China Championship 2018

Carty and Hirani Earn Maiden Tour Cards

Ashley Carty and Kishan Hirani came through the final round of Q School Event three in Burton to gain places on the World Snooker Tour for the first time.

The eight tour cards handed out across events one and two all went to players who had previously played on the pro tour. Carty and Hirani are the only competitors from 2018 Q School to turn professional for the first time.

Carty, 22, defeated India’s Himanshu Dinesh Jain 4-2 with a top score of 60 this afternoon. Although he will be making his tour debut later this summer, he has already competed in a number of professional events as a top up. The Rotherham potter reached the last 32 at both the Welsh Open and German Masters in 2015.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. My head is all over the place at the moment, I don’t know what to think. I’m just so happy to finally get on tour,” said Carty. “It is the biggest pressure I have ever felt on a snooker table. I don’t know how you cope with it. You just need to somehow hold it together. All the hours of practice have paid off in the end.”

Welsh 25-year-old Hirani secured his 4-2 victory over Simon Bedford in impressive fashion. With the score at 2-2, he fired in consecutive breaks of 57 and 64 to take two on the bounce and get over the line.

Malaysia’s Thor Chuan Leong secured an immediate return to the World Snooker Tour with a 4-1 defeat of fellow 2017/18 tour member Fang Xiongman.

Andy Lee defeated Kuldesh Johal 4-2 to secure his second spell as a professional. He will join Marco Fu as the second player from Hong Kong currently on the circuit.