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Mark Allen looks to past in bid to find his groove at Welsh Open

Mark Allen is hoping a quicker style of play can help him get out of his recent rut after reaching the second round of the Welsh Open in Cardiff.

Antrim potter Allen has struggled in recent weeks - suffering a first-round exit from the German Masters at the hands of Mark Joyce before losing his China Open qualifier to World No.76 Mitchell Mann.

But he played considerably better to blitz Sam Craigie 4-0 in round one at the Motorpoint Arena and is hoping the enjoyment factor will soon return.

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"I've not really been enjoying it recently. My form in my matches hasn't been there and it snowballs because that means I'm not enjoying it as much," said Allen.

"Hopefully I get one or two wins under my belt and that will be a sign of things to come but I feel like I'm a long way off.

"I had a quick chat with Terry (coach Terry Griffiths) and decided to speed up to play how I used to. I feel like I've got stuck in a rut the last month or so and it's up to me to change that."

Allen's campaign continues today when he faces Robin Hull in the second round, while fellow Northern Irishman Joe Swail will also be in action after his first-round win.

Belfast's Swail beat Zak Surety 4-1 to set up a clash with Ding Junhui and the veteran admits he had to overcome tiredness after reaching the semi-finals of the snooker shoot-out tournament less than 24 hours before his match.

"It was always going to be a tough game especially trying to come down after what happened in the shoot-out," said Swail.

"I was absolutely knackered going out there so I kept it simple, potted the balls that needed to be potted and didn't go for any fancy ones because I didn't think I'd make them.

"It was difficult that I had to change the gameplan because I'm knackered - I didn't get here until late last night but I got the result, which is the important thing."

 

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