Sunday, 21 August 2011

Paul Collier's Premier League nights: Skegness

The Premier League is back again - and that means referee Paul Collier is back with OnCue for another season of columns.

In a slight twist to proceedings for his column this year, Paul will be penning his thoughts after each night of action, giving a view from behind the television cameras, on what's really going on.

Matthew Stevens won the first event in Skegness. Here's how Paul found the new format...

The first night in Skegness went really well. I was quite lucky that while I was getting my head round the new format, there were three 3-0 matches.

There's a few new things for everyone to remembe this year, so it was a bit of a blessing that the matches went they way they did.

Saying that, I can't wait for a match to go the full distance so we can see how the Shoot-Out style deciding frame works out.

The players taking part this year had obviously had a good read of the new rules before arriving at the venue, but I took the chance to run through it all again with the players on a one-to-one basis before they went out to play. I didn't want there to be any confusions out on the table.

They all seemed pretty happy with it, but by the time I went out into the arena, Matthew had not arrived yet, so he didn't get the chance to talk to me and ask any questions.

In fact, it was quite funny because he left it right until Neil Robertson was being interviewed out in front of the crowd to call me over about it.

It didn't seem to make a difference as he played excellently and went on to win it.  He looked confident and it's great to have him back on the Premier League after a lengthy absence.

I'm not sure what people could pick up on the television but the quality of the table was excellent. It was a matte black with silver decor. The table is usually good for the Premier League, but this year especially so.  It was fantastic.

The venue was excellent as well. The people were really friendly. Skegness could be a little gem. I think we'll be going back there for many years to come.

But I'm not surprised, it's always been like that in Lincolnshire. The Grimsby crowd love the snooker, and the same goes here by the look of it. I think when we started, there were only 30 tickets left. That's a great take up.

So all in all, it was a great first night. I can't wait to go to Guildford now!

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