Jubilant Jones into Second Round

Welshman Jamie Jones shocked 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy to progress to the last 16 of the World Championship in Sheffield on his debut.

The 24 year-old started the second session 5-4 behind and quickly fell further adrift at 7-5 but won four frames on the bounce to go within one of a famous victory before eventually sealing a 10-8 triumph.

It comes a day after fellow first-timer at the Crucible Cao Yupeng stunned Mark Allen but 17 year-old teenage star Luca Brecel could not make it a treble for the rookies, falling 10-5 to Stephen Maguire.

For Jones, it continues an excellent season that has seen him perform well in both the qualifiers and the Players Tour Championship series – eventually going on to reach the last 16 of the Grand Finals in Galway last month.

It was there, in fact, where Jones achieved the biggest victory of his career to-date when he came from 3-1 behind to edge defending world champion John Higgins in a decider, a success which has undoubtedly filled him with unheralded confidence.

That victory has now of course been overshadowed by a tremendous display against Murphy, one of the pre-tournament favourites and my tip to reach the final, and he fired in impressive tons of 134 and 136 along the way.

There was a moment when it looked as if Jones would rue missing a straight red that was virtually match ball in the 17th frame, but he composed himself pretty well in the subsequent frame to book his place in the next round.

Jones has now guaranteed his place in the world’s Top 32 and deservedly so – by all accounts he is regarded as a very level-headed guy who works extremely hard in practice.

Brecel’s excellent run from the first qualifying round (for pros) came to an end with defeat to Maguire but the Belgian can rest assured that he will be returning for another crack in the next two seasons at least having earned a wildcard to return to the Main Tour.

With more events planned for continental Europe, this can only be a good thing as the more European presence on the playing side of things the better.

Scotsman Maguire will be pleased to get the dangerous youngster out-of-the-way and can now look forward to mounting a serious challenge having only reached the semi-finals on one occasion.

Elsewhere, Matthew Stevens made it 11 first round victories in the World Championship out of 13 with a comfortable 10-3 win over Hong Kong’s Marco Fu where, at one stage at 8-0, the dreaded whitewash was looking a distinct possibility for only the second time at the venue.

In the keenly anticipated opening round tie between clash-of-styles Ronnie O’Sullivan and Peter Ebdon, the former has taken complete control at 7-2 ahead of the recent China Open champion.

Indeed, it wasn’t a great day for either of the two in-form players of late as Stephen Lee, enjoying a hot streak in 2012, trails Andrew Higginson 5-4.

The full draw, latest and results can be viewed by clicking here

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