Williams Wins Second Premier League Night

Mark Williams won the second Premier League night of the 2011 campaign by overcoming Shaun Murphy in the final 3-1 at Guildford Spectrum.

The world number one was nowhere near his fluent best but still had enough in reserve to overcome his English opponent and join fellow Welshman Matthew Stevens at the top of the table.

Under the new format points are awarded for each frame won so Williams now has six points alongside his countryman having earlier defeated a lacklustre Jimmy White 3-0 in the first semi-final.

Murphy had overcome defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the other last four encounter in a repeat of the last two Premier League finals after coming from 2-1 behind to beat ‘The Rocket’ in a deciding Shootout frame.

With four points, the 2005 world champion moves into third position on the leaderboard, one ahead of Scotsman John Higgins.

Williams began and finished the evening with a century break but in between suffered from severe lapses in concentration.

Some of his misses and poor positional play were reminiscent of when the 36 year-old plummeted down the rankings a couple of years ago.

Yet, all four players competing tonight were a long way off peak form and Williams was able to take advantage of some careless slip-ups by Murphy himself in the final.

I have to admit, having watched the opening two nights of the fresh look of the Premier League I have not been overly impressed.

The reduced shot clock from 25 to 20 seconds has left some of the players edgy and, where sometimes that can lead to more exciting battles, here it feels slightly boring.

Adding to that the fact that the current format isn’t really a proper league given the fact that each competitor only contests four nights and won’t face everyone in the competition leaves a sour taste.

Nevertheless, the two Welshmen sit proudly on top of the group after one match each.

For White, though, the 49-year old will have to produce something special in his final two Premier League nights if he has any chance of finishing in the top four and reaching the play-offs.

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