O'Sullivan cruises to Northern Ireland Open quarter-finals, but defeat for Leeds's Lam

Ronnie O'Sullivan continues to put off-the-table wranglings to one side as he pushed through to the quarter-finals of the Northern Ireland Open.

Ronnie O'Sullivan.

The five-time world champion has spent most of the week debating the future of the sport - while not always being supporting of its governing body, World Snooker - but has taken none of that on the table with him.

He beat Tom Ford 4-0 in the afternoon to make the last 16 and then saw off Zhou Yuelong 4-1, taking his career centuries tally to 973 in the process.

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O’Sullivan plays David Gilbert in the quarters after his win over Lu Ning, while Mark Selby beat Martin O’Donnell to tee up a clash with Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Judd Trump beat Luca Brecel 4-2 to book his place, while the evergreen Peter Ebdon remains a dangerous opponent, beating Li Hang 4-1.

Earlier, Sanderson Lam suffered a third-round exit in Belfast.

The 24-year-old Leeds cueman had enjoyed his best run in a tournament this season after wins over Joe O’Connor and Sean O’Sullivan.

But he lost 4-1 to Robbie Williams - who had knocked out fellow Leeds potter Peter Lines 24 hours earlier.

The pair shared the opening two frames, but in a low-scoring contest, Williams emerged as winner.