Blackpool snooker star James Cahill stands one win away from making history at the BetFred World Championship

Blackpool snooker player James Cahill
Blackpool snooker player James Cahill

James Cahill is back in action today knowing he is one win away from making snooker history.

The Marton-based potter meets Michael Judge in the final round of qualifying for this year’s BetFred World Championship.

The winner of the match will be the first amateur to play at the Crucible with the competition getting underway on Easter Saturday.

Having beaten Andrew Higginson in the first qualifying round, Cahill secured a 10-7 win against Michael Holt on Sunday, which secured him a tour card as well as his place in the final round of qualifying.

He is also playing as an amateur Q School top up this week, having been relegated from the tour in 2017.

Victory on Sunday means Cahill (pictured) can look forward to resuming professional status next season.

Cahill said: “I think I’ve definitely shown now that I am good enough. I just want to get on the tour and get up the rankings where I think I can potentially be.

“I have dedicated my life to it over the last year.

“Maybe a few years ago I didn’t do that. Snooker is everything for me and I’m glad to have this chance.

“It’s everyone’s dream to play at the Crucible. I have to win this next match first though. There are still another 10 frames to win, but if I carry on doing what I’m doing, then I’m going to be hard to beat.”

He meets Judge, who came through a final frame decider to beat world number 23 Xiao Guodong 10-9.

The 2004 Grand Prix semi-finalist, who dropped off the tour in 2011, has charted the most dramatic of routes to reach the final qualifying stage.

Judge only found out that he had a place in the event on Monday afternoon after Zhang Jiankang pulled out, allowing him to enter as a Q School top up.

Fewer than two days later he faced Peter Lines in a late night thriller, which he won 10-9 in a 3am finish.

Sunday’s match unfolded in an equally thrilling fashion as Judge moved 8-4 in front, before being pegged back to 9-9.

He eventually took the decider to claim another post-midnight 10-9 victory.

“It is great to have a crack at this,” said the Irishman.

“I was always hoping to have one more go, just to see how I got on and find out if I still had it.

“It seems like I am still doing alright, so I am just delighted to be back here.

“It would be the best achievement I have ever done. I have come over here to face best players in the world.”

The match starts at 11am on Tuesday with the final session 24 hours later.