Mark Allen booked his place in the quarter-finals
Mark Allen booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Betway UK Championship after emerging a 6-5 victor in a thrilling clash with Australia’s Neil Robertson.
Victory for the Pistol sees him reach the quarter-finals of the UK Championship for the first time since 2013. While 2010 World Champion Robertson continues a poor run of results against Allen, having now lost their last four meetings.
The Thunder from Down Under was first to get a frame on the board this evening. However, 2011 UK Championship runner-up Allen responded with breaks of 77 and 62 on his way to taking three frames on the bounce to lead 3-1 at the mid-session.
Robertson then clawed his way back into the tie by clinching a glut of tight frames. After claiming a 27-minute fifth, the two-time UK Champion won the following two on the final black, by a single point, to lead 4-3.
Allen restored parity, before 14-time ranking event winner Robertson extraordinarily won another frame by a single point to move one from victory at 5-4. However, it wasn’t to be for the Australian, as Allen summoned his best snooker at the crucial moment.
The Northern Irishman surged over the finishing line from behind in typically steely fashion, firing in back-to-back century runs of 102 and 114 to clinch an impressive victory.
The Pistol now faces Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals after the Scot came from 4-0 down to beat Mark Williams. However, Allen admitted to feeling the pressure this evening after celebrating prematurely when potting a long pink prior to match ball in the decider.
“It was a bit silly of me to celebrate when I did. I wondered what I had done,” said Allen. “It was the most pressure I have probably ever felt potting the final four balls, but luckily enough I did it.
“I felt like I was playing the better snooker this evening. Yes there were errors, but I thought I was the better player. You aren’t going to beat a class act like Neil too often from 5-4 down. He didn’t score a point in the last two frames so it was a good way to close out the match.”
Tom Ford booked his first ever Triple Crown quarter-final appearance with a late night 6-5 win over China’s Lu Ning.
There was never more than a frame between the pair in an epic clash which lasted four hours and 45 minutes. Ford top scored with a century run of 108. The Leicester potter will now face either Judd Trump or Joe Perry in the last eight.
Ford said: “I could see from the first frame that he was playing really slowly and normally when that happens my head goes and I find it really difficult to stay concentrated. So the thing I am most pleased about with this win, is that I hung in there and managed to get over the line.
“I honestly don’t think I have played particularly well so far in this tournament. I’ve had a few 6-5 wins and Alan McManus didn’t turn up in that match. The draw opened up a bit for me, but I know I will have to play better in the quarter-final.”
source - worldsnooker