HAWKINS EDGES DECIDER
BARRY Hawkins won his first match at The Crucible - as he overcame a spirited fightback from Stephen Maguire 10-9.
Hawkins got a flyer in the early stages as he won the first four frames of the match before Maguire finally got a blow in as he pulled two frames back to trail 5-2, with the final two frames of the session shared to leave Hawkins leading 6-3.
Resuming Hawkins had to withstand a gritty fightback from Maguire as the former UK Champion traded blows with the Dartford professional to level the match at 9-9 and send it into a final frame shootout.
But any thoughts that Maguire had of pulling off a great escape were swiftly curtailed by Hawkins, who constructed a vicious snooker on the green that Maguire, while escaping could only leave a red to the corner. Grabbing his chance Hawkins showed great composure to piece together a break of 91 and finally break his Crucible hoodoo- and with it seal a 10-9 victory.
And Stephen Hendry was certainly teetering on the brink of a first round exit as he let slip a 6-3 lead against Joe Perry to find himself level at 6-6 with the Cambridge professional. Hendry though was able to pull himself together and snatch the fourth of the session and lead 7-6 at the mid session interval. Perry wasn't finished and stuck with the Scotsman to force a decider as he levelled the match at 9-9.
Incredibly there was more drama to come as Hendry looked to have established a decisive advantage in the final frame only for Perry to force his way back into the frame. And Perry will surely be kicking himself as clearing the colours he missed the brown. Hendry presented with a another chance to put the match to bed held his nerve to sink the brown and blue and move into the last 16 where he will play Mark Selby or Jimmy Robertson.
Elsewhere Ronnie O'Sullivan has a comfortable 7-2 lead over Dominic Dale while Stuart Bingham captured the final three frames of his opening session to hold a slender 5-4 advantage over Peter Ebdon.