O’Donnell delighted to be living dream

LONDON’s Martin O’Donnell expressed his delight after earning a two-year place on the professional circuit after coming through his Q School Event 1 Quarter Final.

O’Donnell beat Australia’s Adrian Ridley 4-1 on Thursday to seal his place on the main tour after coming through four rounds before the all important quarter-final decider.

Speaking to World Snooker, O’Donnell said: ”  It was just a relief to win in the end, when you get to the final round you just want to get the job done, it would have been tough to go back to round one (In Event 2).

“It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it has been my dream to play on the main tour since I was 12 years old. It has taken me longer than I had hoped, but I have got a crack at it now for two years.

“I’m under no false pretences about how tough it will be, but I believe I have a strong all-round game and I am good enough for the tour.”

Joining O’Donnell on the main tour next season will be Sam Baird, Ian Burns and China’s Chen Zhe who won their respective quarter-final matches.

Baird, who impressed in the second half of the main tour last season, regained his professional status after beating James Cahill 4-0. The 23-year-old qualified for the tour without losing a single frame throughout Event One of this year’s Q School.  

Ian Burns came through a deciding frame against Rod Lawler to make the professional circuit for the first time in his career. The 27-year-old was cruising to victory by gaining a 3-1 lead but Lawler fought back to force the match into a decider – with the ultimate prize of being on the main tour. 

Lawler led 43-0 in the final frame but Burns came back with a super clearance of 73 to secure his place on the tour.

Chen Zhe beat Jordan Brown 4-1 and the 19-year-old will join an array of Chinese players on the circuit from next season. 

Eight more Q School entrants will join O’Donnell, Baird, Burns and Zhe on the professional tour when Events Two and Three conclude within the next fortnight.

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