Alan McManus averted a potential banana skin at the hands of Ng On Yee to book his place in the Second Qualifying Round of the World Championship on Friday, as Chinese prodigy Luo Honghao stunned Marco Fu.
McManus, a two-time Crucible semi-finalist, recovered from 4-2 and 6-5 down to defeat the three-time Women’s World Champion 10-6 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
The veteran Scotsman was punished for a slow start as the Hong Kong star took the opening two frames and moved 4-2 ahead before McManus drew level at the interval.
On Yee, appearing in the qualifiers for the third time, twice regained the lead to go 6-5 in front, but only for McManus to draw upon his vast experience and reel off four consecutive frames to spare his blushes.
He will now face Martin O’Donnell in Round Two after the Londoner saw off local boy Adam Duffy 10-6, sealing the victory with a fine break of 101.
Marco Fu will miss out on the World Championship for the first time in 15 years after suffering a shock 10-7 defeat at the hands of 19-year-old Luo Honghao.
Fu, who missed a large period of last season due to an eye problem, produced high breaks of 138 and 128, but could not overturn a 6-3 first session deficit and will now crash out of the world’s top 50.
World number 18 Joe Perry kick-started his push for a Crucible return with a 10-1 rout of Germany’s Simon Lichtenberg despite a top break of just 66.
Second seed Perry will now face China’s Zhang Yong in Round Two after he brushed aside eleven-time Women’s World Champion Reanne Evans for the loss of just two frames.
Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown produced an impressive display to defeat Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher 10-4, while UK Championship semi-finalist Tom Ford swept past Scotland’s Ross Muir 10-3.
Three-time Crucible qualifier Robbie Williams held firm to clinch a solid 10-8 victory over Sam Baird, while English Open runner-up Mark Davis overcame Liverpool’s Rod Lawler 10-6 despite his methodical opponent averaging more than 30 seconds per shot.
Former Masters finalist Fergal O’Brien, who was involved in the sport’s longest ever frame during qualifying in 2017, reeled off ten of the last eleven frames as he came from 3-0 down to defeat 17-year-old Welsh star Jackson Page 10-4.
Newcastle’s Sam Craigie continued his impressive run of form as he thrashed fellow youngster Rhys Clark 10-2.
The afternoon session played host to the first half of a number of intriguing ties, with two-time world finalist Ali Carter needing just two more frames to see off Yorkshire’s Paul Davison after storming 8-1 in front with high breaks of 120 and 127.
Six-time world finalist Jimmy White could await Carter in Round Two if he can press home a 6-3 advantage over European U-21 finalist Ross Bulman, having overturned an early 2-0 deficit.
Gibraltar Open semi-finalist Yuan Sijun trails John Astley 5-4 overnight, while former Northern Ireland Open winner Mark King holds a commanding 7-2 lead over Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo.
World Championship Qualifiers 2019 Results
Friday April 12
Li Hang 5-4 Niu Zhuang
Ian Burns 6-3 Farakh Ajaib
Ben Woollaston 5-4 Elliot Slessor
Mike Dunn 3-4 Nigel Bond
Ali Carter 8-1 Paul Davison
Jimmy White 6-3 Ross Bulman
Michael White 7-2 Andy Hicks
Yuan SiJun 4-5 John Astley
Lyu Haotian 6-3 Ashley Carty
Mark King 7-2 Igor Figueiredo
10am & 7pm
Robbie Williams 10-8 Sam Baird
Marco Fu 7-10 Luo Honghao
Sam Craigie 10-2 Rhys Clark
Tom Ford 10-3 Ross Muir
Fergal O’Brien 10-4 Jackson Page
Mark Davis 10-6 Rod Lawler
Alexander Ursenbacher 4-10 Jordan Brown
Alan McManus 10-6 Ng On Yee
Martin O’Donnell 10-6 Adam Duffy
Zhang Yong 10-2 Reanne Evans
Joe Perry 10-1 Simon Lichtenberg