Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien produced a fine performance to beat Mark Selby 5-3 at BetVictor German Masters qualifying in Milton Keynes.
World number 124 O’Brien only remained on the tour this year by virtue of his performance on the one-year list last season and came into today’s game having not secured a match win this term. However, the 1999 British Open champion put on an assured display to see off Selby.
It’s a disappointing defeat for world number four Selby, who has enjoyed a strong start to the season after claiming the BetVictor European Masters title in September.
O’Brien fired in breaks of 56, 83, 62, 67, 85 and 57 on his way to this afternoon’s win. He now faces Germany’s Simon Lichtenberg for a place in the final stages.
Ben Woollaston came through a late night thriller to record a 5-4 upset win over world number three Neil Robertson.
Australia’s Robertson falls at the first hurdle, having previously made back-to-back finals at the English Open and the Champion of Champions. Woollaston enhances his already impressive record in first round matches, he’s now won 48 of his last 55 in ranking events.
Woollaston made contributions of 68, 92, 62 and 84 on his way to establishing a 4-2 advantage. Robertson hit back to force a decider, but Leicester cueman Woollaston showed nerves of steel by crafting a fine run of 73 to win the final frame. He now will play Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham.
Luca Brecel came through a 5-4 victor against James Cahill. The Belgian Bullet made century breaks of 132 and 104 during the win. His next opponent is Andrew Higginson.
Last week’s Champion of Champions winner Mark Allen continued his strong form with a 5-1 defeat of China’s Gao Yang.
The Northern Irishman composed runs of 126, 95 and 70 to brush aside his opponent this afternoon. Allen will play Pang Junxu up next.
Nigel Bond secured a shock 5-2 defeat of four-time ranking event winner Ali Carter. Former Crucible finalist Bond, 54, rolled back the years to book an encounter with Louis Heathcote in the final qualifying round.
Mark Joyce beat Thai number one Thepchaiya Un Nooh 5-4, while Peter Devlin came through a 5-3 victor against Ukraine’s Iulian Boiko.
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