O’Sullivan stuns Hamilton with impressive fightback

SEAN O’Sullivan produced a storm of a comeback to defeat Anthony Hamilton on the opening day of the UK Championship.

Snooker’s second biggest ranking event, which last year was won by Mark Selby, kicked off today (Tuesday) with eight first round matches held in York.

O’Sullivan, playing in the main draw of the UK Championship for the first time, looked set to be heading out at the very first hurdle when he trailed 4-0 to world number 40 Anthony Hamilton.

But O’Sullivan, nicknamed ‘The Storm’ stormed his way to an unlikely win – winning the next six frames with two top breaks of 74.

O’Sullivan will face Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham in the next round (last 64) after he fought his way to a 6-2 win against Leicester’s Tom Ford.

Dominic Dale’s poor season continued as he suffered an agonising 6-5 defeat to Australian Vinnie Calabrese despite knocking in two century breaks – one the highest of the day of 136.

The Welshman, ranked number 22 in the world, has reached the last 16 stage just once this season at the Australian Open except for the Six Reds World Championship which is not a ranking event.

Mark Joyce, who beat Judd Trump last year in the opening round, suffered an early exit when he crashed out to Jamie O’Neill losing 6-2. Last year’s World Championship quarter-finalist Jamie Jones also had a day to forget losing 6-0 to an in-form Gary Wilson.

Shanghai Masters finalist Xiao Guodong eased his way into the last 64 stage with a brushing 6-1 win over Andrew Pagett. The Chinese star wrapping the match up with a top break of 125.

The opening day also saw comfortable wins for Mark King and Fergal O’Brien who beat Ross Muir and Alex Davies respectively.

Twelve more first round matches will be played on Wednesday.

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