Snooker: White edges past O’Sullivan in black ball shootout

Photo by Global Panorama / CC BY-SA

By Jack Wynne – Deputy Sports Editor

23 years ago Ronnie O’Sullivan shocked the world when he won the UK Championship, defeating Stephen Hendry 10-6 at the Guild Hall.

Last night ‘The Rocket’ returned to Preston to take on Jimmy White as part of the Snooker Legends Tour.

O’Sullivan admitted he was glad to be back in Preston at such a great venue.

“It is like Wimbledon is for tennis, it brings back great memories and it’s good to be playing in front of proper snooker fans.

1985 World Champion Dennis Taylor was also present to provide commentary whilst referee Michaela Tabb kept things in order throughout the evening.

Before the match between O’Sullivan and White began, Taylor came out to set the scene and soon had the audience in fits of laughter.

Despite O’Sullivan being the overwhelming favourite, it was Jimmy ‘The Whirlwind’ White who stormed to a 2-0 lead.

O’Sullivan gave himself a bigger mountain to climb, conceding a third consecutive frame.

Approaching the mid-session interval, the five-time World Champion reduced the deficit with a break of 85 to take the fourth frame.

Into the second session and a moment which everyone had been waiting for; a century break from O’Sullivan which meant he was now just one frame behind his opponent.

How the tables turned in the following frame when Jimmy White gifted O’Sullivan an opening and suddenly the scores were tied at 3-3.

White took the lead once more with a break of 73 before O’Sullivan took the game to a black-ball shootout after notching up his second century of the evening.

To begin with both players tried to pot the black off three cushions but to no avail, before White clinched the match in what proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable encounter.

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