Ace in the Pack flies out of the traps

Steel City atmosphere second to none

The Crucible is all set to party like its 1999

World Snooker odds

No, Prince hasn’t suddenly made another comeback, although this would be his most impressive; but Snooker’s popstars are rolling back the years.

The famed class of ’92, Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams, have all made the final four of the Betfred World Snooker Championships for the first time in 23 years. Or since 1999!

A quick recap of the quarter finals first up.

On Thursday morning, Ronnie secured the two frames he required in double-quick time, culminating in a break of 126 to see off Stephen Maguire 13-5 and secure a record-breaking thirteenth semi-final appearance, beating Stephen Hendry’s twelve.

Just after 5.30pm, three-time winner Mark Williams won five of the last six frames to beat Mark Selby’s conqueror Yan Bingtao 13-11 and land a seventh semi-final date in Sheffield.

Finally, the third member of Snooker’s best-known boy band, as John Higgins squeezed into an eleventh Sheffield semi-final when beating Jack Lisowski by the odd frame in 25.

Interestingly, Higgins played O’Sullivan in the quarter or semi-finals in three of his four winning years, and they will pair up again this weekend over the next three days of competition, with Williams and Trump kicking off the final four this afternoon; and what a kick-off it was – see below.

A couple of hours earlier it was the turn of youth as 2019 winner Trump earned a fifth shot at the single table set up when beating 2015 winner Stuart Bingham 13-8. It was revenge for Trump who lost out by the odd frame in 33 seven years ago when Ball Run went on to be Champion.

During the game, Trump produced a humorous moment in the fifteenth frame as his winning break of 89 was halted by a snooker in which he distracted referee Ben Williams to move the Pink from his sight of play.

It was a light-hearted interlude on the table, and Trump also produced one off the baize when tweeting that he has ended up in the semi-finals of a World Seniors Championship!

So – the class of ’92 is dominating 2022 with just Trump standing in the way of them claiming a fifteenth world crown between them in the last 24 years – but having said that The Juddernaut (below) has made a sensational start against The Welsh Potting Machine today, leading 7-1.

Snooker was perhaps a young man’s game today, but no doubt there’s many a twist and turn to come.

#Ilovesnooker

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Author: Lucas Carlson