‘I was very bored’ – O’Sullivan criticises ‘flat’ Belfast crowd

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Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Northern Ireland Open
O’Sullivan will meet Alfie Burden in the second round after beating Andy Hicks 4-1

Ronnie O’Sullivan was left unimpressed by the atmosphere inside Belfast’s Waterfront Hall after making it through to the last 32 of the Northern Ireland Open.

The six-time world champion defeated Andy Hicks 4-1 to set up a second-round match with Alfie Burden.

“It was very flat out there. I was very bored,” Englishman O’Sullivan told wst.tv.

“I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.”

O’Sullivan has reached the final of the competition for three years, but has lost to Judd Trump each time.

Elsewhere in the first round, world number one Mark Selby won on the final black to edge China’s Cao Yupeng 4-3.

The Leicester cueman made a break of 66 in the deciding frame to leave Cao needing a snooker, which he did before clearing up to the black.

Cao missed and left the black over the pocket for Selby to clinch victory.

Shaun Murphy is also through after a 4-2 win over Bai Langning, while 2017 world champion Mark Williams progressed by defeating Elliot Slessor 4-3, and Barry Hawkins is out after losing 4-0 to Mark King.

John Higgins enjoyed a 4-2 victory over Farakh Ajaib and Kyren Wilson defeated Robert Milkins 4-1.

Mark Allen, who faces Peter Devlin on Tuesday afternoon, provided the highlight of the tournament so far with maximum 147 in front of his home fans on Sunday.