Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Snooker: Clinical Robertson secures Allen battle

Neil Robertson set up a quarter-final clash with Antrim’s Mark Allenat the Ladbrokes Mobile Masters with a 6-3 win over seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

Robertson, last year's Crucible champion, recorded three breaks in the 80s as he kick-started his Wembley campaign with a comfortable win.

Looking ahead to the battle with Ronnie O’Sullivan conqueror Allen, Robertson said: “Obviously there are some things to improve on for my next match.

“We've only played once or twice before, but he had a great win against Ronnie, he played pretty well and I'm sure it will be a great match."

Hendry took the first frame yesterday with a 74 break but Robertson levelled, clearing to the green after Hendry missed an easy pink and a similarly straightforward red in frame two.

Hendry's long potting was letting him down, the same failing which saw him eliminated from last month's UK Championship by Mark Williams, but he set a good snooker to force a chance and took the frame with a fluent 64.

Robertson made harder work of a break of 85 in the next but nonetheless went to the interval level at 2-2.

He resumed with an 86 to win the first frame back at one visit, and a clever safety left Hendry snookered on the yellow and allowed him to go 4-2 up.

An excellent run of 81 took the Australian within one frame of victory and he led 38-0 in the next, but Hendry came back with 36 and 49 to cut the deficit to 5-3.

Robertson was not to be denied, though, and potted a good long red to begin a match-clinching break of 34.

"It took a bit of time to get used to the table but towards the end I felt pretty good and made some good breaks," Robertson said.

"I went 4-2 up and won the next with an 80-odd break. A 5-2 lead is pretty useful, and I potted a good last red and got the job done."

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