Ireland’s Josh Boileau won his first match as a professional as he beat Jimmy White 4-2 in the first qualifying round of the new European Masters.
Boileau, the European Under-21 champion, had began the campaign as one of Ireland’s new bright hopes but struggled initially to find positive results.
The 21 year-old from Kildare found himself 2-1 down against the ten time ranking event champion, but breaks of 63 and 92 sent him into the next round in Preston.
A victory over Liang Wenbo or Mark King on Wednesday will send Boileau through to his first ranking event proper in the maiden European Masters in Romania.
Meanwhile on a busy day at the Guild Hall, Fergal O’Brien recorded a comfortable 4-1 victory over Dechawat Poomjaeng to set up a potential meeting with the world champion Mark Selby.
O’Brien has spent much of the last couple of decades inside the world’s top 50 but recently dropped outside the bracket as he struggles, alongside his fellow veteran and countryman Ken Doherty, to maintain his place on the tour.
Elsewhere, fellow stalwarts Joe Swail and Graeme Dott comfortably made it through to the next qualifying round as there weren’t too many upsets on the opening day of the qualifiers.
Amateurs Antony Parsons and Ashley Hugill managed victories against James Wattana and Mitchell Mann respectively, but there were triumphs for the likes of Peter Ebdon, Mark Davis and Luca Brecel.
Jimmy Robertson and Gary Wilson both recorded the highest break of the day, a 127 each, in their comprehensive victories over Chen Zhe and Sydney Wilson respectively.
Shanghai Masters champion Ding Junhui had to pull out due to visa issues, a shame for the event as a whole considering he’s the form man at present.
World no.1 Mark Selby is expected to compete in the preliminaries on Tuesday, though, along with Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Stuart Bingham.
Categories: Snooker News