World Championship qualifiers: Sheffield’s Duffy misses out on Crucible debut

Adam Duffy.
Adam Duffy.
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Adam Duffy yesterday missed out on the chance of being the first Sheffield snooker player to compete at the Crucible in the World Championship finals.

The 29-year-old potter lost 10-1 in the final round of qualifiers at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield to China’s Xiao Guodong.

Trailing 8-1 overnight, Duffy had Tweeted “If I win tomorrow from 8-1 down I’ll buy everyone in Sheffield a pint of beer”.

But that expensive round was never in danger, as the Sheffield potter lost the opening two frames.

Duffy was Yorkshire’s final hope of a player reaching the televised Crucible stages – which start on Saturday as Mark Selby launches the defence of his world title – having earlier beaten Mark Joyce 10-4 and Matthew Selt 10-6 in the first two qualifying rounds.

Another player to fall at the final qualifying hurdle was former World Championship winner Ken Doherty, the 1997 champion losing 10-2 to Matthew Stevens.

Welsh cueman Stevens, who has twice lost in world finals and will be making his 16th World Championship appearance, led 7-2 overnight and swiftly wrapped up victory over the 48-year-old Irishman.

Chris Wakelin, from Nuneaton, earned a Crucible debut with a 10-1 win against China’s Tian Pengfei.

The draw takes place on Thursday morning, and will feature 2006 world champion Graeme Dott who survived qualifying for a fourth successive year, winning 10-7 against Mike Dunn.

Joe Perry, Ricky Walden, Robert Milkins and Stuart Carrington joined the players heading to the main draw, along with Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-nooh, celebrating his 33rd birthday.

But China’s Liang Wenbo missed out on a Crucible return, crushed 10-0 by Welshman Jamie Jones.