Hello everyone, Lee Jackson here reporting to you from the Venue Cymru in Llandudno ahead of the 2021 BetVictor Scottish Open First Round. Today’s clash consists of the 2019 World Champion, ‘The Ace in the Pack’, Judd Trump and seasoned veteran, ‘The Milkman’, Robert Milkins. Contrasting careers at a glance with Trump becoming the predominant player in snooker winning title after title each season. On the other hand, we have Milkins who is yet to obtain a ranking title in his career has been on the professional circuit for 25 years turning pro in 1995.
Trump will be looking to claim his first Scottish Open title as well as aiming to be the first player to win all four titles in the Home Nation series. Registering eight centuries so far this season, ‘The Ace in the Pack’ will be chomping at the bit to return to the match table and record some more with 819 already on his CV. Trump exited the tournament last year in a relatively poor run for his standards being beaten 5-4 by China’s Li Hang in the quarter-finals. He’s only ever reached the semi-finals at best so he will be looking to go one better this year.
Milkins will be itching to give a good account of himself in this year’s Scottish Open after a poor season last time around. Having played 44 frames so far winning 15 but losing 29, he will be wanting to shift the momentum of his season and recording a victory of a player of Trump’s calibre could well be the catalyst. ‘The Milkman’ was knocked out in the third round last season against 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham 4-3.
The pair have met in this competition before in 2016 at the quarter-finals stage when Trump continued his fine vale of form beating Milkins 5-3 but subsequently going on to lose to John Higgins in the semis. Early on Milkins had the upper hand over Trump registering six wins in a row but the pendulum has swung with Trump winning eight on the bounce hoping for a ninth this evening.Embed from Getty Images
On table one Trump and Milkins make the walk to their seats to prepare for their encounter which is only moments away with referee Paul Collier overseeing proceedings this evening. It’s a best of 7 frames to kick us off with Trump to break.
Trump (30) 0 – 0 (0) Milkins – A well returned safety shot from Trump gives Milkins a stab at it also but plays the cueball loosely leaving a long pot on which is Trump’s ‘bread and butter’ with his fantastic accuracy and cue power. He arrows the long red in with an element of risk to it but comes up trumps as it disappears into the pocket to register the first point of the evening.
Trump (61) 0 – 0 (0) Milkins – Trump goes about knocking in reds with blacks in a robotic fashion. It’s early doors but Trump really looks in good stead. Coming off of the Gibraltar Open triumph, he will be looking to give a good account of himself hoping to register his first Scottish Open of his career.
Trump (84) 0 – 0 (0) Milkins – Excellent positional play from Trump as he strategically clears red after red pulling off a fantastic cannon from a shot on the black to nudge a couple of awkward reds into play. Lightning-fast 15 seconds per shot from ‘The Ace in the Pack’ so far which is one improvement he wanted to do this season after the Gibraltar Open victory.
Trump (100) 0 – 0 (0) Milkins – A top quality opening frame that gets Trump on the board in this match as he makes the 820th century of his career with early worrying signs for Milkins.
🎱 Trump 1 – 0 Milkins
Trump (0) 1 – 0 (1) Milkins – Milkins judges a safety to perfection leaving Trump hampered behind the yellow in baulk. He responds playing a delicate safety resting right up against the pack. A couple of intricate shots stay close to the pack but it’s Trump with an unforced error. He clips off the pack with a heavy contact leaving a red over the bottom right pocket, a chance for Milkins but on second glance the red is covered by the blue. Milkins opts for a swerve shot which sees the red disappear but loses position immediately meaning back to baulk.
Trump (59) 1 – 0 (6) Milkins – Only being able to register six points on the board Milkins goes back to his seat disappointed. Trump is presented with a red to the left middle which he finds landing nicely on the black. So close to staying out there as the black trickles into the bottom right pocket which leaves Trump out of position meaning safety is required. A poor safety attempt as he leaves a red over the bottom right as Milkins steps to the table with a chance to equalise with a number of reds available. He’s presented with a long red from baulk to the bottom right in which he misses by a margin rattling the pocket. The white glides along the cushion and goes in off from the subsequent red attempt. Trump goes about potting a combination of reds and pinks with the black tied up.
