Morgan's still hungry

Brian Morgan is in no hurry to get home from the Citywest Irish Masters - unlike some of the game’s leading cuemen.

The Dublin event represents a last chance this season for former world junior champion Morgan to boost his bank balance and his ranking.

To do so he must find a way to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan for the first time in his career.

O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams have all adopted a ’laissez faire’ attitude to the tournament.

But world number 45 Morgan is determined to make the most of his stay in the capital.

The Southend-based professional said: “In a way I can understand where these players are coming from.

“They are away from home a lot and doing a lot of travelling.

“And when they have experienced the highs in the game, I suppose they may find it hard to get motivated for these earlier rounds.

“Ronnie always seems to play a good standard against me,” added the 35-year-old, who qualified for the last 16 by beating 2004 Welsh Open runner-up Steve Davis.

He continued: “Most of the great players are like that. None of them have a really bad game.

“However, I’m looking forward to the challenge. It will be a different type of game against Ronnie as it was against Steve.

“You’ve just got to try and get in the match and take your chances – if there are any.”

Morgan certainly has enough cause to defeat O’Sullivan in the penultimate second round game.

He reached his only ranking event final against the ’Rocket’ at the 1996 Asian Classic in Bangkok and lost 9-8.

A couple of years later he went down 6-5 to O’Sullivan in the semi-finals of the China Open.

Morgan added: “I’ve not had the greatest of seasons and I haven’t qualified for the Players Championship or World Championship. So, I’ve got to make sure I do the business here.

“Stephen Maguire showed by winning the European Open in Malta what can be achieved by playing well.

“It also showed there are a lot of good players out there. So, it’s dangerous to look too far ahead even though people are saying the draw is opening up.”

If Maguire has been a surprise tournament winner this season, there were a few raised eyebrows last term when David Gray captured the Scottish Open in Edinburgh.

Gray, one of the players taken under the wing of Terry Griffiths, may have the 1979 world champion for support this evening.

Otherwise it will be a partisan crowd to see if local hero Ken Doherty can reach the quarter-finals of his home tournament.

“You cannot take anyone for granted at this level,” said Doherty, desperate to give the home supporters something to cheer.

There has been no action today to allow the television cameras to be moved into the arena.

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