Aaron Hill has won back his place on the professional snooker tour.
The 20-year-old Cork prospect narrowly failed to keep his professional status after a tough first two-year stint on the circuit.
And that meant Hill, whose highlight of that first two years was beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the European Masters, had to head for the daunting Qualifying School in the off-season.
But after coming up short in the first tournament of three for the hopefuls, Hill stormed through the second event at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
And an emphatic 4-1 win over China’s Zhao Jianbo saw him secure another two years back among the elite.
Hill, who settled himself down with an opening-frame century, said: “I was very disappointed to fall off the tour in the first place.
“But I remembered that I was only 18 when I got on and we have had Covid for much of that time, so it wasn’t really a true crack with some events cancelled – a very tough period.
“It was a bit of a nightmare having to come to Q School, but I got myself ready and I was really up for the battle. I played really well, and I am proud of myself for coming through.
“I feel a lot stronger both on the table and mentally for my two years and I can’t wait now for the new season to start, and I’m delighted to be back.
“I never stopped believing that I was good enough, and view that first spell as me learning my trade. I knew I could get back on.
“ And I feel more ready to do some damage now, and really show what sort of player I am – and kick on in my career.”