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jed.davison
05 May 19 10:06
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Date Joined: 16 Mar 11
| Topic/replies: 11,992 | Blogger: jed.davison's blog
For all the shocks, all the drama and all Mike Hallett's incessant drivel, we are exactly where we thought we'd be when the draw was made. We have our Cavalier from the bottom half of the draw, and our Roundhead from the top half.

We've seen this game before, and a lot of time has been wasted already trying to gauge the respective progress and decline of the two since 2011. In reality, very little has changed. Trump remains the unfinished article, and Higgins remains the game's most ferociously dogged competitor and its supreme matchplay expert.

We have all seen the signs this season that Trump has matured, that he has finally twigged that only diligence and respect for the game can see his talent's destiny fulfilled. Curiously these new found powers have deserted him here thus far - if anything there has been a regression at Sheffield, from his diabolically lucky first round win all the way to his reliance on the late arrival of the real Gary Wilson yesterday and Friday. Of course there have been highlights, there always are with Judd, but both of his six-frame blitzes were against known flakes quite capable of not turning up for a session. His shot selection, his reluctance to engage in safety duels, and his lazy imprecision when set have all returned - he has faced nobody so far who had any discernible right to beat him and - the Maguire match aside - he has made pretty hard work of it.

Higgins, lest we forget, has lost only two of his last fourteen matches at this venue. We know how, and we know why. I truly don't know where I stand on Higgins. I believe he is very lucky to still be allowed to earn a living as a snooker player, but I am in humbled awe of his grit and ability to perform under the sort of pressure which finds lesser competitors out. Time and again, we get to the third Sunday and there he is, a little greyer and pudgier of face than the last time we rocked up for the final of the game's sternest test. Wherever he stands in the circles of Dante's Inferno or on the list of all-time snooker greats, he is incredible.

So who wins?

Judd Trump wins. Today and tomorrow we are going to see Judd Trump how God intended when He dished out his talents. Every single shot considered, all options weighed up, safety embraced and executed. It's going to be brutal, cold, clinical. And it will be the last match of John Higgins' professional career.

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Replies: 716
By:
gjohn101
When: 05 May 19 10:17
Fantastic preview jed, i think you've got both of them spot on there. Its borne a lot of hallmarks of being judds year so far, what initially appeared as the draw from hell actually turned out to be the draw from the gods but his luck finally ran out when higgins and not gilbert held sway in the other sf. Judd is admirably honest i always thought, maybe too much so for his own good sometimes, and when he said he really didnt want to have to face higgins to win his first elusive world title, i readily believed him.

He may well win but i'd have no faith in it being as easy as you imagine. If higgins loses it will probably be his last match alright i'd say, and thats some motivation for him to go to war one last time. Otherwise, he'd likely play one more season as defending champ. I think its the best possible final we could have got in the circumstances and am really looking forward to it.
By:
jed.davison
When: 05 May 19 10:28
Thanks, me too. Can't wait. It's the classic snooker match imo, and exactly what this tournament is all about.

My thoughts are that Trump's had a massive result Higgins getting through, whatever he actually believes himself. He is several times more likely to treat Higgins with due respect than he is Gilbert, and it is my belief that if he turns up ready to earn the frames he needs he beats any current player in a match of this length. I think he would have already won this tournament at least twice if Ronnie had beaten Bingham in the 2015 QF.
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 10:43
think judd is a worthy fav despite the h2h record
people harping back to 8 years ago but judd is a better all round player now than he was then & john boy has regressed
no aging curve in snooker they say Wink

1.55 is decent price on judd imo although not enough for me to get involved, nor on the hcap either
expecting a dogfight, expecting lower scoring than the market is suggesting
both john & judd use the triangle chalk...kicks & bad bounces galore
that does bring john boy into it for all 2.8 would not interest me at all

2 bets I have had which I see have gone now but u7 centuries in the final @ 5/6 & u5 centuries by judd in the final @ 4/6
By:
gobelins
When: 05 May 19 10:50
Excellent preview jed. The only question mark against what you've written is whether J.Trump is now able to revert back to the mature version we have witnessed since December, having reverted to type for most of the tournament. Is he able to switch this on and off for the biggest match of his life, at the end of the marathon? I think he would have annihilated D.Gilbert in the final.

Regarding Higgins - I agree, his punishment was insufficient, but I am a huge admirer of him. His year-in, year-out, consistency here, and ability to go back to the well makes him an unquestioned great of the game - and I don't use the word 'great' lightly. I am not as sure as you that Trump will triumph, and his approach is one (of many) fascinating aspects to this clash.

