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Ronnie O'Sullivan wins rare showdown with Jimmy White in Northern Ireland Open

Published 16/11/2016

Round 2 - Coral Northern Ireland Open, Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jimmy White. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Round 2 - Coral Northern Ireland Open, Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jimmy White. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
John Higgins scored a 147 at the Northern Ireland Open

Ronnie O'Sullivan came through a rare showdown with Jimmy White to book his place in the third round of the Northern Ireland Open.

The 54-year-old White, who has slipped to 108 in the world rankings, was facing O'Sullivan in the final stages of a ranking event for the first time in six years.

Veteran White hinted at an upset by taking a scrappy opening frame before O'Sullivan hit back with a 141 clearance to level the scores.

With both players struggling to find top form O'Sullivan added two more frames before wrapping up a 4-1 victory with a break of 95.

Earlier, John Higgins scored the eighth 147 break of his career as he also booked his place in round three in Belfast.

The 41-year-old achieved the feat in the final frame of his 4-1 win over Sam Craigie, setting up the maximum with a brilliant cross-double on the final red.

Higgins is looking to claim his third consecutive ranking event title after recent wins at the China Championship and last week's Champion of Champions event in Coventry.

He is the fifth player to hit a 147 on the tour so far this year after Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Stephen Maguire, Shaun Murphy and Alfie Burden.

Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins were among the other winners on Wednesday, but world semi-finalist Alan McManus was beaten 4-0 by world number 93 Sanderson Lam.

Round 2 - Coral Northern Ireland Open, Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jimmy White. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Round 2 - Coral Northern Ireland Open, Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. Ronnie O'Sullivan v Jimmy White. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

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