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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 18:01 GMT
Parrott battles to Crucible spot
John Parrott
Parrott has come through Crucible qualifying nine times in his career
Former champion John Parrott produced a great comeback to reach the televised stages of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.

Parrott came from 6-3 down to beat David Gray 10-7 and ensure a return to the venue where he beat Jimmy White in the 1991 final.

"It's a big result because of the prize of being in the draw," said Parrott.

"It's great to be going back to the Crucible. It's the home of snooker and you miss it if you're not part of it."

I missed a straight green because in my head I was saying, 'you're going back to the Crucible'

John Parrott
His defeat of Gray is the ninth time he has come through the pre-televised phase, with 14 further appearances under his belt as a member of the elite top 16.

He has now set a record for qualifying more times than any other player.

"I played well in the first session but the balls ran against me. I was 6-3 behind and should have been at least 5-4 in front," he said.

"It was important to get a good start when we came back out and that's what I did.

"But I was clearing up in the last frame and missed a straight green because in my head I was saying, 'you're going back to the Crucible.'

"Luckily he didn't clear up."

Leicester's Mark Selby, who beat John Higgins 10-4 in the first round last season, earned a Crucible return by defeating Ricky Walden 10-6.
The top players will all be favourites to beat me but favourites do not always win

Crucible debutant Mark Allen

Northern Ireland's Mark Allen will make his debut in the televised stages after beating Robert Milkins 10-4.

The Antrim professional will become the eighth Northern Irishman to play at the Crucible.

Allen's girlfriend is reigning world champion Reanne Evans and he admits he was just relieved to have qualified for the Crucible.

"I was under pressure because Reanne's played at the Crucible twice in the ladies' event, so I would not have heard the end of it if I had lost," said the former world amateur champion.

"It is a big relief to qualify because I was 7-4 up in the final qualifying round last year and lost 10-7, so I was even more determined to get through this time.

"I have never even been to the Crucible to watch but there is no reason why I cannot beat anyone there. The top players will all be favourites to beat me but favourites do not always win."

SEE ALSO
Allen claims world qualifier win
28 Feb 07 |  Snooker


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