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Seasoned Swail is shooting down the rising stars

By Luke Baker

Published 13/10/2016

On cue: Joe Swail is making good progress in English Open
On cue: Joe Swail is making good progress in English Open

Joe Swail is relishing teaching the younger generation a lesson or two after the old warhorse booked his place in the third round of the English Open.

The Belfast potter didn't make a single half-century break, but still beat 20-year-old James Cahill 4-1 in their second round clash at Event City, Manchester.

Swail had laser eye surgery to improve his sight last Thursday and says it will be another four or five weeks before his eyes fully settle.

But with an improvement to his game seemingly already in effect, the 47-year-old is loving his unexpected success this week, which has set up a clash with Tom Ford today.

"It's not bad for a blind 47-year-old is it," joked Swail.

"If these young ones can't beat a blind 47-year-old then there is something up - come on!

"There's life in the old dog yet. I'm just battling away at the minute and I can't see anything beyond six feet. Every win here is just a bonus - I don't expect to get very far but you never know, my eyes could heal overnight and you might get an old ranking event winner!

"It was a lot better than the first round but I'm just using all my experience and making sure I don't do anything stupid. A lot of these youngsters think they have a god-given right to beat us older, experienced players but I'm striking a blow for the old ones!"

Swail wasn't the only Ulsterman to advance yesterday as Mark Allen came from a frame down to beat Scott Donaldson 4-1. Donaldson opened up with a majestic 112 break, but Allen compiled knocks of 70, 63, 73 and 60 to set up a third round meeting with Yan Bingtao.

The 30-year-old said: "I played pretty solidly there. I was put under quite a bit of pressure in the first frame and a half but I knew my form was there if I got a chance.

"I had an opportunity in the balls and made a good 70 break to make it 1-1 and that settled me down a little bit. I had a good chance of a 147 break in the fourth frame before getting a kick on the black on 73 but I feel that, with my form, something like a maximum is coming."

Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds

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