SNOOKER: Mark Allen to face bogey player Mark Joyce in NI Open

Mark Allen
Mark Allen

Home favourite Mark Allen has been drawn against Mark Joyce in the first round of snooker’s new Coral Northern Ireland in Belfast.

Antrim’s Allen has lost to England’s Joyce in four of their five previous meetings and will face a tough opening challenge in the world ranking event at the Titanic Exhibition Centre.

The tournament runs from November 14 to 20 and that match will take place in the evening session on Tuesday November 15.

Ronnie O’Sullivan will face David John in the evening session on Monday November 14, and if the Rocket comes through that match he could face Jimmy White in round two, if the Whirlwind can beat Gareth Allen.

Belfast’s Joe Swail will meet Dominic Dale on the afternoon of Tuesday November 15. Northern Ireland’s top two amateurs Patrick Wallace and Jordan Brown will meet Michael Georgiou and Ben Woollaston respectively.

Judd Trump will meet former World Champion Peter Ebdon, while Coral English Open winner Liang Wenbo will be up against Nigel Bond, and Shaun Murphy will take on Luca Brecel.

The tournament, televised by Eurosport and Quest, will have 128 players battling for the £70,000 top prize and the new Alex Higgins Trophy.

With eight tables in the arena in the early stages, it’s an incredible chance for fans to see live sport at the highest level.

Organisers are advising fans to book ticket now as certain sessions could be sold out.

For details call 0844 847 2455 or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets