Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Snooker: Allen all set for a morning Dott pot-shot at Crucible

Mark Allen of Northern Ireland

Mark Allen faces a potential nine frame shoot-out against England’s Graeme Dott this morning for a place in the semi-finals of the Betfred.com World Championship at the Crucible.

The pair are locked at 8-8 after last night’s second session with 13 the lucky number that will book a place in the last four of the £1.1m tournament.

Allen will probably be glad his quarter-final clash against the 2006 world champion concludes with a morning session.

The Antrim cueman has been in great form in his early sessions in Sheffield and was 5-3 ahead of Dott after yesterday’s morning session which included a 100 break in the final frame.

But Dott relied on all his experience last night to peg the 24-year-old right back.

Allen got his evening session off to a great start by extending the advantage to 6-3.

But from three behind, Dott fought back to 6-5 before the Ulsterman won the final frame ahead of the mid session interval.

Dott knocked in a 116 break on the resumption to narrow the deficit to just 7-6. He then levelled before edging in front for the first time in the match.

But Allen held his nerve to make it 8-8.

The semi-finals start tomorrow with the winner facing Ronnie O’Sullivan or Mark Selby.

Allen reached the semis last year, beating the then defending champion O’Sullivan on the way before losing to eventual champion John Higgins.

Steve Davis, who caused one of the biggest ever shocks at the Crucible when knocking out defending champion Higgins in the last round, couldn’t repeat his heroics and trails Australia’s Neil Robertson 12-4 after last night’s second session, winning the final frame to avoid defeat with a session to spare.

Six-times world champion Davis, now 52, desperately needed to get off to a good start last night after losing the morning session 7-1, but by the mid session interval was 10-2 behind.

The match will be played to a finish this afternoon with Robertson needing just one frame and the winner will take on Shaun Murphy or Ali Carter in the semi-finals. Murphy leads 5-3 after yesterday’s opening session with the match continuing this morning and concluding tonight.

Mark Selby let Ronnie O'Sullivan off the hook as an intriguing first session between two of snooker's most potent potters was littered with mistakes.

‘The Rocket’ finished off with a break of 81 to draw level at 4-4, but his potting was as unpredictable as his behaviour. At one stage |O'Sullivan sat in the front row with journalists and then he left his seat to watch events on the other table for several minutes, peering around the curtain to check on the match between Carter and Murphy.

O’Sullivan and Selby continue this afternoon and finish tonight.

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