Belfast Telegraph

Allen relishing crossing swords again with good friend Lines

By Luke Baker

It's never easy facing one of your mates in a pivotal match, but Mark Allen insists all friendship will be put aside when he squares off with Oliver Lines at the Betway UK Championship.

The pair will do battle in the second round at the York Barbican tomorrow afternoon, with Antrim's Allen entering the contest as heavy favourite given his 53-place advantage in the world rankings.

The 31-year-old booked his place in round two with a 6-2 win over Lukas Kleckers, and after beating his pal Lines 5-1 when they met at the World Open earlier this year, he is ready for the rematch against the rising star.

"You can't think about the fact that you're friends - when you go out there, you've got to be ready for a battle and you need to be playing to win," said Allen.

"We played fairly recently and I beat Oli 5-1 but it was closer than the scoreline suggests."

In the first round in York, Ronnie O'Sullivan beat youngster Jackson Page 6-3, two-time UK champion Neil Robertson thrashed Rod Lawler 6-1 and 55-year-old Jimmy White rolled back the years to shock World No.14 Ali Carter 6-2.

"Ali is world class, but if I play well I can beat anyone," said the former World No.2.

•Watch LIVE coverage of the UK Championship on Eurosport with analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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