Mark Allen
Main News, Non-Ranking

Mark Allen to return home ahead of semi-final clash

Mark Allen produced some of his best snooker of the 2023/24 season so far to reach the Champion of Champions semi-finals on Monday.

The Northern Irishman has generally struggled to match his displays from last term, when he won three ranking titles and reached the last four of the World Championship.

But despite losing the first frame against legend Jimmy White, Allen safely came through his opening fixture – completing a 4-1 triumph with a break of 108.

The Pistol then fired another brace of tons in his quarter-final tie with Ali Carter, who had pipped Mark Selby in a high-quality affair earlier in the day that lasted the distance.

Carter managed to compile a tournament-high 143 against Allen, but the latter ultimately prevailed courtesy of a 6-2 scoreline.

With his semi-final fixture not scheduled until Saturday, the world number four will spend the next few days back home in Northern Ireland.

“Ali’s one of the form players this year, and I’m very happy with that result,” Mark Allen said afterwards in Bolton.

“I’m going to fly back (to Northern Ireland). I had a flight booked already, because I knew I wouldn’t play until Friday at the earliest.”

“I fly back tomorrow morning, and I come back on Friday afternoon. I’ll get a nice dinner, do a bit of practice, and just chill out to get ready for Saturday night.

“I’ll be in the club for the next three days or four days practicing away, and I’m sure the other matches will be on in the background.

“There are a lot of snooker fans within the snooker club, but I’ll not be watching too closely. I can’t control it.

“You’ll just wreck your own head if you’re watching players missing balls and thinking, why don’t they do that against me?”

“May the best man win, and I’ll see who’s left here on Saturday.”

Allen, who won the Champion of Champions behind closed doors in 2020, awaits the winner of the group involving Ding Junhui, Zhang Anda, John Higgins, and Chris Wakelin.

That mini section will be contested on Wednesday, but world champion Luca Brecel will launch his quest to win the prestigious invitational for the first time on Tuesday.

The Belgian Bullet is in action against Barry Hawkins, with the winner to face either Mark Williams or Robert Milkins in the last eight.

Meanwhile, South Philly Pool Hall, Buffalo Billiards, and Ball Busters Billiards are just a few of the places where you can enjoy cue sports near Rivers Casino Philadelphia – a popular casino in a prime location.

2023 Champion of Champions

Monday (Group 4)
Last 16 (bo7)
Mark Allen 4-1 Jimmy White
Mark Selby 3-4 Ali Carter

Quarter-Final (bo11)
Mark Allen 6-2 Ali Carter

Tuesday (Group 2)
Last 16 (bo7)
Luca Brecel 0-4 Barry Hawkins
Mark Williams 2-4 Robert Milkins

Quarter-Final (bo11)
Barry Hawkins 6-2 Robert Milkins

Wednesday (Group 1)
Last 16 (bo7)
John Higgins 4-0 Chris Wakelin
Ding Junhui 4-3 Zhang Anda

Quarter-Final (bo11)
John Higgins 6-1 Ding Junhui

Thursday (Group 3)
Last 16 (bo7)
Judd Trump 4-0 Baipat Siripaporn
Shaun Murphy 4-1 Gary Wilson

Quarter-Final (bo11)
Judd Trump 6-4 Shaun Murphy

Semi-Final (bo11)
Barry Hawkins 3-6 Judd Trump

Semi-Final (bo11)
John Higgins 2-6 Mark Allen

Final (bo19)

Judd Trump 3-10 Mark Allen

Featured photo credit: Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport

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