Scottish Open review: Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins and defending champion Mark Allen ease into last 32

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan

A review of the action on day three of the Scottish Open where Ronnie O'Sullivan routed James Cahill and John Higgins also progressed to the third round.

Cahill gunned down by The Rocket

Ronnie O'Sullivan took little over 32 minutes to rout James Cahill, the 44-year-old producing a fine exhibition of snooker to complete a brilliant 4-0 whitewash.

Cahill famously lowered O'Sullivan's colours in the World Championship at the Crucible Theatre last season but he was no match for the The Rocket on this occasion, Cahill missing from distance in frame one before O'Sullivan reeled off a rapid run of 93 to begin his evening's work.

Another miss from Cahill at the beginning of frame two, this time a tricky red to middle, handed O'Sullivan a further invitation he was in no mood to turn down and he fairly glided round the table for a sublime break of 111.

When O'Sullivan finally produced an unforced error - a missed black off the spot in the third frame - Cahill looked set to counter but his decision to pot a mid-range red left handed was to prove costly, the cue ball failing to find its intended position and allowing O'Sullivan to step in and extend his lead to 3-0.

With the match all but over, Cahill cut a frustrated figure in his chair and O'Sullivan wasted little time in wrapping up proceedings, a break of 86 ensuring his average shot time for the match dipped under the 13-second mark.

O'Sullivan told Eurosport afterwards: "I feel like I'm cueing really well, like I'm cueing as good as I have done for years.

"I'm just enjoying playing, enjoying hitting balls, no matter whether it's on the match table or the practice table.

"It didn't feel like 12 seconds [average shot time], it felt like 21 seconds. I felt like I was playing slower tonight because I came out and tried to play a little bit more conservative because I have been a bit too attacking.

"I just tried to reign it in a little bit so it meant I was just taking a little bit more time on my shots and I was thinking about certain shots. You expect expect it [shot time] to be a slower than that - I'm baffled by that."

Higgins finds form in second-round cruise

John Higgins turned in one of his most polished performances of the season when easing past Alexander Ursenbacher 4-1.

Higgins has reached a couple of semi-finals already this term, despite failing to find his very best form, and he was rightly pleased with this commanding victory.

The four-time world champion had to watch on as Ursenbacher took the opening frame thanks to a break of 69 but it was one-way traffic thereafter as Higgins dominated proceedings.

A fabulous break of 123 from Higgins in frame two - the 775th of his career - helped him level the scores and he barely put a foot wrong as he won frames three and four in decisive fashion.

A second century of the afternoon, one that would have taken him past the great Stephen Hendry on the list of career centuries, appeared a forgone conclusion as Higgins wrapped up the match moments later but in the end he had to settle for a run of 91 that saw him safely into the third round.

Higgins told Eurosport afterwards: "I played better there. I played better than I did in my first match and knew I had to because Alexander got off to a good start and I'm a big fan of his.

"I've watched him in some matches and he's a confident boy - when he gets in about it he fancies clearing the table.

"I was happy to come through there and win."

On equalling Hendry's tally of centuries, Higgins added: "There's more tournaments now so there's more chances to make the hundred breaks but it's still a good achievement to equal anything Stephen has done in the game."

Allen title defence on track

Defending champion Mark Allen booked his place in the last 32 of the Scottish Open with a comfortable 4-1 defeat of Louis Heathcote.

Allen, by his own admission, turned in a 'sloppy' display in his first-round victory over Andy Hicks but he was much sharper on Wednesday, compiling breaks of 59, 63 and 51 as he made short work of an opponent who proved himself a dangerous operator on a number of occasions already this season.

Judd Trump looks to have quickly bounced back from his shock UK Championship defeat to Nigel Bond as be made light work of Yuan Sijun.

In a disappointingly one-sided affair, Trump barely broke sweat as his opponent put up little resistance in a limp display.

After Trump had kicked off with a break of 78 in frame one, Sijun suffered a horror kick when looking sure to level the scores in frame two and from there on in the writing was on the wall.

Chris Wakelin claimed the notable scalp of this year's World Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson when producing a sparkling display to prevail 4-1.

Having watched Wilson open up with a break of 118, Wakelin hit back with two centuries of his own and a run of 72 in frame five to seal a fine success.

Elsewhere, Jack Lisowski whitewashed David Grace 4-0 while Joe O'Connor beat Yan Bingtao and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh saw off Robert Milkins.

There were also safe passages for recent UK Championship hero Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby.


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