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Mark Allen Denies Neil Robertson in UK Championship

Mark Allen produced a late burst of heavy scoring to come from behind and beat Neil Robertson 6-5 in a dramatic last 16 UK Championship encounter on Wednesday.

UK Championship
Allen is into a UK Championship quarter-final for just the second time since reaching the 2011 final. Photo credit: World Snooker

The Northern Irishman had led 3-1 at the mid-session interval before dropping a succession of scrappy frames as Robertson seemingly grabbed control of the contest.

Indeed, the Australian appeared as though he was going to be the player to hold his nerve after pinching three frames on the black to establish a 5-4 advantage late on – despite boasting a pot success rate of just 79%.

However, Masters champion Allen continued his bid for a second Triple Crown title of 2018 by upping the tempo when it mattered most, compiling a brace of timely century breaks to pip his opponent in a decider.

The International Championship winner will next face Stephen Maguire, who launched an even more impressive fight back to oust world champion Mark Williams by the same margin.

Williams looked to be coasting into the next round when he opened up a 4-0 cushion at the interval but Maguire scored 419 unanswered points as he amazingly restored parity with the aid of a hat-trick of tons.

The Scot subsequently edged in front with a break of 97 and, even though Williams managed to force a decider by pinching the tenth frame, Maguire completed the remarkable turnaround with a run of 63 in the last.

The 2004 champion, who possesses a world beating A-game but has lacked the consistency required to live up to his potential throughout his career, hasn’t won a ranking event since the 2013 Welsh Open but will surely fancy his chances of progressing from the bottom half of the draw.


Defeat for Williams ensures that Mark Selby’s reign as the world number one will go on for another while at least, as the Welshman needed to capture this week’s title in York in order to overthrow the latter at the top.

Meanwhile, defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan enjoyed another routine victory after thumping Jack Lisowski 6-1 at the Barbican Centre to maintain his quest for a record-breaking seventh UK Championship crown.

Lisowski began confidently by taking the opening frame but gradually fell apart thereafter, with O’Sullivan able to mop up the countless mistakes that were made when the 27 year-old was in amongst the balls with an opportunity.

O’Sullivan, who was celebrating his 43rd birthday, knocked in a brace of centuries to bring his overall career tally to 982 and awaits the winner of the Ding Junhui and Martin O’Donnell fourth round encounter.

Tom Ford was the day’s fourth winner in what proved to be another epic 6-5 tie as he edged China’s Lu Ning in a nail-biter.

The 35 year-old will make only his seventh career ranking event quarter-final appearance after denying the ranked outsider on the final colours at the death.

On Thursday, the last 16 will reach its conclusion with 2011 champion Judd Trump back in action against Joe Perry, English Open champion Stuart Bingham facing Akani Songsermsawad, and Kyren Wilson meeting Barry Hawkins.

Live coverage of the UK Championship continues on the BBC and Eurosport.

Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)

 



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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the Northern Ireland Open – won by Mark Allen.

1. Judd Trump
2. Mark Selby
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Kyren Wilson
6. John Higgins
7. Shaun Murphy
8. Stephen Maguire
9. Mark Allen
10. Ding Junhui
11. Mark Williams
12. Stuart Bingham
13. Yan Bingtao
14. Barry Hawkins
15. Jack Lisowski
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy