Ronnie O’Sullivan played his first competitive match on home soil since winning his fifth World Championship crown in May but eventually lost to Peter Lines in the third round of Euro Tour 3 in Doncaster.
The ‘Rocket’ could and maybe should have been out as early as the opening round when he found himself 3-1 down to heralded 15 year-old Lyu Haotian of China.
Lyu, a quarter-finalist at the International Championship last season, has impressed against many of the top professionals despite his youthful age, recording victories over the likes of Marco Fu and Dominic Dale.
And it looked like the teenager might be headed for an unbelievable triumph over one of the sport’s greatest when he went two clear with three to play.
Against a clearly rusty O’Sullivan, Lyu had chances in both frames five and six to complete the victory but nerves understandably got the better of him.
In the decider there was only going to be one winner and O’Sullivan rallied with a century to seal it.
Nevertheless, it was another excellent performance from Lyu, a player who has the potential and talent to be at the very pinnacle of the game in years to come.
O’Sullivan followed up his victory with a more straight-forward success over Dubliner Fergal O’Brien but went down 4-1 to Peter Lines in the last 32.
Lines played well, recording four 50-plus breaks, and his reward is a clash with Scotland’s Stephen Maguire in round four.
Elsewhere, former world champion Shaun Murphy saw off veterans Jimmy White and James Wattana.
Murphy faces Tom Ford for a place in the quarter-finals after his fellow Englishman beat Andrew Higginson, Chen Zhe and Dominic Dale.
There was a battle of the Northern Irishman in the third round with Antrim’s Mark Allen and Joe Swail doing battle.
The younger player prevailed with Allen coming through a 4-1 victor. He’ll play Rod Lawler today after the 42 year-old defeated John Higgins 4-2.
The last round of 16 encounter will take place between David Gilbert and Ricky Walden after the pair recorded respective whitewash victories over Martin Gould and Ryan Day.
The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.