Ricky Walden Crashes Out in Ponds Forge

Hammad Miah caused a huge shock as he came from behind to beat Ricky Walden in the first round of World Championship qualifying in Sheffield.

Ricky Walden Furth
Walden will want to put this season behind him. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

Walden, who up until recently was a top 16 member, had been an overwhelming favourite to move forward in the qualifiers at Ponds Forge, not least after the three-time ranking event winner established an early 5-0 lead over his fellow Englishman.

However, in an encounter which lacked any degree of style or rhythm, Miah won the last three frames of the opening session to keep his hopes alive before adding a further six out of the following seven frames to go to within one of an unbelievable victory.

Walden kept his hopes alive to pull it back to 9-7 and had chances in the next frame but Miah duly prevailed on the colours for a 10-7 success.

It wasn’t the only upset on day two as World Seniors champion Peter Lines won the last three frames for a deciding frame victory over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

The Thai scored heavily in the middle section of the clash but didn’t have many chances to actually get passed the winning line, with excellent runs of 69 and 77 helping amateur Lines to victory.

There were two other 10-9 scorelines with Gary Wilson and Martin O’Donnell withstanding comebacks from Josh Boileau and Jackson Page respectively.

Irish rookie Boileau was 5-0 and 7-2 down to Wilson, who compiled a wonderful 147 break in the fourth frame of their contest on Thursday, but the match transformed in the second session.

At 9-9, Boileau would have arguably been the favourite and he got in with the first opportunity, but a cool 102 century for Wilson, his third ton of the match, sent him into the penultimate round.

O’Donnell, who needs a big run to avoid dropping off the Main Tour, also held on despite a spirited effort from teenager Page, the European Under-18 champion.

Meanwhile, there were routine triumphs for many of the other bigger names with Joe Perry, Michael White, and Michael Holt all progressing with ease.

Nigel Bond secured a comprehensive 10-1 ousting of world women’s champion Ng On Yee, while Jamie Jones inflicted an embarrassing 10-0 defeat on Jamie Barrett.

China’s Zhou Yuelong, a major threat in this qualifying competition, beat Christopher Keogan 10-5,┬ábut countryman Mei Xiwen lost by the same margin against Thailand’s Akani Songsermsawad.

Alfie Burden put an end to Adam Duffy’s dream of reaching the Crucible in his home city after a 10-6 victory while Dominic Dale hammered Boonyarit Kaettikun 10-2.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Sam Baird, Mark Joyce, David Grace, Daniel Wells, Ross Muir, and Ian Preece.

Click here to view the draw.

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