THE FINAL night of the World Championship Qualifiers produced incredible drama as both Michael Wasley and Robbie Williams earned their Crucible debuts after potting a re-spotted black in the very final frame.
Wasley, 24, will take on one of the world’s top players in the opening round from Saturday, after he produced a brilliant long pot on the very final black to book his ticket to snooker’s biggest event.
In what was a nip and tuck contest throughout, Wasley led 39 – 0 in the final frame before Milkins then looked to have control until he missed a tricky black leading 64-39.
Under immense pressure Wasley cleared the table from the final green to force a dramatic re-spot before unleashing a superb long pot.
After the game he said: “If I had any shot at the black I was going to go for it and hit it hard,”
“It was the biggest match of my career and it couldn’t have been closer. It doesn’t matter who I play at the Crucible, I will be there to win. It will be special just to be there.”
Then, remarkably, Williams who earlier trailed Fergal O’Brien 7-2 repeated Wasley’s dramatic finish by potting the re-spotted black just short of 11pm.
Williams had the upper hand in the frame before O’Brien forced a dramatic re-spot with a break of 50+. Chances were missed and nervy safety shots were played as the drama reached its climax but it was Williams who earned his biggest win to date.
The final day of the World Championship Qualifiers also unearthed a lovely story as 39-year-old Robin Hull, who once the quit the game due to a serious illness, made it through to the last 32 for the first time since 2002 after beating Peter Ebdon.
Hull, from Finland, returned to the sport after progressing through Q School in 2011 and managed to hold his nerve against the 2002 world champion who put Hull under severe pressure fighting back from 9-6 down and looked to threaten a deciding frame.
Elsewhere, Shanghai Masters finalist Xiao Guodong was the first man through this evening after thrashing Li Yan 10-1. Guodong will also be making his debut at the Crucible from Saturday.
Welshman Michael White, who reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship last year, recovered from 6-3 down to beat Matthew Selt 10-7.
There was more Welsh joy as Ryan Day impressed in a 10-5 win over Stuart Carrington. Day and White join Tuesday’s qualifier Dominic Dale as the Wales contingent in this year’s Championship.
Martin Gould followed up previous wins against Mitchell Travis and Igor Figueiredo with a 10-7 defeat of China’s Liang Wenbo to seal his place at the Crucible.
And Jamie Burnett will make his first appearance at the famous Sheffield venue in three years after he came out on top in a close-fought contest against Ben Woollaston, wining 10-8.
All sixteen qualifiers will be involved in Thursday’s World Championship First Round Draw taking place at 12pm. The draw will be shown live on World Snooker’s YouTube channel.
2014 World Championship Qualifiers
Ken DOHERTY, David GILBERT, Kyren WILSON*, Dominic DALE, Alan McMANUS, Michael HOLT, Jamie COPE, Tom FORD, Michael WASLEY*, Robbie WILLIAMS*, Robin HULL, Martin GOULD, Jamie BURNETT, Ryan DAY, Michael WHITE, Xiao GUODONG*
*Making Crucible debut