Judd Trump made a century in the deciding frame to beat Dominic Dale 6-5 and reach the third round of the Betway UK Championship.
Trump surprisingly missed match-ball twice in the tenth frame but was able to compose himself and close out victory in style as he went through to the last 32 to face Mark King on Tuesday afternoon in York (Tickets still available, click here for details).
World number five Trump captured his ninth ranking title at last month’s Northern Ireland Open and is looking to keep his winning run going. His only previous Triple Crown success came at this tournament seven years ago.
From 2-0 down tonight, Trump took five of the next six frames with a top break of 110 to lead 5-3. Dale pulled one back with a run of 69.
Frame ten came down to the colours and Trump potted an excellent long blue and added the pink to leave himself the black off its spot. Remarkably he rattled it in the jaws, and later missed another chance at the black, allowing Dale to pot it and force the decider.
But Trump needed only one chance in the last frame as a fine break of 112 secured his progress.
“I’m very happy with the way I got over the line, ” said Bristol’s Trump. “I could have folded after missing that black and chucking the frame away. I really had to dig in, as much as I ever have done in my career. I tried to draw a bit of inspiration from Ronnie’s come back earlier because I could see how much it meant to him. I had to produce the goods under pressure.
“I don’t know how I missed the black at 5-4, I just took my eye off it. It was embarrassing. If I had lost after that I would have been devastated. When a few of the top players go out, you don’t want to follow them out in the same round.”
Masters champion Mark Allen battled to a 6-2 win over Rory McLeod with a top run of 92. He now meets Iran’s Hossein Vafaei who made a 139 in a 6-4 win over Martin Gould.
Marco Fu saw off Luo Honghao 6-2 with a top run of 144, the new front-runner for the £5,000 high break prize. The Hong Kong ace also knocked in 124, 83 and 85.
That set up a showdown with Jack Lisowski which will be crucial in the Race to the Masters. If Fu loses he will be out of the race, while if he wins and then goes on to reach the quarter-finals he will move ahead of Lisowski in the battle for places at Alexandra Palace.
“It will be a third round match of a big tournament so I won’t be thinking about the Masters,” said Fu. “I’ll just go out and try to enjoy it. I’m very happy with the way I played today because Luo looks like a very good player.”
Graeme Dott saw off Matthew Stevens 6-2 with a top break of 73 while Ali Carter top scored with 104 in a 6-4 defeat of Chris Wakelin.