Alec Swann - Crucible drama always has me hooked

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
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I’d like to think that I’ve got some sort of authority when it comes to control of the TV control in my house.

Actually, to tell the truth, my evenings are dominated by home improvement, cooking and murder mysteries so if you want to know how to plaster a wall, make a nice souffle or who killed the university professor then I’m your man.

But for three evenings a year, the widescreen contraption in the corner of my living room shows what I want it to show.

And so, in a fortnight’s time, I will be camped on the sofa, cold beer readily available, watching the final of the World Snooker Championship.

Last Sunday constituted the first of my three viewings with the gripping drama of the US Masters’ final round and a weekend afternoon in July will be the third when the British Open reaches it’s conclusion.

But early May has always seen, for as long as I can remember, the snooker on the box and this year will be no different.

There is something calming about the meandering, or often, cut and thrust of a snooker contest, especially in an environment where the pressure is so starkly on view.

It is a ludicrously difficult game - go and ask to have a go on a match table at your local club and you’ll see what I mean - which is made to look all too easy by those at the top of the profession but it is little wonder that the nerves crack with so much at stake.

As was the case at Augusta National last week, the pressure is highest when the prize is at its greatest and that is what the Crucible Theatre offers.

Being a fan of Jimmy White, I’ll always remember the time when, with that elusive world title within his grasp after five final defeats, a simple black off the spot was missed and that provided the perfect manifestation of snooker as a drama.

It can be slow, it can sometimes be monotonous but rarely is it dull and by the time I’ve got my feet up on the coffee table in two weeks’ time, no doubt it’ll be more of the same.