Jimmy White's tie against Liu Chuang arguably had the most interest today as Jimmy once against sets out to capture the World title that has evaded him through his illustrous career. Overall the match turned out to be quite a scrappy affair with both players obviously nervous and only a few half centuries from each player throughout the match. It went all the way down to a 9-9 decider which went the way of the Chinese player with the help of breaks of 30 and 43. Jimmy will thoroughly be disappointed to have missed qualifying for the Crucible once again but he has had a great season overall and has moved up to 51 in the provisional rankings.
Amateur and former professional Sam Baird already has had a dream run in this tournament; knocking out pros Reanne Evans and Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon on route to this round but he went One further against 2009 IBSF Champion Alfie Burden. Alfie lead 2-0 at the start but runs of 52, 103, 120 and 69 helped 22-year old Sam win 7 frames on the bounce to lead 7-2. Alfie clawed his way back to 9-7 but to no avail as Sam knocked in a great 69 to set up a meeting with Mike Dunn in the next round. Alfie will no doubt be disappointed with this result but he has generally had a good season and is still safely in the top 64 for another year.
It was also joy for another young English player in the form of rising star Jack Lisowski. After nearly beating eventual champion John Higgins in the Welsh Open he shows us once again that he is one of the players to beat at the moment with an impressive World Championship debut win against Kuldesh Johal 10-7. After taking a 3-0 lead Jack found himself down 5-4 after the first session but Johal was deducted a frame after the mid session interval in the next session for missing the restart time. The next two frames were shared before Jack was able to win the last frame with a break of 71. Jack was hyped alot before the season and he has certainly lived up to to in the last 8 months. He now has a dream match against 6-times world champion Steve Davis in the next round, a player 34 years his senior.
Special mentions go out to Thai veteran James Wattana and Welsh youngster Michael White. They both demolished their opponents Andy Hicks (10-2) and Matthew Couch (10-3) respectively to reach the next round. Both players have had an average season so far and seem to be playing there best when it is needed and will be hard to stop in the next round.
Tickets are still available for the rest of the qualifiers and start at just £5, to book call 0114 256 5567 or visit www.arenaticketshop.co.uk
Joe Swail 6-10 Kyren Wilson
Adrian Gunnell 9-10 Liu Song
Andy Hicks 2-10 James Wattana
Alfie Burden 7-10 Sam Baird
Ian McCulloch 5-10 James McBain
Joe Jogia 10-4 Joe Delaney
Jimmy White 10-9 Liu Chuang
Barry Pinches 5-8 David Gilbert
Anthony McGill 10-7 Paul Davison
Rod Lawler 5-10 Patrick Wallace
Matthew Couch 3-10 Michael White
Jack Lisowski 10-7 Kuldesh Johal
Jamie Jones 10-6 Simon Bedford
Stuart Pettman 10-5 Ben Woollaston
Bjorn Haneveer 4-10 Andrew Pagett
Jimmy Robertson 10-9 Xiao Guodong