World Championship final: O'Sullivan v Carter day one as it happened

Ronnie O'Sullivan takes a 10-7 lead over Ali Carter after the first day of the World Championship final at the Crucible.

6 May 2012 Last updated at 23:22

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As it happened

  1. 2320: 

    Right, time for me to call it a night. Our man Ben Dirs has summed up the day's play in his report, so head that way to see what he made of the action. I'm back tomorrow for the conclusion so make sure you join me at 1415 BST, when I'll run you through, what looks to be, an intriguing 17th and last day at the Crucible Theatre. Night night.


    SZ via text: "The Rocket gonna take his moment. He is playing some of the best snooker of his career."


    Daniel Simson on Twitter: "Ali Carter is still in this contest. Exciting sessions tomorrow beckon."


    James Brierley on Twitter: "Barry Hearn should do everything in his power to keep the rocket playing snooker. He is the only reason I watch this sport!"

    Ken Doherty, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "Ali Carter has shown a lot of good qualities to stick in there. He's closed the gap and is still in it. Ronnie O'Sullivan has shown flashes of brilliance but not his top form, while Carter is getting chances but not scoring enough.

    "Tactically he's pretty sound but you have to make the most of your chances and put your opponent under pressure by winning a frame at one visit. He's not firing on all cylinders. I don't think Ronnie will be totally happy. He will think he should have a bigger lead."


    William Hamilton on Twitter: "10-7 it is game on. Had Ronnie won the final frame, there would have been no way back for Carter."

  7. 2303: 

    Three frames the deficit, still closer than 2008 when Carter trailed 11-5 at this stage. He is going to need a good night's sleep and come back tomorrow to do it all again. Got to be in a more attacking mode though, otherwise it will be curtains.

    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "It's been tough, hard matchplay snooker. Both players will be reasonably happy with the score. It could have been a lot worse for Ali Carter while Ronnie will be pleased to be three frames clear."

    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Ali Carter's kept himself in contention. He's lost the first two sessions and he looked on the brink of losing. He was completely outplayed but Ronnie O'Sullivan has not put him to bed.

    "If the game changes - if Carter can raise his up and O'Sullivan drops down - then Carter is not too far behind. Carter has given himself a chance should the equation of the match change."


    James Andrews on Twitter: "This is turning out to be the best final in yonks! Ronnie #therocket will run away with it tomorrow."


    Ashley Lucas on Twitter: "Carter giving it a good go still think O'Sullivan will win it though!"

    Christopher Bird on Twitter: "Admirable fight from Carter. O'Sullivan still has a 3 frame cushion however, and should finish the job tomorrow."

    Diane on Twitter: "Going in at 10-7 overnight Carter is just about clinging on by his fingernails. Still don't think it will be enough though."

  12. 2256: 

    Send in your final thoughts of this session then. How important is that 17th frame going to be? Still Ronnie's to lose, or has Ali dragged himself into the contest? Tweet and text, @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker and 81111 on the old mobile.

  13. 2255: 

    A long, draining day of snooker with O'Sullivan leading by three going into the final day's play. Ronnie's pot success is at 92% while Carter is trailing at 89%. It's not been vintage, but both players will be happy. The Rocket because he leads, The Captain because he manages to stay in contention.

    John Virgo, Snooker Commentator, BBC Sport

    "What a fluke that is and it's a frame-winner! He needs a bit of luck - he's had a rough night and isn't playing his best."

  15. 2252: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-7 Ali Carter

    Carter compiles 23 before rattling the jaws from a long red. Brilliant from O'Sullivan as he knocks in the red, before attempting an ambitious black at pace into the centre. They'll never go in at that speed. Carter finally gets the run of the ball, wobbling the jaws and seeing the red roll along the cushion into the opposite pocket. He takes the all-important final frame of the session.

  16. 2247: 

    Wake up, there's been a pot! Ronnie tries a delicate safety but the double kiss means he leaves a red to the middle. Ali takes it, then crashes into the pack after screwing off the cushion from the yellow. That opens it up nicely, and an opportunity for him to snatch the last frame of the session.

  17. 2244: 

    Nothing happening at the moment, just tippy-tappy safety from both, up and down the table. I'll wake you up when something significant occurs.


    Nick Davison-Allott: "Ali Carter's said the right things, but you can tell he doesn't believe he can win, and Ronnie knows it."

  19. 2237: 

    Ronnie played an absolute beauty of a snooker, dead-weight and in behind the black. Carter remains in his chair, and shakes his head, before dragging himself out to the table. No problem though, he settles into the pack of reds. More safety play from the two.


    Sean Boocock on Twitter: "Ali Carter really needs to change is game if he wants any chance of beating Ronnie "The Rocket" O'Sullivan."

  21. 2230: 

    Frame 17, and the final one of the opening day's play. A big, big one Carter if he is to stay in this match. O'Sullivan is given a chance straight away, but misses one to the middle. Carter jumps out of his chair, pockets a red and finds himself out of position. That's been the story of this session for Carter.

    Ken Doherty, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "This frame is massive for Ali Carter. He must win it. A five frame lead for Ronnie O'Sullivan going into the final day would be huge."

  23. 2228: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-6 Ali Carter

    Enough is enough for Carter, and he concedes the frame after missing another snooker. It was Ali that needed the snooker, not Ronnie, but obviously, The Rocket has got to do whatever it takes to win the frame. The 62 earlier on was the winner.


    Mark Mannion on Twitter: "This is snooker at it's best..."

  25. 2225: 

    Despite all the adversity, Carter makes an excellent pot on a long red, with straight cueing, followed up by a pink. He says no to rolling a red along the cushion and leaves O'Sullivan a full-length pot, which he fails to make. Having been tucked in nicely behind the brown on the baulk cushion by a tremendous O'Sullivan snooker, Carter attempts to hit the red by coming twice across the table but misses..twice, leaving himself needing a snooker to win the frame.


    James Hart on Twitter: "How is it that nowadays we can collide atomic particles but can't say for definite what causes a kick?!"

