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Boileau Loses on Pro Debut

Josh Boileau couldn’t get his professional career off to a dream start as he was defeated by Matthew Stevens in the World Open qualifying at Preston.

Matthew Stevens Worlds15

Stevens beat Boileau 10-2 at Ponds Forge – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

Boileau compiled the highest break of the match, a 51 in the fourth frame, but that was as good as it got as the 20 year-old suffered a 5-1 defeat to the former UK and Masters champion.

Stevens had heavily beaten Boileau in qualification for the World Championship in April and used that experience to continue his positive start to the campaign after also winning his preliminary for the Indian Open earlier this week.

Irish veteran Ken Doherty is also out after losing 5-3 to reigning Snookerbacker Classic champion Sam Craigie.

Doherty has now lost both of his opening two encounters of the season and his form will be cause for concern as he slips closer to the top 64 danger line in the world rankings.

Fellow Dubliner Fergal O’Brien did manage a victory, though, as he saw off Craig Steadman 5-3.

Overall, it was a solid day for the higher seeds in action with Scots John Higgins and Alan McManus recording whitewash wins over Gareth Allen and Hatem Yassin respectively.

Their young countryman Anthony McGill needed just a little extra time as he beat Itaro Santos 5-1, the same scoreline Mark Williams enjoyed over Scott Donaldson.

Marco Fu and Matthew Selt were also victorious, the latter seemingly putting the distraction of being suspended for misuse of social media behind him.

Elsewhere, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh hammered his fellow Thai Noppon Saengkham while there were also relatively comfortable triumphs for Andrew Higginson, Alfie Burden and Jamie Cope.

Welshman Duane Jones caused a minor upset by beating Dechawat Poomjaeng 5-3, likewise James Cahill’s deciding frame victory over Li Hang.

UK Championship semi-finalist David Grace and Mark King also prevailed in deciders while Oliver Lines rounded off the qualifiers late on Thursday by defeating Mitchell Mann.

That concludes the World Open qualification with the qualifying round for the Riga Masters next taking place on Friday and Saturday.

Click here to view the 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.