Betfred.com World Snooker Championship 2012 - Welsh wonders Jones & Stevens progress
WATCH LIVE EU R.O.W - LIVE SCORES - BETTING - TICKETS
DRAW, SCHEDULE & CENTURY BREAKS
First man to reach the last 16 this afternoon was Neath's Jamie Jones who is having the best season of his career. Rising sharply up the rankings and recently beating John Higgins in the PTC Grand Finals was a sign of his talent but he recorded the best win of his career today, beating 2005 champion Shaun Murphy 10-8.
At the end of their first session yesterday Jones was 5-4 behind Murphy but when they resumed today it wasn't looking good for the Welshman as he found himself 7-5 behind. However from there he looked like a completely different player and performed brilliantly including a 136 clearance in the 15th to take a 9-8 lead.
Murphy rallied back to 9-8 after Jones missed a routine mid-range red to the corner but after two scoring opportunities in the 18th he managed to come through to knock out the Brazilian Masters champion 10-8. He plays the winner of Stephen Lee & Andrew Higginson on Sunday, at the time of writing Higginson leads in the first session 4-3.
The 24-year-old said after the match 'I couldn't wait to get out there, I have always wanted to play at the Crucible. For my debut here I thought I played well.'
'As there are a few days until my next match I will be going home to Neath and practice a bit. It will be crazy there, everyone has been watching me!'
The 2005 world champion spoke fondly of his opponent 'I thought it was a fantastic match, Jamie played brilliantly for a debutant and definitely deserved to win.
'Overall I have had a good season, won a tournament and have gone up the rankings again, it can only be considered a success.'
The other Welshman to come through the first round today was two-times Crucible finalist Matthew Stevens who since rejoining the top 16 at the start of the season hasn't managed to win many matches.
However though he looked strong throughout his match against Marco Fu today to come through a 10-4 winner.
In the morning session it was all one-way traffic as Stevens built up a commanding 8-1 lead as Marco was unable to build up any momentum.
When they resumed Fu managed to win a couple frames to come back to 9-4 but two contributions from Stevens in the final frame got him through to the second round comfortably where either world no.1 Mark Selby or Barry Hawkins awaits.
Stevens on returning to the Crucible 'Always nice to come back here, even better now that I am a seeded player.
'Marco helped me along the way in the match but at the end of the day i'm just happy to have come through as the winner.
'I've been disappointed with how recent months have gone for me but I have put in the work on the practice table before this tournament and it seems to have paid off.'
Fu said about the match 'I couldn't get any rhythym going in the morning session, I have felt flat all day.
'I haven't really had the best season, going to put in the work and make sure that the next one will be much better.'
When asked about Mark Allen's comments against Chinese players and branding them cheats 'It's the first I have heard about it, I don't know how to react really.
'I know Mark well and we used to be with the same management company, it's a bit disappointing. Next time I see him I am going to have a word.