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Mark Allen on the 'great quality' that is helping push him through UK Championship

 

Staying calm: Mark Allen
Staying calm: Mark Allen

By David Parsons

Mark Allen hailed his ability to produce under pressure as he sealed a Betway UK Championship quarter-final place in dramatic style.

The 33-year-old - runner-up at the York Barbican last season - looked down and out against World No.42 Kurt Maflin, but came back to edge the deciding frame with the last ball of the match to prevail 6-5.

And while he admitted that many of his friends in the crowd had already written him off, Allen explained he remained confident he would always get a second chance to seal a spot in the competition's last eight.

"I actually felt really calm out there," he said. "Kurt played brilliantly and he potted some crazy balls so I would've had no complaints if I'd lost.

"The only way I could win in the end was if he missed the brown in the final frame, which thankfully for me he did. I don't blame him at all for having a go but maybe it was just a little bit of inexperience that cost him.

"I always fancy myself when it goes close. I'd rather not put myself in those sorts of holes but I think it's a great quality to have, and even in these big events I always know that I have a chance.

"There were times when I was fearing the worst but I think I showed a lot of grit and determination to get the job done in the end and I'm just delighted to still be in the competition."

Next up for Allen is a last-eight tie with the winner of today's clash between Gary Wilson and Judd Trump's conqueror Nigel Bond.

  • Watch the UK Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan and Jimmy White

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