Cock a snook(er) at the BBC

After the drama, tension, heartbreak and some superb snooker in the first round of the 2018 UK Championship at the York Barbican, we can laugh when the BBC claim that the second round is the start of the “televised” stages.

Thanks to the Eurosport Player we have been able to watch matches like John Higgins nearly falling to amateur Dechawat Poomjaeng, Chen Feilong, seeded 121, beating Shaun Murphy and of course former pro James Cahill roundly beating world number 1 Mark Selby.

On the player we have the choice of 2 screens and are mercifully spared from the inane drivel of commentators telling us about shots they played 40 years ago and pointing out the players’ families sat in the audience – as if the players are not allowed to have their family there supporting them.

So how did the amateurs fare in the first round?

First up was David Lilley facing Judd Trump. Trump was never going to let Lilley have an easy time. He kicked off with a 126 and ended the whitewash with a 113.

Luke Simmonds started well in taking the first frame against Ronnie O’Sullivan. However, the defending champion took the next 6 frames, including 2 centuries to end the hope of the amateur.

Dechawat Poomjaeng looked to be joining them when he was 5-3 down to John Higgins but against the odds, he took the match to a decider and Higgins admitted to being happy just to scrape through.

Current world champion Mark Williams never looked in trouble against Adam Duffy. Despite having the highest break of the match, 97, Duffy lost out 6-2.

And then of course, right at the end of the first round, late night TV drama when James Cahill faced Mark Selby. I think you could have chosen your odds with any of the many bookies involved in snooker these days for a mid-session interval score of 4-0 to Cahill. Selby’s odds would have been tumbling after the re-start as he started what looked like a trademark Selby comeback. But Cahill held his nerve and potted a superb long pink down the side rail to seal a memorable victory. He will now be flying the lone flag for the amateurs in round 2 as he faces Akani Songsermsawad