Ken Doherty is anxious to avoid an early exit from the opening tournament of the new season – and he got past the first hurdle with a fine display in the first round of the LG Cup at Preston today.
Doherty, runner-up to Mark Williams in last season’s world and UK Championship, lost the first frame but recovered quickly to beat Gerard Greene 5-2.
“The first tournament of the season is notorious for big-name casualties,” said the 34-year-old Dubliner.
“I remember one season when six of the top eight seeds went out in the first round. It’s quite incredible how these things happen, so I was on my guard against Gerard today,” added the former world champion.
“It’s always difficult coming in cold, especially when Gerard has already played a few qualifying matches.”
The world number six endured a poor run of the balls in the opening frame. But he was soon in the groove, pinching the second from 42-1 behind and then making a superb 140 total clearance in the third.
That break took him past John Parrott’s 137 against Stephen Lee on Monday to put him in the reckoning for a possible £5,000 (€7,000) bonus.
Doherty stretched his lead to 4-1 before Northern Ireland international Greene made his highest break of the match to stay in touch.
But Greene did not pot a ball in frame seven, and Doherty clinched a meeting tomorrow night against Jimmy White.
“I seemed to be potting all the balls I didn’t want to in the first couple of frames,” said Doherty.
"To pinch that second frame was an important one, because it settled me down. I look forward to playing Jimmy. We’ve had some great matches down the years, and there will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere.
“It’s games like these that really give me an adrenaline rush.”