Jimmy White World Championship

Jimmy White Moves One Step Closer to Crucible

Six-time World Snooker Championship runner-up Jimmy White beat Sam Craigie 10-6 in his opening qualifying round fixture at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Thursday.

Jimmy White World Championship
It was Jimmy’s 100th World Championship match. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

The 55 year-old, who is only competing on the circuit this season courtesy of an invitational tour card, is two additional wins away from returning to the Crucible for the first time in twelve years.

Not many had given White much hope when the draw came out on Monday with Craigie seen as one of the up-and-coming young talents in the game.

However, the ten-time ranking event champion looked the less nervous of the pair in the opening exchanges and was always one step in front of his fellow Englishman throughout the contest.

White probably would have been disappointed to only lead 5-4 after the first session but produced a controlled display in the evening’s bout of play – despite a maximum attempt from his opponent that broke down on 104 – to advance to the penultimate stage.

In the next round, White will face Joe Perry after the former World Championship semi-finalist hammered Ross Muir 10-1 with the help of six half-century breaks.

The other big story on day two of the qualifiers was Liang Wenbo’s sensational effort of making a brace of maximums in his 10-2 thrashing of Rod Lawler.

China’s Liang superbly compiled his second 147 break of the season in the tenth frame before proceeding to attempt another perfect knock two frames later for an unprecedented double – only to cruelly miss out by missing a very makeable final black.

Still, Liang will surely be delighted with his form heading into the remaining fixtures and is in line to pocket the £10,000 maximum break prize in the qualifying rounds.

Elsewhere, there were a lot of other results in what was a busy day of action that again saw the majority of the higher ranked competitors progress.

Arguably one of the standout upsets – of sorts – was Robin Hull’s 10-7 defeat of Cao Yupeng, with the Chinese cueist on many people’s list of predicted qualifiers to reach the last 32.

Cao’s countrymen Li Hang, Tian Pengfei, Lyu Haotian, and Zhao Xintong all managed to make it through – the latter with an important 10-8 triumph against Aditya Mehta that keeps alive his tour survival ambitions.

There were a couple of hidings as Mark Davis and Graeme Dott demolished Sanderson Lam and Adrian Ridley 10-1 respectively while Shoot Out champion Michael Georgiou recovered from a slow start to oust Matthew Bolton 10-4.

England’s Michael Holt also fought back strongly from 4-0 behind to deny Thor Chuan Leong while there were victories for countrymen Ricky Walden, Mike Dunn, Martin O’Donnell, Rory McLeod, and Andrew Higginson.

Women’s participation in this year’s World Snooker Championship ended with Reanne Evans’ 10-7 reverse against Dominic Dale and another two Welshmen marched a step further as Jamie Jones and Lee Walker dispatched of Craig Steadman and Kristjan Helgason respectively.

Meanwhile, popular Thai cueist Akani Songsersmawad overcame German rookie Lukas Kleckers 10-4 to reach the last 80.

On Friday, the likes of Ken Doherty, Matthew Stevens, and Michael White enter the fray.

Live coverage continues on the Eurosport Player.

Click here to view the draw. (Times: CET)

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