Snooker: Doherty avoids early exit to land White tie

The former world champion Ken Doherty is anxious to avoid an early exit from the opening tournament of the season, and he jumped the first hurdle yesterday with a fine display in the first round of the LG Cup at Preston's Guild Hall.

Doherty, the runner-up to Mark Williams in last season's World and UK Championship finals, lost the first frame but recovered to beat Gerard Greene 5-2. He faces Jimmy White in the second round tonight.

"The first tournament of the season is notorious for big-name casualties," the Dubliner said. "One season, six of the top eight seeds went out in the first round, so I was on my guard against Gerard."

The world No 6 endured a poor run of balls in the opening frame but pinched the second from 42-1 behind and made a superb 140-clearance in the third. That break took him past John Parrott's 137 against Stephen Lee on Monday to put him in the reckoning for a possible £5,000 bonus for the tournament's highest break.

Doherty moved ahead 4-1 before the Northern Ireland international Greene made his highest break of the match to stay in touch. But Greene failed to pot a ball in frame seven.

"I look forward to playing Jimmy," Doherty said. "We've had some great matches down the years and there will be a great atmosphere. Games like these give me an adrenaline rush."

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