Judd Trump

UK Championship snooker: Judd Trump cruises through to round two

Judd Trump cruised through his first round match at the UK Championship, easily seeing off Paul Davison 6-1 in Milton Keynes on Thursday night.

Indeed, the main drama in the match came when the electronic scoreboard broke, referee Ben Williams having to go and retrieve an old club scoreboard so the match could continue.

Trump made a break of over 50 in every frame but one, the highlights being an 85 to open the match and a 103 to end it, with Davison put out of his misery in double quick time.

“It was difficult the first few frames with quite a lot of distractions, scoreboard not working and such, but after the interval I felt good," Trump said.

“It would be nice to have a good run here. I always struggle with the conditions in York, so hopefully a change of scenery will be good.

“We’re sort of getting used to no crowds. This does feel a lot different to all the other events we’ve played in. I think Saturday when the tournament starts properly you’ll see a good standard.”

Trump faces Dominic Dale next, but hopes to negotiate the second round hurdle without fuss.

“Everyone’s tough in this event. There might be a shock, just hopefully not from me.”

Watch: Broken scoreboard delays Judd Trump's UK Championship bid!

Allen: 'Every tournament is the same'

Mark Allen bemoaned the absence of spectators as his UK Championship bid got under way with a 6-1 win against Jamie Wilson.

The latest big name to ease into round two, Allen confessed to being below his best at times but nevertheless scored a fluent 132 break as he took six frames in succession to advance.

Asked whether this tournament felt different and more significant to last week's Northern Ireland Open, with the World Snooker Tour remaining at its semi-permanent base in Milton Keynes, Allen was typically straight-speaking.

"Honestly? Not really," he said. "If there's a crowd in the later stages then yes, up until that it just feels like every tournament is the same at the minute.

Mark Allen desperate for fans to return

"It's not a lot of fun at the moment, there's not a lot to be doing. The one thing we did have last week has been table tennis and they took it away from us for this tournament!"

"It's just a sign of the times. It's going to be a while yet. Even the talk of a possible crowd for next weekend would be something special for the players.

"It would be amazing to have any sort of crowd in there. It would be great just to see faces in the crowd again."

Allen is in the top quarter of the draw which means he cannot meet Judd Trump or Ronnie O'Sullivan until the final. First though is a second-round clash with Chang Bingyu before things potentially get tougher, the talented Zhou Yuelong plus John Higgins and Ding Junhui in his section.

Clearly, the Northern Irishman feels he needs to improve despite having won the Champion of Champions recently, where he overcame O'Sullivan, Trump, and Neil Robertson.

"It was scrappy, it wasn't a great performance," he confessed. "Shaky start, and not the way I wanted to get over the line, but happy with a 6-1 win.

"The good form is there but I need it to come out more often than it is at the minute."

Also on Thursday morning, former finalist Liang Wenbo beat Allan Taylor 6-3, Tian Pengfei whitewashed Jamie O'Neill, and Xiao Guodong beat Brandon Sargeant 6-1.

Silky Selt joins exclusive club

Matt Selt produced surely the performance of his career as the Englishman banged in five centuries in a 6-0 dismissal of Amine Amiri.

Breaks of 138, 131, 100, 111 and 102 saw Selt join Fergal O'Brien and Judd Trump as one of three players to have made five centuries in a best-of-11-frames match on the World Snooker Tour.

Amiri managed just 15 points across these five frames and having also lost a tight frame three, was soon heading for the exit door as his search for just a second victory at this level were soon ended.

"It was a game where, every time I made a mistake I wasn't really punished, so the pressure wasn't really there," said 35-year-old Selt. "To keep my concentration for that amount of time, I'm very proud of that.

"I've not left my mark on the game, I probably won't do by the time my career's finished!

"To have something in the record books that can't be taken away, like that... (I'm) hoping nobody makes six this week. Ronnie probably will do, or Judd - he can probably make seven in a best-of-11, he's that good!"

Asked how he felt things were going as snooker continues to be holed up in Milton Keynes, Selt struck a more upbeat tone and had little to complain about.

"I think we're very, very, very fortunate to have this facility here," he added. "It's a great achievement from everyone that's putting the tournament together.

"Life-wise, I quite like it to be honest with you. I'm getting to spend a lot more time with my little boy, which is obviously massive for me, and my wife is doing such a great job at home looking after him.

"For us as snooker players to have the opportunity to go to work and earn money, we're very fortunate."

Jack Lisowski moved into 16th spot in the Race to the Masters rankings with a 6-2 victory over Farakh Ajaib.

Lisowski's win means he will complete the field for the Masters in January should positions remain as they are, and the only player who can displace him without reaching the semi-finals of the UK Championship is Anthony McGill.

Talking of which, McGill kept alive his own hopes of reaching the Masters with a 6-4 victory over Steven Hallworth.

Others including Joe Perry and Graeme Dott could take the final spot in the field for January's non-ranking invitational, leg two of the triple crown, but would need to make the last four at the very least.

Meanwhile defending champion Ding was yet another fancied player to progress, beating Jamie Curtis-Barrett 6-1 with a 130 break in frame six the highlight.

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