    Whoever finds a solution to that, will become a very rich person indeed.

  27. 2212: 

    Carter finds a plant, but misses a black off the spot. Ronnie is in, hair slicked sideways, hand on table, looking to make his opponent suffer. From behind the pocket, we see the perfect picture of O'Sullivan's cue action. High elbow, directly above his head, cue in the middle of his chin, all working in harmony. A 62 in less than four minutes brings Carter back to the table with three red on three cushions.

  28. 2207: 

    Poor from Carter, not pushing his cue through properly and being unable to find the sufficient screw back from the pink. "Ali Carter...7," says the ref as he plays another safety shot.

  29. 2206: 

    Carter smiles as he pushes a red towards the corner pocket. O'Sullivan stands up, and sees the red drop in, so he sits back down. Having been tucked in behind the green, Ronnie mis-judges an escape to give Ali a chance to reduce the arrears to two.

  30. 2202: 

    Two to go in this session then, and Carter will be overjoyed if he manages to win the remaining frames, and be able to come back tomorrow with a more positive attitude. He snookers O'Sullivan behind the green, but Ronnie comes off the right-hand cushion and nestle into the pack, nicely played from both players.

    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "It seems as if Ali Carter is playing a fractionally slower than normal. He might be trying a fraction too hard, but if he can get free of the shackles and get flowing a bit more it might help him.

    "It's difficult because he's struggling and he's had lots of difficult shots to play, but he needs to find a rhythm. Sometimes your head gets scrambled when you are struggling and having to concentrate so hard."

  32. 2156: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-6 Ali Carter

    The match time ticks over five hours, and Carter holds himself together to cut the deficit. Still three frames behind though, but the last knock of 59 will give him some confidence. When he gets in amongst the reds, he really is a joy to watch, but such is his negative tactics that we rarely get to see it consistently.

  33. 2151: 

    And Ali Carter runs out of position on 24, after missing a cannon on two tied reds. Things just not going his way at the moment, not happening for him. Ronnie responds with a tremendous safety, acknowledged by the crowd with a gentle applause. After finding the baulk cushion consistently during the opening frames, Carter seems to have lost it. O'Sullivan leaves a red to centre after a pot attempt and Ali snicks it in. Need I say it? Chance!

  34. 2147: 

    Into the 15th then, as Ronnie knocks in a long red but is unable to get on the black. Back up to baulk he goes. Carter should carry a ladder around the table, never seen a player use so many extentions and rest shots. The extra few inches on the cue helps him this time, pocketing a mid-range red. He really needs this frame.


    Adam in Watford via text: "'Where's the cueball going?!' - one of the great TV catchphrases. Much better than John Virgo's old one!"


    Gary The Irish Fella on Twitter: "'Wheres the cue ball going!?!?!' twice in 10 mins. Virgo a bit trigger happy I think."

    Claude Nijs on Twitter: "The cue ball never goes anywhere, it always comes back #snookerwisdom."

  37. 2140: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 Ali Carter

    O'Sullivan plays safe, and watches on as Carter inadvertantly knocks the black in. Ronnie refuses a thin red and puts his opponent back in, and Ali is unable to convert it. The Rocket, although not on top form, looks to be taking off as he takes the frames. That will hurt The Captain. Only needing one snooker, he gives Michaela Tabb the nod to say frame conceded.

  38. 2137: 

    Only a 29 and he ties the blue and black up. 16 points the difference. Tremendous cut red from Carter, and the first real, "WHERE'S THE CUEBALL GOING?!" from John Virgo as the white agonisingly rolls into the green bag. That's woken everyone up. Ronnie pulls out a fantastic yellow after losing position, he needed to get that because a red was hanging over the corner pocket.

  39. 2132: 

    Carter plays another poor safety, catching the pack too thick and being unable to find the baulk cushion. The mistakes are starting to creep in now and O'Sullivan is in. Not ideally placed, but you all know this guy, can pot anything from anywhere.


    Tom via text: "Loving all the people claiming they would sink the black off the spot. Try that in a World Championship final against Ronnie."

  41. 2127: 
    That's ugly!

    Ronnie plays a safety that knocks a red over the corner pocket. Ali can't believe it, shaking his head as he sees the white go in behind the green. He can't get to it.

    Another tactical exchange. Need a graphic for that now.

    Ken Doherty, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "Every single shot Ali Carter plays, whether a safety or a pot among the balls, he is under pressure. These are straightforward shots but Ronnie O'Sullivan in this form exerts tremendous pressure on every single shot his opponent plays and it's hard to keep your concentration levels."

  43. 2124: 

    Carter breaks off in frame 14, and leaves a red to the right corner. O'Sullivan attempts it, but goes in-off. Carter plays the same red from the D, and clips it in. A break of five..before he snuggles the white up to the baulk cushion. There must be a statistician somewhere who has a record as to how many times he has done that so far during the match.


    Krishan on Twitter: "Can't afford to miss blacks of the spot. Not even I miss Black off their spots."

    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "It looks like Ali Carter is starting to run on empty. He missed two blacks off the spot and when you are trying as hard as he is the petrol can run out of the tank pretty quickly. It's worrying for him."


    Packrat via text: "Top level sport is 10% genius and 90% psychological. After all his defeats by RO'S Ali Carter has a mental mountain to climb."

  47. 2119: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-5 Ali Carter

    Another chance for Carter, another missed black off the spot. This isn't great snooker! Standard you would expect to see in a local snooker club, not in the final of the World Championship. O'Sullivan knocks in a beauty of a red to go three ahead again. Pick it up, boys!

  48. 2113: 

    Oh dear, oh dear!! Carter attempts to play a cannon to bring a red into play..and takes his eye off the pot on the black. Not good that, surely O'Sullivan will capitalise now, otherwise we may begin to see come of his frustration boiling out.

  49. 2111: 

    Ronnie misses a plant into the centre pocket that looked dead set. Falls at 28. An unlikely opportunity at the table for Carter and he pots a mid-range blue to get in position around the black spot area. Chance!

