It was a good day for the Irish amateur contingent at the Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy as Joe Delaney and John Sutton progressed to the first round proper in Gloucester.
Delaney has reached the main draw in each Players Tour Championship event he has played in this season but has been unable to go beyond the last 128 to earn any prize money.
The Dubliner easily saw off England’s Zak Surety today with a convincing 4-0 scoreline and will take on Jamie Cope next.
Delaney was, for many years, a stalwart on the professional Main Tour but found results more difficult to come by in recent years.
However, the 39 year-old remains a dangerous opponent for most on the circuit and will fancy his chances against an inconsistent Cope.
It will also serve as a confidence boost ahead of the upcoming eighth PTC event of the series in Ireland later in the month.
Countryman Sutton whitewashed Sydney Wilson 4-0 and has the task of challenging world champion John Higgins for a place in the second round while Northern Ireland’s former world championship quarter-finalist Paddy Wallace edged Reanne Evans 4-2 to complete a good day for the Emerald Isle.
Elsewhere, there were two gripping deciding frame victories for Ben Harrison and Allan Taylor – the latter knocking out another former pro in Thailand’s Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon.
‘Top Gear’ Harrison has been struggling in the last couple of weeks with a neck and back injury but back-to-back 4-3 triumphs will give him the steely determination he requires to progress further in the pink event that is raising awareness for breast cancer.
Harrison fired in a superb century in the match to quell any fears of the injury resurfacing and arguably has earned a favourable draw in inexperienced teenager Luca Brecel.
This is the fifth time this season that the Englishman has progressed past the amateur stages but is yet to win a match in the main event.
Elsewhere, Welshman Duane Jones beat Robbie Williams 4-1 while Zhang Anda of China, Sam Harvey, Kyren Wilson, Gary Wilson and Martin O’Donnell all made it through.
David Gray, who won the Scottish Open eight years ago, emerged victorious against fellow Englishman Adam Bobat 4-2 and will face old rival Stephen Hendry in the opening round.
Amazingly, Gray is still only 32 years-old but it seems like he has been around forever.
A former Top 16 member, the Londoner fell off the Main Tour only a handful of years after being defeated in the final of the sport’s second major – the UK Championship.
It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Gray go far in at least one PTC event and perhaps this will be his weekend to prove just that.
The full draw and results can be viewed by clicking here.