SNOOKER South West trio head to Theatre of dreams

A trio of South Western raiders will head for the Crucible Theatre this week for the World Snooker Championships.

Two of them – 24 year old Devonian Sam Baird and Gloucester 21-year-old Jack Lisowski – will be making their debut at the game's most iconic venue after final qualifying.

Baird, the world number 81, is the lowest-ranked qualifier but got there in style with a 10-3 hammering of world number 19 Joe Perry, including a 142 break, the highest of the pre-TV stages.

That followed 10-9 wins over Rory McLeod and Peter Lines, and now the Uffculme-born player, part of the On Q Promotions stable, based at Gloucester's South West Snooker Academy, will play Stuart Bingham, the world number seven, in Sheffield.

Lisowski eased past Fergal O'Brien 10-4 to clinch his first trip to Sheffield, and the world number 34 will now face Barry Hawkins, the world number 15.

The final South West qualifier Rob Milkins will play in Sheffield for the first time since 2005, when he was crushed 10-1 by Mark Williams in a match which ended with a 147 maximum from the Welshman.

Milkins, 37, ranked 18 in the world, qualified with a 10-6 win over six-times Crucible runner-up Jimmy White, and faces the current world number one and former world champion, Australian Neil Robertson.


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