Saturday, 8 October 2011

Paul Collier's Premier League nights: Weston-Super-Mare

This season's Premier League continues to rattle along at a rate of knots.

For week five, the players went to Weston-Super-Mare.

Paul Collier returns to give his verdict exclusively to OnCue...

This is the third year running we've been to Weston-Super-Mare, and the crowd was as good as ever with 600 snooker fans coming through the doors.

It's not a million away from Bristol and considering the affiliation it has with the game, there isn't much live snooker in this area.

That probably explains why we always get a decent crowd in, and I can tell you we're already looking at the possibility of taking the Premier League to Bristol next season. They've just opened a new sports hall there and it could make an ideal venue.

The atmosphere this week was superb. Judd Trump, who won the event, is a local lad and he had a good number of his friends come down to watch him.

Matthew Stevens brought some of his mates down too, and because they met in the final, there was some excellent banter being thrown around between the English and the Welsh. It was very noisy at times, but when the frames were in progress, they were as good as gold. That's exactly how it should be.

The players got involved in the banter too. Judd greeted presenter Andy Goldstein with a unique hand shake and he's always a good sport.

Andy went on to have a bit of a pop at Mark Williams' age during their pre-match interview, reminding him Judd was only three-years-old when he first turned pro. Mark responded by only gave him one word answers, but when Andy asked a longer question, he climbed up on to on the edge of the table as if to say: have you finished?

It was great to see, and what the Premier League is all about.

It's a serious event in the sense that the players want to win it, but it's definitely not the most formal tournament of the season. We want to it to be about the players having fun as well as putting on quality snooker. We certainly saw that this week.

All in all, the evening was good. But sadly, the scoreboards let me down in the Shoot-Out frame between Stevens and John Higgins.

The crowd could see how much time was left in the frame, but myself and the players couldn't. We need to know more than anyone.

In the end, I was forced to stand a fair distance away from the table and check on the TV at the back of the audience how long was left and let the players know.

This is the second time this has happened, and I wasn't best pleased.

I'm insisting next week when we go to Stoke that everyone arrives by 6:30pm and I want a full rehearsal. I'll be throwing all kinds of scenarios at them to make sure it doesn't go wrong again. It's not acceptable.

Join me next week for my more Premier League musings.

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