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Ssb - morris dancing

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  • Ssb - morris dancing

    Davey Morris grew up at house number 147, an omen for later life.

    Ken Doherty told me several years ago that he was a great prospect but last year Morris dropped off the professional circuit and looked as if he had gone the way of many other promising juniors whose potential was never realised.

    It would have left Republic of Ireland representation on the main tour resting on just Doherty and Fergal O’Brien, both of whom are past 40.

    However, Morris battled back through the Q School last month and today appears in the last 16 of a world ranking event for the first time.

    The new flat system has obviously been a help. No more trudging through round after round of qualifying and no guarantee of having to play a top 16 player in the last 32.

    But the reprieved man syndrome may also come into play for Morris, just as it did last season for Rod Lawler. The sudden feeling of having it all taken away from you can focus the mind.

    Morris today plays Ali Carter, one of only five top 16 players to reach the last 16, although only 11 made the trip to Wuxi in the first place.

    The new system has meant new faces have come to the fore. Scott Donaldson is another making a maiden bow in a last 16.

    New faces create new stories but interest can also depend on the familiar. As I’ve said before, the test of the new format this season will be whether it adversely affects TV viewing figures and, to a lesser extent, ticket sales.

    Ding Junhui is out but he was outplayed by an inspired Joe Perry who proved yesterday what confidence can do. Last week he won the Asian Tour event in Yixing. Yesterday he showed no signs of nervousness or hesitation. It was a terrific performance.

    John Higgins beat Neil Robertson in the European Tour final in Bulgaria and these two titans are in opposite halves of the draw again. As we approach the business end of the tournament, experience will be a key factor.

    This is why, for all the newer names figuring in the last 16, one of the big hitters must still be fancied to lift the trophy on Sunday.