Martin Gould Fight Back Stuns Mark Allen

The first round of the last ranking event in 2020 continued at the Marshall Arena.

Martin Gould retrieved a 3-0 deficit and fought back to win the last four frames to beat Mark Allen in the World Grand Prix on Tuesday.

The latter looked a cert to reach the last 16 when he compiled breaks 142 and 82 to move to within one frame of victory.

But despite having numerous opportunities, Northern Ireland’s Allen couldn’t get over the winner line and Gould capitalised with a gutsy comeback.

The “Pinner Potter” hasn’t performed too well since reaching the final of the European Masters in September, when he narrowly lost to Mark Selby in a deciding frame.

Gould will face Lu Ning next with a quarter-final spot on offer as he attempts to get his campaign back on track.

Lu similarly recorded a 4-3 success but even more dramatic circumstances, with the UK Championship semi-finalist recovering from a snookers required position in the last frame to snatch it on the final black.

Meanwhile, world number one Judd Trump and world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan are safely through their initial hurdles – albeit under slightly contrasting circumstances.

Trump was another player who was taken the distance but compiled a timely brace of century breaks to deny Michael Holt at the very end.

O’Sullivan briefly fell behind to Ali Carter before rallying with contributions of 105, 57, and 56 to ease through with a 4-1 scoreline.

The only whitewash of the day came from Ding Junhui, who hammered Jak Jones 4-0 thanks to runs of 137, 80, and 73.

Elsewhere, top-16 members Stuart Bingham and Yan Bingtao earned hard-fought triumphs against Li Hang and David Grace respectively.

Yan’s encounter took so long to be completed that the subsequently scheduled clash between Kyren Wilson and Kurt Maflin didn’t commence until just shy of 11pm.

Championship League winner Wilson, who was involved in a car accident last week, withstood the tiredness to prevail 4-2 in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

On day three, the first round concludes with Mark Selby in action against Liang Wenbo, before the last 16 commences in the evening session.

The World Grand Prix features only the top 32 earners on the one-year list from this season, and it is the last ranking event of the 2020 calendar year.

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