David Gilbert edged a thrilling clash with Jimmy Robertson 5-4 at qualifying in Cannock to seal his place the final stages of the BetVictor European Masters.
Gilbert has enjoyed a fine campaign so far, having won his maiden ranking title at the BetVictor Championship League and reached the quarter-finals of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.
Former European Masters winner Robertson had got off to a fine start this afternoon, breaks of 71,70 and 74 gave him a 3-0 advantage. However, world number 21 Gilbert fought back into contention and runs of 100,104,63 and 56 helped him to take five of the next six frames and earn a hard fought 5-4 victory.
China’s Li Hang earned a 5-3 win over Scotland’s seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry. Li fired in breaks of 52, 54 and 88 on his way to the win.
Thailand’s Sunny Akani earned a shock 5-4 win over recent BetVictor Northern Ireland Open champion Mark Allen. Akani’s top break in the win was a contribution of 135.
Anthony McGill eased to a 5-0 win over Oliver Lines, while Liverpudlian teenager Sean Maddocks defeated Jamie Wilson 5-0.
Former UK Champion and Masters winner Matthew Stevens whitewashed Zak Surety 5-0 and Jamie Clarke defeated Farakh Ajaib 5-3.
Qualifying concludes on Sunday in Cannock.