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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Higgins comeback ends in defeat
Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins was defeated in the first round by Garry Hardiman
Former world champion Alex Higgins was beaten by Garry Hardiman in the opening round of the Irish Professional Championship in Dublin on Monday.

Higgins, who was making a professional comeback in his first major event for eight years, lost out 5-2.

Hardiman was defeated 5-4 at the second round stage by Joe Delaney.

Joe Swail, Ken Doherty and Gerard Greene are through to the Tuesday's quarter-finals of an event being played for the first time since 1993.

Dubliner Doherty, the last winner of the tournament 12 years ago, takes on Leo Fernandez with the winner facing Fergal O'Brien or Michael Judge.

Doherty started his bid on Tuesday morning with a 5-2 success over Colm Gilcreest in the second round.

Belfast star Swail was also in action on Tuesday morning and he claimed a 5-0 whitewash over David Morris.

In the bottom half of the draw Swail is up against Martin McCrudden while Greene will play Joe Delaney.

The final, played over the best of 17 frames, will take place on Wednesday.

A total prize fund of 8,000 is on offer, with the winner collecting more than 3,000.


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