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Joe Swail may face Mark Allen test after both progress

By Frank Brownlow

Joe Swail and Mark Allen are on a last-16 collision course at the UK Championship in York.

Swail, who had a dramatic 6-5 win over Sheffield amateur Adam Duffy 6-5, faces Michael Holt tonight, while Allen's 6-2 victory over Michael Georgiou was rewarded with a showdown against Martin Gould tomorrow.

Should the two Ulstermen triumph they will go head to head for a place in the quarter-finals of the £750,000 event, the biggest tournament outside of the World Championship.

Swail was on the brink of victory at 5-3 before Duffy fought back to force a decider but the veteran credited his roots for his ability to battle his way over the line.

"I'll always fight, I think it's a Northern Irish thing and my upbringing where you had to go out and fight to earn every penny," said the 46-year-old.

"The bottom line is there's no pictures on a scorecard so I'm delighted to be into the next round.

"It looked as if Adam was going to win it in the end and I had a few chances to wrap it up earlier on, but I struggled with the conditions.

"I potted a good red and made a good frame-winning break whenever I'd just lost my cueing but I just went back to basics in the decider and luckily enough the balls went in for me."

Allen is a legitimate title contender but is refusing to get ahead of himself.

"You're always only one result away from going on a bad run. It's up to me to just go out and play the way I've been playing," Allen said.

"If I just keep putting the work in on the practice table I'll get results. Whatever happens I'm a firm believer in that.

"I could practise hard at home and then come here and I could easily lose first round but I feel like I'm in a good place now and ready to compete."

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