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White Lightning Strikes The Juddernaut

Michael White produced an impressive display to defeat Judd Trump 4-1 and progress to the last 16 of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston.

World number 28 White, who won his second ranking title at the Paul Hunter Classic earlier in the season, has made a habit of claiming big name scalps at the Guild Hall. He beat four-time World Champion John Higgins in the first round of last year’s event.

Trump’s disappointing start to 2018 continues. The 2011 UK Champion surrendered a 5-2 lead in his Masters semi-final against Kyren Wilson last month, eventually losing out 6-5. Trump will also miss out on the season’s penultimate event, the China Open, after losing his qualifying clash with world number 86 Jak Jones.

White compiled runs of 55 and 89 on his way to establishing a 3-1 advantage. The fifth frame then went to a re-spot with the scores tied at 42-42 and White forced himself over the line with a sweetly cued black from long range.

The Welshman punched the air after scoring a fine win and revealed afterwards that he is in the process of implementing some changes with his game.

“I’ve been practising hard over the last week or so. I’ve tweaked a couple of things with my game and it didn’t quite come out as I would have liked tonight,” said the 26-year-old from Neath. “I felt that my cue action was too short and I have just tried to lengthen my backswing. I still need to work on it.”

Anthony McGill recorded a 4-1 defeat of Scottish Open finalist Cao Yupeng.

It was an important clash in the race to qualify for the Ladbrokes Players Championship. Only the top 16 in the one-year list will progress to the lucrative Llandudno event and this evening’s match saw the 15th and 18th ranked players meet.

The Scot top scored with a century run of 102 and will face either Mark Williams or Stuart Bingham in the last 16.

2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy continued one of the best seasons of his career with a 4-1 defeat of Ricky Walden.

The Magician picked up a significant victory at the Champion of Champions earlier in the season, when he defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final. He’s also been runner-up at the China Championship, Paul Hunter Classic and UK Championship this term.

Murphy sealed his victory this evening in impressive fashion with contributions of 84 and 105 in the last two frames and will face Jack Lisowski in the last 16.

Neil Robertson also racked up a 4-1 win, defeating David Gilbert to book his last 16 spot.

The Thunder from Down Under dropped out of the world’s top 16 before Christmas, but instantly bounced back with a 13th ranking event victory at the Scottish Open in December.

Robertson looked to be in impressive touch this evening making four breaks over fifty and top scoring with 102 to clinch victory.