Snooker: Michael Leslie makes it to China

Michael Leslie. 'Picture:  Neil Hanna

Michael Leslie. 'Picture: Neil Hanna

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Bonnyrigg snooker pro Michael Leslie qualified for the last-64 stage of the International Championships hosted in Chengdu, China later this month, after a 6-4 victory over world No. 48 Jimmy Robertson at The Metrodome in Barnsley.

The opening two frames were shared, with Leslie winning the first frame with a break of 52 and Robertson responding with 49. Leslie then produced some great snooker to win four frames on the spin, making breaks of 40, 53, 108 and 89 to lead 5-1. Robertson came back strongly with runs of 43 and 98 to cut the deficit to only one frame, however Leslie held his nerve to win a close tenth frame and secure victory.

It ensured Leslie’s first qualification to a main venue stage of an event since turning professional last year.

Leslie said “I was really pleased with how I played to go 5-1 up and should maybe have gone on to win the game more comfortably but Jimmy came back well. At 5-4, I really had to stay focused as the momentum was with Jimmy, and thankfully I managed to win the tenth frame and make it through.

“I am delighted to make it through to China as this is one of the big tournaments now and there are good ranking points at stake. I have been working really hard in the run up to this event and I have been playing well in practice, so it’s very satisfying to beat a player so high up the rankings.”

Musselburgh’s Ross Muir lost 6-2 in an all-Scottish clash with Glasgow’s Anthony McGill while Scott Donaldson lost 6-3 to England’s Mike Dunn.

Meanwhile, Scotland had a good day at the World Team Masters Championship in Carlo, Ireland. Granton’s Craig McGillivray and Stirling’s Jim Rushforth enjoyed two wins apiece to make it four wins out of four while Corstorphine’s Colin McAlpine helped Scotland (2) to a 4-1 victory over France.