Donaldson survives Open qualifying scare while Russell makes progress
Karl Donaldson avoided a potential banana skin last night to reach the final round of qualifying at the Johnston Campbell North of Ireland Open tournament at the Downshire club in Hillsborough.
Donaldson was made to fight all the way against Windsor's Will Millar, before progressing on a 6-2 4-6 6-1 scoreline.
The ATT (Ballymena) player, who has featured in recent Ulster senior inter-pro teams, found himself in the unusual position of having to qualify for the main draw such is the high standard of the men's singles entry-list.
Donaldson is now due to face Hawarden player Rory Cunningham after he defeated Cloughey and District's Ross Jenkinson 6-2 6-3.
Should Donaldson make it into the main draw, as expected, then he will be up against Ulster team-mate Alex Watt, who has recently returned from a long lay-off due to a shoulder injury.
Also through to the last stage of qualifying is Kildare man Dorian Kos, who defeated McCracken (David Lloyd) 6-4 6-1 last night.
The ladies' singles event is headed up by 2016 winner Ruth Copas, from Dundalk, with Ballymena woman Kerri Russell seeded second, and Ulster players Emily Beatty and the McCullough twins, Annie and Caitlin, leading the challenge.
Russell started her campaign with a straightforward 6-0 6-3 win over Belfast teenager Ciara Hill last night.