  50. 2109: 

    Ronnie pots the first red, after a safety attempt from Carter goes awry. There haven't been too many of those from Carter, but O'Sullivan getting what he would really want, a chance in the reds. Dennish Taylor first, and now Willie Thorne getting rather excited about the new camera angle.


    Tim via text: "Excuse the pun but Ali is just in the wrong 'frame' of mind. Sorry."

    You need to go have a lie-down..on a cushion!

  52. 2101: 

    The likes of Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Jimmy White, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy giving their explanations on why Ronnie O'Sullivan is so good. Ding Junhui had his input too. "," he says. The boys are back from their breather.


    Mark Weatherby on Twitter: "This year was my first ever time watching Snooker and I'm hooked on it, c'mon Ronnie!"

  54. 2057: 

    That last frame might have been such a vital one. At this stage in 2008, O'Sullivan led 8-4 and he could have done the same this time around, but for a bit of misfortune. Roll of the ball such as that could be the difference in winning and losing for Carter. Still two behind though, but needs to do well in the forthcoming session.


    Ben Ashmore on Twitter: "The Worlds will be out in China soon. No doubt about it."

    Apparently, 350m people have watched the World Championship this year in China, wow!


    Tom Johnson on Twitter: "Ali Carter probably isnt too worried being 2 frames down but he needs to remember that O'sullivan still has his 6 in a row to do."


    Chris Kelly on Twitter: "That 12 break from Carter to win the frame could be massive for him, Looked like he was getting frustrated!!!"

    Ken Doherty, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "For the first time we have seen Ali Carter showing a bit of frustration. I think that stems from his positional play. He had about three chances to close off that frame and he got frustrated. He will be mightily relieved to have won that last frame."

  59. 2048: 

    As we were at the start of the session then, Carter two behind O'Sullivan. The in-off for O'Sullivan could prove to be a key point in the match because had it stayed on the table, he would have taken the frame to go four in front. So, Carter in with a chance, or are we just waiting for O'Sullivan to blow his opponent away? Keep your interaction coming, @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker or via text on 81111.

    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Ronnie O'Sullivan was one in-off away from taking off there. It could have been 8-4 and that was when we could have seen the gap become a chasm. Ali Carter has been a bit lucky there."


    From Paul via text: "Ronnie seems to have mastered the art of patience this tournament, and its paying off for him."


    Matt McMahon on Twitter: "Was fearing for Ali Carter, but winning this frame will settle him for after the interval."

  63. 2042: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-5 Ali Carter

    Carter, after numerous attempts, is able to compose himself to take the frame, and stay in contention at two behind. It was a must win for The Captain, as he did well to take it..eventually. Into the mid-session interval we go.

  64. 2041: 

    Nope, again Carter can't take the frame, and again, he bashes his cue against the table and floor, Stephen Maguire-style. He manages a wry smile sat in his chair and then composes himself to play a super safety. Even better comeback from O'Sullivan, two cushions before grazing the red and back up the table, much like Carter played earlier on in the match. Ronnie fails to pocket a pressure red, but Carter succeeds in doing so.

    Dennis Taylor, Snooker Commentator, BBC Sport

    On O'Sullivan potting the white ball: "Amazing, it just shows the importance of getting the position pinpoint. It was a terrific pot from Ronnie O'Sullivan, but all of a sudden the balance has swung back in Ali Carter's favour."

  66. 2036: 

    Ronnie just needed to pot a difficult black into the centre pocket to get in prime position, and bags it with ease, but then loses position. He asks the ref to give the cueball a white, before gearing himself up for a big shot on the red. He gets it..but "Where's the cueball going?!" Into the middle pocket it drops after screwing back off the pack. Unlucky! Carter now favourite to clinch this.

  67. 2032: 

    Let-off for Carter, as O'Sullivan is unable to capitalise on his poor shot, missing a blind cut. Red, blue for Carter and then runs out of position by hitting the brown. He drops the cue on the floor in frustration, and leaves a chance for O'Sullivan to strike with a counter-attack.


    Damien in Apsley, via text: "A passage of fantastic safety play can be as good as the best of pots, and is a creator of tension and theatre."


    James Hunter on Twitter: "Carter hasn't quite got the feel of the table yet. Can't keep the cue ball under close control."

  70. 2028: 

    Carter still hasn't got that cueball under control, you know. Either under hits, or over hits, then has to pull out a good pot just to get close to the next ball. Hardly fluid stuff, as he attempts to split the reds via the baulk cushion with pace and check-side..but misses. Story of this break, so far. A 27, and a safety is all he can make.

  71. 2024: 

    Mid-session interval coming up after this frame and Carter will have to knock back that Ebdon recommended carrot juice. Black goes safe from a Ronnie shot, before he skews a red which jiggles the jaws of the centre pocket. Once again, Carter is in amongst the reds, needs to take his time and keep control of the white.


    Matthew A-Force on Twitter: "Davis was the face, Hendry is the king. O'Sullivan is the showman. All legends."

  73. 2019: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-4 Ali Carter

    Carter has let that chance go by and shakes his head on his way to his seat. O'Sullivan plays a lovely plant onto the missed red that was hanging over the pocket and Ali stays in his chair, going three frames behind. Must win the remaining frames of the session now otherwise The Rocket is going to take off and there won't be any chance of defusing him.

  74. 2015: 
    What a shot!

    Cracker from Carter. Straight as you like, beautiful cue action and a red disppear down the pocket. They're not placed too badly for him, and should he hold his nerve to nick this, it will be a great one to win, but he's still not able to get full control of the cueball. "Slight bit of tension in the arm there," says Dennis Taylor.


    Dr Deo on Twitter: "Ronnie is focused on the win! Instead of going for a 147 he went for an easy blue to secure the frame."

  76. 2011: 

    Five reds and five blacks from O'Sullivan, before electing to play for the blue. Stephen Hendry breathes a sigh of relief as his maximum dosh stays safely on his pocket. 68 for O'Sullivan and he does a Carter - plays safe into baulk.

