World Snooker Championship 2013 - Dechawat douses Maguire on debut
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Stephen Maguire was rated as one of the outside favourites to lift this year's Betfair World Snooker Championship trophy, but unfortunately his Crucible campaign finished at the first stage by the hands of the world no.70 Dechawat Poomjaeng.
At the end of the first session it was the debutant from Thailand that got off to the best start, making five breaks of 50+ to finish 5-4 overnight. When they resumed today it was Maguire that started strongest, making runs of 91 & 93 to go 6-5 up.
Frames were shared until 8-8 before Dechawat made a break of 54 to take a 9-8 lead and one away from the win. However the tables for the evening session matches needed to be prepared so the match was pulled off early.
When they resumed later in the evening, Maguire nicked it on the colours to take it to a decider, the first of this year's championship. After not getting perfectly on a colour off his first red, Maguire attempted a tricky green which he missed, leaving his opponent a great chance.
A fantastic run of 63 followed for Dechawat which included some of the best shots you will likely see under pressure this month. He broke down when he needed only one more red to seal the frame, however Maguire subsequently missed a red to the middle, sticking it up for the Thai who sealed frame and match 10-9.
The former world amateur champion has made loads of fans this week due to him wearing his heart on his sleeve and not being afraid to show when things are going good or well for him (even clapping his own shots!) And he will no doubt be thrilled to set up an unlikely second round match with another Crucible debutant; Michael White.
All-around it was a great day for the three Asian players at the Crucible as both Ding Junhui & Marco Fu got off to fantastic starts in the first sessions of their matches.
PTC Grand Finals winner Ding made a 131 in the second frame but former Masters champion and veteran Alan McManus was able to keep in touch at 2-2. From then on it was all one way traffic for the Chinese no,1 as he made top breaks of 67, 61, 129, 51 and 81 to surge 7-2 ahead of the Scot overnight.
Fu was disappointed to have lost to Ali Carter in the final of the German Masters earlier in the year but will no doubt be over the moon with his first round performance against the seeded Matthew Stevens today at the Crucible.
From 3-1 ahead at the interval, Fu dominated much of the play and made further contributions of 62 and 71 before making two further small breaks in the last frame to take a strong 6-3 lead over the Welsh no.2 heading in to the conclusion tomorrow. A fine performance all around from the Asian trio.
Since winning the title in Berlin earlier in the year, Carter has been hit and miss in the major events and will be looking to finish the season with the bang as he dominated Crucible newcomer Ben Woollaston in the second session to come out on top.
From scraping only a 5-4 lead at the end of play yesterday, the two-times Crucible finalist stepped up the gears and showed why he is a strong contender for the title this year. He made a break of 106 from the start of the session tonight before battling out to ultimately win seven frames in a row to finish a strong 10-4 winner.
Woollaston has had the best season of his career so far and no doubt will be a main feature at many more tournaments to come, but for Carter it's the biggest clash of the second round as he takes on the player that beat him in both finals here at the Crucible, no one else but the resurgent Ronnie O'Sullivan.
"It wasn't the best performance but it's all about getting through these matches," said Carter. "Ben played very well in the first session so I was delighted to be 5-4 up. And then to win the final five frames was the icing on the cake."
"I'm not buying into the fact that Ronnie hasn't played in a competitive match because he's probably fresher than all of us and rest assured he's been practising very hard for this tournament."
Also in the evening, it wasn't the strongest start to a match that world no.1 Mark Selby has ever had. The UK & Masters champion who is bidding to win snooker's 'Triple Crown' in the same season wasn't able to record a single break of 50 but managed to battle to a 6-2 advantage over Crucible debutant Matt Selt. They play to a conclusion tomorrow.
Check out the updated draw for the Betfair World Snooker Championship here and follow me on Twitter for regular updates throughout the tournament.