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Gould Downs Selby In Preston

DSC_0164 2Martin Gould recorded a massive victory over World Champion and world number one Mark Selby to book his place in the last 16 of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston thanks to a narrow 4-3 win.

Gould reached the semi-finals of the German Masters last week, where he was attempting to defend the title he won last year. It was a result which pushed him into 32nd place in this season’s money list and secured the last place at the Guild Hall.

The 35-year-old Gould took control of the match in the early stages. He moved 2-1 in front with runs of 72, 48 and 142, which was the highest break of his career so far.

However, the two-time World Champion wouldn’t go away and forced his way back into the match with a contribution of 59 in the fifth frame. Selby then dramatically levelled the tie, taking the next frame on the black with a clearance of 64, which drew him level. The world number one had the first opportunity in the decider, but it was Gould who took his chance, making 54 to progress.

“If you don’t scrape him off the table he is just going to keep coming at you. That’s why he is world number one and World Champion. I’m very pleased to get the win over him,” said the world number 18. “There are no muppets in this event. Facing Joe Perry in the next round is going to be another tough game. Joe’s a great player and has been in good form reaching the Masters final recently. It’s a match I’m going to look forward to.”

DSC_0156Selby, who departs at the first hurdle for the second consecutive event, was left to rue problems with his cue which occurred a couple of days ago.

“The day before I came here my tip split, so I had to put a new one on. I didn’t have any time to get used to it,” said the world number one. “That takes nothing away from Martin. He played well to go 3-1 up. I grafted my way back to get a chance in the last frame and that’s all you can ask for. I had a chance and didn’t take it.”

Mark Allen displayed imperious form to sweep aside Anthony Hamilton in a 4-0 whitewash.

Hamilton won his maiden ranking title at last week’s German Masters after 26 years on the tour. However, there was little he could do in the face of a barrage of high breaks by the potter from Antrim. The Pistol made contributions of 55, 85, 78 and 140 to book a last 16 clash with Liang Wenbo.

Ding Junhui defeated compatriot Yu Delu 4-2 to progress to the next round. The 12-time ranking event winner had lost to Yu at the Northern Ireland Open in November, but Ding played the better snooker in a fragmented affair this afternoon. Next up is Shaun Murphy in this evening’s last 16.

DSC_0133 2Neil Robertson came through his first round tie with Ricky Walden. The Thunder from Down Under made an electric start with breaks of 108 and 78 to go 2-0 ahead. Walden forced his way back to 2-2 but the Australian claimed the last two frames to seal a 4-2 win.