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Allen lands a great chance to get World title bid off to flyer

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan
Opener: Mark Allen faces China’s Zhou Yuelong

By Robert Jones

Mark Allen should have far too much in his locker for Chinese qualifier Zhou Yuelong in the first round of the World Championship which starts tomorrow at the famous Crucible in Sheffield.

World number six Allen has never won the title but last year's Masters success puts him among a select band with high hopes of the £500,000 top prize and being paired with 35th ranked Zhou in yesterday's draw should ensure safe passage into the last 16 where the Antrim cueman would face the winner of Jack Lisowski's clash with Ali Carter.

Allen (33) starts his best of 19 frame encounter against Zhou (21) on Tuesday night, playing to a finish on Wednesday afternoon.

Amateur James Cahill was handed a dream draw when he was paired with Ronnie O'Sullivan.

The 23-year-old came through qualifying with a 10-6 win over Dubliner Michael Judge to book his place in Sheffield.

His reward is a first-round clash against 'The Rocket', the five-time winner, world number one and hot favourite.

"This is what dreams are made of," said World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn as he made the draw.

Defending champion Mark Williams is up against Martin Gould.

There are seven debutants, Cypriot Michael Georgiou among them, and he will face the in-form Neil Robertson.

DRAW: Mark Williams (Wal) v Martin Gould (Eng), David B Gilbert (Eng) v Joe Perry (Eng), Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Li Hang (Chn), Kyren Wilson (Eng) v Scott Donaldson (Sco), John Higgins (Sco) v Mark Davis (Eng), Stuart Bingham (Eng) v Graeme Dott (Sco), Shaun Murphy (Eng) v Luo Honghao (Chn), Neil Robertson (Aus) v Michael Georgiou (Cyp), Mark Selby (Eng) v Zhao Xintong (Chn), Luca Brecel (Bel) v Gary Wilson (Eng), Jack Lisowski (Eng) v Allister Carter (Eng), Mark Allen (NIrl) v Zhou Yuelong (Chn), Judd Trump (Eng) v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Tha), Ding Junhui (Chn) v Anthony McGill (Sco), Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Tian Pengfei (Chn), Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v (a) James Cahill (Eng)

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