Sunday 8 December 2019

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.

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