In a day of relatively few, if any, shocks, Irishmen John Sutton and Douglas Hogan progressed to the final amateur qualifying round of Players Tour Championship 5 in Sheffield.
However, former Irish amateur champion Dessie Sheehan was not so fortunate – succumbing to a 4-2 defeat to Zak Surety.
Sutton whitewashed Canadian Brent Kolbeck in a comfortable triumph while Hogan, no relation to Irish professional David Hogan, ousted unheralded Englishman Nikolas Charalambous 4-1.
Despite Kolbeck’s heavy defeat it is nice to see a Canadian back on the snooker scene.
It is a long time now since the days of Cliff Thorburn, Kirk Stevens and Alain Robidoux and it would be fantastic if the sport in the North American country could ignite in popularity once again.
Indeed, there is no reason to believe that this is impossible to happen as many successful tournaments have been held there in the past and one star could allow an old market to resurface.
Former professional Top 16 members David Gray and Mike Hallett enjoyed triumphs and will face tricky encounters on the second day if they want to progress to the main event.
Gray takes on countryman Joel Walker, a player that has enjoyed a lot of wins so far in the PTC series and appears to be a youngster with big potential.
Hallett, meanwhile, faces James Murdoch – unfortunately not the same James Murdoch that has News Corporation in such a bind.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Allan Taylor, Duane Jones, Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon and Ben ‘Top Gear’ Harrison, who has set up an intriguing clash with the talented Stephen Craigie.
Scotsman Eden Sharav, who is in the top 64 in the PTC Order of Merit standings and will feel aggrieved to have had to play qualifying rounds at all (read here), continued his good campaign with a 4-2 victory over Alan Edmonds.
Other former Main Tour players in China’s Zhang Anda and Patrick Wallace of Northern Ireland also made it through to the final qualifying round tomorrow.