John Higgins and Mark Allen next to fall at the UK Championship

Just two top 16 players have progressed to the quarter-finals.

John Higgins and Mark Allen next to fall at the UK Championship
Higgins was leading for the majority of his contest with King (photo: Getty Images / Tai Chengzhe)

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Shaun Murphy are the only two top ten players to make it past the last 16 of the UK Championship as John Higgins and Mark Allen joined a host of big names on their way home from York.

Fringe players progress

Higgins looked to be on his way to the quarter-finals but came unstuck against a determined Mark King. The number 20 seed fell 4-2 and then 5-4 behind before taking the last two frames to shock the former World champion.

Allen formulated breaks of 134 and 135 but was always chasing Joe Perry who made five breaks over 50 himself. After dropping the first two frames, Allen was unable to draw level with Perry at any point in the contest and eventually lost 6-4 to the former top 16 player.

Perry will face another former World Championship seed in Stephen Maguire for a spot in the semi-finals. The Scotsman was in excellent form to thrash his compatriot Graeme Dott 6-2.

There was heartache in more than one way for Li Hang as he was defeated by Ryan Day. The Chinese competitor fell seven balls short of achieving a maximum break as he raced into a 3-1 lead. However, number 17 seed Day scored six breaks over 50 in the last seven frames, winning a final frame decider with a formulation of 138.

Day faces Mark Joyce in the next round who ended Lu Haotian's excellent run of form in the last fortnight with a 4-2 victory.

Rivals Murphy and O'Sullivan favourites to lift the trophy

Shaun Murphy explained the "shocks don't shock me" as he remained the highest ranked player in the competition. The number five seed thrashed Ricky Walden 6-1 despite having problems with his cue in frame four.

Martin Gould eased past Xiao Guodong 6-4 to set up a meeting with Ronnie O'Sullivan. However, the Rocket was pushed all the way by Akani Songsermsawad who thrashed Barry Hawkins 6-0 in the third round.

Smiling throughout the contest, the young Thai hopeful established an early 2-0 lead before breaks of 121 and 98 drew O'Sullivan level. Yet Songsermsawad was able to regain his two-frame cushion causing O'Sullivan to dig deep in a bid to recover once again. A break of 128 from the number 97 seed put him one frame away from a famous victory, only for O'Sullivan to steal the last two frames and edge into the last eight.

The quarter-final draw looks as follows:

Ryan Day [17] v Mark Joyce [41]

Shaun Murphy [5] v Mark King [20] 

Stephen Maguire [19] v Joe Perry [22] 

Ronnie O'Sullivan [7]  v Martin Gould [18]