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Ryan Day ends Jimmy White’s fairy-tale UK Championship run

Jonathan Davies in UK Championship

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White was beaten 6-2 by Day in York

Jimmy White’s fairy-tale UK Championship run ended following a 6-2 defeat by Ryan Day at the York Barbican on Saturday.

The Whirlwind received a rapturous reception from the York crowd as he became the first player aged 60 or above to appear in the last 32 of a ranking event since Eddie Charlton at the 1993 International Open.

White, who won four matches to qualify for the main draw, produced several delightful long pots, but he was generally no match for the in-form Day. The British Open champion hit breaks of 127 and 105 to seal a commanding victory.

“The reception I got; that’s what I live for, it was just magical,” White told Eurosport.

“It actually took me a bit of time to settle down. I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t produce for them.

“But I can build on this; I’ve had no form at all, and I’ve been practising hard. It’s starting to happen; it didn’t happen tonight. Once you let someone like Ryan Day get going, they just get stronger.”

The 1992 UK champion had the opportunity to draw first blood in a scrappy opening frame, but he saw it snatched from under his nose on the black after missing a tricky blue with the rest.

White stayed in touch at 2-1 behind with a neat run of 55, but Day won the next three frames with brilliant breaks of 127 and 105 along the way.

The Whirlwind controlled the next frame to briefly prolong his first UK Championship last-32 appearance since 2010, but a contribution of 63 was enough to see his opponent over the line.

“It was absolutely mesmerising at the start, the reception Jimmy got,” Day told Eurosport. “It would’ve probably been nice if they could’ve somehow got him out last.

“I just said to him after we finished that he’s been one of my heroes all my life, and to share that occasion with him was a real privilege. To play a hero in front of a crowd like that was pretty special.

“After the start, I was super nervous and full of adrenaline, I couldn’t really settle. Jimmy cleared up to go 2-1 and that settled me down. I played OK from the fourth frame onwards.”

Day advanced to set up a last-16 clash with Sam Craigie, who dethroned reigning champion Zhao Xintong with an impressive victory by the same scoreline.

The Cyclone’s title defence fell at the first hurdle as the world number 47 won five successive frames from 2-1 down, sealing his maiden venture into the last 16 of this tournament with a wonderful 104 clearance.

Elsewhere, European Masters champion Kyren Wilson survived a Matthew Selt fightback before eventually prevailing 6-3.

The Warrior has reached at least the quarter-finals in three of the last four editions of this event – reaching the semi-finals last year – and hit back-to-back centuries of 103 and 101 as he surged into a 5-0 lead.

Selt rallied with runs of 71, 65 and 55, but Wilson held his nerve with a contribution of 74 completing the job.

That set up a mouth-watering clash with Northern Ireland Open champion Mark Allen, who recovered from a slow start to defeat good friend Jordan Brown 6-4.

The two-time UK Championship runner-up trailed 2-0 as the Antrim Ferrari opened with a run of 84, but responded with breaks of 113, 105, 68 and 63 securing a 14th win in 15 ranking event matches.

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UK Championship 2022 Results

Saturday November 12

Last 32

Zhao Xintong 2-6 Sam Craigie
Mark Allen 6-4 Jordan Brown
Kyren Wilson 6-3 Matthew Selt
Ryan Day 6-2 Jimmy White