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Cahill Secures Significant Advantage

James Cahill earned a 7-2 lead over seven-time Crucible king Stephen Hendry after the first session of their Cazoo World Championship qualifying clash at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

Blackpool’s Cahill requires just three more frames to progress to the second round. He’s aiming for a first trip to the Crucible since his memorable run to the last 16 in 2019, when he defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan along the way.

Hendry requires an almighty fightback to continue his quest for a return to the Theatre of Dreams. The last time he walked out at the Crucible was in 2012, after which he initially retired from the sport. Following a nine year hiatus, he returned to the professional circuit at the 2021 Gibraltar Open.

Things looked good for the legendary Scot in the early stages, he crafted a break of 102 to take the opener and lead 1-0. The contribution was the 777th century of his storied career. However, from that moment Cahill took charge and fired in runs of 77, 50, 54, 57 and 63 on his way moving 6-1 ahead.

Cahill had then looked set to extend his lead further when he made a break of 63 in the eighth, but Hendry countered with a superb clearance of 75 to steal on the black. Despite that Cahill dominated the last frame of the session and ended five in front at 7-2. They return at 7pm this evening to play out the remainder of the tie.

Hong Kong’s three-time Women’s World Champion Ng On Yee crafted the highest ever break by a female player at the World Championship, a run of 115, as she ended 5-4 down in her clash with Michael Holt.

On Yee made a break of 55 on her way to taking the opener, before Holt pinned her back with 75 in the second to restore parity at 1-1. On Yee then composed her run of 115, which was only the third century ever by a woman in the World Championship, to lead 2-1.

Holt hit back and took the next three on the bounce to lead 4-2. The next two were shared, before On Yee edged a tight last to set up an enthralling final session this evening at 7pm.

Dublin’s 1997 Crucible king Ken Doherty ended 5-3 up on 12-time women’s World Champion Reanne Evans.

Doherty last appeared at the Crucible in 2014, while one of Evan’s greatest victories saw her defeat Robin Hull 10-8 in 2017 World Championship qualifying.

It was Doherty who top scored with 74 in this morning’s first session and they will return at 7pm.

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