Joel Walker is through to the second round of the UK Championship after an impressive 6-1 victory over Alan McManus tonight.
The young Sheffield potter edged a scrappy opening frame but McManus levelled things up after a break of 76.
But Walker won five frames on the spin to book his place in the next round of the Triple Crown. Contributions of 79, 66 and 94 ensured Walker became the first non seeded player to win.
Rotherham youngster Ashley Carty, meanwhile, insists he is making great strides towards a maiden tour card after locking horns with Barry Hawkins today.
Carty – the England under-21 champion – arrived at the Barbican in York on Tuesday afternoon ready for a mouth-watering clash with world No.5 Hawkins.
Despite slipping to a 6-1 defeat, the match was far from one-sided – something re-assuring Carty that he is on the right track towards a professional career.
And if that weren’t ample encouragement, the teenager was able to cast his mind back two years when he first met Hawkins as a 16-year-old.
“I feel like I have improved a lot,” he said. “I gave him a better game now than I did before so I’m really happy with my progress.
“It gives me a lot of confidence because I haven’t been absolutely demolished. I’ve given him a good run for his money so there are a lot of positives to take from it.
“It’s great experience and next time hopefully I won’t be as nervous as I was. It just makes me realise how good you have got to be to make some money in this game.
“I always know if I play well then I’m going to give someone a game so I’ve just got to play the best that I can and hopefully one day it will come off.
“I’ll just keep entering these tournaments and with Q-School I will just try to get on the tour this year – and hopefully I will.”
Carty also had the added benefit of mum Vicky, dad John and a host of other family and friends watching on at the Barbican as he went head-to-head with Hawkins.
And he was pleased to offer them a display to be proud of – something he is hoping to repeat when jetting off to Lisbon for next month’s Players Tour Championship event.
He added: “I’m only from Rotherham so I had quite a few people coming to watch me, which was nice. My mum and dad and a few others all came along to watch.
“If I had taken my chances it would have probably been a better score-line. His safety was unbelievable – it was on the cushion every time I came to the table.
“It was really difficult to play against but I’m just happy with how I’ve played and I can take a lot of positives from it.”
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