Amateur John Astley stuns defending champion Neil Robertson at UK Championship

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

Astley, 32, fell off the pro tour last year but managed a 119-break in seventh frame en route to a 6-2 victory.

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

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

Astley, best known for his role in the 2016 Crucible snooker piece “The Nap”, who emerges as a “complementary” player due to the lack of professionals to complete the field of 128 players.

He took advantage of Robertson’s slow start to take a 3-1 lead, then extended his advantage with 83 without nerves after Robertson scored a red in the middle.

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

(PA wire)

The Australian, who thrilled to win the title against Judd Trump last year, responded with a break of 124 to reduce the deficit to 4-2.

But Astley landed a 119 to lead 5-2, before crossing the finish line to clinch the best win of his career and one of the biggest surprises of the tournament.

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