Snooker star Jimmy Robertson produced a very creditable display in a narrow first round defeat at the Betfred World Championship.
The Bexhill cueman pushed world number 11 Mark Allen virtually all the way before being edged out 10-8 at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield tonight (Monday).
Robertson, ranked 39, compiled nine fifty-plus breaks to his opponent’s five, although Allen fashioned the only two centuries of a fascinating tussle.
The 30-year-old Robertson trailed 5-4 after a very good first session on Sunday night, despite leading 3-1 and 4-2, and compiling five half-century breaks.
Robertson took the first two frames with runs of 60 and 86, and a 55 seemingly put him in charge of the third before Allen hit back with a 63 to open his account.
A 61 in the fourth restored Robertson’s two-frame cushion heading into the mid-session interval, although Allen clinched the first frame after the resumption in one visit with a 105 to make it 3-2.
Robertson continued to impress, though, and another fine break of 78 put him 4-2 up and on course to lead overnight.
Allen dug deep to claim the final three frames of the session, although the first two of them could have gone either way.
Robertson missed a tricky red with the score 39-39 in frame seven and Allen cleared to make it 4-3. The eighth was also in the balance until Robertson went in-off while playing a safety on the yellow. Allen then rattled through frame nine in one visit with a break of 100.
Robertson won the opening two frames of the second session this evening, the second of them aided by a 62, to lead 6-5. Allen edged the 12th only for Robertson to take the 13th with runs of 66 and 54 to go 7-6 up at the interval.
A break of 60 in frame 14 got Allen back on terms and he edged the next on the colours to lead 8-7. Robertson made a 66 to level at 8-8 and took an early lead in frame 17, but Allen clinched it 63-18 and rattled through the next in one visit with a 97 to seal a hard-fought victory.
Robertson, who runs O’Sullivan’s Snooker & Pool Club in Wickham Avenue with his family, was making his third appearance at The Crucible after booking his place with a hat-trick of victories at the qualifiers last week.
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