The 2020 Scottish Open – Ronnie beats Allan Taylor in the last 128 round

Ronnie won his first round match at the 2020 Scottish Open, beating Allan Taylor by 4-2.


It was really a match in two parts. For the first two frames, Ronnie looked completely out of sorts, missing balls and misjudging shots. In his pre-match interview, he had freely admitted that  he hadn’t been practicing much at all, and was hoping to use the table time he got during the matches to gain some sharpness. In both of those frames, he played on well after the frame was beyond rescue. At the end of the first frame in particular he refused to concede and played on for quite some time. It is within his rights of course, but it wasn’t pretty.

Here is what he had to say about it in the ES studio:

 Ronnie O’Sullivan defended his decision not to concede in the opening frame of his Scottish Open win over Allan Taylor, saying he needs “table time”.

Rocket lost the opening frame to Taylor, who cleaned up the final three colours, but not after O’Sullivan had returned to the table time and again, despite needing six snookers to avoid losing the opening frame.

Taylor then took a 2-0 lead, before O’Sullivan turned on the style to storm back, but faced questions in the Eurosport studio to explain his actions after the match.

“That was my practice,” O’Sullivan said. “I just use the matches as practice now. I had done about two hours [practice before the tournament] and I would rather play in all the tournaments and use them as practice. I haven’t got a practice facility.


“I just need table time. I have got an hour and 50 minutes in tonight, and that means I have just got to get another six hours and that is a good week for me. I wanted Allan to carry in playing in the third frame I was gutted when he conceded.
Asked whether it was an enjoyment issue, Rocket insisted he just prefers to get his hours in on better tables.
“I just enjoy playing,” he added. “I like being able to play some safeties without the pressure of thinking if I miss I will lose the frame.
“These tables play so good that if you can get as many shots in as you can, why not? We are not going anywhere are we? I enjoy being out there when the tables are so fantastic. There is no better place to get practice than on a match table.”

It will not go down well with everyone but he thing though is that it did pay off because from the third frame on he found his game and was actually unplayable. He won the last four in no time, playing some wonderful snooker.

WST only devoted a very short paragraph to this match in their report.

Ronnie O’Sullivan came from 2-0 down to beat Allan Taylor 4-2 and book his second round spot.

O’Sullivan stormed to four frames on the bounce, making breaks of 60, 72, 127 and 58. He conceded just eight points in the process. Next up the Rocket faces China’s Chang Bingyu.

But there is this report by Eurosport:


He looked to be in danger of a first-ever first round defeat in a Home Nations tournament, but Ronnie O’Sullivan turned on the style to come back from two frames down to beat Allan Taylor in the Scottish Open in Milton Keynes. Rocket started in bizarre fashion, refusing to concede the opening frame despite needing six snookers.

Ronnie O’Sullivan overcame a stuttering start to progress to the Scottish Open second round after a 4-2 victory over a determined Allan Taylor in Milton Keynes.

In a bizarre opening frame, O’Sullivan refused to concede even though he still needed six snookers, insisting Taylor return to the table time and again, with Taylor eventually wrapping up the frame by clearing up the final three colours.

The Rocket continued to look a little ragged in the second, with Taylor showing he was going to be no pushover as he took a 2-0 lead leaving O’Sullivan in danger of a first-round exit in a home nations tournament for the very first time.

However, seemingly having been galvanised by that extra practice in the first frame, O’Sullivan stepped it up several gears, edging the third before a break of 72 levelled things up.

It was as if the first two frames never happened, as a superb 127 from Rocket saw him take the lead in the contest for the first time.

A routine break of 56 sealed O’Sullivan’s progression to the second round, walking off in Milton Keynes while ripping off the tip of his cue.

And, as usual they shared some short videos on twitter as the match unfolded:

During the last frame, Ronnie had problems with his tip… and he bit it off at the end. During the post-match in the ES studio, Ken Doherty joked about it, asking if it tasted nice. Ronnie joked along, saying that he was a bit hungry, and yes the tip was tasty.

That said, it means that he will probably play with a brand new tip this evening. That’s not ideal by any means.

3 thoughts on “The 2020 Scottish Open – Ronnie beats Allan Taylor in the last 128 round

  1. You can hardly argue with brilliance and that’s what he produced in the 4 frames he won, but bashing the balls around to see how they come off the cushion, as he said, did not look pretty after the first frame.

    It’s also a pity that when he said he uses tournaments as practice, nobody asked him “for what”? And I keep wondering what if others get ideas and do the same. Matches will never end.

    • Csilla, others do it quite regularly in the amateur game, it never prompted a change in the rules. To clarify one thing: Ronnie does not have a table at home. He also doesn’t own his own club or practice facility. He has still a table at his mother’s place, but he’s had that for many years and I doubt that it’s up to current tournaments standards. So he may well find it difficult to practice under the current rules. Usually there are enough practice opportunities at the venue, but this is rather restricted here and now, especially at the start of the tournaments when many players are around. Obviously, tables and equipment need to be sanitised after each use which represents a huge challenge for the fitters. And players are not allowed to play each other, only solo practice is permitted. From what transpired, it’s only 20 minutes on the day they actually play. I suppose that towards the end of the tournament, it’s a bit easier. Ronnie is probably not the only player affected of course. Shaun Murphy also struggles to practice, albeit for different reasons. But we see the result, or rather the lack of good results at the table. Maybe, he too, should play on when he has the opportunity. It obviously works.

  2. Ronnie’s behaviour in the first frames was disrespectful towards the game and the opponent. It’s not our fault whether Ronnie won’t practice anymore. As a spectator I can’t appreciate his new attitude at the table. It is unfair at all in my opinion. It’s all but professional. If he hasn’t the will to be professional, then he should withdraw the tournaments. He’s risking to become ridiculous and quite annoying.

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