    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "It's so exciting to watch this match. One of the features of Ronnie O'Sullivan's play this tournament is that every time someone has pressured him he has pushed the accelerator and pulled away again."

    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Watching this from afar it's so much easier to pick the right shot but sometimes a clever tactical approach can win you a frame and it's just as important as making a big shot."

  79. 2006: 

    Hazell Irvine hands over to the boys in the box. O'Sullivan is provided with an immediate opportunity in frame eleven after Carter plays a rare, poor safety shot. In and around the black spot again, hold on to your hats.


    From Nav, via text: "Ronnie is like Tiger Woods, but snookers equivalent. I only watch snooker when Ronnie plays...similar to how some people only watch golf when Woods is playing."

  81. 2003: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-4 Ali Carter

    O'Sullivan knocks in the remaining red into the green pocket and takes the frame. A major boost of him to take the flowing frames, as well as the scruffy ones. Carter won't be happy. Ken Doherty saying Carter missed a trick when playing a snooker behind the yellow, instead he should have brought the balls into play.


    Brendan Corrigan on Twitter: "Hendry played the game mechanically, O'Sullivan does so electrically. 'Turned on', he leaves everyone buzzing."

  83. 2000: 

    Ronnie knocks in a cross double, and pops up behind the green. Carter stands up after a sip of his iced water. A hit and hope..was hopeless, leaving O'Sullivan on and the Rocket is 41 ahead with 35 remaining on the table. Ali needs snookers, and the baulk colours are well placed to achieve this.

  84. 1956: 

    Dennis Taylor on commentary says a poll was conducted a few years ago and the verdict was that people preferred the safety exchanges to the potting. Steve Davis, Peter Ebdon and Ali Carter must have been the people polled.


    Tom Dixon on Twitter: "Like Phil Taylor in Darts, Ronnie revolutionized it and brought in a new audience by making it look stupidly easy."

  86. 1954: 

    First attempt sees him drift past the pack of three reds on the black cushion, but he's perfect on the second attempt. Much better than the nine tries he had earlier on in the tournament against Mark Williams. Another safety battle ensues.

  87. 1952: 

    A 49 from Ronnie and he is in control of the frame, 27 points ahead. Carter comes to the table and finds three reds tied up, yellow and green hugging each other and the brown on the right hand cushion. He knocks in a superb red, and plays a lovely snooker in behind the yellow. O'Sullivan in trouble here.

  88. 1948: 

    Wasn't the best of safeties from Carter allowing O'Sullivan to smash in a long red, before cannoning another and finding himself nicely on the pink. He has his hand on the table now, could be another biggie coming up.

  89. 1946: 

    Carter pots one, Carter pots one! Shakes his head because he isn't on the blue as he would liked to have been, but a thin snick allows him to knock it into the centre. Guess what? Back into baulk. Ali Carter..six!


    Bhav in London, via text: "Stephen raised the bar to another level. Ronnie has matched and at times beaten it, but he has not transformed the game."

    Well done for putting your name on the text, Bhav. The rest can learn from you.

  91. 1941: 

    Carter manages to make a break...of seven! Wonder how much of this scrappy stuff O'Sullivan can take. Black, brown and green are out of commission, pink and blue in play. A missed long red from Ronnie, just a safety from his adversary, though.

  92. 1939: 

    Quite a few texts coming through on 81111, but please, please put YOUR NAMES on them. NAMES, otherwise I can't use! Come on.


    Neil Burns on Twitter: "Ali Carter is a wee scraper. Like a jumping terrier at a gate. Fairplay to him, giving his all. He won't win though."

  94. 1936: 

    It's good for Carter to play the cautious game because O'Sullivan will want to play at his pace, which isn't at the speed of a tortoise. However, if Ronnie continues to dish out as good as he gets in the safety department, Ali will need to find another way of cracking his opponent. Beautiful escape from a snooker from The Captain, coming off two cushions before flicking off a red and into baulk. We're going to have one of THOSE frames again.


    LUFC Lew Jay on Twitter: "Stephen Hendry has so much respect for Ronnie O'Sullivan. It's nice to see this kind of sportsmanship between legends."

  96. 1931: 

    Ali Carter sighs and mutters sarcastically to himself, "good shot," after running out of position from the yellow. That was a chance to make a sizeable break and we will see if it's a missed opportunity.

  97. 1928: 

    More talk from Ronnie O'Sullivan about retiring. "I can't keep going on forever," he says. "It might be the last time I play at the Crucible, but I can't think of a better way of going out of the game." I'm sure he has said that before?

  98. 1926: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-4 Ali Carter

    O'Sullivan misses the chance of a snooker and Carter is able to cut one into the centre to eventually take the frame. The ideal start for Carter, but he really needs to start taking close control of the white. Yet, he's up to 91% in the pot success rate.

  99. 1923: 

    Nice from Carter, nudges a red away from the pink, before potting it, to open everything up. Referee Michaela Tabb carefully replaces the pink on its spot. He just hasn't been able to keep the cueball on a string so far, seeing it run out of position before rescuing himself with a good pot. Can't keep doing that throughout the match, you're bound to miss one. He puts the brown safe after making 56.

  100. 1917: 

    After 29 minutes of frame time, Ali Carter finally pots a ball. 257 points without reply. He has a chance this time due to a missed red into the centre bag from O'Sullivan. He can score big here, with all reds - bar one - in the middle of the table.

  101. 1914: 

    The players shake hands. Ronnie seems to give a very firm handshake to all his opponents. Maybe they don't play so well against him because he's injured their hand prior to the break off. Frame nine is under way - a reminder that it's currently 5-3 to O'Sullivan.


    Jamie Smith on Twitter: "Did Rishi just wake Ronnie up? That was super awkward."

    Ryan Bibby on Twitter: "Awkward..."

  103. 1910: 

    Apparently, "there is some tension in the air back stage at the Crucible," according to Rishi Persad, who gives Ronnie O'Sullivan's dressing room door two knocks before the Rocket emerges, walking past him without acknowledgement. He does the same with Ali Carter who says, "cheers" after Rishi wishes him good luck.


