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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 April, 2005, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Crucible Diary - Day Two
By Jonathan Rawcliffe & Phil Harlow
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Paul Hunter
Paul Hunter shows off his new haircut
The recent news that Paul Hunter is suffering from cancer came as a shock to everyone connected with snooker.

The Leeds-based star always receives a warm reception at The Crucible, but MC Alan Hughes requested a special welcome for Hunter this year.

The Sheffield crowd duly obliged, greeting the world number four with deafening cheers and applause.

It was an electrifying atmosphere inside the arena, and it was obvious Hunter appreciated the support.

The Yorkshireman appeared his usual relaxed self as he took on Michael Holt, with wife Lindsay looking on.

The use of modern technology in sport is all very well, but what happens when it goes wrong?

Officials at The Crucible were faced with that question when both tables' computerised scoring systems broke down on Sunday afternoon.

During the resulting 15-minute delay, scores referee Eirian Williams dug out an old manual scoreboard in an attempt to solve the crisis.

Luckily for him, a quick re-boot cured the problem and play resumed.

Some snooker players are impossible to read - whether they've just lost five frames in a row, or made a century, their faces reveal nothing.

Not so Paul Hunter's opponent Michael Holt. His debut Crucible appearance was characterised by an entertaining array of facial expressions.

Holt smiled, frowned and gurned his way through his match against Hunter.

And at the end of the first frame, he was certainly laughing, after making a debut Crucible break of 93.

Steve Davis may be one of snooker's most popular players but one prestigious honour could be at risk after his epic late-night defeat of Gerard Greene.

Davis kept a roomful of watching journalists - deadlines but a distant memory - waiting until almost midnight before finally clinching the 10-9 victory.

As the nervous and error-strewn 28-minute final frame proceeded from one missed pot to another, tongue-in-cheek questions about the Nugget's long-term future as honorary president of the Snooker Writers' Association began to be expressed.

But the cheer when he finally saw off the determined Greene left no-one in any doubt about where the room's real allegiances lay.

Crucible Diary - Day One
16 Apr 05 |  Snooker

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