David Morris got back to winning ways in Gloucester as he won three matches at the Kay Suzanne Memorial Cup on Friday.
The Kilkenny cueist was pushed to the wire in his opening bout with Malta’s Alex Borg, needing all seven frames to finally prevail in a decider 4-3.
However, the 24 year-old was able to better control his subsequent ties and recorded a pair of excellent results over top-class opposition.
First, Morris overcame European Tour event three winner Ricky Walden 4-2 before compiling breaks of 87, 97 and 71 en route to a 4-1 success over Stuart Bingham.
The run to the last 16, which will take place on Sunday, will probably come as small relief to Morris after suffering a succession of first round defeats in October.
In truth, this was a minor blip in what has otherwise been an excellent return to the professional scene, but it’s good that he has immediately regained the momentum that he built at the outset of the campaign – when he reached the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time in Wuxi.
And the draw for Morris isn’t all that bad either with his next opponent being England’s Ian Burns.
That said, Burns, in his second year on the Main Tour, dropped only a single frame as he saw off Chris Norbury, Dominic Dale and Jamie Burnett in convincing fashion.
Elsewhere, Judd Trump showed some signs of a return to form as he eased through the early rounds, recording a brace of centuries in his win over Elliot Slessor and comfortably outpointing the dangerous David Gilbert in the third round.
The former world no.1 next meets Anthony Hamilton, who has played much better of late and earned two impressive triumphs over Stephen Maguire and Mark Williams.
It’s been a good week so far for rookie Chris Wakelin as well, the Englishman reaching the fourth round the hard way with three consecutive 4-3 victories over Liam Highfield, Mark Davis and Mike Dunn.
His reward is both a day off on Saturday for his trying efforts and the prospect of a clash with countryman Michael Holt tomorrow – Holt having similarly needed a hat-trick of deciders in a dramatic day at the Capital Venue.
Finally, Michael Wasley and former Crucible quarter-finalist Jamie Jones will do battle for a place in the last 8.
Dubliner Ken Doherty tallied the highest break of the day, a superb 140, but that was the only frame he won as he went down 4-1 to Swiss teenager Alexander Ursenbacher in the first round.
Two more Irishmen are in action today as the fate of the bottom half of the draw is decided.
Fergal O’Brien plays Thailand’s Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon while amateur Leo Fernandez, who came through three rounds to reach the last 128, takes on Jimmy Robertson.
The full draw for ET6 can be viewed by clicking here.