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Tony Drago storms into World Seniors quarters at the Crucible

Alfie Burden and Tony Drago both put on impressive performances as they booked their places in the quarter-finals of the 2023 LLP Solicitors World Seniors Snooker Championship following victories at the Crucible Theatre on Thursday night.

Featuring in the world seniors for the first time since 2019, 57-year-old Drago had an average shot time of just 12.96 seconds and a pot success rate of 94.74%.

PABSA Pan-American Seniors Champion Puopolo from Canada showed flashes of his quality, but Drago displayed some brilliant shotmaking and rattled in breaks of 50, 35, and a 73 clearance as he recorded a 3-0 victory. 

A quarter of a century on from his other appearance at the home of snooker, it looked as if a very fluent Burden had never been away as he dispatched 1997 world professional champion Ken Doherty 3-0.

The Londoner hit breaks of 56 and 30 to claim the opening frame and never looked back, giving his opponent few chances throughout the match as he crafted further efforts of 43, 60, and 51 in a resounding win. 

The player that defeated Burden here back in 1998 was Drago, and the Maltese icon continued the quick green baize entertainment in Sheffield as he ended the journey of Crucible debutant Vito Puopolo inside 37 minutes. 

Burden and Drago will return Saturday for the last eight; Burden meets either Stephen Hendry or Darren Morgan, while Drago faces Mark Davis

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