Saturday, 26 November 2011

Comeback king Ken bound for Berlin

Ken Doherty stole all the headlines on a dramatic final day of qualifying for the German Masters.

The 1997 world champion recovered from 4-0 down to young Sam Craigie to win 5-4 and prove again, he's the master of playing under pressure.

Picture by Monique Limbos
Victory denies Craigie a first shot at a televised venue but means the Dubliner rolls back the years once more.

Doherty has found resolve again this season with some good results already to his name including a path to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Such a stirring comeback yesterday shows he still has the ability to win against all odds, like he did in his prime. It also means he's not ready to make way for the game's up and coming stars just yet.

I'm the kind of snooker fan who likes to see new faces make the venues but, it's hard to deny Doherty his place now. Defeat will be eating away at Craigie as victory was at his fingertips. The consolation is that he'll have plenty more chances to get in front of the television cameras in the future.

This match wasn't the only excitement of the day.

James Wattana secured a place back at venue with a 5-1 battering of Stephen Hendry. The Thai cueman has been back playing excellent snooker this week and his win comes as no surprise based on his previous showings. But for the seven-time world champion, this was a case of 'welcome to the qualifiers'. Life isn't easy outside the top 16 so his reaction to this defeat will be interesting to map.

Elsewhere, Tom Ford continued his blistering form with a 5-0 win against a usually tenacious Anthony Hamilton as he continues his bid to climb up the rankings.

Mike Dunn, who made a first professional 147 earlier this week, finished off the job. He beat a struggling Mark King 5-3 as he shows more signs of renaissance since struggling from health problems earlier in the campaign.

In the best of the deciders, Peter Ebdon beat Jimmy White, Ryan Day came past Anthony McGill, Liu Song fought past granite Fergal O'Brien and Paul Davison pinched a late-night win over Dominic Dale.

Jamie Cope and Marco Fu's barren form continued as they lost out to Yu De Lu and Adrian Gunnell respectively.

Also through is Andrew Higginson, Ricky Walden, Marcus Campbell, Barry Hawkins and Mark Davis.

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