Irish Snooker

Doherty and Morris Through after Tight Tussles

David Morris came from 3-1 down to overcome amateur Eden Sharav 5-3 in a tough qualifying round contest for the Shanghai Masters.

David Morris - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos

David Morris – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos

The Irishman hasn’t played much snooker so far during this campaign having decided to skip the Australian Open and the recent Riga Open in Latvia and it was tough going early on as he found himself behind at the interval.

However, the 25 year-old upped his performance after the break and, once back on level terms with his Scottish opponent, nice runs of 136 and 58 sent him into the penultimate round.

After an impressive return season to the Main Tour last time around, Morris will be hoping to consolidate and build on that by breaking well into the top 64 in the world rankings during this campaign.

Having already booked a flight to China once this summer by reaching the Wuxi Classic, standing in Morris’ way of a return trip is home hopeful Li Hang and subsequently England’s Mark Joyce.

Morris could potentially have been handed with a tougher draw so let’s see if he can make the most of his opportunity.

Joining Morris in the third qualifying round will be countryman Ken Doherty.

The 1997 world champion looked dead and buried when he came to the table 51 points down in his decider with Jak Jones.

Yet, in trademark determined fashion, Doherty cleared the table with a half ton of his own to set up a tie with England’s John Astley.

In contrast to Morris, Doherty suffered an atrocious time of it last year and is in desperate need of a solid few months in order to prevent what will soon become a rapid descent down the rankings.

This victory and especially the manner in which he saw of Jones in a grueling five-hour contest could be the injection of pace the Dubliner is in need of.

There were plenty of other final frame thrillers elsewhere as well as the competition for places in the main draw become even fiercer.

Jimmy White came agonisingly short for the second time in a week as he went down 5-4 to Joe Swail while Michael Georgiou suffered a similar fate against Jack Lisowski despite both of them boasting narrow 4-3 advantages late on.

Tian Pengfei, Ian Burns, Jimmy Robertson, Ben Woollaston, Chris Wakelin, Sam Baird and Andrew Higginson also required all nine frames in order to advance to the next stage.

Two exciting young pros enjoyed an easier time of it, though, as Luca Brecel and Kyren Wilson sealed 5-1 successes over Alex Borg and David Gilbert respectively.

The full draw 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.