Doherty and O’Brien in Hunt for World Seniors Title

Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien are both into the quarter-finals of the World Seniors Championship after contrasting 2-0 victories in the opening round on Monday.

Doherty became the world champion in 1997 - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
Doherty became the world champion in 1997 – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

The Irishmen took full advantage of the much-maligned format change to allow players over the age of 40, rather than 45, into the fold.

Doherty required two tense and tight frames to overcome the 2010 champion Jimmy White, who was playing in a record 500th professional tournament of his career.

By contrast, O’Brien compiled a brace of centuries to stun one of the pre-tournament favourites in Peter Ebdon with runs of 105 and 110.

Along with White, there were mixed results for the former victors of the annual competition at the Tower Circus in Blackpool.

Defending champion emerged victorious in a close contest with Rory McLeod while 2011 champion Darren Morgan ousted Northern Ireland’s Dennis Taylor.

However, Nigel Bond, surprise winner two years ago when he beat Tony Chappel in the final, was downed 2-0 by another Welshman in Dominic Dale.

Mark Williams, arguably the greatest player to ever hail from Wales, arrived late following his excursions in Gdynia but still lived up to his favourite’s tag by knocking in a superb 140 total clearance in seeing off Darryn Walker.

Finally, John Parrott eased past Cliff Thorburn in a battle of the former world champions while Scotland’s Paul McPhillips denied Joe Johnson a place in the last eight with a 2-1 triumph.

With all matches up to and including the final only best of three frames, it’s feasible for any of the remaining competitors to think that they have a shot at collecting the 18,000 pounds winner’s cheque as the tournament comes to a conclusion on Tuesday.

Quarter-Final Draw

John Parrott vs Paul McPhillips
Ken Doherty vs Darren Morgan
Steve Davis vs Fergal O’Brien
Mark J. Williams vs Dominic Dale

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