Trump (89) 1 – 0 (6) Milkins – Trump doubles his lead with a beautifully constructed sequence of positional shots and cannons to record a second frame on the board. Worrying for Milkins as he is barely seeing the table and when he does it’s mostly for safety shots and nothing concrete. He needs to take the rare chances he’s getting or else this could be a whitewash. When he has the confidence he can contend with the likes of Trump but it is about finding it.Embed from Getty Images
🎱 Trump 2 – 0 Milkins
Trump (0) 2 – 0 (1) Milkins – An opening safety exchange sees Milkins with a half chance at a red but again requiring a swerved shot to pot. He makes it with excellent technique but falls out of position meaning he has a tough long blue on to the green pocket. Milkins not cueing as good as he can tonight possibly down to lack of belief which is something he has struggled with over the last couple of seasons.
Trump (53) 2 – 0 (2) Milkins – Reds with blacks for Trump as he is starting to take control of the match as well as the frame once more. With the cueball just below the cluster of reds near the pink spot, Trump is limited for options but goes for a really tough red to the left middle which goes wide of the mark. A risky shot from Trump but not leaving anything easy on for Milkins. An extremely thin cut on a red to the right middle is made by Milkins from baulk but misjudged the trajectory of the cueball leaving himself a tough black to get a foothold. He scuppers the chance and the ball is back in Trump’s court.
Trump (78) 2 – 0 (2) Milkins – Milkins struggling out there tonight but you can’t help but be in awe when playing Trump. Reds with blacks and pinks for Trump as he is barnstorming his way to victory. An outrageous three-cushion positional shot on the pink as a demonstration of his elite cue power is there for all to see. He misses the next red to the right middle but that doesn’t matter as he is across the line to register his third frame of the match. One more is needed for a quick victory.
🎱 Trump 3 – 0 Milkins
Trump (0) 3 – 0 (30) Milkins A slow safety battle between the pair with Milkins being extra cautious as he knows any shot could be his last here. Milkins plays a nicely manufactured snooker in behind the black but Trump responds well with a shot carefully into the pack. A stray red is on for a double attempt by Milkins but he misses by a mile leaving the white safe in baulk. Trump lays a nice safety shot with the cueball tight to the baulk cushion but Milkins hits a quality long red after being hampered with awkward cueing. He follows up with a few reds and blacks but misses out on position and strolls back to his chair dropping his cue to the floor and sinking into his chair.
Trump (44) 3 – 0 (30) Milkins – An absolute delight to watch is Trump when he’s in this fine form as he pulls off a wonderful split of the pack from a shot on the black. The incredible spin and power on the cueball as it slices through the pack splitting the reds nicely. Combining pinks and blacks with reds he is systematically delivering beautiful snooker.
Trump (85) 3 – 0 (30) Milkins – Trump clears up the final few reds meaning it is frame and match for the Ace in the Pack but he isn’t done there. The crowd cannot believe their eyes as he knocks in at pace a staggering pot on the left cushion all the way down to the bottom left pocket which arrows in. Great commentary from Dave Hendon as he labels the session from Trump “naughty snooker” and rightly so. He doesn’t quite make the final blue meaning no clearance but that doesn’t matter as he’s through in emphatic style to the next round.
🎱 Trump 4 – 0 Milkins
Reflecting on the Match
It’s business as usual for the World Number Two as he sweeps aside Milkins in a thoroughly convincing victory to book his place in the next round. From the early stages of the match, Milkins never looked up to speed missing a couple of easy chances by his standards. Trump was in unreal form as he recorded a century break as well as a top draw final red in the final frame to take the match. If he can win this event it will be the 23rd of his career which will put him in good stead at cementing his place as the greatest player to ever grace the table.