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Page last updated at 22:47 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 23:47 UK

O'Sullivan comeback stuns Doherty

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan needed all his battling qualities to progress

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan came from behind to defeat Ken Doherty 5-4 in the second round of the Northern Ireland Trophy on Wednesday.

O'Sullivan trailed 4-2 but reeled off three frames in succession to set up a last 16 encounter with Joe Perry.

Elsewhere in the draw, Masters champion Mark Selby saw off Andrew Higginson 5-1 with breaks of 73, 50 and 89.

Crucible finalist Ali Carter rattled off four straight frames in his contest with Rory McCleod to seal a 5-1 win.

World number five and two-time world champion John Higgins also progressed with a 5-2 victory over Dave Gilbert.

I played well, but I didn't have a chance in the last three frames

Ken Doherty
O'Sullivan compiled breaks of 110, 83, 74 and 85 as he was pushed to the limit by Doherty.

"I had to make something happen," said O'Sullivan. "I did, which is very pleasing. I'm always really focused.

"It was a great atmosphere out there. He had a lot of support from the Irish supporters, which you'd expect.

"But I also had good support out there, so it made for a good atmosphere. You enjoy it when the atmosphere is good. A big crowd helps you concentrate."

He added: "I could have lost that match, Ken is the type of player who will not give you many opportunities.

"You're not going to win lots of matches from 4-2 down, so I'm pleased I got through."

606: DEBATE

Doherty said: "I played well, but I didn't have a chance in the last three frames.

"It was a really good match, he had to play well to beat me. It's disappointing to lose, but I didn't do a great deal wrong.

"I can derive a little bit of confidence from the way I played - I played to a really good standard. Hopefully I can keep it going in my next match.

"I don't mind playing against players like Ronnie because it makes me raise my game. It's the other players which I struggle against.

"I have to try to build on this performance even though it is a defeat, I've got to take heart and confidence from the way I played."

World number four Selby enjoyed a comfortable start against qualifier Higginson, and said: "I felt a few nerves so winning the match is a great start to the season.

"I want to win more tournaments this season and stay in the top four - and maybe get closer to the number one spot."

Selby will meet Preston's Ian McCulloch, a two-time ranking event runner-up, in the last 16 on Thursday.

Carter, now ranked seven in the world, will face either Ding Junhui or Mark Davis, who play later on Wednesday, in the next round after runs of 67, 54 and 57 against McLeod.

Barry Hawkins, who dumped out crowd favourite Jimmy White in the first round, is also through following a 5-2 win over Hong Kong's Marco Fu.

Last season's Grand Prix winner Fu compiled breaks of 48 and 96, but Dartford's Hawkins pocketed runs of 60, 40, 52 and 45 to set up a meeting with Welshman Ryan Day, who pipped Preston qualifier Stuart Pettman 5-4.

Joe Perry also progressed with a 5-2 win over Jamie Cope.

see also
NI Trophy live scores & schedule
27 Aug 08 |  Snooker
Hendry humbled by Lee in Belfast
26 Aug 08 |  Snooker
White suffers first-round defeat
25 Aug 08 |  Snooker
Stevens out but Williams through
24 Aug 08 |  Snooker
NI Trophy set for Belfast return
21 May 08 |  Snooker


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