Two sessions were played yesterday, as the first round concluded.
Crucible Debutants Ridley and Hancorn Progress in World Seniors
Crucible Theatre debutants Adrian Ridley and Ben Hancorn are the latest players to book quarter-final berths in the 2023 LLP Solicitors World Seniors Snooker Championship after they won their respective matches during Friday afternoon’s session.
In front of a packed audience in Sheffield, Australian Ridley produced a very impressive display to dispatch 1986 world professional champion Joe Johnson, 3-0.
The Yarrawonga cueist – who qualified by virtue of claiming this year’s Asia Pacific Seniors Championship in March – looked comfortable as he rattled in breaks of 46, 57 and 73 to set up a date with either Jimmy White or Philip Williams on Saturday.
The second match of the session between Hancorn and Peter Lines yielded the first deciding frame finish of this year’s event.
Former English amateur champion Hancorn claimed the opening frame, but 2017 title winner and current UK seniors champion Lines levelled up and then went in front. Lines held a small lead in the fourth frame and had chances to go through but was unable to convert; Hancorn punished and took the tie all the way.
In the deciding frame, Lines failed to successfully lay a snooker behind the yellow ball. Hancorn immediately potted a brilliant long-distance red from the error and went on to make a cool 78 clearance to go through.
The Bristolian is set to face Gerard Greene in the quarter-finals tomorrow.
Everyone in the media room was impressed by Adrian Ridley. Nobody knew what to expect as nobody had seen him play before … well he’s seriously good!!!
Here are my images of these two matches
Adrian Ridley 3-0 Joe Johnson
Ben Hancorn 3-2 Peter Lines
That session was eagerly anticipated and attracted the biggest crowd ever for a session of “Seniors Snooker” so far. The Crucible was practically full …
Hendry and White into World Seniors Last Eight
Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White completed the quarter-finals line-up for the 2023 LLP Solicitors World Seniors Snooker Championship after they both won in front of a packed Crucible Theatre audience on Friday night.
Seven-time world professional champion Hendry is looking to secure this title for the first time, and the Scot is still on course this year after an entertaining 3-2 victory over 2011 winner Darren Morgan.
The opening two frames were shared, but Hendry went back in front with frame three after successfully laying a required snooker with just pink and black left – subsequently gaining the penalty points and later potting the final two balls for a steal.
Morgan bounced back from that disappointment by claiming the next frame without allowing his opponent to score a point to force a deciding frame. However, it was a vintage Hendry in the fifth frame, as he potted a beautiful long-distance red with his first shot and went on to make a quality frame and match winning break of 79 to set up a tasty meeting with Alfie Burden.
Off the back of his best season on the professional circuit in several years, three-time champion White was patient and resilient as he recovered from the loss of the opening frame to end the run of Philip Williams.
Golden ticket event winner Williams – appearing here for a third consecutive year – took the lead with the help of a 61, and was close to doubling his advantage as he held a handy lead in frame two with just one red left. White, though, gave himself a confidence booster as he doubled the last red and cleared up with a 34 to pinch it and level.
Frame three was also in the balance late on before White claimed it on the colours, but the 61-year-old found his groove in the fourth as he constructed a nice clearance of 70 to win the encounter 3-1.
White will face Australia’s Adrian Ridley for a place in the final four.
All four quarter-final matches will take place on Saturday in Sheffield with afternoon and evening sessions scheduled for 12:00GMT and 19:00GMT starts respectively.
This is by far the best I have seen Hendry play for many years. He’s clearly inspired by the Crucible and highly motivated for this event. I didn’t expect him to play for snookers with only pink and black on the table in frame 2 but he did and won that frame. That was a statement and it rattled Morgan a bit, you could sense it.
Here are my images ….
Stephen Hendry 3-2 Darren Morgan
Jimmy White 3-1 Philip Williams