• UK Championship

O'Sullivan plays through pain barrier to reach third round

ESPN staff
November 30, 2014
Ronnie O'Sullivan suffered obvious discomfort in his left ankle at the York Barbican Centre © Getty Images

Ronnie O'Sullivan played through the pain as he overcame Peter Lines 6-3 to book his place in the last-32 of the UK Championship.

O'Sullivan had warned he might pull out of the event after revealing he had suffered a broken ankle while out jogging prior to the tournament, but work with Sheffield United's physio team ensured he was fit to take centre stage at York's Barbican Centre.

Clearly still feeling twinges of pain from his left foot, O'Sullivan was far from his convincing best, but was strong enough to withstand a late Lines fightback to advance to the third round.

'The Rocket' will now play Ben Woollaston, who recovered from a shaky start to beat Tony Drago 6-3.

In the day's earlier action, defending champion Neil Robertson survived a second-round scare against Kyren Wilson.

World No.63 Wilson won a re-spotted black to draw level at 3-3, then tested Robertson's nerves to the limit with a clearance of 87 to lead 5-4.

He missed a chance to cause a famous upset, and Robertson took the decider with an 86 to claim the match 6-5.

"I certainly made it very tough for myself and it goes down as one of my worst performances in a BBC event," Robertson said. "It can be a bit difficult to motivate yourself in the first couple of rounds and sometimes when everything doesn't fall into place it can be hard.

"I just made unnecessary errors today, my safety was absolutely awful. Once I got in I was scoring ok but it's funny how with leading players in any sport, when you're so close to defeat, you produce your best."

Mark Allen played brutal hardball as he swatted aside Belgian teenager Luca Brecel with a comprehensive 6-0 victory.

Allen has been a beaten finalist in the Shanghai Masters and International Championship already this season and has his sights on a major prize, which is why he did not want to give 19-year-old Brecel the slightest chance of an upset.

"I had a game plan to not take on any silly shots against Luca," Allen said. "He's not the sort of player you want to let build up confidence.

"He's a very streaky player and I knew if he got a few frames on the board he'd be hard to stop."

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