CRUCIBLE hopeful Adam Duffy’s dream of stepping out on snooker’s biggest stage hangs in the balance.
The homegrown hotshot trails Welshman Jamie Jones 5-4 after the first session of their final Betfred World Championship qualifying match at Ponds Forge.
Neither player was scoring freely in a scrappy opening nine frames, but Duffy saved the best until last, notching 65 to clinch the final frame of the session and leave him just one behind.
The gutsy amateur cueman, who dropped off the professional tour last year, has only reached the main draw of one ranking tournament this season.
Victory tomorrow would see him become the first man from Sheffield to represent the city at the iconic Crucible Theatre since it became the home of snooker in 1977.
Play resumes at 11am tomorrow morning.
Former world champion Ken Doherty is on the brink of exiting the Betfred World Snooker Championships in the final qualifying round.
Doherty, who lifted the title in 1997, trails Mark Davis 8-1 after the first session of their third-round qualifier at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
The 45-year-old faces an uphill battle to avoid becoming the third Crucible winner to crash out this week, with Peter Ebdon and Steve Davis having lost in the second round.
Graeme Dott, another former champion, must come from behind on Wednesday to book his place in the main draw as he trails world number 52 Yu Delu 5-4.
Elsewhere, former world championship runner-up Matthew Stevens leads Joe Swail 5-4 as he bids for a first Crucible appearance since 2013.
But former world champion Steve Davis will be missing once again from this year’s Championship after a heavy defeat to Kurt Maflin in his second qualifying round match.
Six-time world champion Davis, 57, bowed out 10-1 at Ponds Forge on Monday.
Davis lost in qualifying last year too and has not featured on the tables at the Crucible since 2010.
Maflin, London-born but resident in Norway, will face Fergal O’Brien next in the third qualifying round for his chance to move on to Sheffield.