DRAW & RESULTS - CRUCIBLE DRAW
Betfred.com World Snooker Championship 2012 - Penultimate Qualifying Round
Six times world champion Steve Davis failed to reach the televised stages of the tournament for the second year in a row as he lost 10-7 to PTC3 champion Ben Woollaston at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield.
Davis came from 4-1 down to level at 5-5 but the man from Leicester eventually proved to strong for the Nugget as top contributions of 128 and 64 saw him clinch the match and set up a final round tie with Dominic Dale.
Another legend to lose their opening match was the six-times world finalist Jimmy White who looked on the run up to the event to be playing well as he qualified for the Haikou World Open in China.
From 4-5 down after the first session, White took the lead at 7-6 and looked to be playing well. But from then on he started to make errors and his opponent Liu Chuang took advantage and ran out a 10-8 winner, the second year in a row the Chinese youngster beat White in the qualifiers.
Two other veterans of the game also lost their opening matches of this year's campaign; former world finalist Nigel Bond and stalwart Mike Dunn. Another promising player from China, Cao Yupeng, dispatched Bond with a top break of 101 and Dunn lost 10-6 to David Gilbert who has had a great season since returning to the main tour via Q School last year.
Other Chinese players joined Chuang & Yupeng in the final qualifying round, former Crucible quarter-finalist Liang Wenbo & Yu Delu. Wenbo dropped out of the top 32 last year after a nightmare 2010/2011 campaign which saw him lose all his qualifying matches, but he seems to be back on the up with a 10-3 win over Justin Astley
Delu who is another promising Q School graduate has recorded many wins over high ranked players this season, beat Matthew Selt 10-5 to set up an exciting clash with seven-times king of the Crucible Stephen Hendry who appears in the qualifiers for the first time since the 1980's.
Luca Brecel the 17-year-old up and coming talent from Belgium has a chance to beat Hendry's record for being the youngest player to qualify for the Crucible after coming through a tense 10-9 victory against Michael Holt.
Holt recently won PTC11 and was the favourite to win the match however Brecel having before recorded brilliant wins over Ian McCulloch and Barry Pinches was high on confidence throughout as he came from 7-6 down to lead 9-7.
A top break of 105 helped Holt force the decider but Brecel produced two mini breaks to eventually run out a 52-13 winner to reach the final round of qualifying and now only Mark King stands in his way of reaching the televised stages at the Crucible and become only the first Belgian to do so.
London's Alfie Burden performed strongly to beat Jack Lisowski 10-3 and set up a match with China Open champion Peter Ebdon whilst Peter Lines beat favourite Rory McLeod 10-5 to face Andrew Higginson next. If either win their final qualifying round matches then they will reach the Crucible for the first time since 1998 where they were both debutants.
Other victories included Robert Milkins beating Xiao Guodong 10-4 with the second 147 of his career, Joe Jogia beating Brazil's Igor Figueiredo 10-7, Gerard Greene & Jamie Jones coming through deciders to beat James Wattana & Andy Hicks respectively and Jamie Burnett stopped Sheffield's Adam Duffy's run with a 10-7 victory.
The last man through was Ireland's David Morris who finished just shy of midnight to beat Alan McManus 10-7, another player who is desperate to make his debut at the Crucible. Only shootout champion Barry Hawkins stands in his way.
The tables at the English Institute of Sport are getting recovered tomorrow with the final round to resume on Saturday, finishing on Sunday evening. See the updated draw here and watch the matches live here.