Mark Allen and Liang Wenbo wins but Ding Ousted in Round One on Day Two of Northern Ireland Open Snooker Tournament
Mark Allen enjoyed victory amidst a raucous atmosphere at the packed Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, seeing off his bogey player Mark Joyce at the Coral Northern Ireland Open.
The Antrim potter had struggled in the past against the Englishman, who had won four of their five meetings prior to this evening. There’s no love lost between the pair and Allen added fuel to the fire ahead of their Belfast showdown by making comments in the press about his dislike of Joyce.
The tense atmosphere between the players was apparent from the start. Allen took the opening frame courtesy of a fluked blue to the middle, but then appeared to be unhappy with his opponent chalking his cue during his shot.
Allen trailed 52-17 in the third, before snatching the frame on the black with a clearance of 49. The 30-year-old was embracing the tempestuous atmosphere and punched the air after depositing the final ball. It proved to be a killer blow for Joyce with Allen running out a 4-1 winner.
“I’m happy with the win but not the performance,” said Allen. “There was a lot on the line in that match. I was at a home venue in front of family and friends. There was a lot of pressure and I’m happy with the way I handled that and got over the line.”
Joyce admitted that the better man won on the evening but felt the animosity from Allen stemmed from previous victories against him.
World number four Ding Junhui suffered a shock defeat at the hands of fellow countryman Yu Delu. The Shanghai Masters Champion looked to be comfortable early on, as he established a 2-0 lead. However, Yu hit back to claim four frames on the bounce, making a century contribution of 104 on his way to a shock 4-2 win.
Liang Wenbo continued his quest for the £1 million bonus attached to victory at all four Home Nations events thanks to a 4-1 defeat of Nigel Bond.
The English Open Champion struggled to find his feet early on in what was a drawn out affair. With the scores at 1-1 Liang eventually claimed a third frame which lasted nearly an hour. He eventually accelerated to the finish, making runs of 89 and 102.
Alan McManus came back from 3-2 down to win a final frame decider with fellow Scot Stephen Maguire.
The World Championship semi-finalist has yet to produce his best form this campaign. However, he looked to be in good touch this afternoon, making breaks of 64, 118, 68 and 60 on his way to the 4-3 win.
Kyren Wilson missed out on a guilt edged chance for his first professional maximum during a 4-2 defeat of Hammad Miah.
The Warrior made 14 reds and blacks before missing a straight forward pot with the remaining balls at his mercy. Despite suffering the disappointment on missing out on a potential £10 thousand he remained professional and booked his place in last 64.
Mark King beats Igor Figueiredo by 4-1. Matthew Selt lost to Jamie Curtis-Barrett by 2-4. David Gilbert beats Zhao Xintong by 4-1 comfortably. Craig Steadman defeated Alfie Burden by identical margin of 4-1. Mark Williams beats David Grace by 4-2.
Ricky Walden defeated Sean O’Sullivan by 4-2 to enter in second round and will meet Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn who defeated Rory McLeod by 4-2. Tom Ford beats Ian Burns by same score of 4-2. Dominic Dale defeated Joe Swail by 4-2. Duane Jones beats Mei Xi Wen by 4-1.
Fraser Patrick comprehensively beats Marc J Davis by 4-1. Jack Lisowski beats David Lilley in a close encounter by 4-3. John J Astley beats Xiao Guodong in evenly contested match by 4-3.
Michael Georgiou beats Patrick Wallace by 4-2. Robin Hull defeated James Cahill by same score of 4-2. Lee Walker beats Rhys Clark by 4-2. Marco Fu overcame the stiff challenge of Ryan Day and beats him by 4-3. Sam Baird beats Noppon Saengkham in a close encounter by 4-3.
Andrew Higginson beats Daniel Wells by 4-1. Gary Wilson blanked Peter Lines by 4-0. Ken Doherty crushed Ashley Hugill by 4-0. Anthony Hamilton defeated Boonyarit Keattikun by 4-2. Anthony McGill beats Fang Xiongman by 4-2.
Indian star Aditya Mehta beats Sydney Wilson in a professional display of snooker by 4-2. Eden Sharav beats Oliver Lines by 4-1. Yan Bingtao beats Steven Hallworth by same margin of 4-1. Robbie Williams defeated Thepchaiya Un-Nooh by 4-2.