Local interests rest with Jimmy at the Crucible

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THE televised stage of the World Snooker Championship begins on Saturday at the Crucible, Sheffield, and local hopes rest with Bexhill-based Jimmy Robertson. Jimmy has a tough first round against Mark Selby on Wednesday, but his travelling supporters are optimistic.

Qualifying for the Crucible was hard but wins over China’s Xiao Guodong (10-9), Malta’s Tony Drago (10-8), and former world champion Ken Doherty, 10-6, secured his place. Doherty led 6-3 but Jimmy then won seven successive frames.

In local billiards, Newhaven Con won the Green & Wade cup, an excellent achievement in their first competitive season. They beat league winners Uckfield ‘D’ 536-491. Gary Page beat Leo Hare by 190-185 in the opener, but Uckfield ‘D’ hit back through Pip Leonard, who handed over a lead of 42 points to last man Derek Douglas, although Ben Steer did well to restrict his experienced opponent. Darren Short played confidently and won the last game by 87, despite a late fightback from Douglas.

Newhaven Con had won their semi-final against Uckfield ‘A’ by 634-457 with all three players scoring well. Phil Bond put in a good effort for the losing side. The other semi saw Uckfield ‘D’ get home 569-446. Hare was mainly responsible for his side’s win, as breaks of 53, 36 and 31 saw him establish a big lead. Uckfield ‘B’s Patrick Adams cut the deficit, using his snooker expertise to make 15 successive pots (the maximum allowed under current rules). But Leonard still started the last game 100 points ahead, and opponent Steve Roberts was unable to overhaul the deficit.

The billiards individual final sees Simon Hall of Peacehaven bidding for a record seventh title. His opponent will be Hare of Uckfield, who beat Darren Short in his semi-final. Simon progressed to the final with decisive wins over Richie Barrett in the quarter-final and Ian Muldoon (your correspondent) in the semi.

In a postponed winter snooker league fixture played, Cliffe Legion beat champions Newhaven Con ‘A’ 4-1 to grab the division 1 runners-up spot ahead of Uckfield ‘C’. This looked unlikely when Sean Payne’s 70(25)-9 win put Newhaven ahead.

Anthony Flynn powered past an off-form Gary Page 63-20 to level the match, and Paul Scorer put Cliffe ahead with a 75(37)-29 frame win.

Dave Lewney’s 45 break assured a 62-8 win and a 3-1 match lead. Cliffe received a final frame walkover.