HOTSHOTS… Ten of the best.

Being part of a recent conversation deliberating which was the most impressive single shot in snooker history, I got to thinking… Why not compile a list and see where it takes us? Doubtless there will have been no end of unbelievable shots on outside tables down the years but as witnesses are as scarce as hitting the centre of the cue-ball, let’s stick to the tv stuff!

If it’s true, which it probably is, then nothing gets the collective Twitterati heart thumping more than a good old debate, or let’s face it – argument. So let’s get down to it! First thing to say is that I shall provide a disclaimer that I’ll no doubt miss out on a few, but as I’m a one man band, and getting on a bit, that’s allowed.

Do feel free to reply with some of the many shots that I have omitted from this list, but for now, here’s my ten, in no particular order, of the best…

Pure striking!

Shot 1… Alex Higgins’ long opening red in the last frame of the ‘82 final. Not overly mentioned this one, but you don’t hit them any sweeter than this. The way the cue-ball stood to attention, which was a must, to find the gap, was outstanding. He made 135 off it to lift the world title. Enough said!

And after!

Shot 2… Mark King needing a 7 point foul with pink & black left against Barry Hawkins in the Belfast final. From a seemingly hopeless situation he sent the pink on a lengthy journey to rest on the black teetering over the corner to turn the tide, and the match, in his favour. An unusual shot, but worthy of winning any big final!

Nothing to aim at!

Shot 3… Mark Williams’ drop in red to right middle in the last frame of the 2018 Crucible final. Having spent the majority of that evening being reeled in by a marauding John Higgins, and having the previous frame snatched away when only one ball from the title, he found a heavenly shot from way down deep to kickstart an immaculate finale to an incredible final. Nerveless!

Stop it!

Shot 4… The Ronnie O’Sullivan last red against Ding to complete the maximum and put the cherry on a dominant Welsh Open final. Played with the hand he uses less often than his regular one. I know absolutely nothing about it, and neither do you. Totally ridiculous!

Click click thud!

Shot 5… The Cliff Thorburn yellow. Maximum’s may be a regular thing these days, but not in 1983. A fairly bog standard shot these days, but given the enormity of the moment & big Bill trying his best not to distract his buddy by popping his head around the partition, it was a crunching pot, stun follow through style, followed by an immaculate cue-ball. Aside the opening red, good luck wasn’t needed. Well played mate!

Round the houses!

Shot 6… Kirk Stevens’ green around the houses in 1984 to land nicely on the brown has to be included. The white suit, the cool hair, the flowers, against a top form Jimmy at the Wembley Masters, and a certain Donald Sutherland watching his one and only live frame (so the legend goes). Another maximum, and snooker history made by one of snooker’s coolest dudes. Get in, lovely, and isn’t that marvellous!

Gear required!
Fifth gear found!

Shot 7… The Judd Trump low black in and out of baulk, hitting somewhere around south-south-west on the cue-ball to release some jailed reds behind the black spot. The John Higgins appreciative nodding grin post shot was telling. Some shots you just know. That was one!


Shot 8… THAT Stephen Hendry brown! A shot that most anyone could play, but not given the match situation. At 14-9 behind and with nowhere to run, it’s without doubt the coldest execution of a shot I’ve ever seen. With the cue-ball on the drop of the left middle pocket, most players would have turned up their toes and played something more ‘sensible’. Not Stephen! A couple of hours, and eight frames later, he was the champion. Right out of the Mr Freeze playbook that one!

A must get!
Last red double!

Shot 9… Two for the price of one here, and a tale of two reds. A dead weight initial red by John Higgins to begin one of the great clearances in the last frame ever played at The Wembley Conference Centre. A decider, against Ronnie no less, how the red reached the right middle pocket I’ve still no idea. The clearance that followed is the stuff of legend, with a last red double to the other middle for good measure.

Spin doctor!
Remedy administered!

Shot 10… I was there in Hamburg to witness this first hand. The Jimmy White massé that set off towards the green pocket, only to hang a very sharp right to find an object ball loitering in a different time zone. Impossible to play in the club, mainly given that the butt end of the cue was five feet directly above the cue-ball. Don’t try this one at home or your cue, the table, and probably yourself will be in harm’s way.

Choose your favourite, or any other hotshots that float your boat.

Yours in snooker…until next time


3 thoughts on “HOTSHOTS… Ten of the best.

  1. Michael Major says:

    Great read Angles, picked out some good ones from over the years.
    Always fun to try and narrow down the best 10, and to open debate on some omissions!
    A couple stick out for me, one being the famous Alex Higgins blue in the 82 semi-final (and what a break overall!) and how about Ronnie’s red at 16-15 down in the semi-final against Selby in 2020… cue ball on the top cushion but he got down and knocked the long red in perfectly and we all know the rest…!


  2. Scott McCarter says:

    Three Crucible 147 shots
    1. O’Sullivan last black aganist fu in 2003. does not look much but right under the rail for £169,000 cool under pressure
    O’sullivan thirteenth black in 2008
    John 8th red in 2020


  3. Thank you Alan for this article! I would add a shot with a rest from Stephen Hendry against Steve Davis in the UK final. That shot changed the final and it changed the era.


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