Snooker-Women's great Evans edges Hull, two wins from Crucible

April 6 (Reuters) - Reanne Evans secured a brilliant 10-8 victory over Robin Hull in the first round of World Championship qualifying on Wednesday to move within two victories of a place at final stages of the tournament at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The 31-year-old Englishwoman, an 11-times women's world champion, weathered an early storm of heavy scoring from the Finnish world number 57 before launching a superb comeback to win four of the last five frames to progress. "I would say that's my best win," Evans, who secured her first ever win in World Championship qualifying, told reporters at the Ponds Forge sports complex, also in Sheffield. "Robin is an amazing player, a good break builder and solid. I just won the scrappy frames today and it helped me in the end. Winning in the way I did, I felt nervous, but I kept under control. "If I can start scoring a bit heavier, you never know what could happen for the rest of the week." Evans suffered a surprise defeat to Hong Kong's Ng On Yee in the semi-finals of this year's World Women's Championship in Singapore last month but revelled in the role of underdog on Wednesday. In 2015, Evans was narrowly eliminated by 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty at the same stage of World Championship qualifying after being awarded a wild card to compete. "I felt really good out there and if I had lost I would have been even more gutted than my defeat to Ken Doherty," she added. Evans advances to face Welsh world number 91 Lee Walker in the second round of qualifying, another best-of-19 contest, while Ng has a mountain to climb to progress in her first round qualifier as she trails veteran Nigel Bond 6-1 overnight. Briton Mark Selby is the reigning world champion and will begin the defence of his title at the 32-player finals starting on April 15. (Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)