot clock being used at the Masters or UK Championship, is one of a number of top stars not to be playing in this week's tournament. That hasn't stopped him commenting on events from afar however.

Ebdon has come under fire for supposed slow play in the past, most famously when he saw off a visibly upset Ronnie O'Sullivan in a World Championship quarter-final at the Crucible in 2005.

The 2002 world champion, who clinched victory over Ding with a break of 70 in the deciding frame, will next play Shaun Murphy.

Under fire: Peter Ebdon has been derided for his measured play

Under fire: Peter Ebdon has been derided for his measured play

Ebdon certainly didn't seem to do another former world champion Neil Robertson any favours. The Australian's match against Mark Davis was badly delayed, and he was never at the races, losing 5-1.

'Overall, I'm really disappointed, but Mark handled the late start better than I did. It is always difficult starting at 9.30pm or 10pm,' Robertson said afterwards.

Davis will next play Martin Gould, after the Englishman beat Chinese qualifier Cao Yupeng 5-4.

Barry Hawkins beat Matthew Stevens 5-2, and he will play Matthew Selt in the last eight. Selt continued his fine run with a 5-3 win over Ryan Day. Marco Fu beat Jamie Burnett 5-1, and he will play Stephen Lee in the quarter-finals.

Edge of the box: England crash out as BBC boys arrive at tournament

Well that was worth the trip! The BBC boys arrive at the Euros… and England bow out

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UPDATED:

23:56 GMT, 24 June 2012

Well, the plan was to come into the tournament not doing it, but by the time Sunday evening came around, we just couldn’t help ourselves could we…England expected.

Equally, the BBC expected an absolutely massive TV audience so Lee Dixon went around and turned off all the lights, Alan Hansen switched off the gas, and Gary Lineker locked up behind them all in Salford as the Match Of the Day team headed off to Kiev for the quarter final game against Italy.

And again: England crashed out on penalties once again

And again: England crashed out on penalties once again

More from Mark Webster…

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Edge of the Box: Hodgson's outfit give Euro night a very English feel
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Edge of the Box: Kings of The Crucible make sure we're all snooker loopy at the World Championship
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Which in its own way proved a little disappointing.

Just as so often happens on those more elaborate stag weekends, the ITV boys had gone out to the party early and were having a right time of it on their Warsaw balcony.

It would have been nice if when the BBC lads showed up, they’d taken the room below them so we might have had the prospect of Adrian Chiles and Roy Keane climbing down from above and mooning their BBC counterparts.

Then again, perhaps not.

Instead, the BBC took their place inside the Olympic Stadium, in a booth that provided not only a splendid view, but also plenty of atmosphere. And when I say atmosphere, I mean noise.

Sound seemed to be prove to be a nightmare for their technical team all night long.

Class act: Andrea Pirlo of Italy was on top form

Class act: Andrea Pirlo of Italy was on top form

Admittedly they had to deal with a PA announcer for whom all the way through the build up, silence was never golden, but even then Lineker and his team of pundits often sounded tinny and thin.

Perhaps they can get that room double glazed if they’re planning to stay there for the duration

Acoustics issues aside, there was also the editorial question of quite how big to go with the build up for this game To which the answer pretty quickly was, without sparing the horses.

‘Dare we start to believe’ asked Lineker at the very start of the coverage – a question which proved to be just about immediately rhetorical as we were soon rallying around the flag to a spirited piece of hip hop called ‘3 little Words’ and a rousing speech delivered by the imposing tones of Terence Stamp.

Pals: Joe Hart congratulates Mario Balotelli

Pals: Joe Hart congratulates Mario Balotelli

It felt that if we were indeed to go further in the tournament, the BBC would have had to find a way to cause all our TVs to explode with excitement if they were going to top that.

Mind you, if you were worried that the tone was going to be too over the top throughout, you needn’t have worried for long, because come the kick off, Mark Lawrenson was on hand for co-commentary duties alongside Guy Mowbray.

Now I don’t expect Alan Hansen’s regular straight man to be some kind of tub thumper or cheer leader, but his, shall we say, low key way of doing his business can somewhat suck the life out of a situation.

That was something that became particularly pointed when from the second half onwards, England themselves were doing little or nothing to alleviate the problem. Which is also when his, ahem, wisecracks certainly weren’t helping either!

While the boys in white were barely hanging on in there, Lawrenson was working the room.

Opposite number: Hart's counterpart Gianluigi Buffon made a crucial save in the shoot-out

Opposite number: Hart's counterpart Gianluigi Buffon made a crucial save in the shoot-out

We got a joke about Federico Balzeretti’s ballerina wife wanting a ‘tutu draw’ and a zinger to Mowbray’s question ‘what has Prandelli got up his sleeve’ – ‘his shirt’ – that will no doubt have them rolling in the aisles when he starts his summer season in Great Yarmouth. That, or trying to set light to their seats.

In the end, though, it was an older story than that joke that we were left with, and images of the two Ashleys probably the only thing that will be seen ad nauseam, and that anyone is ultimately really going to remember.

That is unless they decide it would be hilarious to make a commercial for a pizza restaurant, of course.

While Lethal Bizzle may want to consider altering a lyric in that ‘3 Little Words’ tune of his…to ‘not good enough’.

