O’Sullivan, supported by a packed crowd, signed autographs after the match
Ronnie O’Sullivan, competing in the event for the first time since 2015, beat Alan McManus to reach the second round of the BetVictor Shoot Out.
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The Rocket meets Billy Castle in round two of the quickfire one-frame tournament at the Watford Colosseum on Saturday – to see the match schedule click here.
Breaks of 20 and 22 helped O’Sullivan to a scoreline of 54-10 against McManus, who had one clear chance early in the frame but missed the pink to a centre pocket.
On a day of dramatic incident, African Champion Amine Amiri lost to Michael Holt having failed to realise that in this event a ball must be potted or hit a cushion with every shot. On two occasions Amiri looked in control of the frame when he tried to roll up to the black to snooker his opponent. Both times Holt was gifted seven points and ball in hand, and he eventually won the frame 69-38.
Iran’s Soheil Vahedi came from 37-1 down to tie at 37-37 with Alfie Burden, then potted the blue in a sudden death shoot out after Burden had missed.
Ricky Walden had a chance to clear from 36 points down against Tian Pengfei, but missed the final black off its spot at 61-64. Tian potted the black to book his second round spot.
Ashley Carty trailed Noppon Saengkham 43-35 with less than a minute to go but potted red, blue and yellow then slotted in the green as the clock ticked to zero for a last-gasp victory.
Liang Wenbo trailed Oliver Lines 29-15 but snatched the result with a late break of 19, sealing it with a difficult thin cut on the pink to a corner pocket. Liang is one of 15 Chinese players among the last 64.
Ali Carter edged out Chen Zifan 52-50; in the last minute Chen needed to pot two balls but didn’t get a clear chance.
Reanne Evans, one of two female wild cards in the draw, was beaten by Ian Burns who made an excellent break of 62.
It was a good day for Irish amateur teenagers as 18-year-old Ross Bulman beat 2018 champion Michael Georgiou while 17-year-old Aaron Hill got the better of Robbie McGuigan.
Shaun Murphy made a break of 68 to beat Kishan Hirani while Jack Lisowski fired a run of 78 to beat Andy Hicks.