FERGAL Quinn knows that he will have to do it the hard way if he’s going to reach the Crucible Theatre stages of the World Snooker Championship.
The Brockagh youngster earned a place in the early stages of the tournament for the first time, as one of 16 invited amateurs. Before the first round draw, he knew he needed four victories to reach the last-32 of the event proper at the hallowed Sheffield venue.
Last week he found out how difficult his task to achieve that dream would be when the first round draw was made and he came out against another Irish man, Fergal O’Brien.
The Dublin native has a wealth of experience in the game. He was once ranked as high as ninth in the world and has won one ranking tournament in his career, the 1999 British Open, and he’s reached the finals of two others, including the 2001 Masters.
He has been ranked in the top-64 in the world since 1994, while Quinn is only taking the first steps on his way into the professional game.
Regardless, the reigning Northern Ireland under-21 champion, who impressed against Matthew Stevens in the World Snooker Shootout earlier this year, is confident of getting the job done.
“He’s definitely in the top three in that round, so it’s definitely one of the tougher draws,” said Quinn, who is scheduled to play his match with O’Brien at 9.30am tomorrow morning.
He continued: “But if I play well, it doesn’t really matter who you’re playing. At the end of the day, Fergal has lost to two juniors recently – Aaron Hill and Iulian Boiko. I’ve played Iulian twice before and I beat him 6-1 and Aaron Hill is on the tour now and has improved dramatically, but he’s only ever beaten me once, so I know if they can do it, I can definitely do it.
“It’s well within reach, it will just depend who shows up!”
Should Quinn prevail in the battle of the Fergals, things won’t get any easier as he is due to face a friend of his, Stuart Carrington, but that hasn’t changed the former St Patrick’s Academy pupils’ overall aim.
“My goal coming into the World’s was to win my first match and then to compete well and give myself a good chance in the second,” he explained.
“I’m just looking forward to getting out there and the whole experience in general.
FULL STORY IN LAST WEEK’S PAPER
Posted: 7:41 pm April 6, 2021