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Mark Allen out but Ken Doherty marches on in NI Open

Mark Allen lost his second round match 4-3 to China's Tian Pengfei at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast on Wednesday evening Picture by Cliff Donaldson
By Martin McGoran

MARK Allen’s hopes of a home victory at the Northern Ireland Open at the Waterfront in Belfast were ended on Wednesday night by Tian Pengfei of China.

The Antrim man lost 4-3 in his second round match after leading 2-1 and 3-2. The Chinese player allowed the world number nine to pot just one ball in the last two frames and runs of 50 and 51 levelled the match at 3-3 before a stylish break of 109 booked him a place in Thursday's round three action against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham.

Irish hopes now rest with veteran Dubliner Ken Doherty. The 1997 World champion followed up his first round win over Peter Lines with a comfortable 4-1 win over Niu Zhuang.

There were no fireworks in this one – Doherty’s highest break of the match was just 53 in frame three – but he won’t mind that and he now faces young English prospect Liam Highfield, who will surely test Doherty if he reproduces the form he showed in knocking out world number 15 Liang Wenbo on Wednesday afternoon.

Ronnie O’Sullivan put aside his issues with photgraphers from his first round match on Tuesday evening to cruise into round three.

Duane Jones was his second round victim on Wednesday afternoon, breaks of 65 and 81 the highlight in the whitwash victory.

Defending champion Mark King joined his fellow Essex man in the third round as he beat Ashley Hugill 4-1 in the morning session, but the man he beat in last year’s final, Barry Hawkins, didn’t even make the second round as he was a late casualty on Tuesday evening at the hands of Zhao Xintong, who subsequently lost 4-3 to Jimmy Robertson.

The latter’s namesake, Neil Robertson, looks a danger after whitewashing Billy Joe Castle.

Second round results

Yan Bingtao (Chn) bt Jamie Curtis-Barrett (Gbr) 4-0; Robert Milkins (Eng) bt Oliver Lines (Eng) 4-1; Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Tha) bt Chen Zifan (Chn) 4-3; Mark King (Eng) bt Ashley Hugill (Eng) 4-1; Anthony McGill (Sco) bt Adam Duffy (Eng) 4-1; Mei Xiwen (Chn) bt Alex Borg (Mlt) 4-1; Elliot Slessor (Eng) bt Kurt Maflin (Nor) 4-2; Noppon Saengkham (Tha) bt Yu De Lu (Chn) 4-3; Mark Williams (Wal) bt Tom Ford (Eng) 4-0; Neil Robertson (Aus) bt Billy Joe Castle (Eng) 4-0; Xiao Guodong (Chn) bt Ali Carter (Eng) 4-1; Lyu Haotian (Chn) bt Yuan Sijun (Chn) 4-1; Robin Hull (Fin) bt Zhou Yuelong (Chn) 4-1; Liam Highfield (Eng) bt Liang Wenbo (Chn) 4-1; Li Yuan (Chn) bt Zhang Yong (Chn) 4-0; Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) bt Duane Jones (Wal) 4-0, Akani Songsermsawad (Tha) bt Wang Yuchen (Chn) 4-3, Mike Dunn (Eng) bt Matthew Stevens (Wal) 4-0, Ken Doherty (Irl) bt Niu Zhuang (Chn) 4-1, Ricky Walden (Eng) bt Jack Lisowski (Eng) 4-2, Michael Holt (Eng) bt Michael Georgiou (Eng) 4-2, Sam Craigie (Eng) bt Ben Woollaston (Eng) 4-2, Joe Perry (Eng) bt Matthew Selt (Eng) 4-0, Jimmy Robertson (Eng) bt Zhao Xintong (Chn) 4-3; Tian Pengfei (Chn) bt Mark Allen (NI) 4-3; Chris Wakelin (Eng) bt Fang Xiongman (Chn) 4-1; Jimmy White (Eng) bt Jak Jones (Eng) 4-0; David Gilbert (Eng) bt Paul S Davison (Eng) 4-2; Ross Muir (Sco) bt Stuart Carrington (Eng) 4-2; Ryan Day (Wal) bt Li Hang (Chn) 4-2; Gary Wilson (Eng) bt Stephen Maguire (Sco) 4-0

Thursday's schedule

Round three

10am: Mark King v Yan Bingtao; Ryan Day v Robin Hull; Ricky Walden v Jimmy Robertson; Robert Milkins v Neil Robertson; Lyu Haotian v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh; Mike Dunn v Michael Holt; Xiao Guodong v Joe Perry

1pm: Tian Pengfei v Noppon Saengkham; Ken Doherty v Liam Highfield; Anthony McGill v Li Yuan; Mei Xi Wen v Sam Craigie; Elliot Slessor v Ronnie O’Sullivan; Akani Songsermsawad v Mark Williams; David Gilbert v Ross Muir

2.30pm: Chris Wakelin v Jimmy White; John Higgins OR Hossein Veifei v Gary Wilson

Round four will be played on Thursday evening

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