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Surprise packet McLeod plays Trump card superbly

 

By John Skilbeck

Judd Trump was on the receiving end of one of the biggest shocks in World Championship history last night, losing 10-8 to rank outsider Rory McLeod at the Crucible.

The world number two, who won the opening four frames of the match but still trailed 5-4 overnight, appeared frustrated for much of the second session before play was halted until the evening with 46-year-old qualifier McLeod leading 9-7.

McLeod, who is on the verge of setting up a surprise second-round meeting with Stephen Maguire, has previously won only once at the Crucible and was priced at 1,000/1 to win the title by some bookmakers at the start of the tournament.

Trump, runner-up in 2011, took yesterday's opening frame in scrappy fashion but, after appearing on course to win the second, he let McLeod back in and was punished as his opponent edged back ahead.

The second seed was clearly struggling to get into a rhythm and was guilty of some poor positional play and wild potting attempts.

However, it was a mistake from McLeod which decided the next frame as he powered into the pack off a missed red, allowing Trump to make it 6-6 with a break of 65, his highest of the match.

There was some suggestion Trump was struggling with injury as he regularly grimaced and held his back, and he had plenty to feel uncomfortable about when world number 54 McLeod took the next two frames to move closer to a memorable victory.

The match was becoming a battle of attrition and Trump had to dig deep to keep himself in the contest as he again reduced the deficit to one following a 15th frame which lasted almost 50 minutes.

McLeod, however, responded strongly and although Trump pulled it back to 9-8, the Northampton potter eased through.

Former champion Graeme Dott sealed his second-round spot by beating two-time finalist Ali Carter 10-7.

Carter began the session in style with a century (111), but Dott, who won the competition in 2006, hit back with a 74.

The pair shared the next two frames, which were nervy affairs, before a 104 from Carter again reduced the deficit to two before Dott progressed.

Dott said: "I'm just happy to be here."

Ronnie O'Sullivan is in second round action tonight against Shaun Murphy, while Ulsterman Mark Allen starts his last-16 match against John Higgins tomorrow afternoon.

Belfast Telegraph

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