Alan McManus produced a vintage comeback to reel off five consecutive frames for a Second Round scalp of Barry Hawkins in Round Two the UK Championship, as Ronnie O’Sullivan made it back-to-back whitewashes.
McManus, the 1994 Masters Champion, looked to be staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat to the world number ten, but rallied back from 4-1 down to pull off a shock 6-4 success.
Hawkins, who had recorded a maximum break in his First Round win over Gerard Greene, raced clear with the aid of a 70 break in frame five, but only for McManus to reply with an 81 break before going on to force a decider.
The tenacious Scot then completed the turnaround in style with a break of 67 to reach Round Three in York for the second successive year.
Reigning and back-to-back Betway UK Champion O’Sullivan made it 12 frames without reply so far as he thrashed a below-par Tian Pengfei 6-0.
O’Sullivan, bidding for a record 37th career ranking title, fired in top breaks of 71 and 106 as he set up a Last 32 clash with Noppon Saengkham.
Thai number two Noppon came through a high quality contest with Anthony McGill 6-3 with a high break of 101 along the way.
Marco Fu continued his comeback trail after slipping down the rankings following an eye problem as he came from 4-1 and 5-3 down to deny Kyren Wilson in a last-frame decider.
Fu led with a break of 77 before Wilson took the following three frames thanks to breaks of 101, 62 and 61 and went on to clinch the fifth to move further clear.
Fu, the 2008 UK runner-up, rallied back with successive breaks of 62 and 89, and though Wilson steadied the ship to move within one of victory, the Hong Kong ace took frame nine before following in with back-to-back breaks of 73 and 74 to wrap up a memorable win.
Two-time UK Champion Mark Selby safely progressed to Round Three at the York Barbican courtesy of a 6-3 win over Liam Highfield with top breaks of 61, 129, 62 and 80.
Selby’s fellow two-time champion Neil Robertson was far from at his vintage best but did enough to close out a 6-4 win over Wirral cueist Robbie Williams with a high break of 101.
Last year’s beaten finalist Mark Allen fended off a gallant fightback from Welsh youngster Jak Jones to seal an eventual 6-5 victory.
Allen had coasted into a 5-1 lead with breaks of 52, 52, 141 and 71, but only for Jones to hit back with four in a row, incluing a well-taken 104, to force a decider.
It was ‘The Pistol’, though, who delivered the killer blow with a break of 64 to edge through.
Stuart Bingham continued his impressive run of form by producing a trio of century breaks en route to a 6-4 defeat of Martin Gould.
Bingham fired in breaks of 105, 91, 64, 106 and 122 in a clinical scoring display to see off the reigning Championship League winner.
Matthew Stevens, the 2003 UK Champion, rolled back the years to defeat fellow Welsh star Ryan Day in a last-frame decider, with Stevens’ highlight a majestic break of 135 in frame two.
World number 101 Ian Burns moved into the Third Round of the UK Championship for the first time after a 6-5 victory over Michael Holt with high breaks of 90 and 100 to follow up his First Round whitewash of Matthew Selt.
Mark King was a convincing 6-1 winner over Chinese youngster Lyu Haotian, while former German Masters winner Anthony Hamilton dispatched giant-killer James Cahill 6-3 with a high break of 104 in the first frame.
Betway UK Championship 2019 Results
Saturday November 30
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-0 Tian Pengfei
Noppon Saengkham 6-3 Anthony McGill
Li Hang 6-4 Xiao Guodong
Marco Fu 6-5 Kyren Wilson
Ian Burns 6-5 Michael Holt
Stuart Bingham 6-4 Martin Gould
Mark King 6-1 Lyu Haotian
Matthew Stevens 6-5 Ryan Day
Daniel Wells 2-6 Eden Sharav
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-6 Zhao Xintong
Robbie Williams 4-6 Neil Robertson
Anthony Hamilton 6-3 James Cahill
Liam Highfield 3-6 Mark Selby
Mark Allen 6-5 Jak Jones
Scott Donaldson 4-6 Ben Woollaston
Barry Hawkins 4-6 Alan McManus