THE COUNTDOWN to the Crucible intensified tonight as four matches went all the way into a deciding frame shootout.
Dechawat Poom Jaeng, Liam Highfield and Sam Baid made it two wins out of two in the World Championship Qualifiers after coming through thrilling matches to advance to the third of four qualifying rounds.
Thailand’s Poomjaeng halted a comeback from Liu Chuang who came back from 9-7 down to force the match into a deciding frame and Sam Baird did the same in his 19 frame victory over Peter Lines.
And Highfield had the slight edge over Barry Pinches winning the final frame to book a third round clash against last year’s World Championship quarter-finalist Jamie Jones.
Two-times World Championship semi-finalist Alan McManus kept his hopes alive of making a rare appearance at the Crucible after beating India’s Aditya Mehta in a long match which was forced to go into a third session due to time constraints.
Pre-qualifer Joe Swail continued his fine run after winning four frames on the bounce earned him a 10-6 win victory over Adam Duffy to set up a last 64 clash against Mark Joyce.
Jimmy Robertson and Yu Delu stormed into the next round after huge 10-2 victories against Li Yan and Ian Burns respectively – the highest wins so far in the qualification stages.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Tony Drago and Rod Lawler who progressed to the third round with wins against Andy Hicks and Fraser Patrick respectively.
Alfie Burden recovered from 4-0 behind to defeat Paul Davison 10-7 and earn him a third round meeting against Dave Harold.
The draw for the third round of qualification can be seen by clicking here.