Sunday, 21 April 2013

The new Welsh wizard

Michael White has already created a Crucible debut to remember.

The 21-year-old Neath potter completed an impressive 10-6 win against Welsh legend Mark Williams and it was almost as if history was repeating itself.
Picture by Monique Limbos

Two-time world champion, Williams, famously beat Terry Griffiths on his debut at the venue back in 1997 and 16 years later this was another case of a national legend handing over the mantle to the younger generation.

White was well worth his win. He looked relatively comfortable in the surroundings of the most terrifying and intimidating snooker arena. He also played with the same intent and attacking purpose we have seen from him in qualifying.

Williams was far from his best but this shouldn't devalue his victory. He was asked to play two sessions against an experienced Crucible campaigner and beat him twice. His reaction to what could have turned out to be a pivotal moment in the match was the most impressive though. White led 4-1 and missed a red that would put him 5-1 up. Williams hit back to level 4-4. This could have dented his confidence, but he came back stronger. This says a lot.

White has been threatening to breakthrough onto the big stage for a little while now. He is one of a few young players making steps to burst onto the scene right now. He is a fearless young potter who looks brave enough to take his opportunity.

His attacking game is very dangerous. He scores very well in the balls and quickly creates chances for himself.

This is a dream come true for White, who spent much of his youth looking up to example being set by Williams.  To be on the same table as his hero was one thing, but beating him is even better.

White can go into his next match against Stephen Maguire or Dechawat Poomjaeng with great confidence. He has proved he is a player to watch out for in future seasons and we'll be seeing much more of him at the tops venues in the years to come.

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