Shaun Murphy struggled but overcame Bai Langning to advance to the second round of the 2021 Northern Ireland Open.
The 2021 Northern Ireland Open began on October 9, and with be played till 17 at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. The tournament has already kicked off excitingly, with so many incredible matches played so far.
2005 World Championship winner, Shaun Murphy faced teenage Chinese snooker player Bai Langning in his first match of the competition. Murphy had to put in the effort to secure a 4-2 win at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
The 39-year-old Englishman came out top in the opening two frames of the game, but Bai hit back to keep the scores at 2-1. Murphy won the next frame, and went two frames ahead again, only for Langning to cut the deficit to one with an astonishing 73 break.
In the sixth frame, Bai moved 24-0 ahead, and it looked like he might take the game to a decider. However, he ran out of position, and that helped Murphy to the table. Murphy took his opportunity with a break of 59 to book his spot in the next round against Allan Taylor.
There have been no big upsets yet at the Northern Ireland Open. However, Mark Selby almost got eliminated as he survived a big scare.
Mark Selby was pegged back on both occasions by Cao Yupeng when he went 2-1 and 3-2 up. Cao went 30-0 ahead in the deciding frame but missed a chance to win, and that give Selby the victory.
In other games played so far, Yan Bingtao pulled a remarkable comeback, as he came from 3-1 down to defeat Duane Jones. Amateur James Cahill convincingly beat Fergal O’Brien 4-0, while Barry Hawkins also lost 4-0 by Mark King, who made breaks of 50, 110, and 68 to knock out the 11th seed. China’s Lu Haotian won 4-2 over Ali Carter, while Luca Brecel also progressed with a 4-2 win over Liang Wenbo. Mitchell Mann and Alfie Burden got 4-2 victories over Xiao Guodong and Yuan SiJun, respectively.
Tournament favorite, Ronnie O’Sullivan thrashed Andy Hicks 4-1, while Mark Williams got a 4-3 win over Elliot Slessor
Written by: Collins Nwokolo