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Allen in good spirits in defence of his title


On fire: Mark Allen made quick work of his second round clash
On fire: Mark Allen made quick work of his second round clash

By Will Jennings

Defending champion Mark Allen had a fun-filled 19.com Scottish Open last season but says he's knuckling down and trying to take this year's event more seriously.

The Antrim potter breezed through his second round clash 4-1 against Louis Heathcote at Glasgow's Emirates Arena, compiling solid early breaks of 59, 63 and 51 to extinguish the world number 87's faint hopes.

The five-time ranking event winner admitted he arrived at the Home Nations event fatigued following his run to the Betway UK Championship semi-final in York last week, using his day off to recover for his burgeoning title defence.

But it wasn't the same story for the world number seven last year, opting to use his time differently on the way to lifting the trophy.

"I'd just come off the back of getting to the UK Championship final and we had a good night out after that, and then when I got to Scotland I was still a bit hungover," the 33-year-old admitted.

"I thought the best way to deal with that was just to keep on going, so I had few good nights out with some of the boys and I really enjoyed myself.

"There's not taking snooker too seriously and then there's doing what I did last year - I wouldn't advocate what I did at all for any young player starting out.

"It was a complete one-off so I won't be doing that this week, but I did enjoy myself and my performances were good.

"I'm trying to knuckle down this year, but don't get me wrong, I am in Christmas mode and if the phone rings and someone's out and asks me to come, I may go."

The 2009 World Championship semi-finalist can enter the festive period in positive spirits, enjoying an impressive rankings event season where he also reached the 19.com English Open semi-finals.

But he's aware of the importance of defending his crown in Scotland, preparing for his round two match in considerably more responsible circumstances than last year.

"I didn't do anything at all yesterday - I just rested all day and barely moved from my bed before going out for dinner with my mate," he added.

"And I played okay. I missed one or two pots but, in general, my safety was good and it was a pretty good performance."

Watch the Scottish Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with studio analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan and Jimmy White

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