Northern Ireland Open
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Big Names Progress in Northern Ireland Open

Every top 16 member in action made it through the first hurdle unscathed.

Judd Trump, Mark Selby, and Ronnie O’Sullivan were among the high-profile names to advance from the round of 128 in the Northern Ireland Open on Sunday at the Waterfront Hall.

Home favourite Mark Allen also qualified for the last 64, compiling a magnificent 147 break in the final frame of his 4-1 victory against amateur Si Jiahui.

The 35 year-old punched the air in delight upon sinking the final black as he produced his second career maximum break in front of his local support in Belfast.

Overall, it was a day of dominance for the seeds who had their preliminary-round matches from last month held over to the venue stages.

Trump, bidding to win the Northern Ireland Open title for a fourth successive season, comfortably saw off the challenge of Andrew Pagett by fighting back from an early frame down to win 4-1.

That was the same scoreline in which Selby outplayed top-up Mark Lloyd, with the world champion completing the outcome with a brace of century breaks.

It was even more comprehensive for O’Sullivan, a runner-up to Trump in 2018, 2019, and 2020, with the Rocket surrendering just 16 points in a swift whitewash victory against Stuart Carrington.

O’Sullivan is among the favourites for glory this year, and readers in the New Jersey area can visit these sports betting websites to find excellent offers at many of the most popular online outlets.

Meanwhile, former champion Mark Williams and ex-finalist Barry Hawkins were among the other notable names to reach the first round proper.

The pair earned respective 4-1 successes against Mark Joyce and Iulian Boiko, with Hawkins next in action against Mark King in what is a repeat of the inaugural Northern Ireland Open final from 2016.

Scottish duo John Higgins and Stephen Maguire were among the few competitors who were actually pushed on what was generally a day for one-sided outcomes.

They each won 4-2, while Jack Lisowski was the only contender to be taken the distance – narrowly avoiding an upset following a 4-3 defeat of Ashley Hugill.

Neil Robertson, Yan Bingtao, Kyren Wilson, and recent British Open runner-up Gary Wilson were all unbothered and completed 4-0 routs of their initial opponents.

Stuart Bingham led the seeded charge by becoming the first player on Sunday to make it through thanks to a 4-1 triumph over Ben Hancorn.

On Monday, Shaun Murphy completes the so-called qualifying round when he takes on Bai Langning and the last 64 gets under way with all of the remaining players in the draw rejoining the fold.

The players are competing for the third ranking title of what has been a disjointed 2021/22 snooker campaign, and with it a top prize worth £70,000.

Live coverage in Ireland and the UK continues on Eurosport and Quest TV.

Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)

Featured photo credit: WST


  1. Pingback: Big Names Progress in Northern Ireland Open • Snooker Site

  2. Pingback: Mark Allen on 147: 'I wanted to do it for the fans' - SnookerHQ

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