Evening Session Sees Familiar Names Fall at 2018 Northern Ireland Open!!!
Round One is proving a bit more of a struggle than some of snooker’s top names would have expected at the 2018 Northern Ireland Open!
Local favourite and World Number 7, Mark Allen, crashed out to, relative unknown, Niu Zhuang in yesterday’s afternoon session, but he wasn’t the last odds on shot to be left with their head in their hands by bedtime.
Greame Dott and Stuart Bingham exited at the hands of Billy Joe Castle and Peter Lines, respectively. English Open champ Bingham, in doing so, ensuring that the cool £1,000,0000 bonus for winning all four Home Nations tournaments is left untouched for another year.
World Number 4, John Higgins is also on his way back home. The Wizard of Wishaw had led Rory McLeod 2-1, but lost three frames on the bounce, and was sent packing.
Kyren Wilson, who competed in the Champion of Champions final in Coventry only 24 hours previously, also bowed out – sparking more debate about the hectic schedule that snooker players are often subjected to.
Wilson’s match with Lee Walker, didn’t wrap up to the early hours of this morning, with the Welshman claiming the final two frames to dump out the eighth seed, 4-3.
Wilson’s final opponent on Sunday, ‘Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan, is on the baize currently, leading Iranian Soheil Vahedi, one frame to nil.
In this morning’s completed matches, Mark King came through unscathed against John Astley, whilst Dublin’s Fergal O’Brien could only muster one frame, in a defeat to World Number 22, David Gilbert.
Today will see the completion of all Round One ties, with Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy all in action.
And expect a few eyes on the smaller room tonight, as the whirlwind Jimmy White goes up against Martin O’Donnell in his opening encounter.
*Feature image courtesy of World Snooker