Hendry through to knockout stage

Stephen Hendry rubberstamped his qualification for the knockout phase of the 888sport.com Six Reds World Championship with a third successive victory in Killarney today.

Hendry, who won the 15 red world title a record seven times at the Crucible in Sheffield, beat Irishman Patrick Lally 4-0 to guarantee himself a place in the last 64.

And the snooker legend gave the thumbs up to the new event, which showcases a shorter, faster version of the game.

“It’s a bit of fun, although the competition is serious once you get out there,” Hendry said.

“I’ve known the tournament director, Con O’Sullivan, for a long time and am friends with Ken Doherty so I was very happy to come out here and take part.

“It all takes me back to the start of my career at Pontin’s when you’d wait in the tournament office for your name to be called out and a table number.

“It’s a good event for the public because they don’t usually see top players in this environment, up so close.”

Hendry had beaten Shea Brereton 4-0 on Tuesday but had to fight back from 3-1 down to edge Indian Lucky Vatnani 4-3 in his second match.

And he admitted the six red version of the game would keep the game’s top stars on their toes.

“It’s certainly cut throat and there’s not room for many mistakes,” Hendry said.

“Purists who want to see big breaks aren’t going to get that because the highest possible break is only 75 but if you had a six red event with all top players it would be intense.”

John Higgins bounced back from his shock defeat to women’s world champion Reanne Evans to book his place in the knockout phase.

Higgins, who lost 4-3 to Evans on Tuesday night, beat Irishman Aaron Doran 4-1 to record his second win in the group.

Doran had a chance to lead 2-1 but lost the third frame on the pink and Higgins dominated the rest of the match.

Veteran Alex Higgins won his first match of the competition when he beat Jim Stewart 4-0.

Higgins, 60, had failed to win a frame on the opening day but put together a better performance to give himself a chance of going through to the knockout stage.

Doherty won his third successive match, beating Leonard Shanahan 4-0.

Six reds snooker is played using the same rules as the established game but with nine fewer reds. It has been described as snooker’s version of Twenty/20 cricket.

The tournament runs until Friday. Entry is free for the first two days with tickets costing €10 on the final two days.

The 130 players from as far afield as Brazil, India and the United Arab Emirates have been split into 23 groups for the round robin stage, played over the first two days, with the knockout phase getting underway on Thursday.

The last two days are being broadcast live on Eurosport and the winner will pocket a cheque for €10,000.

Results and group draws available at: www.6redworldchampionships.com