Belfast Telegraph

UK Snooker Championships: Allen has a rant at colleagues... and makes semi

By John Skilbeck

A defiant Mark Allen believes his fellow players “don't have the b***s” to speak their mind when it comes to their feelings on the governance of the game.

Allen’s latest outburst came just ahead of last night’s dramatic 6-5 win over Marco Fu in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship in York.

The Ulsterman will meet Ricky Walden — who beat 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy 6-3 in last night’s other quarter-final — in tomorrow’s semi-final.

Allen is due to face a disciplinary charge after launching a foul-mouthed tirade against World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn in the wake of his first-round victory over Adrian Gunnell at the UK Championship in York on Monday.

The 25-year-old, infuriated by the shortening of the format in snooker's second biggest event, called on Hearn to resign and claimed the 63-year-old's attitude was one of “**** the players”.

After easing into the quarter-finals on Wednesday with a 6-2 win over Ali Carter, Allen spoke to the media again.

He initially entered the press conference with tape covering his mouth, prompting laughter from the assembled journalists, but it was not long before he was on the offensive once again.

“I've had lots of criticism over the years and I'm not going to change that now just because I'm outspoken and speak my mind.

“Other players just don't have the b***s to do it,” said Allen.

“Obviously I swore, and I apologise again for that, but I still stand by the rest of the things I said.”

Meanwhile, Judd Trump powered into the semi-finals with a 6-3 victory over Stephen Maguire yesterday.

Maguire took the opening frame of the quarter-final clash, but Trump stormed back to take the next five frames in a row, including consecutive breaks of 106.

And after the Scot reduced the deficit to 5-3 with breaks of 62 and 80, Trump sealed the win in style with a break of 120.

The 22-year-old from Bristol, who reached the final of the World Championship in May, said: “When I am out there now I just feel so confident in front of the cameras. Last season I just did not want to be out there but now I'm just trying to get as much TV coverage as possible and get used to it.”

Trump, who beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 in the second round, added: “I'm probably practising the least amount I have all season but playing the best.

“I'm just trying to enjoy myself off the table and completely forget about snooker.”

Trump will face Neil Robertson in today’s semi-final over the best of 17 frames after the former world champion beat Ding Junhui 6-2 yesterday.

The players were level at 2-2 at the mid-session interval before Australian left-hander Robertson won the next four frames in succession.

Robertson was delighted with his performance, adding: “When there is more riding on the match I tend to play a lot better.

“I just love winning tournaments and playing in semi-finals and finals.”

Belfast Telegraph

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