2019 Daqing
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Mark Allen Continues 2019 Daqing Defence

Mark Allen secured a second successive 6-1 victory as he maintained a strong start to his 2019 Daqing defence of the International Championship.

The Northern Irishman overcame Peter Lines by five frames in his held over preliminary round fixture on Sunday and repeated the trick on day two with another routine success over Sam Craigie.

Allen, who beat Neil Robertson in the 2018 final, is through to the last 32 where he’ll meet veteran Mark Davis.

The majority of the seeds enjoyed a good day as the first round climaxed in the 2019 Daqing edition of the event.

World champion Judd Trump fired in a brace of tons, including a total clearance of 142, in comfortably seeing off the challenge of Zhang Anda 6-2.

The Englishman triumphed in this tournament in its inaugural staging way back in 2012, when he in turn became the world number one for the first time in his career.

A strong outing in China this week would see the 29 year-old eclipse Ronnie O’Sullivan and return to the top spot in the pecking order.

Meanwhile, home favourite Ding Junhui came from 3-1 down to deny fellow Chinese competitor Zhao Xintong in an entertaining 6-4 battle.

Ding scored a couple of century breaks as he overturned the deficit and safely booked his place in the next round.

Compatriots Yan Bingtao, Liang Wenbo, and Xiao Guodong all advanced on home soil as well.

Liang and Xiao required all eleven frames as they edged past Ashley Carty and Duane Jones respectively.

Last week’s Riga Masters champion Yan had a slightly easier time of it with the 19 year-old defeating Chang Bingyu 6-3.

Yuan Sijun, one of the other talented up-and-coming stars from China, looked as though he was going to take the scalp of Shaun Murphy but, despite knocking in a century and an additional seven breaks above 50, fell in a dramatic black ball decider.

Other marquee names like two-time former champion Mark Selby, 2015 winner John Higgins, and Kyren Wilson all safely negotiated the hurdle.

One player who won’t be featuring anymore, however, is three-time Crucible king Mark Williams.

The Welshman was nowhere near his best as he succumbed for the first time in his career to countryman Jak Jones.

Jack Lisowski was another surprise casualty as he let slip a 4-1 advantage against Andrew Higginson to eventually lose by the odd frame.

But former ranking event winners Luca Brecel and Anthony McGill are still in the hunt after wins over Akani Songsermsawad and Michael Holt respectively.

Ben Woollaston was the other happy contender on the second day of action, beating Mark King with a 6-3 scoreline.

Play continues on Tuesday with the round of 32 taking place and intriguing ties between Ding and Xiao, as well as Murphy and Yan.

Live coverage continues on Eurosport.

Click here to view the 2019 Daqing draw (Times: CET)

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