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Antrim's Mark Allen chalks up York win to experience

By Luke Baker

Mark Allen admits he was relieved to overcome a potential banana skin, and his own ill health, to advance to the UK Snooker Championship second round yesterday.

The Antrim cueman was feeling under the weather but had enough about him to beat talented amateur Zhao Xintong 6-2 in the first round at York's Barbican Centre.

The Chinese 18-year-old has consistently defeated highly-ranked players but Allen maintained his composure, showing his class with a fluent 115 break in frame six, and believes his experience proved to be the difference.

"I played alright, I just used the experience I have in a few of the frames," said Allen afterwards.

"He's an unbelievable talent - some of the balls he potted I thought 'what the hell's going on here?' as he's banged it in and been perfect on the colour.

"But he showed a little bit of naivety in some of the frames when he went for a few that he shouldn't have and his safety wasn't quite as good as it should be.

"It's hard to judge someone until you play them and it was a frightening experience but I'm very happy to get the job done."

Allen now faces Michael Georgiou in round two on Sunday.

"I know he beat David Morris in round one - I haven't played him for a long, long time but we used to play a lot in the junior tournaments," added Allen.

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