Snooker News

Lines Men into Last 32

Father and son double act Peter and Oliver Lines have both reached the third round of the UK Championship in York.

oliver-lines-york-16

Oliver Lines. Photo credit: World Snooker

Peter followed up his superb victory over reigning champion Neil Robertson in the opening round with a 6-4 defeat of Chris Wakelin on Saturday.

The next day, son Oliver followed suit with a wonderful 6-2 triumph against another of the pre-tournament favourites in Judd Trump.

The 21 year-old was always in control after establishing an early three-frame lead over the 2011 champion.

Despite Trump’s best efforts to reduce the gap when he managed to pull his arrears back to a single frame, Lines won a pair of close frames to extend his advantage further to 5-2, before winning the last for arguably the best result of his fledgling career.

Lines is only in his third season as a professional but has already broken into the top 64 in the world rankings and is widely tipped to be a star of the future.

At the end of the 2014/15 campaign, his first on the circuit, Lines earned Rookie of the Season at the World Snooker Awards.

While his father, now an amateur after dropping off the tour at the climax of the last campaign, has failed to ever reach beyond a ranking event quarter-final, Oliver is fully expected to surpass those achievements and perhaps even become a regular winner on the tour.

Should they meet at the Barbican this week for the first time competitively, it’ll be at the semi-final stage, but a lot of players stand in the way of that reporter’s dream scenario.

Not least Ronnie O’Sullivan, who remains the stern favourite in the top half of the draw following his second successive 6-0 drubbing – this time of Rhys Clark.

The ‘Rocket’ wasted little time in dismantling the challenge of the young Scot, adding two further centuries to the hat-trick he compiled in his initial whitewash success.

O’Sullivan meets Michael Georgiou in the last 32, where the Cypriot will be surely hoping to get a mere frame when the five-time champion is in this kind of form.

Ding Junhui also remains in the hunt from the same upper bracket after a hard-fought 6-2 victory over another Scot, Ross Muir.

Muir actually led 2-1 and had many chances in a contest that the Chinese once again failed to produce his A-game in.

The more wins the 2005 and 2009 champion collects, though, the more chance that Ding’ll eventually sniff the possibility of a third UK title.

Elsewhere on another busy day of action, Mark Allen fired in his maiden 147 break as he edged Rod Lawler 6-4.

The Northern Irishman split the balls nicely and admitted to going for the perfect frame from an early stage.

In the last two editions of the UK Championship, players who have compiled a maximum have gone on to lift the trophy – so perhaps it’s a lucky sign in more ways than one for the former runner-up.

Meanwhile, other players who could likely threaten come the business of proceedings sealed their berth in the third round.

Shaun Murphy beat Robin Hull 6-3 while the player Murphy overcame to win his sole UK crown in 2008, Marco Fu, hammered Rory McLeod 6-0.

Joe Perry, Ricky Walden, Ryan Day and David Gilbert also progressed – each well capable of a strong run in any event.

One of the results of the day which perhaps would have went unnoticed was China’s Yan Bingtao’s 6-4 triumph over countryman Liang Wenbo.

The 16 year-old, in his debut year as a professional, has already made four last 16 appearances and that’ll become five if he can outscore Zhou Yuelong next in another intriguing affair.

Zhou, just 18, was Yan’s playing partner when the pair emerged with a surprise victory in the 2015 World Cup.

Two more from the Chinese contingent enjoyed success on day five with Mei Xiwen and Zhang Anda getting the better of fancied Martin Gould and Anthony McGill respectively.

Finally, Robert Milkins pipped Hammad Miah in a decider to set up a clash with world no.1 Mark Selby, while Ben Woollaston beat Paul Davison.

Click here to view the draw. 

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