Ireland’s Aaron Hill was back in action this afternoon at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keyes in his BetVictor European Masters last 32 Victory against World number 33 Matthew Stevens.
Hill who sensationally knocked out World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan last night had to re-group and concentrate on this afternoon’s opponent who is yet another household name in the game, but Hill is quickly making a name for himself too and showed some sensational battling qualities and concentration to get himself back in the zone for this contest.
Hill didn’t waste any time in the opening frame to remind everyone of his top class pedigree with a 38 break and some significant pots to take the opener.
Stevens hit back in the second frame with a good late rally leaving Hill needing a snooker on the pink and the remaining two balls to send the frame to a re-spot, but it wasn’t to be as Stevens potted the pink for a frame victory leveling the match 1-1.
The third frame was a real battle with Hill 22 points behind with just 35 remaining points, Hill made a 13 break to trail by nine points, but Stevens potted the important brown and blue to lead the match 2-1.
The frame before the interval was a vital frame in the match for Hill with the difference of going into the break level or two behind.
Again Hill showed his bottle making an 88 break to make the match all square at the interval which must have given Stephen a thing or two to think about in his dressing room.
Hill came out from the interval with all guns blazing and built up a nice lead, Stevens fought back to within 15 points of the Cork man, but Hill showed his class to clear the balls to regain the lead at 3-2 but even though Hill had the early advantage in the sixth frame but Stevens showed his experience to level the match again.
Hill controlled the seventh frame from the start and in the end had plenty points in hand to take the frame putting the Leeside native just one frame away from a place in the last 16 of the tournament.
He also dominated frame eight leading 59 -5 with just 59 points remaining, he closed out the match for a victory but in the last 16 encounter with Yan Bingtao the young Irishman was beaten 5-1.
Having seen off both World snooker finalists this year Ronnie O’Sullivan and Kyren Wilson in the BetVictor Shootout, plus victories over Andy Hicks and Matthew Stevens the sky is the limit for this incredible Irish snooker talent.
Report by Derek Kiely RIBSA Secretary