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O'Sullivan hails local snooker event as a huge success

ALTHOUGH the event may have been some what overshadowed by Ronnie O'Sullivan's comments about feeling 'raped' and 'blackmailed' into playing PTC Snooker events, the PTC Killarney snooker event at the town's Convention Centre (formerly INEC) last week was hailed as a success by local promoter Connie O'Sullivan who said he was not offended by his namesake's comments in any way.

"Ronnie is one of the lucky ones in that he doesn't have to earn a living from snooker anymore but the vast majority of the players here this weekend are delighted with the opportunity to earn some ranking points as well as some money," Connie O'Sullivan said.

"Look at golf, there are golf tournaments every week and the big players have to mix it with small players. If they don't want to turn up they don't have to but their ranking will fall. That's the beauty of the PTC's. The big players had it so good for so long, their place was protected in the Top 16 but now that they have to earn their keep they are not so happy. Talk to the hundreds of young players here this weekend, they'll tell you there's nothing wrong with the system."

Northern Ireland's Mark Allen expressed his desire for a return of a major ranking event to Ireland and felt Killarney could be a possible venue for such a tournament.

"I was a bit unlucky in that the Irish Masters was wound down just around the time I was turning professional. The Northern Ireland Trophy was a great event for me personally in terms of playing in front of a home crowd. Snooker is a very popular sport both north and south and here is Killarney is a hotbed so it could be a possible venue," the Antrim man said.

At the table it was a disappointing weekend for the Kerry contingent as Mark Tuite, Derry O'Sullivan, Sean McMonagle, Paddy Murphy, Aidan O'Sullivan and John Friel all failed to advance beyond the qualifying rounds last Thursday. The tournament itself was won by 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson who defeated this year's World Championship finalist Judd Trump from England in the final by 4-1.

World No 13 Allen was the best of the Irish making the semi-finals before losing out 4-3 to Robertson. 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty was beaten 4-1 by Alan McManus in the Last 16 stage of the competition.