Scotland recorded a 4-1 defeat of Israel to put themselves back in line to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Little Swan World Cup in Wuxi.
For the latest group tables click here. (the top two from each group progress)
The team of four-time World Champion John Higgins and two-time ranking winner Anthony McGill were much fancied heading into this week. However, they had a slow start to the event after succumbing to a surprise defeat against Thailand and only being able to edge past Cyprus 3-2.
It was Anthony McGill who played a leading role this afternoon as the Scot’s forced themselves back into group D contention. The world number 18 made a break of 67 in the doubles to put his side 3-0 up. He also produced a fine contribution of 78 to round off the win in the final frame.
“I felt really guilty in the first match against Thailand, as I lost both of my singles frames and we lost the doubles. John won us a couple of points there and it might be vital,” said the Indian Open champion. “Today we played a bit better and it was important to try and get a big win. We’ve done that today. This is the hardest group in my opinion, but this result has put us back in with a good chance.”
Northern Ireland maintained their position at the top of the group thanks to a narrow 3-2 victory over Thailand. The experienced duo of Mark Allen and Joe Swail made breaks of 65, 104, 56 and 76 between them as they gained a hard fought victory.
Wales and China B took control of group A with big wins. The Welsh team of Ryan Day and two-time World Champion Mark Williams both made big breaks on the way to a whitewash 5-0 defeat of Finland. Williams made a break of 109 in the opening frame and Riga Masters winner Day compiled a tournament high run of 140 in the fourth.
Defending champions Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong kept up their strong start to this year’s campaign with a 4-1 defeat of Brazil. They face the prospect of an intriguing clash with Wales tomorrow.
England’s Judd Trump and Barry Hawkins hold the best record of the event so far having only dropped two frames. They defeated Iran 4-1 this afternoon in their group C meeting. However, they were made to work by the determined duo of Hossein Vafaei and Soheil Vahedi. After winning a doubles frame which lasted over an hour, Trump and Hawkins won the remaining singles to secure the win.
Australia put themselves into contention for qualification with a 4-1 defeat of Switzerland. 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson played a leading role for his side, claiming all three of his frames and making breaks of 82 and 105 in the win.