CORK snooker's rising star Ross Bulman went down 6-0 to his idol Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second round of the UK Championship on Thursday night.
The 18-year-old found the going tough against one of the greatest snooker players of all-time but came close to taking the fifth frame at the York Barbican. Bulman wasn't even born when 43-year-old O'Sullivan won his first UK title in 1993.
However, the Rocket hailed the Youghal native as a 'very good prospect'.
"It certainly wasn’t easy," said O'Sullivan. "I don’t know much about the guy, I know he’s young and a very, very good prospect. It’s hard for him out there, it’s a busy crowd and playing me is not easy.
"Getting used to the table and the conditions. He reminds me of Darren Morgan the way he walks around the table, his cue action and Darren was a top eight player, semi-finalist World Championship so I definitely think you’ll be seeing a lot of him at some point."
The seven-time winner scored breaks of 88, 90, 133 and 66 in racing into a 4-0 mid-session interval lead.
Bulman, who doesn't have a world ranking, recently won a round of the Northern Ireland Open.
"It was a great experience and I will learn a lot from it," he commented after the loss to O'Sullivan.