• World Snooker Championship

Trump in front against Dale at Crucible

ESPN staff
April 23, 2013
Judd Trump raised his game after the midsession interval against Dominic Dale © PA Photos

Judd Trump kicked off his bid for a maiden World Snooker Championship by opening up a 6-3 lead over Dominic Dale in the first round at the Crucible.

The finalist from 2011 was slow out of the blocks as a couple of frames turned scrappy, but once in full flight the world No. 3 powered his way to a healthy advantage.

Trump was on course to clinch the first frame, but from 54 points adrift Dale counter-attacked and moved in front with a break of 60.

A fluid 88 saw Trump level, and then the Ace in the Pack sealed a messy third frame to lead for the first time. However, Welshman Dale responded to pinch the fourth and head into the midsession interval all-square.

Trump then turned on the style and put some daylight between himself and Dale after the interval. He blasted in the highest break of the tournament with a clearance of 142 coupled with an 82 to go 6-2 up, but Dale won the ninth frame after Trump missed the final blue to the middle pocket - much to Dale's astonishment - with the frame at his mercy.

Two-time Crucible finalist Matthew Stevens trails Marco Fu 6-3 after their opening session, and the Welshman will count himself fortunate to be just the three frames behind.

Fu was the dominant player in the early stages of the contest, racing into a 3-0 lead with a top run of 70.

An 83 from Stevens reduced the deficit to two frames, but Fu pulled further clear by rattling in breaks of 62 and 71. A brilliant cut-black on a respotted black gave Stevens the seventh frame to make the score 5-2.

Stevens, who reached the semi-finals last year but lost out to eventual champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, managed to take the final frame of the session to keep within reach of his opponent.

Ding Junhui is in control of his first round tie against Alan McManus as China's No. 1 leads 7-2 against the Scot.

It was McManus on his return to Sheffield after seven years who started brightly, recovering from dropping the opening frame to lead 2-1. However, already with a 131 in his pocket, Ding fired in breaks of 67, 61, 129, 51 and 81 to win six frames on the spin and leave McManus in plenty of work to do.

Dechawat Poomjaeng won a war of attrition to topple Stephen Maguire 10-9 in a match that went into a third session.

Poomjaeng led 9-8 when play was called on the second session and although Maguire forced a decider, it was the Thai who held his nerve to prevail.

Mark Selby is well placed to advance to round two after securing a 6-3 lead over Matthew Selt , although the latter gave himself some hope by winning the final two frames of the session.

Ali Carter produced a brilliant comeback to reel off seven unanswered frames to beat Ben Woollaston 10-4. His reward is a clash with defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

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