Ding Junhui produced a battling display to beat Martin Gould 5-3 in a high quality clash at BetVictor German Masters qualifying in Milton Keynes.
Today’s match was a meeting between two former winners of the event. Ding lifted the trophy in 2014 when he defeated Judd Trump in the final, while Gould secured his only ranking title to date with a memorable defeat of Luca Brecel in 2016.
China’s number one Ding, who will begin the defence of his UK Championship crown later this month, took the opener with a break of 52. However, Gould hit back with consecutive runs of 125 and 98 to move 2-1 ahead.
Ding restored parity with a contribution of 73, before a break of 110 saw him edge back ahead. Gould drew level at 3-3, but from there Ding charged to the line. Breaks of 77 and 80 saw him move one win away from the final stages. Ding will face Ashley Carty in the last qualifying round on Friday.
Defending champion and world number one Judd Trump progressed with a 5-2 win over 2017 German Masters winner Anthony Hamilton. The Ace in the Pack top scored with a break of 100 and faces Peter Lines in the next round.
Amateur Paul Davison stunned former German Masters winner Mark Williams to progress with a 5-4 win.
Davison, 47, has spent 20 seasons as a professional throughout his career, but has never been beyond the last 16 of a ranking event. However, he only trailed three-time World Champion Williams once in today’s contest. Davison’s next opponent will be Ryan Day.
Chinese 17-year-old Lei Peifan came from behind and beat former Crucible semi-finalist Gary Wilson 5-4. Lei had trailed 3-1, but composed breaks of 88, 112, 62 and 58 to win four of the next five frames and seal his progression. He’ll play Duane Jones in the final round, who defeated Allan Taylor 5-4.
Shaun Murphy fired in the sixth 147 break of his career in beating Chen Zifan 5-0. The magic break came in the second frame of the match and puts him in line for the £5,000 high break prize. Murphy faces Ian Burns up next.
Alan McManus set up an all-Scottish clash in the final qualifying round after beating Barry Pinches 5-2. He’ll now face Stephen Maguire, who received a bye after Rod Lawler was forced to withdraw.
For full results click here.