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Pressure builds on Neil Robertson after early exit at the Northern Ireland Open

Jordan Brown heaped more woe on former world champion Neil Robertson by cruising to a 4-1 win in the second round of the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.

The Antrim 36-year-old, a shock winner of the Welsh Open in 2021, looked close to top form as he swept aside the Australian, who briefly rallied with a break of 125 in the penultimate frame.

Brown is yet to reach a ranking quarter-final since his sole tournament win and knows there could be no better place to break that run than his home tournament.

He told the WST’s official website: “It would mean everything. It doesn’t get much bigger than this and it’s what you play snooker for.

“It’s been a long time coming but it’s one good win and I’m here to win the tournament. It’s not being big-headed in any way but I just know what I’m capable of.”

Defeat continued a miserable campaign for Robertson, who has yet to reach the last 32 of a ranking event this season and has indicated he will return home to take a short break from the game.

Shaun Murphy held his nerve to pot the final black and edge out Marco Fu 4-3, after the Hong Kong man had recovered from 3-1 down to force the decider.

Jack Lisowski delivered a break of 138 as he sunk Jackson Page 4-1, while 17-year-old Stan Moody reached the last 32 of a ranking event for the first time after his 4-1 win over veteran Rod Lawler.

Mark Allen’s hopes of a third successive title in Northern Ireland were ended around 2am by Estonia’s Andres Petrov.

In a match containing just one half century break – exactly 50 from Petrov in the second frame – Allen came back from 3-1 down to force a decider, but the Estonian edged over the finishing line.

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