News

Fine Lines as Selby Sent Crashing

World no.1 Mark Selby followed defending champion Ding Junhui out of the International Championship before even reaching Chengdu after a spectacular defeat to Oliver Lines at the Metrodome yesterday.

Lines - Second from the left - beat Ireland's Josh Boileau to win the European title - photo courtesy of PJ Nolan.

Lines – Second from the left – beat Ireland’s Josh Boileau to win the European title – photo courtesy of PJ Nolan.

Ireland’s David Morris had no such problems, though, as he eased past John Astley with a 6-4 scoreline.

While the opening day sprung the shock of China’s favourite being dumped out by one of his amateur countrymen, Wednesday’s upset will register as equally surprising.

Not only was world champion Selby facing a player competing in his rookie season on the Main Tour, but he exited the tournament having led the talented 19 year-old 4-0 at the mid-session interval.

Selby appeared to be cruising as runs of 57, 78, 92 and 115 gave him what many would have assumed was an unassailable lead.

Lines, son of veteran professional Peter, responded with breaks of 84, 78 and 80, alongside snatching a brace of frames on the black, to take an unbelievable 5-4 advantage.

Selby was left stunned and, after a scrappy 10th frame went the way of the teenager, the 31 year-old was to be left disappointed – a result that ensured the top two seeds are now out of the International Championship already.

For Lines it was a remarkable turnaround that underlines his potential in the sport, having gained his pro status following victory in the European Under-21 Championship last March.

Morris, meanwhile, recorded a comfortable victory over his English opponent Astley, a result he’ll hope will kickstart his campaign.

It has been a quiet few months for the 25 year-old, with a mixture of withdrawals and disappointing outcomes in matches both playing a part.

However, the Kilkenny cueist is firmly inside the world’s top 64 now and will be hoping to improve even further as the season progresses.

It wasn’t a good day for another Irishman in amateur John Sutton, who gained an invite to play in the event following his strong performance in May’s Q-School.

Sutton went down 6-0 to Soctland’s Jamie Burnett.

Aside from that there weren’t too many outcomes to highlight, although China’s Zhou Yuelong’s 6-2 success over compatriot Liang Wenbo was perhaps a standalone case.

Elsewhere, the big names had no trouble with Judd Trump, Joe Perry, Ricky Walden, Matthew Stevens and Peter Ebdon all booking their flights to the Far East in style.

Joining them will be Andrew Higginson, Anthony McGill, Ben Woollaston, Jimmy Robertson, Mike Dunn, Andrew Pagett and Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail, who reaches his second successive ranking event after a 6-3 win over Tom Ford.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is in action on Thursday against fellow Englishman James Cahill.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here. 



Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.