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  1. ITV Report

Amateur snooker player James Cahill relishes shock of beating 'idol' Ronnie O'Sullivan

James Cahill spoke to ITV News about his shock victory. Credit: ITV News

The mother of amateur snooker player James Cahill, who produced a shock victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan, says she now hopes he can "progress to be world champion".

The 23-year-old produced arguably the biggest shock in Crucible history with a 10-8 victory over his "idol" and five-time world champion O'Sullivan in the first round of the World Championship in Sheffield.

With a shock victory over one of the world's best ever, Cahill, whose mother is a former world number two, seems destined to follow in the footsteps of his uncle - former world champion Stephen Hendry.

A snookering family came as an early advantage for Cahill, who began playing in family-ran clubs before he could even see over the table.

James Cahill beat his idol Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round of the World Championship. Credit: PA

"I started playing cue sports when I was about four year old, my mum and dad got me into it a little bit - I was standing on crates, dragging it round to the next shot," he told ITV News

His mother Maria, who was watching his win from the stands, added: "I used to play on one table and he used to play on a little pool table.

"I'm just so proud, me and his dad and his grandma hopefully will watch him progress to world champion."

Cahill however is not looking that far into the future.

His mother Maria is hopeful he can become world champion. Credit: ITV News

"At the minute I'm still in the process of actually realising what I've done because it is a massive achievement," he said.

O'Sullivan was a prohibitive favourite for the World Snooker Championship before the match, following 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, O'Sullivan crucially missed the pink when he seemed certain to snatch the 17th frame and Cahill took advantage to move 9-8 in front.

Cahill could not contain his joy after beating five-time world champion O'Sullivan. Credit: PA

O'Sullivan then 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 to seal a second-round meeting with Scotland's Stephen Maguire.

After bowing out in the opening round for the first time since 2003, O'Sullivan admitted a combination of illness and his recurring insomnia had contributed to his sluggish performance.

"My limbs are feeling very heavy. I have no energy," he said. "You come here and try to do your best but if you're physically not 100 per cent it's just one of those things," he said.

He added: "If you could take a magic pill to protect yourself from this stuff you would.

"It's just life, it's not the end of the world. I tried to give it my best, I tried my hardest and it wasn't good enough."