ASHLEY HUGILL qualified for a ranking event quarter-final for the first time after overcoming former German Masters champion Martin Gould 4-1 at the BetVictor English Open.

Melbourne’s Hugill made a rapid start to the last 16 clash at Essex’s Brentwood Centre, scoring a match-high century break of 101 to take the opener 101-6.

World number 43 Gould, who knocked seven-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan out of the previous round 4-1, made a 54 break in frame two but Hugill prevailed 76-54.

The 28-year-old moved within one frame of victory by taking the third 65-17 thanks to a 65 break.

Gould pulled one back in fourth as a 53 break contributed to a 108-8 frame win.

But world number 98 Hugill crossed the winning line when a 64 break allowed him to win the fifth frame 71-14.

Victory saw Hugill record his best showing in a ranking event since turning professional in 2017. He had thrice before reached the last 16 in ranking events.

The result also earned another shock win for Hugill who has now thrice upset the bookmakers’ odds-on favourites, following victories over world number 37 Fan Zhengyi and world number 57 Pang Junxu.

Reflecting on the triumph, Hugill said: “I’m over the moon. I’m just happy to play well when I needed to.

"I’ve not always done that in the past and it shows that I’m moving in the right direction.

“Even though I might not be as talented as a lot of the other players on the (World Snooker) Tour, I work really hard and I try and do as many things right as I can and here it paid off.”

Hugill is renowned as one of the most diligent players on the Tour in practise and is glad to see his efforts behind the scenes pay off in ranking events.

“I think I’m one of the hardest workers on the Tour, not just on the practice table, but also keeping fit and eating right," he added.

"I just try and do as many things right as I can and that’ll hopefully get me somewhere.”

Having overcome world number one and reigning world champion O'Sullivan in the previous round, Gould entered the contest as a significant favourite.

The O'Sullivan encounter was televised on Eurosport and took place in the Brentwood Centre's main table, while the clash with Hugill was played in the venue's table four, away from the large crowds, where the Melbourne man had proved successful all week.

“If Ronnie would have beaten Martin, I’d have been going on table one to play Ronnie," said Hugill.

"It’s a tough game playing Ronnie anyway, never mind on the table he always plays on, whereas I've always been playing on table four so far.

“Against Martin on table four, he had to get used to it and I’d played all my games on there. That was a nice little advantage early on.

“I made a century in the first frame, so he was on the back foot straight away.”

Tonight, Hugill faces reigning Cazoo UK champion and BetVictor Northern Ireland Open champion Mark Allen in the final eight (7pm).