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Barry Hawkins beats Matt Selt 10-9 at The Crucible to reach the second round of the World Snooker Championship

Ditton's Barry Hawkins. Picture: World Snooker
Ditton's Barry Hawkins. Picture: World Snooker

Ditton potter Barry Hawkins survived a stunning fightback by Matt Selt to reach the second round of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.

Hawkins needed three frames after ending Sunday's sessions 7-2 ahead, and just one when he led 9-4, but Selt won five frames in a row to force a decider, leaving the 2013 runner-up in danger of an early exit.

However when Selt missed a long red Hawkins took advantage with breaks of 32 and 43 to book his place in round two where he will play Mark Allen or Ryan Day.

The nail-biting finale would not have surprised many watching when the pair were locked at 2-2 going into the mid-session interval, before Hawkins stepped things up a gear to reel off the final five frames.

The world No.5 got off to a perfect start at the iconic Crucible Theatre as a 51 break handed him the opener but, to his credit, Selt responded to claim two of the next three.

However, the Romford-born cueman was struggling to compile sizable contributions when in the balls – ultimately 39 was his high break of the session – and Hawkins ruthlessly took advantage.

The 35-year-old lost 18-12 to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the 2013 World final and, while he is not one of the favourites to appear in the showpiece this year, if he remains this clinical he can certainly cause any opponent problems.

Breaks of 47, 91 and 64 after the interval put him 5-2 ahead before he held his nerve to pinch frame eight.

Selt was in the balls and looked well set on 37 but broke down allowing Hawkins to seal it with a 70.

And in a potentially pivotal ninth frame, the world No.30 squandered two further opportunities to narrow the gap to three.

British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments per season including the World Championship, UK Championship the Masters and all other ranking events. Available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT TV or online/mobile via eurosportplayer.com #eurosportsnooker

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