It was a memorable weekend for the Irish at PTC No.7 in Gloucester with both John Sutton and David Morris both making their mark on World Champion John Higgins. Sutton is flying high at the moment after reaching the final of the first Irish Ranking Event of the season but it's the quality PTC match practice that has got him there.
When most of the other Irish amateurs were taking it easy during the summer John was back and forth to the PTC's in England making a name for himself and qualifying for the pro stages of every event he played in taking some big amateur scalps along the way. John had wins over Les Dodd and Sydney Wilson to reach the 128 stage of this event where he was given the glamor tie of World Champion John Higgins.
To make things even more interesting the match was shown live on liveworldsnooker.tv and across all World Snooker's betting partners websites. John however was not phased and went 1-0 up to give Higgins an early fright. Higgins fought back and went to 3-1 ahead before John fought back with a superb clearance in the 5th to keep the match alive. The frame in question can be viewed below.
Unfortunately Higgins hung on and closed out the match in the 6th frame but Sutton will surely remember this match for a while to come and surely give him the confidence to make a credible run at the Irish No.1 spot this season after the great start he has already made.
Higgins however then saw himself up against another Irish man in David Morris and this time round it was not going to be a happy ending. Morris was after having a great 4-2 win over Liu Song earlier in the day and again was shown live on the camera's against Higgins. Despite a superb 130 by Higgins it was Morris who ran out the eventual winner beating the World Champion 4-2 to record was must be his biggest win to date even after beating Mark Williams in a PTC before this.
Despite a high run of 104 Morris could not repeat his heroic's and lost out to Stephen Maguire in the 3rd round as he attempted to make it to the Sunday for the first time. Another Irish player that had a good win was Joe Delaney who dumped Jamie Cope out 4-3 in the first round before losing out to Joe Perry 4-1.
With the PTC No.8 coming up in less than two weeks in Killarney other Irish Amateurs will be hoping to follow in John's footsteps and qualify for the pro stages and maybe just maybe create an upset or two.