No home success for Allen

23 November 2017 23:21:00 GMTPlus11

Mark Allen remains desperate to win the Northern Ireland Open at some point in the future after crashing out of this year's competition.

The Ulsterman suffered a 4-3 defeat to Tian Pengfei in Belfast despite only needing to win one of the last two frames to progress.

After Tian had won the decisive seventh frame thanks to a break of 109, Allen said: "I've been playing well for the last two months. I'll just try and block out this performance as I feel my game is in good shape.

"Hopefully some day I can lift the trophy for the people of Northern Ireland. Just because I'm the home favourite it doesn't mean those fairy-tales are going to come true but hopefully in years to come I will be able to handle it better."

Meanwhile, John Higgins confirmed his place in the last-32 with a 4-2 win over Iran's Hossein Vafaei and defending champion Mark King secured a 4-1 victory over Ashley Hugill.

Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated Welshman Duane Jones 4-0 while Neil Robertson completed his own whitewash over Billy Joe Castle.

Joe Perry secured an impressive 4-0 win over Matthew Selt, while Jimmy White thrashed Welshman Jak Jones by the same scoreline and Ken Doherty defeated China's Niu Zhuang 4-1.

O'Sullivan is 1/14 to beat Elliot Slessor in Belfast while White is 13/8 to come out on top against Chris Wakelin.

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