Aaron Hill claimed a sensational win over boyhood idol Ronnie O’Sullivan last night at the European Masters.
The 18-year-old tour rookie from Cork beat the six-time world champion 5-4 in a thriller at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. Hill, in his first year as a professional and in the biggest match of his life, led 3-1 with a confident start against his snooker hero.
The mid-session interval came at the right time for the 44-year-old O’Sullivan who had looked all at sea in the early frames.
The world Number Two, in his first match since winning the World Championship last month, regrouped after the break, taking three frames in a row.
But Hill served notice of his nerve and talent by rallying and staying cool to seal a magnificent victory.
Earlier in the evening, Mark Allen produced a record-equalling performance to whitewash Ken Doherty.The 34-year-old from Northern Ireland was in scintillating form in Milton Keynes as he blasted in four consecutive century breaks in a 5-0 victory.
World Number Five Allen allowed the 51-year-old former world champion just 12 points in the match while he rattled in efforts of 134, 101, 141 and 145.
Only five players – John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson, Gary Wilson and Stephen Maguire – have previously achieved that feat. And at one stage it looked as if Allen would make history with a fifth ton – but he was unlucky going into the pack on a break of 46.
And he now wants to cash in on form that has seen make seven centuries in two matches at the Marshall Arena after just failing to win a title last term.
Allen, who reached a final and six other semi-finals last season, said: “If I play like that I will take some stopping this week – but we know snooker isn’t that straightforward.“I was pretty sure no one had done five in a row before in that last frame, I went into the pack and finished badly and then took on a plant that I wouldn’t have done if it had been 2-2.
“I knew the pink was the big shot in the frame to split the last few reds, but I had to go for the difficult plant with the history on offer.
“Hopefully it’s not all downhill from here! I am very happy with the way I played, but I have to be prepared to battle it out when it’s not all going so well. “Of course it would be nice to cash in on some good form and get a title, but there are plenty of other players wanting to get on the board early this season.” Doherty said: “I was lucky to get nil – I thought he was going to get that fifth century in the last frame before he broke down on 46.
“It was very impressive stuff from Mark, I tell you. He didn’t look like missing he was hitting the ball so sweet.
“There was nothing I could do but sit in my chair, he was making it look so easy – very impressive and very sharp. At least the chair was comfortable.“I know Mark was frustrated not to get a title last season, but he has all the attributes and you’d expect to see him on the winner’s rostrum this season.”
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