Friday, 2 September 2011

Williams keeps Welsh flying high

Proud Welshman Mark Williams ensured a perfect start to this season's Premier League for his home nation with a grab-and-steal performance in Guildford.

The world number one kicked off his campaign with a 3-0 whitewash of Jimmy White and then picked up maximum points for the night beating Shaun Murphy 3-1 in the final.

Following Matthew Stevens' win in Skegness a fortnight ago, it means the Welsh duo sit pretty at the top of the early league standings.

Williams' display was perhaps not as polished and classy as Stevens, but it was still effective.

Minus an impressive break of 105 in his opening frame, most of his success was built on his ability to counter-attack frames and feed of his opponents scraps, a quality he'll need in abundance to advance through a deadly group of ten.

Williams was a long way short of his imperious best but still picked up six points, proving he can scrap it out with the best of them.

The final in Guildford definitely wasn't the one fans had come to see, with Ronnie O'Sullivan and White crashing out in their semi-finals.

Defending champion Ronnie was beaten 3-2 as his match produced the first Shoot-Out style deciding frame of the Premier League. It wasn't as exciting as it could have been with Murphy racking up a fatal century following a ball-in-hand opportunity.

White on the other hand was well off the boil. With two of his four nights already played and still yet to register a point, qualification to the final play-offs now looks near impossible.

Check out the blog tomorrow for my exclusive interview with Guildford winner Williams later this weekend...

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