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O’Brien Reaches Daqing

Another 16 players booked their places in the International Championship first round after coming through qualifying on a routine day in Barnsley.

O'Brien is the 18th seed in the Australian Open - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

O’Brien is the Irish no.1 – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

2012 runner-up Neil Robertson was the highest profile player in action and survived a brief scare before coming from 3-1 down to beat amateur Kuldesh Johal 6-3.

The Australian lost three out of the opening four frames on the black but upped his scoring after the interval with runs of 79, 69 and 90 ensuring his safe passage to Daqing later this month.

Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien joined him after a 6-2 victory over Egypts Hatem Yassim and will play Tom Ford in China following a 6-1 success for the Englishman against Michael Leslie.

Most of the results on day three at the Metrodome went true to form as the majority of the higher ranked players progressed unscathed – and with none of the encounters going the distance.

Two upsets, if you can call them that, were produced by Daniel Wells and Martin O’Donnell, who both saw off higher ranked opposition Rory McLeod and Gerard Greene respectively.

They hardly represent major shocks, though, as both Wells and O’Donnell have been threatening a little more of late.

Elsewhere, 2006 world champion Graeme Dott saw off the challenge of former Crucible semi-finalist Andy Hicks with a 6-3 triumph, the same scoreline that fellow Scot Anthony McGill ousted veteran James Wattana by.

Dechawat Poomjaeng and Michael Georgiou were involved in one of the only close ties on Friday with the eccentric Thai coming through a 6-4 winner.

Aside from that it was all one-way traffic with comfortable victories for Peter Ebdon, Michael Holt, Luca Brecel, Dominic Dale, Jamie Burnett, Mark Joyce and Craig Steadman.

The qualifying round reaches its conclusion on Sunday with the likes of Judd Trump, John Higgins, Ken Doherty and Jimmy White hoping to secure their spots at the main event.

Click here to view the full draw.

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.