Northern Ireland Open day three review: Ronnie O'Sullivan Ali Carter, Judd Trump and Mark Selby progress

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan

A review of the action on day three of the Northern Ireland Open, where Ronnie O'Sullivan stormed into the third round.

Lift off the The Rocket in Belfast

Ronnie O'Sullivan's 2019 Northern Ireland Open bid kicked into gear with an entertaining 4-2 defeat of impressive 16-year-old Lei Peifan.

O'Sullivan met stern resistance from Peifan who delivered a performance of immense promise which asked plenty of questions of last year's runner-up, one which he answered emphatically as he sent out an early warning shot to the rest of the field in Belfast.

If Peifan was feeling any early nerves, he certainly didn't show it as he took the opening frame with a well-crafted run of 87 and when O'Sullivan hit straight back with a breaks of 84 and 101 to lead 2-1, the youngster wasn't perturbed.

Peifan responded in kind, firing in a century break (100) of his own to set up the possibility of a grandstand finish, one that didn't quite materialise as O'Sullivan stepped up another gear, winning frames five and six with breaks of 95 and 54 to end his opponent's hopes of causing a major upset.

Carter comeback kills off Hang

Ali Carter produced a remarkable comeback to see off Li Hang, overturning a 3-1 deficit to eventually prevail 4-3 following a brilliant finish from the two-time World Championship runner-up.

Hang certainly played his part in a thrilling encounter, breaks of 85, 54, 68 and 58 putting him firmly in control but just when he appeared set to wrap up the match, Carter hit back to steal frame five courtesy of an excellent run of 73.

When Carter added a century (106) to the list of big breaks and force a deciding frame, the match had turned on its head and the veteran didn't relent, completing the comeback with a cool match-winning break of 61.

Ali Carter
Ali Carter

Trump eases through

Judd Trump looked razor sharp as he cruised past Zhang Anda.

Despite a heavy recent workload that has seen him win the World Open and finish runner-up at the Champion of Champions in successive weeks, Trump showed few signs of fatigue as he reeled off breaks of 64, 125, 76 and 90 in his 4-1 victory.

Zhang produced a solid display himself and might well have drawn level had he not run out of position in frame four but Trump needed no second invitation to capitalise, tightening his grip on the match with a terrific exhibition of break building to set up a fascinating third-round clash with Si Jiahui.

Selby prevails in scrappy affair

Mark Selby was a long way from his best as he beat Matthew Stevens 4-1.

It was Stevens who actually drew first blood, taking out the first frame on the final pink after a break of 58 had done the early damage.

That was to prove Stevens' only moment of cheer, however, the Welshman looking a shadow of his former self as he squandered a number of good chances to make Selby pay for his own sloppiness.

It didn't take long for Selby to find his stride and although the unforced errors kept coming, breaks of 87 and 53 saw him run out a comfortable winner as Stevens' own bid faltered.

Easy work for Murphy and Higgins

Former world champions Shaun Murphy and John Higgins enjoyed comfortable evenings as they progressed to the last 32.

Murphy was again in sublime touch as he made breaks of 84, 122, 64 and 103 in his 4-1 defeat of Luo Honghao while breaks of 117 and 75 helped Higgins see off Kacper Filipiak by the same scoreline.

Crafty Ken marches on

Ken Doherty rolled back the years and booked his place in the third round with a 4-0 drubbing of Soheil Vahedi.

Doherty started with a break of 88 and finished with a magnificent 132 while Luca Brecel was even more impressive in his 4-0 whitewash of Matthew Selt.

Brecel made breaks of 128, 63, 113 and 102 in an imperious display that left Selt chained to his chair for most of the afternoon.

A 4-1 victory over Jordan Brown saw Stuart Bingham safely through while Graeme Dott and Stephen Maguire beat Craig Steadman and Mark Davis respectively.

Wings clipped but the Hawk survives

Having slipped 3-2 behind in his match with Michael Holt, Barry Hawkins produced break of 119 in frame six before edging a nervy deciding frame seven to book his place in the next round.

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh enjoyed a slightly more comfortable afternoon as he beat Mei Xi Wen 4-2 while Kyren Wilson made light work of Peter Ebdon, winning 4-1.

In a battle of the youngsters, Yuan Sijun proved too strong for Joe O'Connor as he prevailed 4-2.

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