The first half of Judgement Day live on The Sportsman, saw some thrilling play as eight players booked their place at The Crucible for the Betfred World Championship. Mark Davis never gave up and put in the performance of the day as he staged a remarkable comeback from 7-2 down to defeat Jamie Clarke 10-8!
"I don't remember coming back from that sort of deficit before in all my career, to be honest. Jamie really is a tough player,” he said after booking his place in the first round draw. “I've been playing well for a long time but for whatever reason it didn't happen in the first session. It's just crazy."
Elsewhere, Matthew Selt put in a phenomenal performance to secure his Crucible spot in sumptuous style. The 36-year-old Indian Open champion sealed his spot in Sheffield for the first time since 2015 with a 10-3 rout of Scott Donaldson with high breaks of 110, 106 and 135. "I'm delighted to get through. I came here knowing how good my game was, and when I was 5-2 down against Nigel Bond, I just assumed I was going home. I finished off well today but Scott let me off."
Meanwhile, Jamie Jones will be back at The Crucible for the first time since 2018, having served a one-year suspension from the sport. He reached the quarter-finals in his debut competition in Sheffield in 2012 and celebrated with a fist pump having disposed of Li Hang 10-5. "I realised the prize on offer today but I tried to take it like any other match,” he said after the win. “I'm delighted, the fist pump at the end was just a bit of relief. The people close to me never doubted me and I'm just happy to be back competing, I'll give it my best shot."
Norway's number one Kurt Maflin booked his place as the first qualifier into the Betfred World Championship draw as he beat Robert Milkins 10-4 as he hopes to repeat his performance from 2020, where he reached the quarter-finals.
In one of the all Chinese match-ups Lyu Haotian overcame 18-year-old compatriot Chang Bingyu 10-6 to reach the World Championship for just the second time. With three centuries, Haotian performed exceptionally well and looks like one to watch as we head into the main tournament.
Graeme Dott almost pulled off one of the all-time great comebacks but just fell short having battled back from 8-1 down to trail 9-7 but Tian Pengfei held on to eventually seal a 10-7 victory! “I got a good start but Graeme never gave up, he's a top player. I'm happy with the way I won this match and I think I deserved to win. Staying in the UK this year has not been easy."
Englishman Liam Highfield put his name in the main draw for only the second time in his career with a 10-7 victory over Zhou Yuelong while another Chinese player, the left-handed Liang Wenbo became the final qualifier on Tuesday night as he beat Lu Ning 10-7.
The best thing about Judgement Day? We get to do it all again tomorrow before seeing how the main draw pans out, which will be made at 11am on Thursday April 15th.