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Curtain Opens on Belfast Open Qualifying


The first qualifying round of the Legacy Wealth Belfast Open, PSA M5 tournament saw local player Michael Craig move to within one win of the main draw after he defeated World No.270 Oliviero Ventrice 3-1 at the Belfast Boat Club.

20-year-old Craig, appearing at his first PSA World Tour event of 2016, took the opening two games after a strong start and, despite conceding the third to his opponent, the Northern Irishman held firm to record an 11-5, 16-14, 5-11, 11-8 triumph on home soil.

Up next for Craig is an encounter with Welshman Dan Bergin, who downed England’s Mike Lowrey in four games.

The top two qualifying seeds, Miles Jenkins and Phil Nightingale, are also through to the final round of qualifying after claiming wins over David Ayerst and Matthew Sidaway, respectively.

Jenkins will do battle with Owain Taylor for a place in the main draw, while Nightingale has a fixture with Dutchman Marc ter Sluis in store.

England’s Sam Ellis and Scotland’s Chris Leiper will contest the other final qualifying round fixture after they wrapped up respective victories against David Noone and Matthew Broadberry.

Results – First Qualifying Round: Legacy Wealth Belfast Open 2016
[1] Miles Jenkins (ENG) bt [L] David Ayerst (IRL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 12-10
[5] Owain Taylor (WAL) bt [L] Darren Waring (IRL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 12-10
Chris Leiper (SCO) bt [8] Matthew Broadberry (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2
[3] Sam Ellis (ENG) bt [L] David Noone (IRL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-4
[L] Michael Craig (NIR) bt [4] Oliviero Ventrice (ITA) 3-1: 11-5, 16-14, 5-11, 11-8
[6] Dan Bergin (WAL) bt Mike Lowrey (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9
[7] Marc ter Sluis (NED) bt [L] Peter McNeice (IRL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-4
[2] Phil Nightingale (ENG) bt Matthew Sidaway (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7

Draw – Final Qualifying Round
[1] Miles Jenkins (ENG) v [5] Owain Taylor (WAL)
Chris Leiper (SCO) v [3] Sam Ellis (ENG)
[L] Michael Craig (NIR) v [6] Dan Bergin (WAL)
[7] Marc ter Sluis (NED) v [2] Phil Nightingale (ENG)

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