Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Mark Allen's World Championship bid in full swing after dominant victory

Winning feeling: Mark Allen marches on at Crucible

Mark Allen powered to a 10-4 victory over England's Michael Holt at the Dafabet World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield.

The Ulsterman led 5-4 overnight but he moved up a gear to book a battle with either Neil Robertson or Robbie Williams, Australia's 2010 World Champion resuming 7-2 ahead tonight.

The 28-year-old Antrim potter is hoping to add the World Championship to his two World Open crowns.

Judd Trump survived a test of nerve against Tom Ford on a day his form deserted him to edge through to the second round.

Runner-up to John Higgins in Sheffield in 2011, Trump was well beaten in the semi-finals by Ronnie O'Sullivan last year and has endured a distinctly mediocre 2013-14 season.

At 8-8, and with his tournament hanging in the balance, Trump dug deep and ground out two attritional frames to win 10-8 and set up a second-round clash with Ryan Day.

Trump said he felt "relief" at reaching the last-16, admitting: "Every time I got in I didn't feel comfortable."

But he added: "It doesn't matter how you play if you become world champion."

"I just got bored and started to take everything on," said Trump.

"If I carried on playing like I was then he would have won," said Trump.

"He played quite slow. I think the pressure got to him probably and he started to doubt himself and think about things a little too much."

Trump was joined in the second round by last year's World Championship runner-up Barry Hawkins, the Kent man a crushing 10-4 winner over Tamworth's David Gilbert.

Hong Kong's Marco Fu clinched a last-16 tussle with Shaun Murphy by fending off Martin Gould 10-7.

Stephen Hendry has been warned that he must make a full-time commitment if he is chalking up his cue for a serious second shot at the sport he once dominated.

Hendry is expected to come out of retirement, at least on a trial basis, and Steve Davis has received a career lifeline after World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn handed the old-stagers a side-door entry onto the professional tour for the next two years.

Although the pair will not receive full tour cards, the door is open for seven-time world champion Hendry, who retired two years ago, and six-time winner Davis to play at a number of tournaments.

"Both have said they'd be delighted to receive an invitation," said Hearn.

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