Referee Rob Spencer had a moment during Judd Trump’s match with Jimmy Robertson at the Northern Ireland Open at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
Spencer called a foul and a miss on Robertson after the world number 48 had failed to escape a snooker. Trump had Robertson in a tight spot so requested that the table be re-set. Spencer pounced into action, lining the pink up perfectly but then – inexplicably – re-positioned the cue ball some "eight feet out" as Neal Foulds on commentary said.
“What's he doing here? began Foulds as the referee positioned the cue ball up by baulk.
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"He's forgotten where the balls were supposed to be - the cue ball is not anywhere over there.
“I think he's about to be told,” interjected Phil Studd.
“The cue ball is about eight feet out,” said Foulds as marker Malgorzata Kanieska directed Spencer.
“He's got all his attention on the pink ball right now understandably, but he's got another thing to consider in a moment.”
However, having positioned the pink correctly, he proceeded to line the cue ball up behind the yellow when, in fact, it needed to be closer to the right middle pocket, leading Foulds to say:
Yeah. Now he's cracked. I'm afraid. It goes beyond the black.
Robertson would point out the error and Spencer would apologise profusely as the auditorium burst out into a well-natured chuckle led by Trump.
It was an understandable mistake: Spencer was placing the cue ball where it had been the shot previous – also a snooker - and Studd added:
There is a lot to think about when you're a referee.
Robertson would go on to level the match at 2-2.
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