Stuart Bingham and Shaun Murphy lose
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Stuart Bingham and Shaun Murphy Lose

Stuart Bingham lost a qualifying match for the second successive tournament after a 5-4 defeat to Zhang Anda in the preliminaries for the World Open on Friday at the Preston Guild Hall.

Stuart Bingham and Shaun Murphy lose
Murphy lost in four ranking event finals last season. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

Shaun Murphy also crashed out with a similar loss to another Chinese competitor, Mei Xiwen, but there were wins elsewhere for Mark Allen, Barry Hawkins, and Ricky Walden.

Murphy led Mei in a scrappy affair 4-3 but dropped the final two frames to miss out on the first big-money tournament of the new season while a break of 54 was enough for Zhang to consign Bingham to another exit after his disappointing result in the Riga Masters qualifiers earlier this week.

Bingham, with quite a few ranking points to defend during this campaign, could be in a fight to save his top 16 place at some point in the near future and will be looking to sort out his game before the next batch of qualifiers.

It was a better outing for Allen, though, with the two-time former World Open champion knocking in a ton and three further runs above 50 in dispatching of Peter Lines 5-2.

Hawkins and Walden repeated the three-frame winning margin against Alfie Burden and Joe Swail respectively – the latter wrapping up the triumph with a nice 104 break in the last.

Meanwhile, veterans Peter Ebdon and Matthew Stevens progressed with contrasting victories to book their seats on the first trip to China of this term.

Ebdon won a crucial seventh frame on the black to lead rookie Jamie Clarke 4-3 before completing the success with a 124 break to roll back the years while Stevens hammered Allan Taylor with a whitewash display.

Robert Milkins and Akani Songsermsawad also prevailed without the loss of a frame but, by contrast, Dominic Dale and David Lilley were made to work hard for their deciding frame victories over Hammad Miah and Li Hang respectively.

For Lilley, an amateur top-up after his decent performances in Q School, it’s already his second win of the season after previously qualifying for the Riga Masters as well.

Michael Holt, Rod Lawler, Andrew Higginson, and Yuan Sijun were among the other names to advance from the first day of action in the World Open qualifiers.

On Saturday, the likes of Kyren Wilson, Luca Brecel, and Jimmy White will be in action.

Live coverage will be on the Eurosport Player.

Click here to view the draw. (Times: CET)



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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the Northern Ireland Open – won by Mark Allen.

1. Judd Trump
2. Mark Selby
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Kyren Wilson
6. John Higgins
7. Shaun Murphy
8. Stephen Maguire
9. Mark Allen
10. Ding Junhui
11. Mark Williams
12. Stuart Bingham
13. Yan Bingtao
14. Barry Hawkins
15. Jack Lisowski
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy