There were two major talking points as Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a typically unpredictable display in his first match at the Scottish Open.
Ronnie O’Sullivan reached the second round of the Scottish Open with a 4-3 comeback win over Dominic Dale – but that fails to tell the whole story after two incidents punctuated an extraordinary match.
The 44-year-old eventually spluttered into action after losing the first two frames in Glasgow, making some marvellous pots as he charged towards a century break in the third.
But as a ton loomed, he inexplicably decided to pot a red before the referee had returned the blue to the table – the second time he had been penalised for playing too quickly in the past fortnight. Still, he took the frame and halved the arrears.
The match was about to get stranger. O’Sullivan, now in a good rhythm, was primed to level at 2-2 after a sensational cannon on the final black moved it over the middle pocket. A simple pot beckoned.
Inexplicably, he blasted it into the jaws, sending the white careering off the table. The seven-point penalty gifted Dale the frame and moved the Welshman within one of victory.
However, anyone who thought O’Sullivan would disappear were mistaken. Runs of 64 and 80 drew him level at 3-3 – prompting a fist bump with his opponent ahead of the decider – before an 83 knock carried him through the oddest of battles.