As the World Cup rolls on this biannual tournament gets better and better.
Scotland in today’s play were smooth and like a fine malt, improve as the competition progresses. In their match against Malaysia, the Higgins/Maguire formula was formidable, now being dubbed “The Untouchables”. Scotland have only dropped two frames in two matches and this Scotland team has a definite aroma of the World Cup winning team in 1996. A win which John Higgins was part of and Stephen Maguire hadn’t even turned professional. Unfortunately the lack of funding for snooker in Malaysia has filtered through into their team’s performance in this World Cup and Scotland ran them ragged in this match, running rings around them and causing the Malaysians to make schoolboy errors. The result being a convincing 4-1 win with Malaysia only able to seize the final frame.
China A drew Poland and with China riding high at the top of the table, the third placed Poland in Group A had a lot to live up to in this match. A scrappy start, led to a re-rack in the first frame, what followed in the second of the first frame could be described as a game of misses and squandered opportunities by both teams, Poland managed to get out of the starting blocks first and with a fifty break, Poland broke down, allowing Yan Bingtao to win the frame and the rest was history with China winning the match 5-0
Belgium continued their good form against Cyprus and a killer miss by Michael Georgiou to the right, middle bag, could have have brought the match back to 3-2. However the talented youth, Ben Mertens was able to capitalise and win on the pink and with the next frame favouring Belgium too, this impressive side won the day, 4-1. Mertens has been described by Neal Foulds as reminding him of a young John Parrott play. I totally agree, this guy may only be fourteen but he is certainly starting to making an impression after his previous guest appearance at the Snooker Shootout last season.
Elsewhere there were good wins for Wales with a blistering 5-0 score line with Switzerland, a great 4-1 victory for Norway against Austria and England had an solid 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia with the Arabic side unable to continue their success after beating Iran.The flip side of this was that the previous loser, Iran produced the shock story of the day and triumphed against Northern Ireland, 4-1. They will however, have to beat Hong Kong to advance.
Day 4 Results
Northern Ireland v Iran 1-4
England v Saudi Arabia 4-0
Republic of Ireland v Hong Kong 1-4
Wales v Switzerland 5-0
China B v India 5-0
Malta v Australia 3-2
Scotland v Malaysia 4-1
Belgium v Cyprus 4-1
Israel v UAE 4-1
China A v Poland 5-0
Thailand v Germany 4-1
Austria v Norway 1-4
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