    The Global Panacea on Twitter: "Hendry changed snooker - Ronnie extended the change."


    Craig Johnson on Twitter: "It was Stephen Hendry who changed the face of snooker."


    Michael Donoghue on Twitter: "Ali Carter needs to be more aggressive, his safety play has been magnificent, but safety doesn't score you points!"

  107. 1903: 

    Ronnie O'Sullivan, the game-changer? The man who changed snooker? Ben Dirs seems to think so in his blog written before the tournament started. But there is a big debate on whether it was O'Sullivan or Stephen Hendry who did. Who gets your vote? Tell me by tweeting @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker or via text on 81111. Come on, let's put this debate to bed.

  108. 1901: 
    BBC coverage

    Coverage of the final is back on on BBC 2 and the balls will look extra shiny on BBC HD. Available at the top of this page too.


    James Hunter on Twitter: "Carter is playing too defensively and won't stay this disciplined much longer. Similar tactically to the Chelsea Barca match..."


    Jason in Chepstow, via text: "Watching the final with my 4 week old son Freddie, not sure he understands but in years to come he will realise he watched a magician at work, come on Ronnie!"


    Stuie Neale on Twitter: "I agree with Paul Howard. If Ali can draw session or win 5-3 8-8, match on tomorrow."

  112. 1855: 

    Anyone watching the Barry Hearn documentary then? Great anecdote from his son Eddie, who says his dad went off to Romford snooker club when Eddie was born. Apparently, Barry was given a call to go to the hospital, but he said it was a best-out-of-3 match and the score was currently 1-1. They were playing for a fiver. Old Bazza, what a nice chap!


    Paul Howard on Twitter: "Would love to see Ali Carter win, but Ronnie looks to be approaching his unplayable best now."

  114. 1849: 

    Carter's already doing better than 2008, when he was 6-2 behind after the first session, and never managed to get himself in the match at any time. He's putting up a good fight, but it's a big session for him, this. O'Sullivan blew away Williams, Robertson and Stevens in the second sessions. He'll be hoping for more of the same.

  115. 1846: 

    Refuelled, refreshed and re-energised. It's only been the first session, long way to go yet. Focus and attention is required at all times. There will be periods of tiredness but you need to battle through that. Stay on track! Ok, enough about me, back to the action between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ali Carter in the second session of the 2012 World Championship final.

  116. 1741: 

    Right, I'm off for my chicken stir fry. I'll be back on in just over an hour - 1845 BST to be precise - to guide you through the rest of the action on day one of the final. Make sure you come back for more action from the baize. See you then!


    Dooti Malik on Twitter: "Brilliant frame by Ronnie... Let's keep it this way Ronnie and win every session and win the match! Come on Ronnie!"


    CJB on Twitter: "Ronnie has just confirmed why I can be a HUGE Snooker fan even though never been near a Snooker table! Incredible."

  119. 1736: 

    Just a quick reminder about Barry Hearn: The People's Promoter documentary. Watch the preview of it here, then the full programme on BBC 2 and BBC HD at 1810 BST.


    Kelly on Twitter: "Ali didn't play badly but simply The Rocket is too great in the last two frames. One crucial point should be frame 6."

    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Ali Carter has to keep plugging away and hope Ronnie O'Sullivan doesn't keep playing like that. Despite being bogged down in that session Ronnie O'Sullivan turned it around with two magnificent breaks."

  122. 1732: 

    And that's the end of the first session. The Rocket was cruising in the final two frames there, effortlessly stroking in the balls around the table. That's what we want to see. Well, I say in the supporters and the snooker aficionados. The Carter camp won't be too displeased, but he will have to win or, at the very least, share the evening's session.


    Stephen Kelly on Twitter: "O'Sullivan looks incredible around the table. Genius."

  124. 1725: 
    100- Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-3 Ali Carter

    That's more like it! Easy as you like, O'Sullivan opens up the rest of the reds with an inch perfect cannon and goes on to make his second century of the match, a clearance of 141. Every shot was to perfection, not losing position once. He has really motored through the gears in the last two frames and opens up a two-frame advantage. Magnifique!!

    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Only Ronnie O'Sullivan could have made that break. His control of the cueball was brilliant. During that frame he ran out of position but he didn't get frustrated and waited for the next chance and when you thought he couldn't make the break, he did."


    Adam Downey on Twitter: "Best non century Crucible break ever?"

  127. 1719: 

    The last frame of the opening session gets under way, and Ronnie is right in amongst them. A cute cannon into the pack from the black opens a few more reds up. O'Sullivan was on the black but takes pink instead. Unlike him, but shows the focus he has at the moment.

    Dennis Taylor, Snooker Commentator, BBC Sport

    "That break from Ronnie was one of the best clearances ever compiled in the history of the game!"


    Robyn Ostrom on Twitter: "Ronnie deserves to win after clearing up like that!"

  130. 1715: 
    What a shot!- Ronnie O'Sullivan 4-3 Ali Carter

    A majestic clearance of 92 from O'Sullivan, it's beautiful, beautiful. No applause from the crowd, but a tap on the desk from me as he pockets a tough red into the middle pocket, he needed side on the cueball to get right side of the blue and successfully does so. Top shot on the brown, going around the angle to drop on a red behind the black and takes a long brown again to finish inch perfect on another red, this time along the cushion. The crowd erupts as he pockets the final black. Sublime!


    Adam Carroll-Smith on Twitter: "If this snooker match was a film, thus far it'd be 'Get Carter (off the table)'. He cannot win playing so defensively."

  132. 1707: 

    It's gone awkward again. All the colours are out of commission and no hiding place in behind the baulk colours. Once again, this will suit Carter with O'Sullivan not being able to gain any momentum. "Patience is the order of the day," say Dennis Taylor. Correct.

  133. 1703: 

    A rocket of a long red from Ronnie. He attempts to bring more reds into play from the blue, but sticks to the pack. Just not rolling O'Sullivan's way at the moment. Needs to stay focused.


    Daragh Lawlor on Twitter: "Those last 4 frames were more like chess than snooker!"

