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World Championship Qualifiers 2012 - Jones & Doherty qualify for Crucible

World Championship Qualifiers 2012 - Jones & Doherty qualify for Crucible

Neath's Jamie Jones recorded the best victory of his career, a 10-2 victory over Ricky Walden, to qualify for the televised stages of the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship at the Crucible for the first time. Others through today included 1997 champion Ken Doherty & Sussex's Mark Davis.

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World Snooker Championship Qualifiers 2012 - Jones & Doherty qualify for Crucible


Jamie Jones Snooker 2011

Jamie Jones

First through tonight was Wales' new up and coming potter Jamie Jones who produced an absolutely stunning performance to beat UK Championship semi-finalist Ricky Walden 10-2 to reach the televised stages of the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship.

The match was practically won in the first session as the 24-year-old made top runs of 56, 62, 70, 53 and 52 to take a commanding 8-1 lead and in the evening Walden could only get one frame back before Jones won the two frames he needed to ensure that he would become only the 17th Welshman to play at the famous Crucible theatre.

Jones had been tipped for great things before but failed to show any signs of breaking through but with the advent of more tournaments he seems to have come in to form in the right time, he even beat defending world champion John Higgins 4-3 at the PTC Grand Finals a few weeks back.

"It hasn't sunk in yet that I'm going to the Crucible, it's crazy," said Jones, who reached the final of a PTC event last season. "I went there as a spectator about ten years ago and I was barely even watching the matches, I was just dreaming of playing there. Maybe it will sink in when the draw comes out.

"To be 8-1 up today was flattering, and in between sessions I was very nervous and shaky because I knew it was mine to lose. I just wanted to get the two frames I needed.

"I had a lot of momentum coming here because I did well in the PTC Grand Finals. I beat John Higgins there which helped me a lot because it was a big crowd and I had never experienced that before. I felt a lot more at home in front of the crowd today, I was able to settle down and play well.

"I'd be happy to draw Ronnie O'Sullivan because it would be a big occasion. I'm going to the Crucible with nothing to lose, I'm just going to enjoy the occasion."

Liu Chuang & Cao Yupeng ensured that their would be a strong chinese contingent at the Crucible as they both beat their higher ranked opponents to qualify and join Ding Junhui in the draw.

Yupeng aged 21 is playing his debut season on the tour having featured as a wildcard in many Chinese ranking events before but he qualified for his first proper televised event with a stunning 10-9 victory over Leicester's Tom Ford.

From 2-2, Ford was docked a drame for returning late to the table after the interval. Frames were then shared until it went 7-6 to Ford. Yupeng then took three in a row to lead 9-7 but a 107 from Ford helped him get back to 9-9. In the decider Yupeng dominated the scoring with runs of 39 and 58 to qualify.

"I'm happy, Tom was unlucky and I played well," said Cao, who is based in Sheffield where he practises with Ding and other Chinese players. "I wasn't nervous in the last frame, I just tried to play the balls."

Chuang returns to the Crucible for the first time since 2008 where he was only the fourth player aged 17 to qualify. He earned the spot with a 10-7 victory over former world championship quarter-finalist Jamie Cope.

From 5-4 down Chuang never looked back and he won four frames in a row with top runs of 71 and 138 to go 8-5 clear. Cope won the next two with a top effort of 107. But in the end it was too late from him as Chuang won the last two frames with a break of 80 in the 16th to eventually come through.


Mark Davis Snooker UK 2011

Mark Davis

Next to qualify was the world no.18 Mark Davis who not having qualified for the Crucible since the 2008 will be incredibly relieved to have gotten through 10-5 against maximum man Robert Milkins.

Having looked the stronger in the opening encounters, Davis had lead 6-3 after the first session with top breaks of 72, 84 & 73 and the Six-Reds World Champion managed to get the last four frames in the evening without much struggle which included a run of 88.

"It didn't feel like a convincing win because you're giving 110 per cent in every frame," said Sussex's 39-year-old Davis. "Rob is a very tough opponent and he can reel off frames. I had a bit of run which makes a difference. You wan't to finish the season at the Crucible on a high, not sitting at home watching on TV.

"I know what I can do and I'm in a good frame of mind. I've been working with Terry Griffiths and it's helping. I used to lack self belief, I didn't fancy beating anyone.

"I've had chances to get into the top 16 this season, and I do want to get in, but it's not that big a deal. If an old biddy like me got in for the first time I'm sure it would be a record."

Another Welshman to qualify today was the experienced Ryan Day who managed to find some inspiration when required to come from 7-3 down to beat Gerard Greene 10-8 with top breaks of 73, 112, 69 and 52.

The last couple of seasons have not been the best of times for the three-times ranking event finalist, having seen himself drop out the top 16 and now on the verge of falling out the top 32 but he did himself the world of good qualifying and will no doubt be confident going to the Crucible.

"At 7-3 down it was an uphill battle, but I stayed positive," said Day, twice a quarter-finalist at the Crucible. "Gerard should have gone 9-6 up but he wobbled a yellow and after that I got stronger. I felt confident coming here, and this is the toughest match of the season so I have got some momentum now to take to Sheffield."


Ken Doherty Snooker UK Championship 2011

Ken Doherty

The last man through in the evening session was the 1997 world champion Ken Doherty who came through a dramatic decider to beat Anthony Hamilton 10-9.

Doherty lead 6-3 after the morning session which included three century breaks from the Irishman. In the evening he would later lead 9-7 before Hamilton reeled off two frames in quick succession to force the decider.

Hamilton looked the favourite to win after leading 52-8 but he ran out position and tried to trickle up to the brown unfortunately leaving it short leaving him with a tough shot. After failing to get it safe Doherty showed his trademark grit to produce a brilliant 62 clearance to return to the Crucible after a one-year absence.

"It feels beautiful," said Doherty. "He played so well and I couldn't shake him off. It was the toughest match I could have had. In the last frame I had resigned myself to losing. The clearance I made was one of the best of my career because there was so much at stake.

"Last year I was 6-3 up on Jimmy Robertson and lost, then I found it difficult to be at the Crucible and not playing. It's just such a relief to be in the mix this time." - Quotes courtesy of World Snooker.


The remaining 10 matches will be played to a finish tomorrow including the match between the seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry who leads Yu Delu 6-3 and Belgium's Luca Brecel bids to become the youngest ever player to qualify for the Crucible but he won't have it easy as he trails the experienced Mark King 5-4.

These matches amongst others are available to watch live throughout the day here. The full draw for the Crucible which includes the qualifiers will be made live on Talksport radio at 1.30pm on Monday.

Posted Apr 15, 2012
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