League date for winner Stevens

Former finalist Matthew Stevens reached the last 16 of the Embassy World Championship in Sheffield this morning and then dashed off to play in a local league match.

Former finalist Matthew Stevens reached the last 16 of the Embassy World Championship in Sheffield this morning and then dashed off to play in a local league match.

Welshman Stevens needed only 63 minutes to turn a 7-2 overnight lead into an impressive 10-3 victory over Scotsman Chris Small.

Despite his superb display though the former B&H Masters winner is not guaranteed his place in the side for tonight’s Carmarthen League top of the table clash.

Stevens hopes to play for Pensarn against the Matchroom Club in Llanelli where he honed his practise for the Sheffield tournament.

“Luckily for me Chris didn’t perform like he has done all season,” said the world number eight who now plays stable mate Paul Hunter or Ali Carter in the next round.

“But I love playing at the Crucible and if you can’t play well here then you can’t play well anywhere,” he added.

Asked about turning out for his local club Stevens joked: “I don’t know whether I’m in the team.

“It depends on how the other lads are playing. I won’t know until I get down there and see what the captain says.

“The boys have done well without me so far because they’re top of the table.”

LG Cup champion Small was understandably disappointed by his poor showing.

“I think I overdid the practice before the championship,” said the 29-year-old former bank clerk.

“I felt like I had to put in the hours to play well here. But in the end I felt totally stale and didn’t have any buzz out there.

“You should be really up for playing at the Crucible.”

Jimmy White was certainly buzzing as he attempted to reach the second round at the expense of Thailand’s James Wattana.

The 40-year-old left hander began the day in deep trouble after losing six of yesterday’s opening nine frames.

But the six-times Crucible runner-up was a man inspired as he reeled off four frames without reply to take a 7-6 lead.

White must win the match to stand any chance of retaining his place in the top 16 next season or avoiding having to qualify.

White though was not in the clear and still required three more frames to qualify for a second round meeting against Stephen Lee.

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