Day Dream Turns Into Nightmare As Ryan Crashes Out At The Crucible

By Simon Kendal-Williams

Ryan Day’s dreams of becoming world snooker champion have been shattered for another year after suffering a Crucible nightmare.

The Welshman looked well set to complete a first-round win over Anthony McGill, having consolidated his 6-3 overnight lead into an 8-5 advantage at the mid-session interval on Thursday.

But as the Scot gradually fought his way back into the match, Day became increasingly edgy – a far cry from the previous evening, which had seen him compile breaks of 141 and a tournament-high 145.

McGill was far from his free-flowing best himself, but still managed to level at 8-8, and the momentum had truly swung his way when he moved ahead for the first time in the contest in the following frame.

A nervy 18th frame saw both players spurn several chances, before 38-year-old Day fluked the final red.

Needing all six colours to send the match into a final-frame decider, the Pontycymmer player held himself together to clear to the blue.

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But in trying to gain optimum position on the black, missed a straightforward pink to the corner.

He did manage to pot the pink with his very next shot – courtesy of another fluke – but McGill gained the upper hand in the ensuing safety exchange, and completed a 10-8 victory when Day left the black over a corner pocket.

It was a disappointing end to Day’s most successful season to date.

For so long labelled ‘the best player never to win a ranking event’, he broke his duck by winning both the Riga Masters and Gibraltar Open.

But he cut a frustrated figure after McGill’s impressive comeback.

“It was sloppy, it wasn’t great,” said Day.

“I think Anthony won a couple of frames when his highest break was 25 or something.

“Next season feels a long way away – it’ll be a good month or so before I pick up a cue again.”

McGill – a former quarter-finalist – will take on world number three Ding Junhui in the next round.

In the first of the second-round matches, Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen leads Joe Perry 5-3.


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