Amateur John Astley stuns defending champion Neil Robertson at UK Championship

Astley fell off the professional tour last year.

Pa Sport Staff
Thursday 25 November 2021 18:22
John Astley stunned Neil Robertson at the UK Championship (Zac Goodwin/PA)
John Astley stunned Neil Robertson at the UK Championship (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Defending champion Neil Robertson was stunned by amateur John Astley in the first round of the UK Championship in York

Astley, 32, fell off the professional tour last year but fired a break of 119 in the seventh frame en route to a 6-2 win.

Astley is the second amateur to beat a UK champion this week after Shaun Murphy was knocked out by China’s Si Jiahui on the opening day.

And the result is particularly embarrassing for Robertson after he concurred with Murphy’s controversial claim on Tuesday that amateurs did not deserve the right to play on the professional tour.

Astley, better known for his role in the snooker play ‘The Nap’ at the Crucible in 2016, was appearing as a ‘top-up’ player due to there not being enough professionals to complete the 128-player field.

He capitalised on a sluggish start by Robertson to edge into a 3-1 lead, then extended his advantage with nerveless 83 after Robertson jawed a red to the middle.

Neil Robertson was stunned by amateur John Astley in York (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The Australian who won the title in thrilling fashion over Judd Trump last year, responded with a break of 124 to narrow the deficit to 4-2.

But Astley reeled off a 119 to go 5-2 up, before edging over the line to wrap up the best win of his career, and one of the tournament’s greatest upsets.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in