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Whirlwind puts on a storming display
11:56am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Sport
They say it’s an ill wind that blows no good – but the ‘Whirlwind’ that blew into Bingley on Saturday night did nothing but good.
Six-time World Snooker Championship runner-up Jimmy White played Keigh-ley pool ace Chris Melling in a five-frame exhibition at the newly-refurbished York Street Sports and Social Club.
And about £2,500 was raised to help local baby Mia Brown afford stem-cell treatment in America.
Her dad Jason said: “Jimmy has come all the way up here to help and the night has been absolutely fantastic – beyond my wildest dreams.
“Before this we had already raised £6,500 towards the £22,500 we need to send Mia to America for two lots of treatment.”
What used to be known as Bingley Working Men’s Club was packed to the rafters to see the Whirlwind, who also played frames against Dave Scott and Lee Johnson, each of whom had paid £300 for the privilege.
Johnson was on the wrong end of a 138 break and needed four attempts to pot the final black but called the experience of facing his childhood hero “indescribable”.
White, who had just returned from a two-week holiday, said: “Mick (Speight, event promoter) rang me and I was delighted to come up. It is great to be helping out in what is such a good cause.”
Melling said: “It has been a great evening, it is for a worthy charity and I have been happy to do what I can.”
White, who was 50 last month and is ranked 44 in the world, still makes snooker look ridiculously easy and showed his class in controlling the cue ball.
Twin breaks of 31 and 75 gave him the opening frame 106-22 but Melling, whose nickname has changed from the Magician to Powerhouse, replied with a 67 to take the second frame after White had opened up with a 55.
An effort of 50 was enough to give White the third 75-12 and he wowed the audience with a 130 in the fourth, taking it 134-8.
Melling – who later entertained the crowd with trick shots – had also shown flashes of quality but there was no way back for him as White took the final frame 75-45 thanks to breaks of 39 and 25 after Melling had put his nose in front with a 31.
MC was Jerry Earl and the referee was Richard Bakes. Support also came from County Scaffolding and 06 Marketing.
The next event to help Mia is an over-30s rugby league derby between Worth Village and Keighley Albion on Saturday at Cougar Park (1.30pm).