UK Championship Round Two: The Rocket continues to soar

Ronnie O'Sullivan has been in excellent form during the opening rounds.

UK Championship Round Two: The Rocket continues to soar
O'Sullivan will be the favourite for numerous fans (photo: Getty Images)

Former World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan laid down a marker for his opponents as he blitzed his way through to the last eight of the UK Championship.

Champion elect?

After winning his first round match 6-0 in under an hour, O'Sullivan matched the feat with a whitewash of Rhys Clark in round two. The Rocket made breaks between 79 and 131 in five of the six frames, ensuring that he had formulated half centuries in 11 out of 12 frames in his opening two matches.

Number 51 seed Fergal O'Brien was just as impressive on his way to a remarkable comeback against the higher ranked Barry Hawkins. After falling 4-2 behind, O'Brien scored three century breaks in a row to take the lead, before winning the contest 6-5 with a record five three-figured formulations.

Mark Allen ensured he was not overseen when he defeated Rod Lawler 6-4, making his first maximum break of 147 and celebrating the feat with a double fist pump. Fellow top ten players Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, Ding Junhui and Joe Perry are also safely through.

World Champion Selby is in the third round (photo: Getty Images)
World Champion Selby is in the third round (photo: Getty Images)

More surprises than Christmas Day

Amateur Peter Lines continued his impressive tournament form as he defeated Chris Wakelin, three days after knocking out 2015 Champion Neil Robertson in the opening round. Judd Trump and Stuart Bingham did not wait long to join Robertson in an early exit as the two top five seeds lost to Oliver Lines and Yu Delu respectively.

Number 114 seed Mitchell Mann and 104 Michael Georgiou kept the rank outsiders with an interest as they beat higher ranked opponents on their way to the third round. World number 11 Liang Wenbo lost to Yan Bingtao ranked 64 places below him, whilst number 18 Anthony McGill was stunned by Zhang Anda despite also holidng a 64 place advantage.

64 was also the magic number for a third Chinese player as Mei Xiwen defeated Michael Gould ranked 64 positions his superior, whilst top 25 seeds Michael White and Michael Holt lost to Matthew Stevens and Zhou Yuelong respectively.

Liam Highfield, Jamie Jones, Jimmy Robertson and Dominic Dale completed another long list of players to defeat higher ranked opponents in the second round.