Monday, 3 December 2012

Jumping for Joyce

Mark Joyce enjoyed the best win of his career as he sent defending champion and world number one Judd Trump crashing out of the UK Championship.

This was a fantastic result as he charged back from 5-2 down to win on a decider and stun everyone inside the Barbican, including Trump himself.

Picture by Monique Limbos
Judd played poorly. He shouldn't be losing matches like this, but it may turn out to be a lesson well learnt. It's unrealistic to think Trump can play his best in every match, but he should still have had enough to get the job done here.

When he was 3-0 ahead he should have stepped on the gas and gone for the clean kill. But his ruthlessness and excellent long-potting were curiously absent. As Hendry said in commentary, he will need to develop a reliable killer instinct to become a really great champion.

Trump was probably guilty of of under-estimating his opponent and for that he paid the ultimate price of elimination before his title defence had barely got going. 

But however Judd played, Joyce deserves huge praise for the win.  He didn't play well early on but won the last four frames to cash in on Trump's poor performance. It was opportunist in that sense.

He isn't used to regularly playing in big matches on the TV but he handled the pressure well and took the occasion in his stride.

Joyce usually goes quietly about his business but this was a moment where he deserved to be in the limelight.

Snooker fans in his hometown Walsall would have been loving this and he should take great confidence into his next match with Ali Carter. Joyce's last big moment in the sun came when he reached the quarter-finals at this tournament back in 2010.  He will be hoping for a repeat now he's walking witha spring in his step.

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