Snooker: Hunter repays welcome with battling first session

Paul Hunter held a slender 5-4 lead over Michael Holt at the end of an emotional opening session in their world championship first-round match yesterday.

Paul Hunter held a slender 5-4 lead over Michael Holt at the end of an emotional opening session in their world championship first-round match yesterday.

Hunter, the world No 4, who recently announced he has been diagnosed with colon cancer, received an enthusiastic welcome from the Crucible crowd as he entered the arena. "It was a great reception and I appreciate all the support I'm getting," Hunter said.

Holt won two of the first three frames before Hunter led for the first time in the match at 3-2. A break of 74 saw Hunter go 4-2 up, but Holt kept in touch by winning two of the last three frames. The best-of-19-frames match ends today.

Hunter could withdraw if tests show an immediate course of chemotherapy is required. "He seems to be handling things quite well. We had a laugh out there," Holt said. "The crowd want him to do well ­ it's nothing personal. If it made any difference to his health I would lose 10-0. But it won't so I've got to try and win."

Alan McManus was a relieved man at reaching the second round after beating his fellow Scot Drew Henry 10-9. "I thought at 9-8 down it was curtains," he said. He is joined by Matthew Stevens, who beat Andy Hicks 10-5, and the veteran Steve Davis, who edged out Gerard Greene 10-9.

Ronnie O'Sullivan produced a startling fightback to beat Stephen Maguire 10-9 on Saturday.

Maguire, the UK champion, missed a blackthat would have sealed a 10-7 win. O'Sullivan made the most of his reprieve with a 35 clearance, then levelled the match at 9-9 with a break of 74 before making 68 to win the decider.

Embassy World Championship (Sheffield): Today's order of play: 10am: C Small (Sco) v S Murphy (Eng); K Doherty (Irl) v B Pinches (Eng). 2.30pm: P Hunter (Eng) v M Holt (Eng), J White (Eng) v F O'Brien (Irl). 7pm: K Doherty (Irl) v B Pinches (Eng); JHiggins (Sco) v M Selby (Eng).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk