Brian Byrne turns up heat to progress in Squash Belfast Open
Irish number two Brian Byrne edged out Roshan Bharos of the Netherlands at the inaugural Legacy Wealth Belfast Open at the Boat Club.
It proved a fast hitting match with neither player quite able to dominate in what was the final round of qualification before today's main draw gets under way in the £5,000 event, which runs until Sunday with entry free for spectators.
Bharos came out of the blocks fastest in the first set, taking it 11-6.
In the second set Byrne established an early lead and managed to maintain this to take it 11-7.
The third set turned into a real scrap with little separating the players in a sequence of fast counter-punching rallies.
Byrne eventually took it 13/11 and an early lead in the fourth helped him close out the hour-long match 3-1.
In an all-English showdown, 16-year-old Kyle Finch beat Matthew Sidaway 3-1.
Finch said: "It was a close match, I enjoyed it and am very happy to get through."
The main draw includes English top seeds Joel Hinds and Angus Gillams plus professionals from South Africa, Spain, the USA, Scotland and England.