    Interesting you should say that. When I spoke to Chinese journalist Victoria Shi last week about the rise in the number of Far-East players at the Crucible, she described snooker as being like chess.

  135. 1658: 
    BBC coverage

    "Do it, or shut up," says Barry Hearn in his documentary being aired on BBC 2 and BBC HD this evening at 1810 BST. O'Sullivan needs to 'do it' now, hasn't really fired since the second frame when he knocked in a 117.

  136. 1656: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-3 Ali Carter

    Yes Carter. Keeps his composure to restore parity. Good stuff from the 'The Captain', he is making a real fist of this. If either player needs to up their game, it's O'Sullivan.

  137. 1652: 

    Superb again from Ronnie, the guy just doesn't miss a trick. 24 behind, he brings two reds into play that were on the cushion. Carter leaves him a half chance on the following shot, but O'Sullivan agonisingly misses a red to centre. Ali's in. Really needs to take this now.

  138. 1649: 

    You can just see the cogs in O'Sullivan's snooker brain doing their magic. He pops a red into the middle bag, and with the black and pink tied up, takes the opportunity to bring them both into play, when playing off a baulk colour would have been the easier shot. Great thinking.

  139. 1645: 
    A celeb has been spotted

    Cheeky use of the graphic! Ronnie's good mate and 1995 Turner Prize winner Damien Hirst is amongst the Crucible faithful, watching his man in action. O'Sullivan needs to impress with his artisty on the baize.

  140. 1643: 

    Ali gets the wrong side of the blue and needs to take the route in and out of baulk to get back on the reds. He catches the green and loses position, it wasn't that shot which was the problem, the previous one put him in trouble. He can only muster 26 as O'Sullivan knocks in a long red and tucks in tightly behind the brown.


    Syra Tee on Twitter: "Someone needs to get Carter some yellow pages."

  142. 1640: 

    It's a stretch this for Ali Carter, who has resorted to being a builder, putting up an extension with the long cue and rest. A member of the audience asks if he wants a leg up to reach the shot, "I'll be fine, thanks," Ali replies. He pops the red into the corner. Frame winning opportunity, one he needs to take.

  143. 1640: 

    More from Peter Ebdon, this time about Carter drinking carrot juice to help his fitness: "It's a massive help. It's one of the healthiest things you can have in your life. I am a little short of converting him to veganism but I am working on him."

  144. 1640: 

    Peter Ebdon, who has been helping Ali Carter during the tournament and spoke to him during the mid-session interval, told BBC TV: "Ali is feeling great, he's very strong and very focused and it's a case of more of the same for him.

    "He's been playing excellent matchplay snooker the whole tournament and I think he's got a real chance of winning this. The pressure out there is immense and he responded superbly in the first session - not many people can do that but he did and I am so proud of him."


    Sam Gray on Twitter: "Cannot see Ronnie losing this final. Looking back to his best and determined to win. Love watching him!"

    Ben Dirs, Reporter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter at the Crucible Theatre: "Given Carter's pre-match chat about his love of carrots, if he wins this Hearn will have him coming out in a rabbit outfit at the China Open."


    Richard Carter on Twitter: "As the husband of Amy Carter (see 1559), I can confirm we are no relation of Ali's, in fact supporting Ronnie."

    Thank you for clearing that up for us.

  148. 1632: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-2 Ali Carter

    Carter for a long green..and misses. O'Sullivan takes it to regain the lead. It isn't one-chance snooker just yet, but Ronnie will be happy to snatch a frame that his opponent was favourite to win.

  149. 1627: 

    Carter fails to pocket a long red, scattering the two remaining cherries towards the top of the table. Beauty from O'Sullivan, screwing off the cushion to get position on the black. He had a chance to clinch the frame, but gets his head in a muddle and gets snookered behind the green after pocketing a blue. Safety from Carter, have I said that before?

  150. 1623: 

    A 52 from O'Sullivan puts him 10 points ahead. The right cushion red that I mentioned earlier is the one he missed, trying to knock it in at pace. They won't go in striking them like that. He is lucky not leave Carter anything easy, who nestles up to a red with a containing safety.

  151. 1619: 

    What's he done here! He was well placed at 42 to compile a high score, but misses an easy red, not good from Carter. Ohhh'Sullivan! Lovely, long red into the yellow pocket, full length of the table. Favourite to take the frame now, only one red safe on the right cushion.

  152. 1617: 

    Just one snippet that I thought I'd share. Alex Higgins won his first world title in 1972, beating John Spencer 37-32. And they call this best-of-35 a marathon. These boys don't even know snooker!

  153. 1615: 

    Poor, poor safety from O'Sullivan, he catches a red above the pink spot. Carter right in here, doesn't need to do much with the cueball as they spread nicely around. In a practice session, he would knock in a century break all day long, this is no practice though.

  154. 1613: 

    And that mid-session interval has caused Alex Higgins to trend on Twitter. Exactly 30 years since he won his second world title at the Crucible. Joyous scenes, as he captured the crown he so desperately craved. Which of these two will be shedding a tear after this? I nearly did during that scrappy frame, but let's put that behind us now. No more mention of the fourth frame.

  155. 1609: 

    Right back to the baize. The players are out and Ronnie breaks off in frame five with the score all-square at 2-2. Hopefully, we will see some more free-flowing snooker in these four frames.

    Ben Dirs, Reporter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter at the Crucible Theatre: "Just when we thought the TOWIE Crucible final was going to be one-way traffic, Ali 'The Limpet' Carter shows us what he's all about..."


    Tom Rowlands on Twitter: "Be nice to see Ali grab his first world title but Ronnie seems to be motivated and on his top form.Come on Ali!"


    Amy Carter on Twitter: "Ronnie wins the best outfit - white shirt looks very crisp."


    Daniel Outram on Twitter: "Ronnie is just getting warmed up, he could win with his left hand only."


    Mark Thomas on Twitter: "Always love seeing old clips of Alex Higgins, he really was a genius."

