| 12.3°C Belfast

Higgins up next for cue ace Allen

Mark Allen takes on John Higgins this afternoon aiming for a different outcome than when the pair clashed in the semi-finals of last season’s World Championship.

On that occasion Higgins beat Allen 17-13 — despite the Antrim cueman battling back from 13-3 down — on his way to clinching a third world title.

Today Allen takes on the Scot in the first round of the Masters at Wembley Arena and the 23-year-old acknowledges that he’s in for a hard battle.

“You know you’re always going to get a really tough game against him — he never gives anything away,” said Allen.

The Ulsterman goes into the match still getting used to a new cue, not the best preparation when up against the Wishaw Wizard

“Getting a new cue is a big change,” admitted Allen, whose last cue broke during last month’s UK Championship.

The winner will face Mark Selby, who beat Allen 6-5 at the same stage last year.

Defending Masters champion Ronnie O’Sullivan had a scare yesterday against Australia’s Neil Robertson.

‘The Rocket’ found himself 3-0 down before fighting back to win 6-4 and book a quarter-final place against Peter Ebdon.

In last night’s first round clash Mark Williams beat Ali Carter 6-3 and now tackles Shaun Murphy.

Belfast Telegraph