Doherty rallies to battle past Wenbo
Ken Doherty was one of snooker's ultimate fighters in his heyday and yesterday produced a vintage rearguard action to reach the quarter-finals of a world ranking tournament for the first time in two years.
Doherty rallied from 4-1 down to beat China's Liang Wenbo 5-4 and today will face Mark Selby in the last eight of the Australian Goldfields Open in Bendigo.
"At 4-1, nothing was going right but I got something going from the bottom of my boots," said the 41-year-old. "I just dragged my way back into the match. It's a great comeback."
Doherty also took the opportunity to apologise to Liang after a petty complaint after Ireland's 4-1 defeat by China in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Thailand last week.
At the time, Doherty claimed that Liang had broken the rules by not wearing a bow-tie for their frame, a criticism he now regrets.
"The next day I felt bad about what I said," said Doherty, widely recognised as one of the sport's foremost ambassadors. "He's a nice lad and didn't go out there intentionally without his bow-tie. He just forgot it. I hope it didn't cause any offence to him. If it did, I'm sorry."
Antrim's Mark Allen joined Doherty in the quarter-finals by beating Marcus Campbell 5-1.
DUBLINER James McGee yesterday clinched a semi-final place in the Green Property Irish Open.
Today, he faces No 2 seed Slovakia's Miloslav Mecir, who beat Fabrice Martin 6-4 6-2.
The Irish player will have to contend with a 213-place deficit in the world rankings, being placed at 512 compared to his opponent's 299 mark.
Yesterday at the Fitzwilliam Club, the 24-year-old turned up the heat in the second set in his quarter-final clash against Britain's Marcus Willis before winning 7-5 6-2.
A year ago, the Irish player lost in three sets in the last-four to Britain's Daniel Cox after winning the first set 6-0, so he will be gunning to avoid a case of history repeating itself.
EUROPEAN Senior and World Youth champion Joe Ward believes that Ireland's young prospects can bring home medals from the AIBA World Junior Championships in Kazakhstan.
A record-breaking 52 nations, including Ireland, have registered to compete at the championships, which glove off at the Sports Palace in Astana tomorrow.
Ward (17) claimed light-middleweight gold at the 2009 AIBA World Junior Championships in Armenia and later went on to claim a gold medal at middleweight at the 2010 AIBA World Youth Championships in Azerbaijan.
"We have a talented squad in Kazakhstan and I'm confident that they will do well out there," Ward said.
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.