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Jimmy White Fights Back at English Institute of Sport

The 58 year-old hasn’t qualified for the main stages of a World Championship since 2006.

Jimmy White is two victories away from World Championship qualification after beating Michael Georgiou 6-4 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Thursday.

The “Whirlwind” struggled to produce a high standard but managed to scramble his way back from a 3-1 interval deficit.

White won the opening frame on the black, but a series of errors in the next three frames gifted his opponent the advantage.

Georgiou, however, was fighting for his Main Tour survival and the nerves were also getting the better of the Cypriot.

After the veteran six-time World Championship finalist won three on the spin to lead 4-3, Georgiou compiled the only break of high quality in the entire affair with a superb 121 to restore parity.

A tense finale was in store, but London’s White won both of the last two frames to move through to the penultimate round.

Robert Milkins will be the world seniors champion’s next challenge as he bids to secure his return to the Crucible Theatre for the first time in 14 years.

For Georgiou, the former Snooker Shoot Out champion will be relegated from the circuit having failed to hold onto his place among the top 64 in the world rankings list.

Meanwhile, it was another busy day at the English Institute of Sport with several familiar faces entering the fray.

Welshman Michael White and Dubliner Fergal O’Brien took important steps towards their own survival after emerging with triumphs on the third day of action.

White won the last three frames to deny Jamie O’Neill in a decider, while O’Brien outlasted Rod Lawler by winning the last five frames for a 6-3 success.

The former ranking event winners each provisionally occupy positions that will safeguard their pro tenures, but a lot can change over the course of the next few days.

Elsewhere, there were heavy victories for Andrew Higginson and Sam Craigie, inflicting whitewash defeats on Hayden Staniland and Andy Hicks respectively.

Amateur Allan Taylor, who on Monday won the Challenge Tour Play-Offs to gain promotion to the Main Tour, continued his fine recent form with a 6-1 drubbing of Lee Walker that included a standout contribution of 145.

Indeed, the Liverpudlian didn’t stop there as he added runs of 134, 112, 98, 78, and 58 in what was arguably the performance of his career.

Chinese teenager Wu Yize was another amateur to progress to the next stage, the 16 year-old also scoring strongly in a 6-4 win over Robbie Williams.

Tour stalwarts Mike Dunn and Alfie Burden have both hinted at retirement recently, but the pair was among the others to move forward to the third qualifying round.

Alexander Ursenbacher, Jackson Page, and Joe O’Connor represented a few from the younger guard who safely negotiated their opening tests as well..

The second qualifying round continues and concludes on Friday with Ken Doherty, Dominic Dale, and Martin Gould set to compete.

Live coverage continues on Eurosport.

Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)

One Comment

  1. Lots of players ‘hint at retirement’ – it’s a natural reaction to the frustration of competition. But unless practically forced to by the doctors (in the case of Ebdon) they very rarely do. We’ll be seeing more of Dunn, Burden, O’Brien, etc. I’m sure Georgiou will come back, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the likes of Lines, McLeod, Duffy, Preece, even Davison are successful in Q School. The fact is, there is a huge gulf between amateur and professional now, and players with experience just outclass the amateurs. We’ve seen a bit of that this week, with some players who can barely win a match on the tour winning comfortably in the first round here, although not in all cases.

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