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Ronnie O'Sullivan eases into last 16 at Northern Ireland Open

 

By Ross Lawson

Ronnie O'Sullivan is another step closer to making snooker history after easing into the last 16 at the Dafabet Northern Ireland Open.

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 continued in fine style too, as he eased past Duane Jones 4-0 in his second round match at the Waterfront on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a more convincing afternoon's work than his first-round 4-2 success over Lukas Kleckers on Tuesday evening.

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 fazed him one bit.

"I think I started off well, then took a bit of a liberty with a long red 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.

"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."

Judd Trump won't be joining him in the latter stages of the tournament, furiously seeing his week go from bad to worse after spectacularly crashing out.

The Whitchurch cueman had seen his tournament start on a sour note, with complications over the whereabouts of his cue in the airport.

But few expected what was to follow, losing 4-2 to Stuart Carrington in the first round despite being one of the favourites at the Waterfront Hall.

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, there were victories for Scots John Higgins and Stephen Maguire, while former World champion Mark Williams also takes his place in the last-64.

That same round will see Mark Allen return to action, with Tian Pengfei in his sights in front of the home crowd this evening, starting at 7pm.

• Watch the Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Colin Murray and daily studio analysis with Neal Foulds.

Belfast Telegraph

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