A resurgent Alan McManus holds a slender lead in his first world snooker championship last-16 match in nine years after fellow veteran Ken Doherty pinned him back late on in yesterday’s first session.
Glasgow’s McManus potted a string of breaks before the mid-session interval – including a brilliant 107 – but Dubliner Doherty chopped his lead to 4-3 as the pair resume the best-of-25 encounter today.
Before beating four-time world champion John Higgins in the first round on Tuesday, McManus’s previous triumph at The Crucible was against Doherty in 2005.
McManus, 43, was the unlucky loser in a tense opening frame, drawing three fouls early on after former world champion Doherty had roped him with a snooker.
But the calm temperament that saw him topple old friend Higgins soon returned and he compiled breaks of 69 and 107 to take the lead.
Another fine run of 71 saw him extend that advantage to 3-1 heading into the interval but on resumption the pace slowed down as the tension heightened.
McManus needed 17 visits to the table to clinch the fifth frame before Doherty, 44, edged a 46-minute encounter to stop the rot. The Irishman ended the session on a high but with some low-scoring visits, including an effort of 26 – his highest break of the match so far.
Should McManus reach the quarter-finals he will play either Mark Selby or Ali Carter. World number three Selby is s 9-7 to the good heading into the final session.
Reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan threw himself a lifeline by taking the last frame in his second session against surprise leader Joe Perry.
O’Sullivan, however, needs six frames in the final session today after world number 15 Perry’s 5-3 overnight lead became 9-7 to keep the Rocket on the back foot.
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