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Ursenbacher and Yan To Clash For Crucible Debut

Alexander Ursenbacher and Yan Bingtao both secured victories at Betfred World Championship Qualifying and will face each other on Judgement Day for a place at the Crucible.

On an evening of high drama at Ponds Forge, Ursenbacher held off Scott Donaldson’s comeback to win a 10-9 thriller. Victory in round three would see the recent European Under 21 Champion become the first ever player from Switzerland to compete at the Crucible.

Ursenbacher led 6-3 after the first session, but was 5-0 ahead at one stage. He looked like he could live to regret not building a bigger gap when Donaldson turned the tables, moving one from victory at 9-8. However, the Swiss potter made a century run of 114 to force a decider. He showed great metal in the final frame and got over the line to seal a dramatic victory.

“It is huge for me. It would be amazing to be the first Swiss player to step inside the Crucible,” said Ursenbacher. “People are going crazy for me back home. They are happy for me as well but I am just here now to prove that I am good enough.

“Even for him (Yan Bingtao), it doesn’t matter who wins it will be absolutely amazing. I am going to try my best.”

Yan Bingtao secured his place in the third round with a 10-7 win over world number 34 Mark Davis. The 17-year-old Chinese star is making his debut season on the World Snooker Tour and has had a fantastic first campaign, which included a quarter-final appearance at the German Masters.

From 5-4 up, Yan won four frames in a row to get to the verge of victory. However, Davis hit back and moved within two at 9-7. Yan showed great character in the last frame, making a break of 84 to get over the line and secure the win.

Akani Songsermsawad secured possibly the shock of the day to defeat Joe Perry 10-9. It’s the first time the Gentleman has failed to reach the Crucible since 2013.

Songsermsawad had led 9-6 after making breaks of 105, 40 and 40 this evening. However, Perry battled back into the match, forcing a decider. It was the Thai who held his nerve to get over the line and he’ll face either Mark Joyce or David Grace for a spot at the Crucible.

Peter Ebdon secured a dramatic 10-9 defeat of Jack Lisowski. The 2002 World Champion made a typically nerveless contribution of 69 in the last frame to clinch his place on Judgement Day.

Michael Holt eased past Scotland’s Eden Sharav with a 10-4 win and David Gilbert is also one game from the Crucible after defeating another Scot Rhys Clark 10-6.

For full scores click here.