The Alex Higgins International Trophy got under way today with the preliminary rounds with mixed day for the Irish amateurs.
Recent international representatives Greg Casey, David Cassidy and Colm Gilcreest were all sent tumbling before the main rounds, as was Dubliner Joe Delaney – losing 4-2 to Kyren Wilson near midnight.
However, John Sutton, who lost to John Higgins in PTC 7 and indeed has progress beyond the qualifying rounds in each of his four PTC outings so far this season, was in excellent form in whitewashing Phil O’Kane and countryman Derek O’Neill.
There were also wins for local amateurs John Torpey, Philip Browne, Robert Redmond, Clinton Franey, Anthony Cronin, Ryan Cronin and J.P. Kelly.
Many of these Irishmen would be relatively unknown to the masses but have taken their opportunity to mix it with the big boys over the weekend.
Ryan Cronin, in particular, will be a happy man having set up a first round battle with Scottish former UK Champion Stephen Maguire.
Elsewhere, Craig Steadman came from behind to edge fellow Englishman Ben Harrison 4-3 in a tense decider while Jamie Walker, Sam Harvey, Robbie Williams and Michael Wasley also progressed.
A few players benefited from a succession of no-shows, none more so than former top 8 player Mike Hallett who advances to play Jamie Cope following a pair of walkovers.
Tomorrow, the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams get their campaigns under way with ‘The Rocket’ in search of a third PTC triumph of the season.
In other news, Judd Trump claimed the latest Premier League night by beating Neil Robertson 3-1 in the final and leapfrogs to the top of the league table.
The full draw and results for PTC 8 can be viewed by clicking here.