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O’Sullivan beaten by amateur Cahill in stunning Crucible upset

Amateur James Cahill (right) pulled off arguably the biggest shock in Crucible history as he completed an astonishing 10-8 first-round win over five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan

World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan crashed out of the World Championship in the first round after suffering a stunning defeat to amateur James Cahill.

In arguably the biggest shock in the tournament’s history, Cahill held his nerve to beat five-time champion O’Sullivan 10-8 at the Crucible in Sheffield.

O’Sullivan was a prohibitive favourite before the match after a season which saw him win five titles and compile his 1,000th career century on his way to victory in the Tour Championship.

But after recovering from 8-5 down to get back on level terms with the aid of breaks of 104 and 89, O’Sullivan missed a great chance to snatch the 17th frame and Cahill took advantage to move 9-8 in front.

O’Sullivan looked on course to set up a final-frame decider only to inadvertently pot a red when breaking the pack open from the blue, leaving Cahill to produce a nerveless break of 53.

The 23-year-old from Blackpool will face Scotland’s Stephen Maguire in the second round.

A delighted Cahill told the BBC: “I believe I can beat anyone on the day.”

Asked how he managed to hold his nerve to pot the final few balls to clinch victory over O’Sullivan, he replied: “I don’t really know. I thought I was going to fall over at one point.

“I thought I’d be nervous when I went out there today but I wasn’t. I was a bit tense in parts but I think I have shown quite a bit of bottle.

“It was nice to qualify and it was nice to beat Ronnie.”

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