Dominic Dale may have had a circuitous route to York but it has been a straightforward passage into the last 16 of the UK Championship. The Welshman followed up his 7-1 first-round win over Michael Holt by beating the world No 14 Graeme Dott 9-6.
After his nightmare trip to the Barbican Centre he is not in a hurry to return home. Dale took a wrong turning on the motorway and nearly nine hours, 530 miles and two and a half tanks of petrol later he eventually reached journey's end.
"I was engrossed listening to a CD of the Italian tenor Franco Corelli," Dale explained. "At the time I was on the M42 but instead of going to the M1 I found myself heading on the M40 towards London. I realised I was lost when I reached Reading. I turned round and thought about going home and then setting off the next day. But when I reached the M5 I knew where I was so I decided to come up here after all. I left home at 8.45pm and finally got to York at 4.30am."
Happily for the world No 20 it has been plain sailing in Yorkshire and he now awaits the winner of today's match between Ken Doherty and Terry Murphy.
He resumed with a 5-3 first-session advantage and stretched his lead to 8-3 before Dott fought back. However, a break of 64 calmed Dale's nerves and halted Dott's run of three successive frames.
Robin Hull beat the world No 13, Mark King, 9-2 while the world No 60, Mark Davis, put out the world championship semi-finalist, Joe Swail, 9-5. Hull, the world No 86, finished off in style with a break of 114.
John Parrott is out of the tournament in a playing capacity, but he still has his television duties to console him. The 1991 UK champion led old adversary Alan McManus 3-0 and 6-4, but eventually went down 9-6. He can feel aggrieved, after making a top break of 100 plus other runs of 51, 80, 80 and 66.