David Morris reached the third round of qualifying for the Shanghai Masters after beating Zhou Yuelong 5-3 in Barnsley on Thursday.
In a high-scoring affair, Morris countered his Chinese opponent’s breaks of 138, 65 and 57 with runs of 91 and 52 of his own, while also claiming the tighter frames to deny Zhou a trip back home.
After a successful two-year stint back on the main tour that has seen Morris almost break into the top 50 in the world rankings, the Kilkenny cueist faces a new challenge now of having to defend against money he earned from the 2013/14 campaign.
If he is to continue his rise up the rankings the Irishman will be looking to keep improving by qualifying for more events, so he’s off to a good start at the Metrodome.
Morris will take on Mark Joyce in the penultimate round after a 5-3 win over Ian Burns.
Overall it was a very good day for the Irish as Morris was joined in the winner’s enclosure by compatriots Ken Doherty and Leo Fernandez.
In contrasting victories, 1997 world champion Doherty continued his good form of late by whitewashing Chris Melling 5-0 – helped by a high break of 86.
Amateur Fernandez, meanwhile, recorded his second successive 5-4 scoreline, on this occasion against Sam Baird.
Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail also got in on the act by overcoming Paul Davison 5-2 while young Iranian prodigy Hossein Vafaei Ayouri, who spends a lot of his time practicing on the Emerald Isle, ousted Anthony Hamilton by the same margin.
Elsewhere, Gerard Greene enjoyed a comfortable outing as he hammered Zak Surety 5-0 with Jack Lisowski doing likewise against Jimmy White.
China’s Zhang Anda kept alive his hopes of a return to his homeland by beating Stuart Carrington and fellow Asian Dechawat Poomjaeng of Thailand also advanced.
The rest of the winners on day two were English, as Andrew Higginson, Mike Dunn, Liam Highfield, Tom Ford, Jamie Cope and, past midnight, Robbie Williams reached round three.