Irish Trio into India

Ken Doherty, Fergal O’Brien and David Morris all qualified for the Indian Open after winning the one match necessary in Barnsley.

Ken Doherty - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
Ken Doherty – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

Doherty needed all seven frames to overcome Sanderson Lam 4-3 while fellow veteran Dubliner O’Brien had a much easier time of it in his whitewash win over William Lemons.

Meanwhile, Morris recorded a good 4-2 victory over Michael Wasley – a debutant in last year’s World Championship at the Crucible.

The trio were almost joined by the Irish amateur national champion Martin McCrudden, who came within a frame of beating China’s Yu Delu on Thursday.

Elsewhere, most of the seeds made it through to the last 64 in New Dehli.

Defending champion Ding Junhui earned a rare victory this season with a 4-1 success over Barry Pinches while the player he beat in the 2013 final Aditya Mehta will return to home soil after a 4-0 triumph over Hammad Miah.

The likes of Judd Trump, John Higgins, Ali Carter, Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens and Peter Ebdon all progressed unscathed and will among the favourites for the title alongside Ding.

Many of the higher seeds such as Mark Selby, Neil Robertson and Ronnie O’Sullivan chose not to make the trip to Asia.

Of the upsets, Michael Holt’s 4-3 loss to Allan Taylor and teenager Lu Haotian’s 4-2 defeat of Dominic Dale stood out, while Jimmy White lost 4-2 to another young Chinese prospect in Zhou Yuelong.

Players now turn their attention to the China Open qualifiers which take place today and tomorrow before the Welsh Open gets under way on Monday.

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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the Northern Ireland Open – won by Mark Allen.

1. Judd Trump
2. Mark Selby
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Kyren Wilson
6. John Higgins
7. Shaun Murphy
8. Stephen Maguire
9. Mark Allen
10. Ding Junhui
11. Mark Williams
12. Stuart Bingham
13. Yan Bingtao
14. Barry Hawkins
15. Jack Lisowski
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy