Snooker: O’Sullivan moves on; Trump tumbles out
PUBLISHED: 08:16 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:16 22 November 2017
Ronnie O’Sullivan is one step closer to making snooker history but he didn’t have things all his own way in his opening Dafabet Northern Ireland Open match in Belfast.
A £1million prize fund would come the way of The Rocket if he was to win all four Home Nations tournaments, with the Dafabet English Open trophy already in his cabinet this season.
That bid for an extraordinary quadruple bid continued in fine style too, with O’Sullivan victorious 4-2 against Lukas Kleckers in the Waterfront Hall in his Tuesday opener.
But with the German roaring his way to two centuries to level the game at 2-2, O’Sullivan was forced to sit in his seat for far longer than he expected – not that it phased him one bit.
“I think I started off well, then took a bit of a liberty with a long red in the third frame just to see how things went, I’ve never seen him play before and I had started off alright,” he said.
“Then I’m sitting down for two frames so I had to dig it out, that’s what happens when you’re playing people on the tour who you’ve never seen play before.
“The game punishes you and I’ll learn not to take liberties. I’m just here for a bit of fun, every week is like a holiday for me and if there’s no value in a tournament then I won’t go and take part.
“Winning 28 matches in four certain tournaments is not something to talk about.
“If I do get that then it will go to good use feeding the homeless or something like that.”
Duane Jones is the next obstacle in O’Sullivan’s way, returning to the table on Wednesday afternoon for a place in the last 32.
But one man who won’t be joining him is Judd Trump, who furiously saw his week go from bad to worse after spectacularly crashing out.
The Grove-based cueman had seen his tournament start on a sour note before even arriving in Belfast, with complications over the whereabouts of his cue in the airport.
But few expected what was to follow, Trump losing 4-2 to Stuart Carrington in the first round despite being one of the favourites.
But that only told half the story of an incredibly bizarre finish, with Trump smashing the balls away in the final frame to concede the match despite plenty of points still being on the table.
That anger continued as he refused to partake in any post-match media duties, now left with not one but two fines to come his way ahead of next week’s UK Championships.
Meanwhile Liang Wenbo takes his place in the second round after defeating amateur Jackson Page 4-1 and is now set to face Liam Highfield.
But a tough task awaits Matthew Selt, with world No.22 Joe Perry next on his agenda after coming through his first-round match.
*Watch the Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Colin Murray and daily studio analysis with Neal Foulds.