Snooker: James steps up a gear

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Steve James, a former member of the world top 10 now 24th in the rankings, moved into the last 32 of the International Open in Aberdeen yesterday.

James, registered only his fourth win in eight tournaments this season by defeating Jamie Woodman 5-3.

"Since I was banned from driving just before Christmas, getting the right amount of practice has been difficult to say the least," James said. "I am only practising for about five or six hours a week right now and I badly need a lot of matches under my belt to get back into the swing of things.

"It's all about concentration with me and today that was pretty good," added James, who highlighted a solid performance with breaks of 46, 55, 45 and 47.

James is the only player to have beaten Stephen Hendry at The Crucible in the 1990s, defeating him 13-11 in the World Championship six years ago.