Former champions Barry Hawkins, Martin Gould and Nigel Bond are among the players through to the last 32 of the Coral Shoot Out at the Watford Colosseum.
Half of the second round matches were played on Friday evening which means there are 16 players so far through to the last 32. The remaining second round matches are played on Saturday night from 7pm, then the world ranking event is played to a conclusion on Sunday.
Gould made a break of 30 as he built a 47-8 lead over John Astley, and that proved just enough as Astley made a late run of 33 only to run out of time when he needed to pot just one more ball.
Bond edged a tense battle against Peter Lines 31-28 while Hawkins trailed amateur Alex Davies 40-21 but hit back to win with a break of 54.
Tom Ford has boosted his hopes of a place in Preston at the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix
It was a good day for Tom Ford as he beat Masters champion Mark Allen in the first round then made a break of 50 to get the better of last year’s runner-up Xiao Guodong. Ford has moved above Ben Woollaston in the race to qualify for the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix and now lies in 32nd place as it stands (read more about that race here).
Graeme Dott is one of only two players to reach the semi-finals of the Shoot Out twice (alongside Xiao) and he’s hoping for another deep run having beaten James Cahill thanks to a break of 33.
In the most dramatic finish of the evening, Ricky Walden trailed Fergal O’Brien 32-13 with just 40 seconds to go, but he made a quickfire break of 20, potting the pink to win by a point as the clock ticked to zero.
Matthew Stevens enjoyed a last gasp win over David Lilley
In another exciting conclusion, Matthew Stevens led amateur David Lilley 26-20 when he missed a red to a baulk corner. Lilley potted red and blue to leave the scores tied with 20 seconds to go, then went for a tough long red which would have given him victory. But he missed his target and former UK and Masters champion Stevens potted a red to win 27-26.
Pakistan’s top player Hamza Akbar followed up his first round win over Jamie Cope by beating Robert Milkins. Akbar trailed 21-0 but hit back with runs of 20 and 11 before enjoying a jubilant celebration.
Jamie Jones won an all-Neath derby against Michael White while Kurt Dunham reached the last 32 of a ranking event for the first time by beating Lyu Haotian
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All pics by Paul Woodman