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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK
Crucible Diary - Day One
By Jonathan Rawcliffe & Phil Harlow
BBC Sport at The Crucible

The London Marathon isn't the only sporting endurance test taking place this weekend.

While Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Maguire shared nine frames in two and-a-half hours on Saturday, it was a different story on the other table.

Play was stopped in the match between David Gray and Anthony Hamilton after the pair managed to complete just six frames in three hours 25 minutes.

As 'The Robin Hood of Snooker', it's likely Hamilton is used to a hold-up...


Ronnie O'Sullivan was in familiar philosophical territory after his win over Stephen Maguire, claiming he wasn't really bothered either way.

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates his 2004 World Championship win

And the world number one gave one journalist short shrift when asked what was wrong with his game.

"It's difficult to explain to you because you don't really play snooker," said O'Sullivan.

"It wouldn't make any sense to you. It's just little things that sports people go through."


One innovation at the Crucible this year is the introduction of earpieces that allow the theatre audience to hear BBC TV commentary in the arena.

The system will operate for the final five days of the Championship, after debuting at Wembley for the Masters.

The only snag organisers found was a tendency for stifled laughter to ripple through the auditorium every so often for no apparent reason.

So if you hear them sniggering, don't be alarmed - it's just another of John Virgo's gags.





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