World Championship: Ricky Walden beats rookie Kyren Wilson to reach second round

Last Updated: 23/04/14 9:41am

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Ricky Walden: The Chester potter held off Crucible debutant Kyren Wilson

Ricky Walden: The Chester potter held off Crucible debutant Kyren Wilson

Sky Bet

Ricky Walden avoided joining some of the high-profile exits from this year's at the Dafabet World Championship after holding off rookie Kyren Wilson's fightback to progress 10-7.

Walden began with a 6-3 lead and the first four frames were shared, Walden's 63 in frame 12 sandwiched by breaks of 61 and 59 from his opponent.

Wilson, who was making his Crucible debut after toppling former champion Graeme Dott in qualifying, took a scrappy first frame back and added the next with a 62 before Walden dug in to make it 9-7.

A tortuous next frame lasted more than an hour before Walden finally took it on the yellow.

In matches yet to conclude, Judd Trump took a 6-2 lead over Tom Ford without having to be anywhere near his fluent best.

The four frames before the mid-session interval were shared, with Trump's 62 in frame three representing the highest break of a scrappy session.

Ford lost frame five despite being in first with a break of 48 and Trump took the next three before suffering the unusual fate for him of being taken off one frame early to make way for the evening matches.

Journeyman Higgins

Meanwhile, John Higgins has labelled himself nothing more than "a journeyman" after a second successive first-round exit.

"I'm not one of the top players that's challenging for events, I'm possibly a journeyman top-16 player now. The journeymen can have their day sometimes."
John Higgins

Higgins joined Ding Junhui on the Crucible casualty list as the four-time champion was bundled out in Sheffield by his fellow Scot Alan McManus, who earned a shot at Ken Doherty in the last 16.

Higgins had to concede his days as a regular title contender may be behind him following the loss.

"It's been a bad season but I'm a lot happier compared to last year. I think I'm playing better - that's a crumb of comfort I can take," said the 38-year-old from Wishaw.

"There's been times when I've been sat here desolate, but I still think there's some decent snooker left in me.

"I'm not one of the top players that's challenging for events, I'm possibly a journeyman top-16 player now. The journeymen can have their day sometimes."

In another first round encounter, Martin Gould fell 6-3 behind against Hong Kong's Marco Fu, who at one stage had a 147 maximum break chance but after 11 reds and blacks missed a treacherously difficult treble to stall on 88.

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