I'll hold my hands up and say that I wasn't sure Higgins could lift himself sufficiently for this pre-tournament after his defeats in the past 2 World finals. But, he is absolute granite and as you and gj say - this is the best possible match-up we could have got (gj- those 20/1 vouchers are looking very promising now).
By:
lewisham ranger
When: 05 May 19 10:55
I thought judd from the start, now he's got to the final there's no reason to change my mind.

the HTH is worrying though. if you've lost to a guy nine times in a row, that suggests some sort of mental barrier. if the match becomes close then you start to wonder if you can beat him. and that's where Higgins pounces. I don't agree that he was vastly more likely to beat Higgins than gilbert. not when you have 7-3 against gilbert and are down 24-9 against Higgins.

looking on the positive side, I just feel that judds overall quality in this event has been higher than Higgins. he doesn't really have to do anything special, just keep playing like he has done. the signs were in that last match that judds long putting has come around. it will need to have done because Higgins won't give him many easy chances.

judd is the fresher player, and maybe that will prove decisive, but impossible to say what effect the last two matches have had on Higgins. I guess we'll find out over the next two days. I have a feeling he will come out and try and impose himself on the match today, to send out a signal to judd, but if judd can stay with him then Higgins might start running out of energy tomorrow.
By:
gjohn101
When: 05 May 19 11:56
That last par is true enough gobe, it wasnt possible to tell with any degree of certainty what from higgins would bring into the tournament. The only thing that struck me was his price, mid to high 20s, looked too big for a player who was starting to show a few encouraging signs, had entered into a new practice routine and has the best pedigree of any player in it, and i'd nearly include ronnie in that assessment. Other thing i couldnt understand was that when ronnie went and others prices were crashing, higgins never even went sub 20s. Or at least not for ages anyway. Not saying i could easily foresee him being champion, but did definitely think he was being underestimated. And not saying he'll win the final either - how to calculate what two epic matches will have taken out of him, against two relatively easy strolls for his opponent? But i wouldnt be underestimating him anyway. He's the polar opposite of ronnie now, couldnt give a fck about the rest of the season but on this stage, he's an animal. Given the choice between higgins and robbo, i think judd would definitely have picked the latter for a final opponent. In fact, i'm fairly certain he would.
By:
Fire-and-Ice
When: 05 May 19 12:08
If Higgins can stay with Trump long enough for his chalk to cake the cushions and turn the green baize into an unpredictable pinball machine then I can see Judd's mental frailty being his downfall
Higgins the 'swallow' to win 18-15
By:
BornToWin
When: 05 May 19 12:14
Judd uses the same cheap chalk.
By:
gobelins
When: 05 May 19 12:37
Yes, I agree, there's no question Trump would have preferred to play N.Robertson rather than Higgins. In fact, you could go as far to say - he would prefer to play anyone rather than Higgins.

One concern I would have though was Higgins' comments yesterday about the lack of a break between the end of the afternoon session and the start of the evening session for the final. In the past 2 finals - he lost the last 3 frames of the 1st evening session in both matches (from 7-7 against M.Williams he trailed 7-10 overnight, and from 10-4 up against M.Selby his lead was cut to 10-7). In both matches he had, and then lost, the momentum late on the opening day, and this carried on at the start of day 2 - where he lost the next mini-session in both matches. It may be no more than coincidental, of course, but the fact that Higgins has made reference to it makes me wonder if that is where he has pin-pointed losing those 2 finals, and he still sees it as a potential problem for himself.
By:
Fire-and-Ice
When: 05 May 19 12:44
Christ it could be Armageddon then! 18-14 to Johnboy.
Also I'll buy @ 1-2 balls leaving the table Silly
By:
Fire-and-Ice
When: 05 May 19 12:44
^^^ replying to BTW
By:
peckerdunne
When: 05 May 19 12:44
All the pressure is in Trump, Higgins will know this.

Higgins will have learnt from the past two years.

Don't get too far behind early on.

Judd wont find his A game imho and Higgins will get better.

If Judd gets a frame up and John is 1.4 or so early doors, i'll be laying that for enough.

That's the plan for now.
By:
Fire-and-Ice
When: 05 May 19 12:46
Very good point Gobelins, btw. I might have a go in the frame betting
By:
lewisham ranger
When: 05 May 19 12:46
judd will win.

I hope Wink
By:
davyb
When: 05 May 19 12:52
This has to be right up there as one of Higgins biggest matches he's played in his life,  we all know how much its hurt him losing the last 2 world finals, he will be switched on and be running on adrenalin to make sure he does not lose this final. John will have Judd a trembling wreck at some point in this match, and unlike Judd's previous opponents who have no backbone to get over the line- John WILL



John Higgins 2019 world champion
By:
peckerdunne
When: 05 May 19 12:52
I'm pretty sure John will have changed his routine for today.

