Northern Ireland Open 2017 – Day 2

It was an eventful day in Belfast as some more big names fell at the first hurdle: Judd Trump, Barry Hawkins went out at the hands of Stuart Carrington and Zhao Xintong respectively. That leaves us with just 7 of the top 16 still in as we reach the last 64. The full ‘Class of 92″ is still there though and Mark Williams, in particular, deserves praise for being fully professional when he’s having serious concerns about his wife’s health. I sincerely hope that Jo is ok and will fully recover soon.

In contrast, Judd Trump wasn’t exactly the model professional yesterday. He wasn’t playing well (understatement), he probably was jet-lagged and still disappointed about the final in Shanghai; he allowed frustration to get the better of him. He conceded the match, with still enough on the table to win the frame in progress and, afterward, didn’t show up for his press conference. He’s only human and we all have those moments of course, but he will no doubt be punished for this. Especially as it comes in stark contrast with Mark Williams dedication to give it 100% despite his wife circumstances, or Ronnie flying to China last week on the back of the Coventry defeat and bouncing back to win the Shanghai Masters.

Today we have a few interesting clashes:

John Higgins will play Hossein Vafaei, and he will need to play better than yesterday if he is to avoid an early exit.

Ricky Walden, who seems to be on the up again, clashes with Jack Lisowski. Both are champagne when on form and this could be very entertaining to watch.

Ben Woollaston meets Sam Craigie, who, equipped with his new trendy glasses, is establishing himself as a very dangerous player when on form.

Here is the report on Worldsnooker

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017 12:26AM


Ronnie O’Sullivan emerged with a 4-2 win in an intriguing clash with Germany’s Lukas Kleckers on day two of the Dafabet Northern Ireland Open, to keep his hopes of snooker’s £1 million bonus alive.

The Rocket is the only man left in the running for the jackpot, which comes with winning all four Home Nations events. He was victorious at the recent English Open, where he demolished Kyren Wilson 9-2 in the final to lift the title.

Just last week the in-form O’Sullivan added a 30th ranking title to his collection after defeating Judd Trump 10-3 in the final of the Shanghai Masters. Despite the quick turnaround, the Rocket showed no signs of tiredness in his play this evening.

The match got off to an electric start as O’Sullivan burst out of the blocks, making a break of 91 to take the lead, before following that up with a run of 126 to move 2-0 in front. The German then showed great character and responded with a superb break of 137, before a contribution of 60 helped him to restore parity at 2-2.

O’Sullivan took the next two frames to reach the line at 4-2. However, afterwards he admitted he didn’t expect the world number 127 to produce the standard he did this evening.

O’Sullivan said: “I took a bit of a liberty going for a long red at 2-0 – I don’t know who he is and have never seen him play. Then I’m sitting down for two frames, thought what’s going on, and had to dig it out.

“I didn’t think he could make 20 or 30, and he’s knocked in a 137. Lesson learned, I won’t take liberties again.”

Stuart Carrington secured a shock 4-2 defeat of world number two Judd Trump to book his place in the last 64.

There were doubts as to whether Trump would be able to play this evening, having had trouble getting his cue back from the Shanghai Masters. He was eventually able to pick it up from the airport and make the trip over to Belfast.

World number 52 Carrington had lost out to Trump their only two previous meetings, however the Grimsby potter crafted breaks of 56, 79 and 52 on his way to the win.

Carrington said: “I’ve faced him about 50 times since playing him as a junior and I think I have only beat him once. Judd is right up at the top of the game now and so it is nice to get a win over him.”

John Higgins secured a 4-2 victory over 1995 world finalist Nigel Bond to book his place in the last 64. While fellow Scot Stephen Maguire secured a 4-0 whitewash against Egypt’s Basem Eltahhan.

Jack Lisowski continued his great run of form with a  4-0 win over Sean O’Sullivan. The 26-year-old will be hoping to go deep in the event, having reached his first ranking semi-final at last week’s Shanghai Masters.

2016 English Open winner Liang Wenbo defeated young Welsh star Jackson Page 4-1 and Mark Williams eased to a 4-0 win over James Wattana.

Chinese teenager Zhao Xintong overturned World Grand Prix champion Barry Hawkins in a final frame decider winning 4-3.

For full results click here.

Videos of interest:

Ronnie vs Lukas Kleckers

The preview

The match:

The review

The preview is fun but I found the review more interesting. Ronnie candidly admitting that he underestimated his opponent and that it nearly cost him is a great example of sporting honesty. Lesson learned he said. I hope so. Today he faces Duane Jones, another one of those players he probably doesn’t really know. Duane was joking on Facebook yesterday, saying that he was looking forward to the match, and asking “TeamNumpty” to support him, the “Numptyseoaurus”. Another thing that pleased me in the interview was that he was having none of Colin Murray’s nonsense and said that, should he win the bonus, he would give it to feed the homeless or another deserving charity.

5 thoughts on “Northern Ireland Open 2017 – Day 2

      • No, I’m not sure. The feeling I had however is that they were coming to a stage where they were running out of new ideas. And of course, Eurosport has since been taken over by Discovery. So there might be changes in policies and budget allocations too. But as I wrote, I’m not sure.

  1. Yeah, it is good to hear, I was afraid this numpty-talk will bite him in the backside in the end. I did not think he would have tried that long red against some “non-numpty” competition, so good he realized it before it is too late. The Lukas kid was good and fearless.

Comments are closed.