  161. 1559: 

    Lauren Higgins, the daughter of Alex Higgins, the one he held as he picked up the world trophy in 1982, speaks about her father during the mid-session interval. She has a message for Judd Trump: "I don't think you were the first to invent naughty snooker, my dad had something to do with that." Feisty!

  162. 1554: 

    Keep those tweets and texts coming in, great contributions from you so far. 2-2 at the mid-session, where do you see this match going? Is Ronnie still going to run away with it, or can Carter blast away 'The Rocket'? Tweet me @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker or text 81111. Names on texts please. Beautiful.


    Raz Razin on Twitter: "Can't imagine either player enjoyed that frame. Mid-session interval - power nap time!"

  164. 1551: 

    Just to make you aware of a programme that's being aired tonight on BBC 2 at 1810 BST. Sir David Jason - Del Trotter to me and you - narrates a documentary on the life of WPBSA head-honch Barry Hearn with contributions from his son Eddie, Steve Davis and darts legend Phil 'The Power' Taylor. You can see a clip of it here. Well worth a watch.

    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Not a frame either player would like. Carter will be delighted to take that and at one point it looked as though they were playing on a boat with all the balls veering to one side."

  166. 1547: 
    Interval- Ronnie O'Sullivan 2-2 Ali Carter

    Top stuff from Carter. He takes the long, drawn-out frame with a long green after O'Sullivan had the chance to snooker him. He's taken those very well. The itty-bitty, scruffy, scrappy frames will be exactly what he needs. He doesn't want O'Sullivan to get on a roll otherwise 'The Captain' will be blown away. Into the mid-session interval we go.

  167. 1545: 

    Carter does well to make a good break there. He is 37 ahead, with only 35 remaining. O'Sullivan needs a snooker but the yellow and brown are well-placed to get in behind.


    David Smith on Twitter: "The lady in the front row behind the baulk end needs to wake up, a lot of people want that spot and she's wasting it."

  169. 1540: 

    But no, just 11. O'Sullivan attempts a black, which was in amongst those red balls on the right-hand side and only succeeds in knocking a red into the corner pocket. Hardly vintage stuff, but Carter has a chance to draw level.

  170. 1538: 

    Carter goes for a long one and misses, scattering a few around the table. That should get this frame going now. O'Sullivan is in but he will do well to amass points from here. If there is anyone that can make a sizeable contribution from here, it's this man.

  171. 1535: 

    We have action, folks! One red, yes one, has moved from the right-hand side of the table to the left. Another! Another, has moved across too, scintillating stuff. Ronnie knocks in a long red, and tucks in behind the brown. Stay with me.


    Ben M\u00e6\u0121enmund on Twitter: "Strange frame, look at those reds."

  173. 1532: 

    John Virgo used to be on the fantastic Saturday evening snooker show Big Break, but unfortunately we won't be getting one in this frame. Carter knocks in a massive seven. The crowd let out a chuckle as they hear Virgo on their earpieces saying: "At least two reds have gone." 11 left to pot.

  174. 1528: 

    O'Sullivan will need to keep his emotions under check in these scruffy frames. When I spoke to him at the Crucible after his win over Peter Ebdon in the first round, I asked how he was feeling around the table: "Well, I'm not going to tell you that, am I?" he replied. That told me!

  175. 1526: 

    All the reds are on the right side of the table now. You know how you get a snooker table on top of an uneven floor, and all the balls seem to roll in one direction, that's what it looks like has happened here. Ronnie manages a pot, and guess what, plays safe off the blue.

  176. 1524: 

    It's all gone a bit messy now. Whoever gets in will be lucky to make a break of 20 where the balls are situated at the moment. My colleague is asking for a re-rack. Not going to happen. These scrappy frames will suit Carter more than O'Sullivan.

  177. 1518: 

    Another bout of safety play. This time the reds gathering on the right-hand side of the table. Carter snookers O'Sullivan in behind the brown and Ronnie manages to fluke a red, but would you believe it, he misses a sitter of a black. Another safety shot from Carter.


    Chris Hardwick on Twitter: "Ali off the mark, hopefully he should settle into his rhythm now. Can't afford many mistakes."


    Nick in Plymouth, via text: "So Ali Carter isnt here to make up the numbers, watch him prove his doubters wrong!"

    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "In the early part of that break Ali Carter was struggling and was woefully out of position and had to dig out a really good red. It was very missable but he sent a message to Ronnie that he can do some damage and in the end it was a fantastic break."

    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Carter has shown that if he gets punched, he can punch back. For all the tactical play, you need to score points when you get the chance."

  182. 1510: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 2-1 Ali Carter

    First frame on the board. Carter is in amongst the reds after a miss from O'Sullivan. You feels he needs to take opportunities like these, not only to pressure his opponent but to build his own confidence too. He struggled with cueball control initially, but keeps cool to compile a 84, and can now settle down. Anyone thinking this was a foregone conclusion, better revise their opinion.


    Aaron Groogan on Twitter: "Don't even feel sorry for Ali Carter, sure he has the best seat in the house to watch Ronnie play!"

  184. 1459: 

    Carter has enlisted the guidance of former champion Peter Ebdon for the tournament. He's playing like Ebdon in disguise at the moment, knocking in a long red before playing safe again. You can't win championships like that, especially against the calibre of a player like O'Sullivan.


    Alfred Allin on Twitter: "'There's Ronnie's pot success - 100%. You can't get better than that'. John Virgo. Beautiful Commentary."


    Simon Paice on Twitter: "Come on Carter. Need to win this frame, can't give Ronnie a three frame early lead #mountaintoclimb."

  187. 1455: 

    You don't see this too often. After two frames, O'Sullivan has a pot success rate of 100%. He has started this match in flawless fashion, Carter needs to pick it up.

    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "There should be a sign outside the door today saying, 'Genius at work.' That break was sublime and the control of the cueball around the pink spot was fantastic."

