SNOOKER legend Jimmy White scored his best result in recent years by beating Ali Carter 6-2 in the first round of the Betway UK Championship yesterday.

It’s 25 years since White won this tournament, but the 55-year-old proved that he still has the game to compete with the top stars with a surprise win over world number 14 Carter.

White dropped off the pro tour at the end of last season but was able to return with an invitational tour card. He has enjoyed some impressive results this term, reaching the last 32 of last week’s Northern Ireland Open, but nothing as significant as this victory at the Barbican over four-time ranking event winner Carter.

From 2-1 down, White made a crucial yellow-to-black clearance to square the tie at the interval. The Londoner also took the next two frames on the colours to lead 4-2, then finished superbly with breaks of 128 and 61 in the last two frames.

“Ali is a top player,” said ten-time ranking event winner White, who now faces Kurt Maflin tomorrow night. “The first few frames were scrappy but from 4-2 up I played well. If there’s one thing I still know, it’s how to win. I had a couple of good wins in Belfast last week which gave me some confidence.

“I know I can do it, because I still do it in the odd match here and there. The big tournaments are the ones you really want to excel in.

“If my game is on I can beat anyone, I have proved that to myself today. I’ll practise for the next couple of days and look forward to the next match. It was really nice to get a lot of support at a great venue.”

Northern Ireland Open champion Mark Williams kept his run of form going as he saw off Pickering’s Paul Davison 6-0 with a top run of 88. However the Welshman’s wife Joanne remains ill in hospital and he has yet to decide whether to withdraw from the tournament.

Neil Robertson was in fine form in a 6-1 win over Rod Lawler, firing breaks of 118, 126 and 101 in consecutive frames. The result keeps alive the Australian’s hopes of qualifying for the Masters.

“I played really well and to make three centuries in a row in front of a good crowd was a nice feeling,” said two-time UK Champion Robertson.

Michael Holt came from 5-3 down to edge out Niu Zhuang 6-5, while three-time UK finalist Ken Doherty saw off Gary Wilson 6-3. Liang Wenbo top scored with 130 in a 6-1 win over Sanderson Lam.