Republic of Ireland kept their hopes of progression alive after a fine 4-1 win over Northern Ireland at the Beverly World Cup in Wuxi.
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Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien make up the Republic side who had suffered a slow start to their World Cup campaign after losses to England and Iran. Mark Allen and Jordan Brown had fared better for Northern Ireland and found themselves top of group B coming into today.
A break of 60 from 1999 British Open champion O’Brien helped Republic into a 1-0 lead, before six-time ranking event winner Doherty overcame Allen to add to his side’s advantage. They made it 3-0 in the doubles and shared the remaining singles frames to secure the commanding 4-1 win.
The top two teams in each group will progress and that result puts Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland into a three-way tie with Hong Kong for second spot. Hong Kong defeated Saudi Arabia 4-1 to move themselves up the table. Meanwhile England’s Kyren Wilson and Jack Lisowski took their opportunity to go top thanks to a narrow 3-2 win over Iran.
John Higgins and Stephen Maguire secured a 5-0 win for Scotland over Israel to move to the verge of progression. The result moves the Scots one point clear of Belgium, who recorded a 4-1 win over Malaysia, at the top of group C.
Maguire said: “We are over the moon with that result. That is better than what I was expecting. It has been a brilliant start to the tournament.”
Higgins added: “We were just concentrating trying to win the match tonight, because Israel are our rivals in the group alongside Belgium. We’ve stolen a march on them and probably only need a couple of frames in the remaining matches.”
China’s A team of Ding Junhui and Yan Bingtao are in pole position in group A after their third consecutive victory of the event, seeing off Austria 4-1.
Thailand’s team of Noppon Saengkham and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh continued their recovery from defeat earlier in the week by edging past Poland 3-2. Victory was sealed with a sublime run of 115 by Saengkham in the decider.
Meanwhile Germany kept themselves in contention to progress thanks to a 3-2 win over Norway.
China B whitewashed Switzerland 5-0 to move clear at the top of group D. The pairing of Liang Wenbo and Zhou Yuelong required just over an hour and a half to secure the runaway victory.
The Welsh team of Mark Williams and Ryan Day trail the Chinese duo by just one point after they defeated Malta 4-1. Williams composed a fine break of 127 to close out victory in the final frame.