Day five at the world championship & there is only one place to start & that is with what is,quite simply, one of the biggest shocks we've seen in the 40 years at the Crucible.
After the big turnaround yesterday afternoon where McLeod,helped perhaps by a little Trump showboating,turned a 4-0 deficit into a 5-4 overnight lead.the question coming out this morning was could Trump reassert his grip on the game or could McLeod build on the momentum he had from his fine finish yesterday afternoon?The answer to this was probably neither as a real slog of a session took hold.
This was not pretty snooker to watch as frames after frame got scrappy,but at the same time you could not take your eyes off it as each play struggled to find any fluency.and each small break was costing a pint of blood. Such were the length of the frames that it soon became apparent that we would not be finishing before the afternoon session began and would need to return for an unscheduled third session at the end of the days play,
At this stage though vitally for McLeod,with the knowledge that they were been called ashore,he managed to steal himself for one big effort and a break of 66 saw him move within one of victory at 9-7.
Out they came tonight then and although Trump managed to pull one back McLeod again steadied himself in the next,with a series of big pots, to get over the line 10-8 for a thoroughly deserved victory & a Last 16 clash with Stephen Maguire.
For Trump this was another failure on the sports biggest stage & that final in 2011 remains the closest he has come to claiming the sports biggest prize.Who is to say if he will ever get that close again.
In other matches completed today Graeme Dott who is in the "rolling back the years"stage of his career did just that to beat Ali Carter 10-7.
This one was another example of just how important every mini session is,even in these long matches as Carter never really fully recovered from a slow start and despite great runs of 111,104 & 88 today,he could never land a blow on the 2006 champ who advances to another last 16 at this championship.
In the other match to finish today Xiao Guodong produced a stunning display of long potting to ease past Ryan Day 10-4 and book a second round clash with Mark Selby.
Elsewhere two of the games big guns look all but through to the next round,holding as they do big overnight leads with Neil Robertson leading Noppon Saengkham 8-1 & Barry Hawkins having a 7-2 advantage over Tom Ford.
Today though belongs to one man and that is Rory McLeod,who responded brilliantly when asked about Trumps shoulder injury,by mentioning that everybody has niggles and that he's one of the oldest players left on the tour.Well done again Rory.