  189. 1452: 
    100- Ronnie O'Sullivan 2-0 Ali Carter

    We have our first century. A frame winning opportunity which O'Sullivan converts. Beautifully caressing the white around, clearing the reds away from around the black and knocking in a break of 117. He rolls in a red along the cushion, similar to the one Carter failed to do in the first frame. It's a game of fine margins and he clears the table for his 10th century of the tournament. Lovely stuff.


    William Hamilton on Twitter: "Ronnie looking in fine form already. This could be a long session for Carter."

  191. 1445: 

    O'Sullivan knocks in a long red and kisses the green nicely for position. A touch of right-hand side on the cueball, off the baulk cushion and he is in amongst the reds, where he wants to be. A frame winning opportunity, even though the black is tied up.


    Richard Temple on Twitter: "Why don't the crowd shout "get in the hole" at snooker?"

    It's not golf, you know. Anyway, referee Michaela Tabb doesn't tolerate shouting out, any untoward behaviour and you're out of the arena before your feet touch the ground.

  193. 1440: 

    I have been informed that since 1977, the winner of the first frame has won the title 23 out of 35 times. Omnious signs already for Carter?

    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    On Ali Carter's missed red: "He was hoping for the red to wobble and for it to roll away from the jaws but it didn't. At this level, you need to commit to the shots. A very small mistake has cost him."

    Ronnie O'Sullivan 1-0 Ali Carter

    O'Sullivan tries a thin safety, but catches the red on the way back up the table. The cueball rolls into the centre pocket. John Virgo on commentary misses the opportunity of the first, "Where's the cueball going?!" Carter tries a delicate roll along the cushion but the red stays out. Ronnie captures the first frame with a 16.


    Parves Koyes on Twitter: "I missed the greatest final ever, Hendry Vs Ebdon I was 8 at the time & fell asleep."

  197. 1428: 

    A quickfire - not the first time I'll be saying that - 57 from O'Sullivan comes to an end as he is unable to dislodge a congregation of five red balls beneath the black. Just a safety and Carter will need to get those reds into play, as well as getting a good cueball. He's 50 behind at the moment.

  198. 1423: 

    A ripple of applause around the arena as Ali Carter pockets the first ball of the final, just under 12 minutes in. He had the better of the safety exchange. After making a break of 11, he soon breaks down as a cannon from the blue into the pack sends a red into the pocket. O'Sullivan is in for the first time in the match.


    Wendy Bird on Twitter: "Keep holding my breath every time a shot is taken... If this carries on by the end of final I'm gonna be as blue as a Smurf!"

  200. 1415: 

    No pots yet. It's a cautious opening as you would expect, with neither player wanting to lose the first frame. Some good safety shots being played by both, finding the baulk area. Need to find the baulk cushion to put your opponent under pressure, though.


    Huw Morris on Twitter: "NOTHING is worth missing watching Ronnie play a Crucible final."


    Lorraine on Twitter: "The only one I've missed was 2005 because I was on my own honeymoon. Still deny they HAD a final that year."

  203. 1410: 

    "Let's get the boys, on the baize," bellows MC Rob Walker as he introduces the players into the theatre. The referee Michaela Tabb proclaims "The first frame, Ronnie O'Sullivan to break," and we are under way.

  204. 1406: 

    Having watched all the finals with my brother since 1996, last year was a poor showing from me by not watching a single pot. It was a friend's wedding in Leicester, though, and it seems like I missed a classic. Did I do the right thing in neglecting the snooker, or should I have watched the magic of the Crucible? Have you ever missed a major family or friend event for a sporting one? Confession time. Tweet me @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker or text in on 81111. PUT YOUR NAMES ON THOSE TEXTS PLEASE. I want answers!!

  205. 1404: 

    And here we are, best of 35 frames played over four sessions between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ali Carter. These two have previous, having met in 2008 with O'Sullivan prevailing 18-8 on that occasion.

    Both are rejuvenated characters, having threatened to retire from the game for one reason or another, but it's surprising to see O'Sullivan in another final. He went downhill after 2008 and some doubted he would regain the focus and determination to win another title.

    Ronnie is the favourite, looking sharp and focused, maybe due to seeing half of the seeds go out in the first round. Carter has sorted his diet out and seems to be winning his battle against Crohn's disease.

    In head-to-heads, it's a no contest with O'Sullivan winning 11-0.

  206. 1402: 

    Coverage of the snooker have started on BBC 2 and BBC HD, as well as at the top of this page, but you can stay here and keep me company.

  207. 1359: 

    It's been a record-breaking championship too. Belgian Luca Brecel became the youngest competitor at the Crucible aged 17 years and one month, four Chinese players have participated - the highest ever number. Two female referees, Michaela Tabb and Zhu Ying, have officiated sessions together for the first time and Stephen Hendry - you just can't keep the man out of the headlines - compiled the 11th maximum 147 break, the first one on an opening day.

  208. 1356: 

    Not been short of excitement so far, has it? Oh, on top of all that, the 'King of the Crucible' Stephen Hendry sent shockwaves around the sport after announcing his surprise retirement following a thumping by Stephen Maguire. The end of a wonderful career.

  209. 1353: 

    With barely a ball potted, former world champion Mark Williams expressed his displeasure at having to play in Sheffield - describing the arena as 'a garbage* hole'. We had Mark Allen accusing opponent Cao Yupeng of cheating after the Northern Irishman's first-round defeat by the Chinese debutant, Peter Ebdon was reduced to tears during the press conference after his loss to Ronnie O'Sullivan, Ding Junhui describing his performance simply as "rubbish" and Ali Carter having a go at Judd Trump after knocking out the favourite.

    In a dark room somewhere beneath the theatre, chairman Barry Hearn will be sat with a wry smile, as he sees his masterplan of giving snooker global exposure come together.

    *substitute 'garbage' for another word.

  210. 1350: 

    It's been 15 long days of sweat, tears, accusations, rants and retirements, as well as having some snooker squeezed in-between. A memorable and action-packed tournament comes to its climax in the next two days, as these two warriors battle it out to get their names etched on the trophy. Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ali Carter are the lucky ones to have successfully run the gauntlet for this last push. Welcome to the 2012 World Championship final.