Murphy and Lisowski Shine as Contenders at BetVictor Northern Ireland Open

Murphy Shaun: Picture Credit: World Snooker

Only five of the world’s top 16 players remain in contention at the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open. Following dominant performances on Wednesday night, Shaun Murphy and Jack Lisowski are emerging as strong contenders for the title.

Shaun Murphy, currently ranked seventh in the world, secured a comfortable 4-0 victory over Sean O’Sullivan, with impressive breaks of 80 and 70. He is now set to face Chris Wakelin in the fourth round on Thursday afternoon. Murphy acknowledged the unpredictability of Home Nations events, given their best-of-seven-frame format, saying, “It’s all about who has the right attitude, and it’s great to see these opportunities for all the players.”

If both Murphy and Stan Moody secure victories on the following day, they will face each other in the quarter-finals on Friday. Murphy expressed his delight at seeing young talent like Moody shine, stating, “It’s fabulous to see the next group of players coming through. I’m in camp Moody… The likes of Stan, Liam Pullen, and others are the names for the future.”

Jack Lisowski advanced with a 4-1 win over Matthew Selt, featuring notable breaks of 55, 57, and 73, setting up a match against Aaron Hill. Lisowski noted some adjustments in his cue ball control, saying, “The way I feather the cue ball is a bit different this week; I am trying to give myself more time on the shot.”

Unfortunately for Northern Ireland, their hopes of a homegrown champion were dashed as Jordan Brown succumbed to a 4-2 defeat against China’s Yuan Sijun, who showcased breaks of 100, 97, and 77. Additionally, Stephen Maguire claimed a 4-2 victory over Sam Craigie with a top score of 73, while Ricky Walden defeated Stuart Bingham 4-1, registering a high break of 102.

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