A dramatic upside-down seventh frame followed which looked as if White would snatch, only for him to miss a routine final bruise in the corner pocket by leading 58-55. The 1997 world champion pocketed it to set up the match ball but its positioning on the pink was poor and missed it from afar.
White used his reprieve to close the lead to 4-3, then forced a decider when a stunning 79 break punished Doherty, who looked set to make a big score until his visit from goal ends frustratingly on 37.
The 58-year-old went on to retain the trophy he won for the first time in his career last year by compiling a brilliant 85-year break.
White collects a check for £ 25,000 and earns a seat in the prestigious Champion of Champions event later in the year where players like Ronnie O’Sullivan will be in attendance.
Jimmy White took a small measure of revenge on Stephen Hendry for all his Crucible grief of the 1990s by beating his former rival in the Senior World Championship semifinals.
The sixth runner-up lost four of his finals to Hendry in the early 1990s (1990, 92, 93, 94) – the last one being particularly nerve-wracking when he was punished for an expensive black misfit in a famous frame decisive.
But White, who beat the seven-time world champion 10-4 in their last meeting at the snooker’s spiritual home in the 1998 first round, was the strongest player on that occasion as they secured a 4-2 victory that keeps his hopes alive. . to win this title for the second year in a row.
The hugely popular Whirlwind will now face Ken Doherty in tonight’s 7pm final, live on BBC iPlayer.
White took a nervous opening frame 79-32 before the Crucible King threatened a maximum break in the next – which he went on to win 76-17 – only for the dream to end on 64.
The 1992 UK champion, who lost his two other Crucible finals to Steve Davis in 1984 and John Parrot in 1991, returned to the lead at 2-1 with points of 39 and 37 before producing the first break. century of the tournament with a beautiful game of 130 after an early error of the Scots.
Hendry pulled one with two breaks of 43 and 30 for his opponent’s total of 52, but that would prove to be in vain as White’s run of 55 into sixth frame sealed his triumph.
This is the 58-year-old’s third victory over Hendry in eight Crucible encounters in total after also winning their first encounter 13-12 in 1988, while their other clash was a 16-12 semi-final loss of 1995.
White has won this senior crown twice before, but his first against Steve Davis in 2010 was played at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford. Last year’s edition was the first time it was held at Le Creuset.
“I’m playing well and I’m in the final now,” White said after the win. “It’s always great to beat him because he’s a very good competitor. But I’m just trying to win this tournament.
Doherty then staged a final with the Londoner, beating fellow Irishman Michael Judge 4-1 with an imposing display.
The 1997 world champion, now 50, took the first frame with breaks of 46 and 47 before the judge restored parity with a run of 49 in the second.
Doherty took control with breaks of 60 and 85 in the next two frames before sealing him with a 57 in the fifth.
“I’m so excited to be in the final because Jimmy is a hero and a companion of mine,” said Doherty, who was also a two-time World Championship finalist in 1999 and 2003. “It’s a dream of play here – May the best win. “
Senior World Championship Results
- Stephen Hendry (Sco) 4-3 Nigel Bond (Eng)
- Wayne Cooper (Eng) 4-2 Gary Filtness (Eng)
- Michael Judge (Ire) 4-1 Dennis Taylor (NI)
- Ken Doherty (Ire) 4-3 Rodney Goggins (Ire)
- Jimmy White (Eng) 4-1 Joe Johnson (Eng)
- Darren Morgan (Wal) 4-2 Patrick Wallace (NI)
- Aaron Canavan (Jer) 4-3 Leo Fernandez (Ire)
- Peter Lines (Eng) 4-0 Tony Knowles (Eng)
- Stephen Hendry (Sco) 4-1 Aaron Canavan (Jer)
- Michael Judge (Ire) 4-1 Wayne Cooper (Eng)
- Ken Doherty (Ire) 4-2 Darren Morgan (Wal)
- Jimmy White (Eng) 4-1 Peter Lines (Eng)
Semi-finals (Saturday 12 p.m.)
- Jimmy White (Eng) 4-2 Stephen Hendry (Sco)
- Ken Doherty (Ire) 4-1 Michael Judge (Ire)
Final (Saturday 7 p.m.)
- Jimmy White 5-4 Ken Doherty