Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Mark Allen through to last eight of Players' Championship

Good run: Mark Allen has cruised through to last eight in Preston

Mark Allen is through to today's Players' Championship quarter-finals at Preston's Guild Hall and on top of his game ahead of next month's World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Allen came from behind to beat Dubliner Fergal O'Brien 4-1 yesterday, following on from a 4-2 success against Welshman Jamie Jones which included a superb 136 break.

"Another good win against a tough opponent. Hitting the ball pretty well and looking forward to the next one," the Antrim cueman tweeted last night.

The 28-year-old fired breaks of 113, 54, 75 and 66 to secure the victory in the £500,000 event. Allen has slipped down the world rankings this season, going from seventh to 15th.

But he showed a return to form at the World Open in China earlier this month by reaching the semi-finals.

The left-hander had won the tournament for the previous two years.

John Higgins is also through to the quarter-finals after overcoming Ben Woollaston.

The four-time world champion could only register a top break of 56 but was good enough to see off Leicester potter Woollaston 4-2 and advance to the last eight for his third consecutive ranking event.

The Scot will next face Marco Fu after the world number eight beat Mark Williams by the same score, registering breaks of 79, 57, 82 and 60.

Breaks of 98, 128, 53 and 61 guided Joe Perry to a 4-1 win over David Gilbert.

The £1.1 World Championship starts on April 19.

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