World Series: Day One from Killarney (updated)

Though the local lads gave it a good go, ultimately it was to be the four main tour players who duly took their places in Sunday’s semi-finals. Click below to read more on how the first day of the 2009/10 World Series unfolded…

Today’s matches saw the four professional players involved come up against four of the best under-19 players from Ireland in their best of nine quarter-final matches. Also note that during these quarter-finals they used just ten reds as the organisers continue to experiment with different variations of the game. Incidentally I am also pleased to say that the camera angle is much better this week than it was in Portugal.

The first match of the day was predictably one-sided as Shaun Murphy raced to a 5-0 victory over Greg Casey, but the second match was anything but predictable as former world champion Ken Doherty was pushed all the way by young Tony Moore. Having trailed for much of what was a very scrappy match however, Ken just about managed to get over the line and secure a 5-4 win, but he will have to improve significantly if he is to progress further in the competition.

The third match of the day saw world champion John Higgins take on Andrew Gray and he looked to be in strong form early on as he moved 2-0 up in no time.  Gray did have chances in both frames but appeared understandably to be very nervous and ultimately did not threaten to take either.

The third frame was much closer and came down to the colours as an outlandish fluke on the green gave Andrew a chance to clear. He could not take advantage however and the experienced Higgins moved 3-0 ahead.

Well done to Andrew though because in frame four he played a brilliant shot to snooker Higgins tight behind the black and as John missed, cleared the table to ensure that he would at least not suffer a whitewash at the hands of the reigning world champion.

Ultimately though it only served to delay the inevitable and on their return from the mid-session interval it was John who was able to take the next two to run out a 5-1 winner.

The final match of the day saw six times world finalist Jimmy White take on talented young potter Jason Devaney (who of the four young Irish lads to me is the most well known), for the right to play Ken Doherty.

It was a scrappy start but perhaps surprisingly it was Jason who looked the more settled player early on and he stormed into a 3-0 lead as a result. Could the 2008 Junior Pot Black winner keep it up or would Jimmy hit back at him?

It turned out to be the latter as having taken the last frame before the interval, Jimmy managed to just about keep in touch and from there began to cue better. When the players returned, Jason was beginning to miss and Jimmy was only going to let his mistakes go unpunished for so long before he would grow in confidence. This is exactly what he did and as he levelled the match with a century break, he was right back in it.

Devaney should have gone back into the lead in frame seven but unfortunately for him he missed the final black to let a grateful Jimmy off the hook and that proved to be key a White added the next to complete a 5-3 win.

Well done to both players, Jason did look strong early on as Jimmy struggled to string a break together, but eventually experienced told and by the end White was looking reasonably fluent.