The Sunday Post (Inverness)
Crucible almost in sight for Scott
Scott Donaldson is just one win away from qualifying for this year’s World Championship.
The battling Perth potter beat two-time Crucible quarterfinalist Dominic Dale 6-5 in the penultimate qualifying round at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield yesterday.
But from 4-2 up against the Welshman, Donaldson somehow conspired to lose three frames on the spin and was forced to pull out all the stops to keep his Crucible dreams alive.
The world No. 33 won the final two frames of the match to make sure he stayed on course to quality for snooker’s premier tournament for only the second time in his career.
“I was nervous at the start of the match, but in the decider, well that was probably the calmest I’ve felt all match,” reflected a relieved Donaldson.
“It’s a big deal qualifying for the Crucible, but it is for everyone, so you’ve just got to play the balls and stay calm and hopefully you can get over the line.”
Donaldson established a two-frame cushion with breaks of 58, 62, 68 and 54, but Dale, the world No. 64, hit back with a top break of 89 to leave himself favourite to progress. But determined Donaldson held his nerve under pressure to win the final two frames and he now faces England’s Matthew Selt, the world No 32, on Tuesday in the final qualifier.
Selt, who beat Stephen Hendry in his first match back from retirement, courageously fought back from 5-2 down to beat golden oldie Nigel Bond to keep his Crucible quest alive.