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Mark Allen – ‘I don’t see what he was trying to gain from it’

Mark Allen is the latest player to voice his opinion on the Ronnie O’Sullivan and Hossein Vafaei grudge match at the World Snooker Championship.

The Northern Irishman was speaking after completing a comprehensive 13-4 triumph against Stuart Bingham to reach the quarter-finals at the Crucible Theatre this year.

Allen was playing his second session of that contest on Friday afternoon when the O’Sullivan and Vafaei showdown got under way.

While he didn’t have a birds eye view of the action, he would have heard the oohs and ahs from the crowd on the other side of the arena when the Iranian stunned everyone watching with his lashed-out break-off shot to begin the second frame.

The 28 year-old took the opportunity to enact his idea of revenge after O’Sullivan performed a similar pool-like break-off the last time they crossed paths more than a year ago – an act Vafaei deemed disrespectful.

“I was playing obviously yesterday whenever they started, but I heard the commotion whenever Hossein did the break-off in frame two,” Mark Allen told the World Snooker Tour.

“I don’t really see what he was trying to gain from it. Ronnie’s been around too long, and he’s too good at the mental side.”

“People think that he’s not, but he’s very crafty. He’ll not get caught up with that, he’ll probably be the complete opposite of what everyone would expect.

“They probably expect him to come out fiery and say a few things about Hossein, but that’s not Ronnie. Ronnie’ll go the complete other way.

“I called it pretty well yesterday that he’d be composed, relaxed, and wanting to show him he means business in other ways.”

The Pistol, meanwhile, was pleased to reach the quarter-finals in Sheffield for the first time since 2018 as he moves a step closer to matching his best Crucible run – an appearance in the last four 14 years ago.

“It’s probably my most one-sided second-round match that I’ve ever had here,” the number three seed said.

“I knew I needed to play better. I commentated on Stuart’s first game, and I thought he looked really sharp in the balls.”

“I knew I needed to improve on my own scoring, which I did. I think I made 13 breaks over 50 there and that’ll get the job done most times.

“The signs are good going forward – I need to cut a few silly errors here and there, but in general my game is in good shape.

“There’s no doubt that will help (finishing early), because you want to conserve as much energy as possible here. It’s a long slog for 17 days.

“You need to be as ready as possible physically and mentally. It would have been nice to finish it yesterday and get out with a session to spare, but I can’t complain with 13-4.

“It’s hard for me to get my head around how long that’s been (since reaching the semi-final), but it is what it is. I’ve come here with my best chance in a long time.

“Not just to get to the one-table setup, but to win this tournament, which is what I’m here for.

“I don’t feel like I’ll have gained anything if I get to the one table and lose. But it’s just a sign of how poorly I’ve done here.

“I have to play better and I have to be better, and I feel like I am right now.”

Allen was also asked about his commentating role with the BBC, and whether he has faced any criticisms in the same manner that his chum Shaun Murphy has in the past.

“I would never commentate or be in the studio on the days that I play – I think that does detract from your preparation for a match.”

“But that’s not what I’ve done. I’ve spoken to the Beeb whenever they asked me about doing, and I said I’d help you out, because I enjoyed doing it as well.

“I would never do it on days that I play, so I don’t feel like it hurts my preparations. I feel like I’d be twiddling my thumbs a lot if I wasn’t doing it.

“It passes some time, and like I say, I actually enjoy the analysis side of it and stuff, and seeing what other players are going through out there.”

Allen became the second player through to the last eight of the competition, following in the footsteps of Luca Brecel who beat Mark Williams on Friday night.

For the full World Snooker Championship draw, results, live scores, and session times, click here.

Featured photo credit: WST


  1. Paul Farkie

    Look at the technology we have today.

    Ok, re-spotting BALLS AND REFEREES.
    After a MISSED is called.

    WHY DON’T THEY GIVE THE REFEREES A TABLET OR IPAD, HE walks over picks it up and then, they send an overlay of the table previously,
    LIKE HOW THEY SHOW US AT HOME, phasing between two pictures, WHERE THE BALLS WERE.
    It’s crazy, he as the device beside him on the table and it’s done.
    Plus more accurately with a bit of their own close up memory of things.

    I’ve sent messages in, but no one replies, or any changes occurs. 😕 behind time snooker and that shaun Murphy commentating, HE TALKS EVERY SINGLE SHOT, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE 🙏
    Someone tell him, he doesn’t have to speak all the way through a game, ITS TOO MUCH.
    We’re not idiots or blind. A little is a lot, someone needs to tell him that.

  2. jim preston

    i really cant understand why they bring women in to present snooker when they have probably never watched a match in there lives..there is people who have been in the game for a lot of years why not let them present the show & earn some money instead of women who go on a crash course & av never seen a snooker match

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