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Top Seeds Trump and Selby Advance Again in NI Open

Trump is guaranteed to return to the world number one spot ahead of Selby at the end of this tournament.

Judd Trump is through to the last 16 of the Northern Ireland Open after a 4-2 victory against Lu Ning on Wednesday in Belfast.

The former world champion, who is bidding for a fourth title on the spin in this event following victories in the last three seasons, was given his sternest test of the week so far but still managed to emerge unscathed.



Trump has now won 24 Northern Ireland Open matches in a row and will be the favourite again when he takes on Jimmy Robertson for a place in the last eight.

Robertson, a former European Masters winner, is in rejuvenated form this year and compiled a brace of century breaks in a 4-0 whitewash of James Cahill.

Elsewhere, Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, and Mark Williams all continued to defy their elderly years to safely book their spots in the fourth round of the competition.

O’Sullivan comfortably saw off the challenge of Alfie Burden while Higgins produced a glittering display in overcoming Luca Brecel – contributing three tons in a high-quality 4-2 defeat of the Belgian.

For Williams, the Welshman continued to fight gallantly despite his recent bout of gout, coming from 2-0 behind with breaks of 102, 100, 72, and 53 to beat countryman Jak Jones.

Class of ’92 stars Higgins and Williams will encounter each other next, renewing a rivalry that dates back to their junior days more than three decades ago.

Several other marquee figures made it through at the Waterfront Hall, including world champion Mark Selby and Crucible runner-up Shaun Murphy.

The latter survived in a decider for the second successive day, edging Tian Pengfei 4-3, but it was somewhat more comprehensive for the outgoing world number one with Selby overcoming a tricky obstacle in British Open finalist Gary Wilson.

Stuart Bingham and Yan Bingtao conjured up contrasting triumphs, while Championship League winner David Gilbert maintained his push to rejoin the top 16 in time for the Masters by tallying five breaks above 50 in a 4-2 victory against Louis Heathcote.

The most notable casualty came in the form of Mitchell Mann’s unexpected success against Kyren Wilson, while 2016 Northern Ireland Open champion Mark King crashed out to Lyu Haotian.

Mark Allen, Neil Robertson, and Jack Lisowski will be among those completing the last 32 early on Thursday before the next round takes place later in the day.

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



2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Top Seeds Trump and Selby Advance Again in NI Open • Snooker Site

  2. Jamie Brannon

    I’ve found it a little tricky keeping up with what round we’re in this week. The Qualifying Round should still have been classified as Round One proper.

    I also find it a little baffling the organisers have put local favourite Mark Allen on against Judd Trump at noon. It felt ripe for a primetime audience. Eurosport tend to favour an evening slot for many of their marquee ties.

    I’m pleased to see fellow Brummie Mitchell Mann embarking on a good run. While I told Snooker Scene journalist Marcus Stead at the start of the season that I fancied Ricky Walden to enjoy a return to the sort of form that saw him reach the top six many campaigns ago. He is always a fine sight in the balls when in full cry.

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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