Sam's Blog

Deciding Frame Nightmares

posted 2 Dec 2017, 06:48 by Steve Canniford

The last four tournaments has seen Sam on the receiving end of first round final frame deciders....the last on the black! against Aditya Metha. Down but not out Sam remains optimistic that it's only a matter of time before his indifferent form and poor run will improve and he will start to recover ground lost in the rankings.     

Time to 'Turn the Tide'

posted 21 Oct 2017, 05:09 by Steve Canniford

Sam has had a couple of first round exits since the Indian Open. In the International Championship he lost to Li Yuan and in the English Open he lost a decider to Ross Muir. In the latter match Sam led 3-1 only for Ross to come back with three frame winning breaks to win 4-3. These results have not helped Sam's ranking and he will be eager to 'turn the tide' in the next tournament. The next event is the Shanghai Masters where Sam has to play his qualifying match in the main arena in China. His opponent will be the winner of Sohiel Vahedi versus Ma Chunmao.  

Indian Open

posted 15 Sep 2017, 10:43 by Steve Canniford

Sam's first match in India was against local amateur Lucky Vatnani, this was held over from the qualifying rounds played in August. In round one of the main event Sam was drawn against Mark Davis who he has had a couple of close encounters with in past tournaments. Both players struggled to play well but it was Sam that came out the victor 4-2. Up next former world champion Ken Doherty. Sam started well winning the first two frames to lead 2-0, Ken then came right back to draw level at 2-2. They swapped frames to go 3-3 with Sam posting an 80 break to draw level again. However, In the decider it was Ken that ran out the winner 40-61 to win 4-3. 

Paul Hunter Classic - Germany

posted 26 Aug 2017, 08:07 by Steve Canniford

The first round saw a good 4-0 win against Jimmy Robertson to set up a match against the in-form Shaun Murphy. Both where to miss good chances in the first and second frames which, for Sam, proved crucial to the way the match panned out thereafter. from 2-0 up Shaun got into his stride and was always going to be difficult to beat.....Sam losing 4-1. Early frames on the board are the order of the day in these short matches, especially against players of Shaun's pedigree. Time to reflect and work on capitalising on early chances....

Disappointment in China

posted 18 Aug 2017, 00:19 by Steve Canniford

Losing to Ronnie O'Sullivan is no disgrace. However, Sam won their last encounter a few years back and went into the match feeling confident. However, on this occasion Sam's game was below par and Ronnie punished missed opportunities with a string of frame winning breaks. Sam took the first frame and had a good chance to go 2-1 up after Ronnie drew level. However, an all-or-nothing missed cut with the rest gifted the frame to Ronnie who, after a rusty start, got into his flow. Final score, Ronnie wins 5-2. 

Recent Qualifiers

posted 11 Aug 2017, 08:05 by Steve Canniford

In round 1 of the European Masters qualifiers Sam was up against Jimmy Robinson. After swapping frames to level at 3-3 it went into a decider, Sam held his nerve fashioning a 77 break to win 4-3. A good result, especially with Jimmy posting a 130 break going into the decider. Not so good in the World Open against Chen Zhe, Sam lost the first two frames which meant he was playing catch-up. He got back on level terms only to go two behind again. He pulled one back before Chen ran out with a 102 break to win 5-3.
 

Off to a positive start

posted 1 Jul 2017, 01:24 by Steve Canniford   [ updated 1 Jul 2017, 01:26 ]

Two qualifiers; China Championship and Riga Masters to start the season. In the first event Sam had a comfortable 5-2 win over Josh Boileau, his next match will be in China in August. 

In the Riga Masters Sam had a nice run to the last 16 before losing to Mark Joyce 4-2. In the qualifiers he had a close match against Matthew Selt, taking the final black to win 4-3. In round one of the main event Sam made light work to defeat Michael White 4-0. Round two saw Sam play solid snooker to beat Noppon Saengkham 4-2 before his defeat at the hands of Mark in the last 16. The two key frames that cost Sam the match where frame one; after being 60 points in front in the opening frame, he let it slip to go one down; and in frame five, with a frame winning opportunity at 2-2, he lost his way to hand the frame to Mark. A positive start to the season with some solid play that moves him up one place in the provisional rankings to 50.

2016-17 - Holding his own

posted 23 May 2017, 13:13 by Steve Canniford

Sam started the season ranked 46 and ended ranked 51. A drop of just 5 places was not ideal but he's still in the top 64 and it could have been much worse. Sam usually ends the season strong but this season he performed better mid way through the season. Good runs; in the Paul Hunter Classic before losing out to the World number one Mark Selby; reaching the last 16 in the International Championship before falling to Shaun Murphy, helped him remain on the top 64.

It has to be said the final 7 or 8 tournaments the results were pretty ordinary and no one knows this more than Sam. Even though he felt his game was in good fettle the results did not materialise. However, a solid 4-2 win over World No.2 John Higgins was one of the highlights of the season, thus proving that Sam can still raise his game for the big challenges. On more than one occasion Sam struggled to deal with somewhat indifferent conditions, a situation that maybe should not arise at this level even if it is the same for both players. Looking forward to the new season Sam has no expectations, just head down and try his best, as he always does....

After the Loard Mayors Show...

posted 17 Feb 2017, 13:42 by Steve Canniford

Consistency is key to being successful at this game of ours and whilst it's good to get one over on one of the greats you have to follow it up against the rest. No player is easy, especially when matches are limited to the best of seven frames, blink and you've lost! Look at the number of top players that have fallen by the wayside in this event. 

Against Craig Steadman Sam had one of those matches where potting seemed to be something he had forgotten how to do, we've all been there, some of us more often than others! Having said that Craig was the better play on the day, as is evidenced by his 4-1 victory.

Welsh Open sees a big name fall to the Baird

posted 13 Feb 2017, 15:59 by Steve Canniford   [ updated 13 Feb 2017, 16:10 ]

Two really good steals from Sam to start his first round match against John Higgins saw Sam take a 2-0 lead. Sam was then gifted a trio of opportunities in frame three before he made it three steals in a row to lead 3-0.....Sam's key shot that started the final visit was a bravely played slow pot to the center pocket from a tight angle. At this point in the match Sam's pot success was an impressive 96%. Frame four saw a couple of early missed pots from both players before Higgins took the bull by the horns to peg one back to trail 3-1. In frame five Sam was presented with another early opportunity to fashion a decent break but after a couple of nervy shots he failed to take advantage. Higgins responded with a solid 83 break to make it 3-2 to Sam. 

Getting over the line against players of Higgins pedigree is as tough as it gets. However, after a poor safety shot from Higgins Sam recovered his composure to make a 56 break. Sam left Higgins with five reds in the open and all colours available and you could see another frame going the way of the former champion. However, Sam was given one last chance and he took it well to win the match 4-2........follow the Baird! 

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