‘The Hawk’ has flown into the quarter finals of the UK Championship after a 6-3 comeback win over Matthew Selt at the York Barbican. Barry Hawkins has reached the quarter finals of this competition for the first time since 2013, which came in the same year that he reached the final of the World Snooker Championship.
The two-time Triple Crown finalist was 3-1 down going into the interval, with his long-potting letting him down and allowing Selt to build a considerable lead. Hawkins was the favourite on paper, and had defeated the same opponent in the first round of the 2021 World Championship. But Selt had already brought about one of the shocks of the tournament, when he knocked out tournament favourite Judd Trump 6-3 in the third round.
Selt was unable to turn the trick this time around though, as Hawkins put together five straight frames of brilliant snooker after the break. Looking like a different player, the 42-year-old from Kent was utterly dominant as he secured his progress to the quarter finals.
The evening’s other game was poised at 5-5 at press time. Andy Hicks battled back incredibly, not taking the lead until the ninth frame. ‘The Cream of Devon’ had momentum on his side at 5-4, but could not find the shots to beat David Gilbert. The 1995 UK Championship semi finalist had been a constant thorn in Gilbert’s side all night, managing to draw level every time the brilliantly-named ‘Angry Farmer’ edged in front.
The winner of that closely-matched battle will face Barry Hawkins in the quarter finals, as the excitement continues at the York Barbican. The winner of that will meet the winner of Zhao Xintong, who dumped out John Higgins, and Rob Lisowski.