Joe Perry
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Joe Perry edges Matthew Stevens in decider

Joe Perry needed all seven frames to get past Matthew Stevens as the Northern Ireland Open qualifying round continued on Saturday.

Perry, the Welsh Open champion from earlier this year, compiled a hat-trick of 56 breaks and a further run of 54 to advance to the last 64 and the venue stages in Belfast.

Breaks of 85, 74, and 61 from Stevens had helped the Welshman establish a 3-2 advantage, but Perry dug deep to turn the match around at the end.

Elsewhere at the Robin Park Leisure Centre in Wigan, Anthony McGill safely progressed despite not being able to muster a single contribution above 50.

The Scot recently slipped outside the top 16 in the world rankings list and will be hoping his 4-1 defeat of Peng Yisong can set him on the right track again.

Fellow former ranking event winners Matthew Selt and Mark King were two other notable winners on the fifth day of the preliminary stage.

Selt lost his opening frame against Duane Jones but took the subsequent four to secure a 4-1 victory.

It was a much tougher outing for King, who memorably captured the Northern Ireland Open title back in 2016.

The Englishman led Oliver Lines 2-0, then trailed 3-2, before rallying with timely breaks of 79 and 88 to deny his younger countryman.

Among the others to guarantee their spots at the Waterfront Hall in October was Belgium’s Julien Leclercq.

The 2022/23 tour rookie claimed his maiden professional victory with a 4-1 defeat of Stuart Carrington.

Meanwhile Elliot Slessor and Pang Junxu earned respective 4-2 successes against Zhang Jiankang and Steven Hallworth, while top-up Daniel Wells thumped Adam Duffy 4-0.

On Sunday, the Northern Ireland Open qualifying section in Wigan concludes with Martin Gould and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh among those in action.

Saturday’s results

Pang Junxu 4-2 Steven Hallworth
Anthony McGill 4-1 Peng Yisong
Julien Leclercq 4-1 Stuart Carrington
Elliot Slessor 4-2 Zhang Jiankang
Mark King 4-3 Oliver Lines
Joe Perry 4-3 Matthew Stevens
Daniel Wells 4-0 Adam Duffy
Matthew Selt 4-1 Duane Jones

Sunday’s order of play

Sean O’Sullivan vs Jamie O’Neill (10am)
Ian Burns vs Tian Pengfei (10am)
Robbie Williams vs Jackson Page (1pm)
David Grace vs Lei Peifan (1pm)
James Cahill vs Hammad Miah (4pm)
Martin Gould vs Michael Judge (4pm)
Chris Wakelin vs Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (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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