Wednesday 18 October 2017

In brief: Ronnie O'Sullivan storms into semi-finals

Ronnie O'Sullivan during the 2014 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London
Ronnie O'Sullivan during the 2014 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London
England captain Alastair Cook

SNOOKER

Ronnie O'Sullivan produced a flawless display to beat Ricky Walden 6-0 in under an hour and reach the Masters semi-finals in some style.

The 'Rocket' reeled off all six frames in just 59 minutes. Most remarkably, after Walden had led in the opener following a break of 38, O'Sullivan's frame-winning reply of 79 started a record run of 556 points without reply.

That break was sparked by a superb opening red from distance and he followed it up with 88 in the second frame and 72 in the third, the latter after Walden attempted to escape from a snooker and hit the pink.

The frame before the interval was the best of the bunch, a 134 total clearance ensuring an emphatic 4-0 advantage.

And there was no let-up upon the resumption, with 77 to win the first frame back and 56 and 39 in the next to get over the line in spectacular fashion.

O'Sullivan's run of unanswered points was a record for any professional tournament.

Ding Junhui held the previous record with 495 points without reply, against Stephen Hendry in the 2007 Premier League.

O'Sullivan will meet Stephen Maguire in the semi-final who beat Neil Robertson 6-2 last night.

CRICKET

Captain Alastair Cook admitted the England dressing-room was "a tough place to be" after their winless run against Australia was extended by a dramatic one-wicket defeats in the second one-day international in Brisbane.

England were on the brink of finally beating Michael Clarke's side for the first time in 84 days since arriving Down Under, only to be denied by James Faulkner's unbeaten 69 from 47 balls at the death.

When last man Clint McKay joined the all-rounder, Australia required 57 runs in six overs to seal victory.

Faulkner responded to the danger with aggression, typical of Australia's cricket this summer, as he blasted away England's death bowling.

With 25 needed from 10 balls, Faulkner hit Ben Stokes for back-to-back sixes, before smacking the 12 needed from Tim Bresnan's final over from the first three balls.

It meant Australia went 2-0 up in the five-game series, and also that former Ireland star Eoin Morgan's brilliant 106 was in vain after England posted 300-8 batting first.

SCHOOLS RUGBY

Jack Keegan converted a late penalty to give Summerhill College a 10-8 win over Rice College Westport in the first round of the Connacht Schools Senior Cup.

A try by Robert Fabby and a penalty from Tom McHale appeared to have given the Westport school a solid platform, the try coming early in the second half to add to their penalty, which was the only score of the first half.

However, a converted try 10 minutes from time by Conan O'Donnell opened the door for Summerhill, who struck with that late penalty to snatch victory.

Irish Independent

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