Masters wasp causes carnage for second match as referee overrules player and steps in at Ally Pally

Masters wasp causes carnage for second match as referee overrules player and steps in at Ally Pally

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Stuart Ballard

By Stuart Ballard

Published: 10/01/2024

- 09:58

The Alexandra Palace wasp problem from the World Darts Championship has continued on into the Masters.

The wasp problem struck again on the third day of the Masters during Neil Robertson's match against Barry Hawkins with referee Rob Spencer forced to intervene.

Players at the World Darts Championship were regularly attacked on stage by the Alexandra Palace wasp with Luke Littler even stung by the insect at one stage.

Pest control doesn't appear to have fixed the issue before the Masters getting underway as English snooker star Jack Lisowski had a unique way of trying to deal with the intruder in the opening match of the tournament.

A wasp then interrupted Robertson's match against Hawkins with the Englishman leading 4-2 in the match.

The Masters wasp was caught by the referee

The Masters wasp was caught by the referee


The insect was lying on the table when Robertson first attempted to trap the wasp inside a glass.

But referee Spencer interjected to stop the Aussie snooker star from doing it with the pair going back-and-forth on who was going to remove the wasp.

Robertson said at one point: "I'm from Australia, we have spiders I'm used to it!"

But Spencer pulled rank to get a piece of paper under the glass before passing the trapped wasp to another Masters official to remove it from the venue.

Mark Williams' match against Ali Carter had also been interrupted by a pesky fly that was sat on one of the red balls as the Welshman was attempting to pot it.

With the score at 1-1, Williams was cruising to the third frame when he was forced to stop while the referee tried to get a fly off the ball.

The insect wouldn't budge with the Welshman playing on with his shot as normal, but the fly managed to escape danger.

The pest problem caused havoc at the World Darts Championship with players often having to take evasive action from the wasp.

16-year-old darts sensation Luke Littler was stung by a wasp towards the end of his quarter-final win over Brendan Dolan.

"I felt a little zap, I saw it (the wasp) fluttering around near the end. It's my throwing arm," he said at the time.

"It didn't bother me."


The wasp was removed

The wasp was removed


Ross Smith had also been stung three times by a wasp during his win over Niels Zonneveld earlier in the tournament.

Play at the Masters gets back underway today with John Higgins facing off against Mark Allen in the afternoon session.

Mark Selby faces Robert Milkins in the evening in the final first-round fixture.

Ronnie O'Sullivan will kick off the quarter-final matches on Thursday when he faces Hawkins, who ended up beating Robertson after the wasp ordeal.

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