Jamie Clarke
Main News, Ranking

Jamie Clarke beats Marco Fu in Wigan

Jamie Clarke qualified for the venue stages of the Northern Ireland Open after a 4-2 victory over Marco Fu on Friday in Wigan.

The match boasted a break above 50 in all but one of the six frames they contested at the Robin Park Leisure Centre.

Even so, most frames remained close and the encounter could have gone either way, but it was ultimately another disappointing defeat for Fu as he tries to rebuild his career.

The Hong Kong cueist lost the opening three frames but took the follow two with contributions of 63 and 78, only for Clarke to fight back to win a tight sixth frame with a break of 59.

Meanwhile, David Gilbert survived a difficult test against amateur top-up Ross Muir to reach the last 64 of the ranking event.

Gilbert, who is chasing a place back among the top 16 in the world rankings this season, trailed 2-0 early on but retrieved the situation with a brace of century breaks and an additional run of 89.

Gibraltar Open champion Robert Milkins had an easier time of it, wrapping up his 4-1 success over Jenson Kendrick with breaks of 73 and 118.

Elsewhere, there were 4-0 victories for Noppon Saengkham and Aaron Hill, with the Thai thumping rookie Ben Mertens and the Irishman ousting Zhao Jianbo.

Among the others to make it through were Sam Craigie, David Lilley, and Gerard Greene.

In a battle of the seasoned pros, the latter ousted Barry Pinches with a 4-2 scoreline while Craigie and Lilley defeated Ryan Thomerson and Andres Petrov in respective deciders.

On Saturday, the Northern Ireland Open preliminary stage continues with Anthony McGill and Joe Perry among those in action.

Friday’s results

David Gilbert 4-3 Ross Muir
Sam Craigie 4-3 Ryan Thomerson
Noppon Saengkham 4-0 Ben Mertens
Jamie Clarke 4-2 Marco Fu
David Lilley 4-3 Andres Petrov
Gerard Greene 4-2 Barry Pinches
Robert Milkins 4-1 Jenson Kendrick
Aaron Hill 4-0 Zhao Jianbo

Saturday’s order of play

Steven Hallworth vs Pang Junxu (10am)
Anthony McGill vs Peng Yisong (10am)
Stuart Carrington vs Julien Leclercq (1pm)
Elliot Slessor vs Zhang Jiankang (1pm)
Oliver Lines vs Mark King (4pm)
Joe Perry vs Matthew Stevens (4pm)
Adam Duffy vs Daniel Wells (7pm)
Matthew Selt vs Duane Jones (7pm)

Live coverage of the Northern Ireland Open qualifiers is on Matchroom.Live and the Eurosport App.

Featured photo credit: WST

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