Mixed emotions for the Welsh wizards in Sheffield

Mark Williams and Michael White began their quests for World Championship glory on Sunday evening.

Mixed emotions for the Welsh wizards in Sheffield
Mark Williams eyes up the lead (photo:Eurosport)

Veteran Mark Williams took a giant step towards the second round against Graeme Dott, whilst Michael White has it all to do in his match with outsider Sam Baird.

Chance conversion proves crucial 

With three World Championship crowns between them in the past 16 years, one of the stand out ties of the opening round was Mark Williams against Graeme Dott. The Scotsman was a man most of the top sixteen wanted to avoid in the draw, but Williams made a mockery of his status within the game as he raced into a 7-2 lead by the end of the session.

It was actually Dott who drew first blood with a break of 58 in the opening frame, before Williams found his form to surge ahead. Breaks of 54, 57, 66 and 76 in four of the following five frames gave the Welshman a clear lead, though Dott will be disappointed he could not convert his chances after scoring at least 25 in four of those frames.

2006 champion Dott did eventually strike back with a 57 break and the seventh frame, but 2000 and 2003 winner Williams ran away with the final two frames as he compiled another half century on his way to a 7-2 lead overnight.

Baird has the White stuff

World number 15 Michael White found life much tougher against outsider Sam Baird. The Englishman is ranked 59th but took the first and third frame as both players struggled to create any break of note. White eventually compiled an 86 before following up with the fifth frame, as he took the lead for the first time, but he could not make his advantage stick.

Baird responded with a half century of his own, concluding at 78, and another tight frame as he regained the advantage. The pair then exchanged the final two, with 60 from White and 108 from Baird, as another lower ranked player took the lead at the Crucible this year.