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Teenage Antrim snooker sensation to play in NI Open alongside likes of step-dad Mark Allen and Ronnie O'Sullivan

Robbie McGuigan has been following in the footsteps of his famous stepfather Mark
Robbie McGuigan has been following in the footsteps of his famous stepfather Mark

Teenage Antrim snooker star Robbie McGuigan has been awarded a place at next month’s 19.com Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.

The 15-year-old will be in the same field as the likes of Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Selby as well as his stepfather Mark Allen at the world ranking event which runs from November 11 to 17 at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

It's not the first time McGuigan has hit the headlines after he became the youngest person in the UK to score a 147 maximum break while practising at his home club last year.

He is now competing on the Challenge Tour, where he lies fifth on the rankings having reached the final of one event.

“I was buzzing when I found out I had got a place because I wasn’t expecting it,” said McGuigan. “It will be the best moment I have had in snooker so far by a mile – I can’t wait. I’m not too worried about the result, I’m just going to enjoy it because it will be my first taste of a big event.

“My main goal this season is to finish in the top eight of the Challenge Tour rankings which would get me into the play-off for a tour card. I’m doing ok in those events so far.

“Mark (Allen) has given me so much help, taking me to events and practising with me. I just try to watch him to see how I can improve, and to see the standard I have to get to.”

Hop skip & jump watch robbies reaction hitting 147 watch till end ...

Posted by Antrim Snooker on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

McGuigan is one of three Northern Irish wild cards to have been handed places in the tournament, alongside Patrick Wallace and Declan Lavery. The draw will be announced next week.

The tournament features 128 players battling for the Alex Higgins Trophy and a top prize of £70,000. Trump beat O’Sullivan 9-7 in last year’s classic final. Other top stars in the field this time include Mark Selby, John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy.

Tickets are still available to see the best players in the world, starting at just £10. For details visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets or call 028 9033 4400.

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