James Cahill on the cusp of becoming first amateur to feature at BetFred World Championship

James Cahill needs to win just four more frames to reach the World Championship
James Cahill needs to win just four more frames to reach the World Championship

James Cahill has his nose in front at the halfway stage as he bids to become the first amateur snooker player to feature at the World Championship.

The Marton-based potter holds a 6-3 lead against Michael Judge in his final qualifier, needing just four more frames to win.

Should the 23-year-old complete the task in hand during tomorrow's second and final session, he will become the first amateur to play at the Crucible, with the competition getting underway on Saturday.

Cahill raced into a 4-0 lead against fellow amateur Judge, having claimed the opening frame 69-22 with a break of 50.

He followed this up with further breaks of 82, 96 and 103 as he continued his blistering start.

Judge recorded his first frame when he won the fifth 66-29, but Cahill immediately extended his lead by edging a tight sixth frame 71-67.

The Fylde coast player recorded 79 without response to make it 6-1, before Judge again reduced arrears by taking his second frame of the afternoon 66-48.

Judge won the ninth and final frame of the session to give himself a chance with a break of 71.

Cahill earlier beat Andrew Higginson and Michael Holt in the opening two rounds of qualifying, the victory against Holt on Sunday securing him a tour card.

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, who will be looking to make his debut appearance at the BetFred World Championship, can look forward to resuming professional status next season.

There are 32 players in total still battling it out for qualification, with 16 of those set to make it into the tournament proper.

There they will come up against the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby during the two-week tournament in Sheffield.

Tomorrow’s session gets underway at 11am.