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Brilliant Brecel Downs Donaldson

Luca Brecel won the last three frames to deny Scott Donaldson in a decider and advance to the second round of qualifying for the UK Championship.

The teenage wonder kid from Belgium found himself 5-3 down only to crank up the gears in spectacular fashion with back-to-back tons – having already compiled a century earlier in the encounter – to level with his Scottish opponent.

And after the final frame became scrappy and the balls went awkward, Brecel accumulated an important 50 point advantage that proved all but impossible for Donaldson to recover from.

Brecel has been making headlines right throughout his fledgling career, from winning the European Amateur Championship as a 15 year-old in 2010 to becoming the youngest player to qualify for the World Championship at the Crucible last April.

Now, the ‘Belgian Bullet’ will be hoping to reach York for the first time of a probable many but still needs to record three further victories to achieve that feat – with former quarter-finalist Peter Lines his next opponent tomorrow.

On a busy day at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, Daniel Wells continued his recent upsurge in form by beating David Grace 6-4.

The Welshman has endured a torrid few seasons on the Main Tour as he predominantly has held the unwanted mantle of being the lowest ranked player, or at least close to it.

But he has, through one way or another, continued to find ways of returning to the circuit which proves he has the game but perhaps has simply been lacking the confidence.

Now that the talented 24 year-old, who claimed the European title a year after Brecel, has started to learn what winning feels like he could become a dangerous proposition.

Elsewhere, Chinese trio Chen Zhe, Tian Pengfei and Zhang Anda are all successfully into round two – albeit the latter enjoyed a walkover against Duane Jones, as did Michael Wasley over Iranian Hossein Vafeei Ayouri.

The sole player from China who failed to navigate the first round was Li Yan, who fell 6-4 at the hands of Fraser Patrick – one of the amateur beneficiaries of some of the pro drop-outs and suspensions.

Englishmen Jamie O’Neill, Liam Highfield, Paul Davison and Ian Burns all notched up routine victories while countryman Craig Steadman and Martin O’Donnell scored a 6-3 triumph over Tony Drago.

Thais Dechawat Poomjaeng and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh are both through, though – Un-Nooh edging Passakorn Suwannawat 6-5 in a thriller – while India’s Pankaj Advani beat Sam Baird 6-2 to set up an exciting clash with Jimmy White.

Martin O’Donnell led Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon 5-4 at the time of writing (midnight). EDIT: TT went on to force a decider, which he claimed to win 6-5.

The full draw and list of results can be viewed by clicking here



Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.

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