Saturday 21 October 2017

Snooker: War of words erupts after stirring Carter comeback

Ali Carter celebrates his 13-12 victory over Judd Trump in the second round match during the Betfred.com World Snooker Championships. Photo: PA
Ali Carter celebrates his 13-12 victory over Judd Trump in the second round match during the Betfred.com World Snooker Championships. Photo: PA

Neil Goulding at the crucible

There were Twitter insults and sarcastic applause for a fluke as Ali Carter staged a storming four-frame finishing burst to edge out Judd Trump 13-12, but last year's beaten finalist played down any rift with his opponent after he crashed out of the World Championship.

Trump led 12-9 and missed good chances to secure his quarter-final place despite Carter's remarkable rally -- amazingly, he nearly won the deciding frame having needed four snookers, but a poor safety shot let in Carter, who punched the air in delight in victory.

"Me and Ali have always got on, there's just a lot of pressure out there," Trump said.

But the world No 2 was undeniably annoyed with Carter's post-match comments that Trump was a "one-dimensional" player and with Carter's sarcastic clapping at an important stage in the final session after Trump fluked a snooker.

"If he wants to do that (clap), then that's up to him. He's 30-odd years old and it's childish," Trump said. "I haven't got a clue, really, what he's talking about (about being a one-dimensional player). I'm still a lot younger than him and done a lot better, so let's just let the snooker do the talking."

In a quality match both men missed out on 147s after setting up chances. Trump ran out of position on a break of 96 in the 19th frame, having potted 12 reds and 12 blacks, while Carter -- who has one maximum here -- missed an 11th successive red on a break of 81.

Carter was later keen to play down any ill-feeling despite the trading of now-deleted insults on Twitter -- after the penultimate session, which Trump took 6-2, Carter accused him of being "fluky and lucky", Trump retorting with "attitude".

"There's more to this game than just potting them from everywhere, believe me -- and I've proved that," Carter said.

"I was glad today I was strong enough to stand and beat him. He can see what it feels like to have a nasty scar in your career, because it's not easy to get over."

Trump had resumed 9-7 ahead and moved within one frame of victory thanks to breaks of 59, 96 and 53, but Carter revived via runs of 81, 53 and 47.

Matthew Stevens, twice a Crucible finalist, booked his quarter-final place with a 13-11 victory over Barry Hawkins.

Ronnie O'Sullivan was not to be denied a place in the last eight as he beat Mark Williams here for the fourth time in seven years.

O'Sullivan was outstanding on Sunday, winning six of eight frames in the middle session to build an 11-5 lead, and he finished off Williams 13-6 last night. Williams knew there was a danger he'd be finished off quickly.

He said: "I knew it was going to be hard and I'd have to win the first four frames. If you give Ronnie a sniff of a chance he just knocks in 50s and 60s in a matter of a couple of minutes. It's frightening to watch."

Three-time winner O'Sullivan plays Neil Robertson, the 2010 champion, next. O'Sullivan enjoyed the standing ovation he received after a break of 128 yesterday, saying: "I've never had that before, apart from my 147s.

"That was a special moment there and it took me by surprise. I played a few good shots in that break and I think the crowd appreciated it."

World Championship, live

BBC 2/Eurosport, 10.0/1.0/7.0

Irish Independent

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