He did not play last night.
By:
gobelins
When: 05 May 19 13:28
davy - I agree with your point about how phenomenally significant this match is for Higgins. Even though that seems to be stating the obvious given it's a World final, the focus has, understandably, been more on the importance of the match for Trump. A win for Higgins, means that it is not inconceivable that he could find that extra focus and motivation that has been missing for most of the season and he could actually come back and win a 6th! Whereas, a defeat really could be the beginning of the end - if we are not there already. That said, I'm not sure how you can be as confident as you appear to be against someone of Trump's class, and I do think Trump is a worthy favourite at around 8/15. We are in for one of the most significant World finals of recent years - let's hope it doesn't disappoint.
By:
alun2005
When: 05 May 19 13:28
My prediction for the Final.

Higgins will fall down those long steep stairs by which the players enter the arena. He trips on a discarded banana skin left on the stairs by a member of the Knowledgable Crucible Audience, breaks his cueing arm and has to concede the match.

Various studio pundits spout inane drivel about the courage and character of the man, and Hazel Irvine tries to comfort the nation (and the seething sub-prime Crucible spectators) by ordering repeats of 'Coast' until late Monday evening.
By:
GRANTCKING
When: 05 May 19 13:31
this is a tough one, want to see dudd fullfill his promise/talent but would also love to see higgins win his 5th world title, guys an utter legend bar the match fixing stuff
By:
Latalomne
When: 05 May 19 13:52
I want to see Judd come of age, and so long as he doesn't get bogged down by the old fella, I think he has a very good chance of doing just that.  Play the right game and he will undoubtedly prevail, IMHO.
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 13:56
not a fan of the late start time...12.30-1pm makes far more sense imo
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 14:00
derby CoolCoolCoolCoolCool
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 14:02
penalty GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 14:02
looks a joke
By:
ZEALOT
When: 05 May 19 14:02
This is the ultimate prize for John Higgins to be rewarded for his dedication to the sport . He will win a classic and retire in his after match interview .
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 14:03
wilson Love
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 14:04
some couple of minutes that
By:
GRANTCKING
When: 05 May 19 14:06
jeez this intro just remdinded me how lucky judd was in R1 v un-nooh
By:
GRANTCKING
When: 05 May 19 14:06
remember un-nooh smashed the reds open but didnt land on a colour in the winona
By:
Latalomne
When: 05 May 19 14:07
It reminded me of how awful that hair 'style' was the last time these two met in the final.
By:
GRANTCKING
When: 05 May 19 14:07
Laugh that bellend with the stupid hat in the front row again
By:
GRANTCKING
When: 05 May 19 14:08

May 5, 2019 -- 8:07AM, Latalomne wrote:


It reminded me of how awful that hair 'style' was the last time these two met in the final.


LaughLaugh

By:
moondan
When: 05 May 19 14:10
What will interest me most is how the table has been set up.

The fact that these 2 are in the final and who they beat in the semis proves what a load of tosh we are spoon fed by such idiots as john Parrot who forever tows the party line along with Davis the stooge that these players are much better than players of yesterday.

Yesterday could have been 2 matches from the 80s, mostly because only a fool could not tell the difference between how the pockets refused
a lot of balls the pockets have been gobbling up for the past 15 days.

However enjoy because its 49 weeks until it returnsCry
By:
moondan
When: 05 May 19 14:10
What will interest me most is how the table has been set up.

The fact that these 2 are in the final and who they beat in the semis proves what a load of tosh we are spoon fed by such idiots as john Parrot who forever tows the party line along with Davis the stooge that these players are much better than players of yesterday.

Yesterday could have been 2 matches from the 80s, mostly because only a fool could not tell the difference between how the pockets refused
a lot of balls the pockets have been gobbling up for the past 15 days.

However enjoy because its 49 weeks until it returnsCry
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 14:11

May 5, 2019 -- 8:07AM, Latalomne wrote:


It reminded me of how awful that hair 'style' was the last time these two met in the final.


aint much hair left to style now

By:
GRANTCKING
When: 05 May 19 14:11
Laugh brian got his normal seat for the final then
By:
Latalomne
When: 05 May 19 14:11
Yet it still looks better than it did then!
By:
england_v_south_afri
When: 05 May 19 14:12
Lets get the boyz on the baize CoolWink
By:
wondersobright
When: 05 May 19 14:14
Grin
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