World Open Snooker: Blackpool’s James Cahill faces tough qualifying draw

James Cahill in action during the 2016 Paul Hunter Classic (Credit: Benutzer Bill da Flute, Wikimedia Commons)

World number 107 James Cahill must defeat UK Championship finalist Mark Allen to progress into the opening round of the World Open in China.

The Blackpool-born potter takes on Northern Irishman Allen tomorrow at 7pm in a best of seven frames clash.

The winner of the match will face either former World Champion Ken Doherty or a wildcard player when the full tournament gets under way on 28 October.

Cahill famously knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan out of the first round of the World Championship in April, before suffering a narrow 13-12 loss to Scotland’s Stephen Maguire in round two.

Allen, ranked world number seven, has had an encouraging start to the 2019/20 season.

The 33-year-old followed up reaching the semi final at the International Championship ranking event with another last four appearance at the Shanghai Masters.

Mark Allen, pictured here at the German Masters, is Cahill’s opponent tomorrow (Credit: Martin Rulsch, Wikimedia Commons)

Elsewhere, Preston-born Ian Burns takes on Australia’s Neil Robertson tonight at 7pm.

Burns, 34, has yet to qualify for a ranking event this season, having at one point held the forementioned Maguire at 2-2 in China Open qualifying last month.

The Scotsman, however, fought back with a break of 132 and won the game 5-3.

Robertson, ranked world number four, won three ranking events last season.

Neil Robertson, pictured winning the 2012 Masters, has had an impressive 2019 (Credit: DmitryYakunin, Wikimedia Commons)

He also reached a further three ranking finals, losing two of those to O’Sullivan, including at the Players’ Championship in Preston.

Former world number one Mark Selby has eased through to the first round, beating Jamie Clarke 5-2.

There were also wins for O’Sullivan, Shaun Murphy and Barry Hawkins, whilst defending World Champion Judd Trump kicks off his tournament on 28 October against Zhang Jiankang.