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White produces Whirlwind finish in Barnsley

Jimmy White has booked his place in the main draw of the 2018 International Championship after advancing through qualifying in Barnsley on Wednesday.

The six-time World Championship finalist has struggled to make any great inroads on the tour over recent seasons and he has slipped down to 75th in the world rankings as a result. However, the ‘Whirlwind’ produced some of his old magic on Wednesday, as he came from behind to beat Fergal O’Brien 6-5, wrapping up the victory with a break of 76 in the deciding frame.

White will now compete in the main draw of the tournament, which will get underway in China later this month, and it is only the second time he has made it through the qualifying rounds of an event this season, as he also achieved the feat at the Riga Masters, although he was then eliminated in the first round of that competition.

The 56-year-old has twice before competed in the main draw of the International Championship, although on both those occasions he lost in the first round, going down 6-2 to Barry Hawkins in 2013 before losing 6-4 to the same opponent 12 months later.

White was arguably not the most surprising victor in qualifying on Wednesday, with that accolade likely to go to amateur David Lilley, who claimed a surprise 6-4 win over Ricky Walden, recording breaks of 58 and 99 as he dumped the 2014 champion out in style.

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