Jimmy White came through a tightly contested clash with John Astley to reach the last 32 of the BetVictor Shoot Out in Watford.
The legendary ten-time ranking event winner is a firm favourite with the raucous Shoot Out crowd, who willed him on this afternoon. However, it was a scrappy battle for the Whirlwind as he edged through with a 32-18 victory.
Michael Georgiou saw the defence of his title ended by a 45-28 defeat against China’s Li Hang. Georgiou had a chance to snatch victory in the closing seconds but missed a red to a top corner when just eight points behind.
World number seven Kyren Wilson secured his passage to the last 32 by defeating Elliot Slessor 41-18. Following his victory the German Masters champion celebrated with son Finley at the table.
Belgium’s Luca Brecel fired in the highest break of the tournament so far, a run of 133, to see off Ricky Walden. The sublime contribution pipped Walden’s previous break of 132 from the first round.
English 16-year-old Ryan Davies continued a dream run, making some dazzling pots in a meeting with fellow teenager, 14-year-old Ben Mertens from Belgium. The Oldham cueman controlled the frame and came through a 37-12 victor.
Amateur Barry Pinches beat Ben Woollaston 51-44 in a dramatic finish. With a few seconds left, Woollaston potted the last red, and just needed a colour for victory, then potted the pink as the clock ticked to zero. But referee Brendan Moore correctly called a foul as the brown ball was still rolling when the shot was played. Moore consulted a video replay before confirming Pinches as the winner.
Alan McManus trailed Jimmy Robertson 33-20 with less than two minutes to go but the Scot grabbed victory with a run of 20.
China’s Zhao Xintong knocked out Ali Carter and can still qualify for next month’s Players Championship if he wins the tournament (read more on that story here).
Dominic Dale secured an important win in his bid for tour survival. The Spaceman enjoyed a 57-18 win against Malaysia’s Thor Chuan Leong. Germany’s top player Lukas Kleckers made breaks of 25 and 36 as he beat Ken Doherty 71-26.
The last 32 takes place on Sunday afternoon from 1pm, with the rest of the tournament to run from 7pm.
Ronnie was behind the counter in the evening.
Never seen Alan Mc Manus so animated! Naughty Andy Goldstein…
As for Ronnie’s assessment of Zhao Xintong, it didn’t go unnoticed! Here is Victoria’s reaction on twitter:
Now, seriously, dropping off the tour and having to re-qualify seems to have done Zhao a world of good. He looks much more focused and mature this season.