Adam Duffy kept his hopes of becoming the first Crucible participant from Sheffield alive with a fine 10-4 victory over Mark Joyce in Betfred World Championship Qualifying at the English Institute of Sport.
The local cueman came within two frames of reaching the Crucible in 2015, when he suffered a 10-8 loss in the final round of qualifying against Jamie Jones.
Today the world number 99 faced a tough task against Joyce, who is ranked 59 places above him in 40th. The victory holds deep significance for Duffy, who must win all three qualifying matches to stand a chance of staying on tour and maintaining his professional status.
Duffy led 6-3 after this morning’s opening session and he wasted little time in surging to the line this evening. He rattled off four out of five frames with a top score of 119 to secure the victory.
Duffy’s opponent in the next round will be Matthew Selt, who eased to a 10-1 victory against Women’s World Champion Ng On Yee.
Selt’s victory means that he has secured his place in the world’s top 64 and in turn has ensured his prize money will stay on his ranking next season.
“It was a very anxious weekend for me waiting to see what the draw produced,” said world number 57 Selt. “I didn’t know I was as low as I am in the world rankings. I had a bad season last year, it put a strain on my ranking and I’ve paid for it. It was nice to win comfortably.
“It would be fantastic to get back to the Crucible. I have great memories of playing there. The last session I played at the Crucible in 2015, I was 7-2 down against Barry Hawkins and got it back to 9-9 before going out. I’ve got a long way to go, I have two matches and 20 frames to win. This is the World Championship, it is the biggest event of the year and I’ve got to get ready.”
Elliot Slessor is enjoying one his best seasons on the World Snooker Tour. The Gateshead potter has beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan on two occasions, at the Northern Ireland Open and last week’s China Open. He remains on course for a Crucible debut after a 10-7 defeat of Eden Sharav.
2016 German Masters champion Martin Gould secured his place in the second round with 10-4 defeat of Paul Davison. He fired in consecutive breaks of 75 and 79 to get over the line.
Robert Milkins stormed through by defeating World Seniors Champion Aaron Canavan 10-1. He will face Scott Donaldson next, who defeated Welsh teenager Tyler Rees 10-5.
Stuart Carrington came through a late night epic against 1995 world finalist Nigel Bond. The pair slugged it out until 2am, with Carrington eventully coming through a 10-9 winner.