UK Championship makes welcome return to York

Neil Robertson will open up his defence of the Cazoo UK Championship against John Astley when the tournament makes a welcome return to York this month.

Neil Robertson in action at the York Barbican back in 2019. Picture: PA

The tournament returns to the York Barbican for the first time since 2019, after being staged behind closed doors in Milton Keynes last year.

Robertson - who beat Judd Trump 10-9 to capture the trophy for the third time in 2020 - was paired with amateur Astley when the draw was made today.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Yorkshire interest will centre on Sanderson Lam, the 27-year-old Leeds potter faces Scotland’s Stephen Maguire, who has reached the UK final on three previous occasions. The world No 8 won the title in 2004.

David Grace, plus father-and-son Peter and Oliver Lines - like Lam, based at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds - are also in first-round action.

Grace - the 36-year-old who reached the UK semi-finals in 2015 - faces Peter Devlin, Peter Lines, 51, plays Welshman Ryan Day, while Oliver Lines, 26, tackles Jak Jones.

York’s Ashley Hugill, 27, opens up against veteran Mark Davis, while Rotherham’s Ashley Carty, 26, plays Dominic Dale.

Crowd favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on two-time ranking event winner Michael White, while world champion Mark Selby plays Ross Muir.

Other top stars in the field include John Higgins, Mark Williams, Shaun Murphy, Kyren Wilson, Sheffield-based Ding Junhui, Mark Allen, legends Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry, top female players Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee.

Tickets for the tournament - which runs from November 23 to December 5 - are still available, starting from £8.

For ticket details visit www.wst.tv/tickets