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Allen eyeing NI Open as Gilbert ends World bid

 

Mark Allen
Mark Allen

By Robert Jones

Mark Allen, who will begin his Northern Ireland Open quest at the Waterfront Hall on Monday week, missed out on a place in the World Open quarter-finals in China after being beaten 5-3 by David Gilbert.

The Antrim man - in Champion of Champions action next week - had led 1-0 and 2-1 before World No.11 Gilbert claimed three frames in a row, helped by breaks of 71 and 77, to go 4-2 up.

While Allen, who secured the only century break of the match with a 113 in the third frame, would close the gap, Gilbert held his nerve.

Allen will see the defeat as a missed opportunity in China, especially as the draw has handed Gilbert a quarter-final against World No.37 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Meanwhile, reigning world champion Judd Trump prevailed in a gripping decider to beat Joe Perry 5-4 and make the quarter-finals.

Trump quickly raced into a three-frame lead, with early breaks of 135 and 74, but Perry bounced back in style and struck with four sensational frames on the spin - which included breaks of 123 and 129 - to move within one frame of victory.

However, Trump fought back to take the match to a decider, and it was he who edged a thrilling 38-minute final frame.

Trump will face Michael Holt for a place in the semi-finals.

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