Snooker News

Morris and Doherty Strong in Furth

Irish duo Ken Doherty and David Morris will compete in the last day of the Paul Hunter Classic today in Germany after reaching the last 16 over the weekend.

On Friday, Morris beat David Grace and Sean O’Sullivan before recording an excellent victory over former world no.1 Judd Trump in the third round.

The Kilkenny cuiest was almost out at the opening stage when he found himself 3-1 down to England’s Grace.

But as has so often been the case so far this season, the 24 year-old dug deep and eventually prevailed in the decider on the final black.

From then on his confidence grew and having beaten Trump, granted the ex-UK champion was off his game, Morris will certainly feel he can go on and do more damage in Furth.

Morris’ next opponent is Stuart Bingham while Ronnie O’Sullivan is also in the same half of the draw.

The world champion eased through the rounds to the deficit of only one frame and will be strong favourite to overcome Anthony McGill for a quarter-final place.

Indeed, the ‘Rocket’ will be the overwhelming favourite for the title despite having not competed in many events so far this season.

O’Sullivan usually gets inspired by the bigger tournaments and despite the fact that this is only a PTC he will undoubtedly be inspired by the player who it is named after.

As well as the likes of Morris, O’Sullivan will face stiff competition to even reach the final with old nemesis Mark Selby also in the same bracket.

The UK and Masters champion faces India’s Aditya Mehta while English duo Martin Gould and Robert Milkins also do battle in round four.

In the bottom half of the draw, Doherty was in the thick of things and was made to work very hard for his hat-trick of triumphs.

The Dubliner needed a brace of deciders, over Joe Perry and Alfie Burden, as well as a hard-fought 4-2 win over Kurt Maflin, to set up a clash with Welshman Michael White in the last 16.

Doherty has been consistently okay, for want of a better word, the last couple of seasons – competing well without really threatening in tournaments too often.

But one feels that the 1997 world champion always has the pedigree to collect one more trophy for his cabinet, especially because of his never-say-die attitude.

The question is whether he has the stamina to outlast his mostly younger opponents with four wins needed on Sunday to emerge successful.

His half of the draw is just as competitive as the top half.

Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail is back in form again and takes on Jamie Jones, who has been very disappointing since reaching the World Championship quarter-finals in 2012.

Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon takes on Swail’s countryman Gerard Greene while Ali Carter, fresh from returning from his cancer scare, faces Bluebell Wood Open winner Ricky Walden.

As always in Furth and Germany in general, crowds have been excellent over the last couple of days and the players are sure to be treated to more enthusiastic responses today.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here

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