Josh Boileau was denied a place in the Paul Hunter Classic main draw after a narrow 4-3 loss to Scotland’s Marc Davis in the final round of qualifying on Thursday in Furth.
Boileau had become the only Irish amateur to make it the last stage of the preliminaries when he beat countryman Andrew Doherty in the penultimate round, but fell agonosingly short at the final hurdle.
It’s a shame for the 20 year-old as victory would not only have seen him enter the last 128 of the competition, where money and TV exposure is are on offer, but his opponent would have been former champion Judd Trump.
Fellow Irishmen Tony Corrigan, Dessie Sheehan and Charlie Sweeney exited the event in the second qualifying round earlier on day two.
Somewhat disappointingly for the home supporters in Germany, only stalwart ex professional Patrick Einsle was able to advance into the first round proper after he dispatched of Corrigan’s conqueror Chris Norbury 4-1.
Elsewhere, familiar names Ashley Carty, Elliot Slessor, Ryan Causton, Sam Craigie, Alex Taubman and young Polish potter Kacper Filipiak were among the amateurs to join the professionals in round one.
The first half of draw will be whittled down on Friday with the remaining side playing out their opening three ties on Saturday, before Sunday’s last 16 battle it out for the beautiful new Waterford Crystal trophy that will be presented to the winner.
Today’s most interesting opening round contest is between Australian Open champion John Higgins and Crucible king Stuart Bingham – paired together early on as a result of the order of merit seeding system used to make the draw in the European Tour events.
Two former Paul Hunter Classic champions in Shaun Murphy and Barry Pinches also go head-to-head while defending champion Mark Allen is challenged by Sanderson Lam.
Irish trio Ken Doherty, Fergal O’Brien and David Morris begin their quest for glory on Saturday.