Saturday, 22 October 2011

Paul Collier’s Premier League nights: Exeter

OnCue columnist Paul Collier often lives life in the fast lane.

That’s no surprise considering the packed schedule in snooker nowadays.

He was at it again this week.

He returned from his holiday in Spain and lunged straight back in to the Premier League with a trip to Exeter.

That’s great commitment and just a few hours after that he was back penning another column for the blog. Here’s what he had to say this week...

As nice as it is to be away, it’s great to be back and in the thick of the snooker routine again.

Being away for a week, I’ve taken the opportunity to have a complete chill out. My laptop and phone have  been off and I’ve enjoyed being able to just recharge my batteries.

It was a quick turnaround when I landed back in the UK but the break meant I was feeling really fresh for Exeter.

Because I went straight there from the airport, it gave me a chance to have a wander around the town for the day. When I’ve come here to work in the past, it’s normally a case of getting the job done and getting straight back in the car.

It’s nice sometimes to appreciate where you go and Exeter is a lovely place and another big snooker area that doesn’t often get events. We’ve been 40 minutes down the road to Plymouth many times but this made a nice change.

It  would have be good to have a slightly bigger crowd in, but the 500 who did attend got involved and made it a good night.

Judd Trump won his second night of the season, and that really doesn’t surprise me. He was the first to admit he got a bit of luck but he loves playing in front of a crowd and they love watching him as well.

For those of you who watched the show on TV, you would have seen a discussion at the start of the show clearing up what happened in Stoke in the match between Ali Carter and Ding Junhui.

I’ve been given a little bit of stick for not following the rules properly, but I’d like to put my side of the argument across.

Ali had Ding in a tricky snooker and after he missed three times, I offered him a ball in hand. I didn’t make it clear he could have it anywhere on the table and he thought it was just inside the D. At the end of the day, he should know the rules.
Because he didn’t feel he had a good chance, he wanted to put Ding back in. Because the ball in hand is usually such a great advantage, there’s nothing in the rules saying he’s allowed to put a player back in but I decided to use my common sense and grant it.

I think that was a fair call because despite Ding making three consecutive fouls and misses he was effectively having to play another good, and more difficult shot, from having the the ball in hand just to get back to where he was before he conceded the three fouls.

All the players, referees and commentators I’ve discussed it with agreed with my decision and I’ve always been all for referees being able to use their common sense, so that’s exactly what I did. I have no regrets whatsoever. We are also going to change the written rule to allow this decision in the future. Whenever new rules come into force it takes a bit of tweaking to get them right. We're still playing around with the foul and miss rule after 20 years!

With seven nights already down, the Premier League is spicing up nicely for the last three qualifying weeks. I tend not to look too closely at the league table because I don’t want people to think it affects my decisions. I did have a quick glance though and I saw it’s very open.

That means the conclusion of the group stages will be very exciting. That’s what we all want. That makes for great TV, and will be great for our presenter, Andy Goldstein.
While we’re talking about him, I’d like to mention what a great job he’s been doing.
He gets a lot of stick but he’s good at what he does. He always makes every effort to do his research and gets on so well with the players.

He may come across a bit over confident but, in my opinion, his character adds to the whole Premier League experience. What people don’t see is that he’s a decent player as well who really understands the game.

I know some of the snooker purists aren’t too fond of him but I think he’s the perfect character for the competition. Once people meet him, they soon see what a good guy he is.

No comments:

Post a Comment