Ronnie OSullivan and Judd Trump in disagreement at Northern Ireland Open

Ronnie O'Sullivan clashes with Mark Allen during tense game

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Judd Trump disagreed with Ronnie O’Sullivan’s comments on the atmosphere at the Northern Ireland Open, after the ‘Rocket’ described his opening-round win against Andy Hicks as ‘boring’ on Monday.

O’Sullivan secured a comfortable victory in his first-round tie with fellow Englishman Hicks, running out 4-1 winner. However, the 45-year-old was quick to slam the atmosphere from the Belfast crowd following his win.

O’Sullivan told EuroSport: “I kind of struggled with the table and I struggled with the atmosphere – there was really no atmosphere out there. 

“I’m playing alright, so normally I can generate the atmosphere but, I don’t know… it felt like years ago, every time we played a tournament, every match felt like a big night, like a Champions League night, whereas out there, it was poor… it was hard.” 

Following the Rocket’s comments fellow snooker star Trump voiced his opinion, but it could not have been further from O’Sullivan’s comments.

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Trump – who is defending his title in Belfast – was full of praise for the Northern Irish crowd following his 4-0 thumping of China’s Gao Yang on Tuesday as he commented: “The passion of the fans here, you can just feel it.

“That rubs off on me and any support like that really gives me that extra incentive to do well and entertain. The atmosphere here is in the top three of all the events that we play in.

“Especially when you get down to that one table set-up, whether that’s against Ronnie or whoever else. It’s amazing in that arena, especially when it’s full.”

However the ambience around Waterfront Hall in the Northern Irish capital was not to the liking of O’Sullivan, who went on to add that he hopes it improves as the tournament enters its closing stages.

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He added: “I don’t know, you’ve got all these games going on, you’ve got people walking about, you know… I struggled. It’s the atmosphere.

“These flat draws, you’ve just got to hope you get through to the quarters and click into a spark. It was very flat out there. I was very bored out there…

“I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible, to be honest with you. I was thinking, ‘please, just don’t let this go long, two-three hours’. That’s not a good attitude to have, so I tried to talk myself out of it, but it is what it is, you know.”

However it seems the Rocket is the anomaly in this argument, as like Trump Mark Allen also had praise for the crowd following his remarkable 147 break in his opening round win over Si Jiahui.

Following a maximum at his home tournament Allen said: “That’s honestly right up there with anything I’ve ever felt in the sport.

“Not just to make a 147 but to do it here at a tournament that means so much to me, in front of my family and friends – people that have supported me throughout my career – to give them that buzz as well is a memory I will hold for a long, long time.”

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