WEDGIES

Wednesday afternoon on Sky Sports News and the Spanish squad’s press conference took no chances in promoting their sponsors with tiny TV screens in front of their microphones rotating logo, and with giant bottles of Cruz Campo beer on the table…

Winner: Black Caviar (right) at Royal Ascot

Winner: Black Caviar (right) at Royal Ascot

Thursday on BBC 1 at Royal Ascot and Australia’s wonder horse Black Caviar’s amazing record is displayed on a graphic that includes the fact that ‘she loves swimming and going to the beach’. As I say, ‘Australian’ wonder horse…

BBC 2 on Saturday evening at the Olympic trials in Birmingham, and a victorious Dwayne Chambers goes on the charm offensive with a direct message delivered straight to camera. With perhaps just a bit too much emphasis on the ‘offensive’ part…

Summer of sport set to be exciting – Edge of the Box

Just when should we get excited about the summer of sport

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UPDATED:

21:46 GMT, 3 June 2012

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it quite difficult not to peak too early. I mean to say, at what point am I meant to get REALLY excited about this summer’s events Should I have gone for it on the Jubilee Will that leave me enough for Euro 2012 Or do I hold some back for The Olympics Oh, and there’s the Test matches!

Or perhaps I just have a nice long lie down and wait for the start of the new football season

As I say, this weekend hasn’t helped. In fact, it hasn’t even finished! And on Saturday morning, there I was, tangled up in bunting and caught up in the emotional goings on at Epsom. Not so much with Her Majesty’s celebrations, but more with whether Clare Balding would explode with tension as the family horse Bonfire ran in the Derby.

Stunning summer: Camelot won the Derby at Epsom on Jubilee Weekend

Stunning summer: Camelot won the Derby at Epsom on Jubilee Weekend

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Given the circumstances, the horse whose name you might well associate with the blowing up Parliament losing out to the fabled Kingdom of Camelot was probably the right result.

1-0 to the Englerland was also the right result from Wembley, as we swapped from BBC to ITV, and from three-year-old colts to Three Lions on shirts. The game gave us a chance to cheer the team off on their quest in Europe, and also to get a glimpse of the newly installed experiment of Hawkeye goal line technology. And before the game kicked off we were given a glimpse of the camera, so far from the goal, it appeared to have been mounted on the Hubble space station.

We also heard at half time from David Beckham – judging by the extraordinary new face furniture, entering into the spirit of the weekend by coming as the French Envoy to the Court of Elizabeth l – and it felt as odds on as Camelot that he would also figure in much of the rest of ITV’s coverage for the evening, as sport remained very much on the entertainment agenda.

Strangely enough, the genuinely funny, deadly accurate impressionist Alistair McGowan didn’t break out his celebrated Becks for the first episode of his new ITV series, You Cannot Be Serious. In fact, you might sniffily argue that the best impression he did in his new half hour topical sports show was of Harry Hill, because much of this looked and felt like the now sadly departed ITV staple, TV Burp.

This, though, was no coincidence because it was made by the same company – one of the sharpest on the block, too, Avalon – and executive produced by Hill himself. So in this case, imitation deliberately set out to be the sincerest form of flattery.

Welcome return: Impressionist Alistair McGowan is back on our screens

Welcome return: Impressionist Alistair McGowan is back on our screens

Because it relies on still warm material – Frank Lampard’s Euro withdrawal was referenced, for example – McGowan steered the ship from a desk, and flitted between neat one-liners (‘Better check. Ah, Petr Cech!’), You Tube clips, running gags, guest appearances (Carl Froch and Duncan Goodhew in the house) and of course, razor sharp impressions –both from where he was sat, and in more elaborate pre-recorded sequences.
Now you may ask why and how David Mitchell and Jedward can justify making an appearance on a topical sports impressions show And of course the simple answer to that is, well he does them really well.

However, it’s also likely that it’s because this is prime time ITV, and you’ve got to get all the family involved – which is not necessarily something the keenly honed Colin Murray or Brendan Foster are going to do.

It will be interesting to see, accordingly, how the show fares in this slot, and also just how much fun he can have with his rather epic Roy Hodgson impression over the next few weeks!

If you were having Beckham withdrawal symptoms during that show, it wasn’t long before the commercial channel provided you with a fix – with a show about commercials. Although this may be a lot like them having their cake and eating it (after all, we do stop looking at adverts so that we can watch some adverts), The Greatest Footie Ads Ever did provide some proper entertainment, albeit of the feather-light variety.

Star: David Beckham was a regular feature on our TV screens on Saturday

Star: David Beckham was a regular feature on our TV screens on Saturday

The fact is, lots of money, talent and creativity is thrown at commercials, and football seems to be a particular beneficiary of that. Soccer sells. And with the sheer range of ads that have tapped into the game across the decades, if there was a dull moment, it was gone in 30 seconds.

Paddy McGuiness was the ideal ‘bloke’ to host such a show – filmed inside his ‘pad’ – even though he was often man marked by a pretty journeyman script (‘they’re the best ads on the box – as impressive as Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant’), but with the players he had around him, he was always on to a winner.

There was some great vintage stuff with George Best, Bobby Moore and Brian Clough ( ‘jogging down to his East Midlands Electricity Shop’), those often, slightly bewildering foreign imports, lots of Beckham (naturally) and an Umbro ad so rude, I can’t even begin to describe it.

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Fears: Sol Campbell is concerned about racism in Ukraine this summer

Wednesday on BBC 4 and a host of top turns told us ‘How to be England Manager’. Main conclusion: ‘thick skin’, although Al Murray added ‘look into your pension and severance arrangement’.

Channel 5’s Mega Builders on Friday told the inside story of the construction of the Olympic Aquatic Centre, with chief steel erector Paul Frampton setting about the 3-crane lift anchor truss T9 with his pocket tape measure.