White Survives but Gould Out

Martin Gould became the first high-profile casualty of the World Championship after a 10-6 loss to Adam Duffy on day one of the qualifiers in Ponds Forge.

White plays Steadman in the next round - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
White plays Steadman in the next round – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

The Englishman fell 3-0 behind early on and was never able to get back on level terms as Duffy, an amateur invited to compete to make up the numbers, scored consistently to maintain his cushion.

26 year-old Duffy is a former professional who was once inside the world’s top 64 but dropped off the tour at the end of the last campaign following a poor run of form.

A native of Sheffield, Duffy will be hoping to go two steps further in his bid to reach the Crucible, where he’d surely be backed on by loyal local support.

His form has been decent of late too, with a last 32 appearance in the recent Indian Open marking his best showing in a ranking event.

Gould will be desperately disappointed, especially after his performances recently which saw him reach the latter stages of both the World Grand Prix and the Players Championship.

Aside from the 33 year-old’s exit there weren’t too many major upsets to report, although lowly ranked pro Mitchell Mann did somewhat surprisingly overcome Alfie Burden 10-4 in a rather one-sided affair.

Indian Open champion Michael White, perhaps aggrieved that he fell just short of an automatic berth in the tournament, got off to a stinker of a start against Steven Hallworth but the Welshman reversed a 4-0 deficit into a 7-4 lead before eventually edging into the second round with a frame to spare.

10-8 was the closest scoreline of any of the matches on Wednesday with no tense deciders yet to test the nerves of the competitors taking part – it’s only a matter of time.

Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh ousted Barry Pinches by the same margin while Cap Yupeng of China continued the Asian flair with a 10-8 success over Ross Muir.

Countryman Tian Pengfei recorded the biggest victory with a 10-2 drubbing of Rory McLeod while former quarter-finalist Jamie Jones required just one extra frame in a 10-3 success over the highly-fancied Ashley Carty.

Elsewhere, there were routine triumphs for Anthony McGill, Gerard Greene and Craig Steadman while ex-top 16 regular Mark King prevailed 10-7 against Scotland’s Michael Leslie.

Eight other encounters reached the midway point of their affairs with Peter Ebdon, Ryan Day and Jack Lisowski all involved in tight tussles that will conclude on Thursday.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.

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