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Two-in-row Mark Allen steps up hunt for major title

By Robert Jones

Mark Allen goes into the serious snooker action of the season meaning business.

The Antrim cueman won his second consecutive European Tour event by beating Judd Trump 4-1 in the final of the Kay Suzanne Memorial Cup at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester at the weekend.

Northern Ireland's 27-year-old Allen, who won the Ruhr Open last month, became the first player to win back-to-back events in the same season since the Players Tour Championship series was introduced in 2010.

He has bigger fish to fry though with Allen looking forward to two major events later this month – the 888casino Champion of Champions in Coventry followed by the UK Championship in York.

"My target now is to win a big title and I'm full of confidence," he said.

"I'm just happy to be playing well because I was struggling earlier in the season."

He took the opening frame in the final with a 62 clearance, before Trump levelled with a break of 128. Allen took a scrappy third then made three scoring visits in the next for 3-1. And a run of 53 in frame five clinched the £20,000 top prize as well as 2,000 ranking points.

"I played very solid snooker over the last couple of days," said Allen.

"I had one tight match in the last 32 against Gary Wilson, which I won 4-3, but apart from that I won most of my matches quite comfortably.

"It's nice to have won two titles already this season as not many other players have done that."

In the semi-finals, Trump edged out Welshman Jamie Jones 4-3 while Allen saw off Scotland's Graeme Dott 4-2.

The tournament is named in memory of Kay Suzanne, sister of SWSA owner Paul Mount, and players wore pink shirts to raise awareness of breast cancer. Allen added: "Paul and his family have worked hard on this event and it was great to see the fans and players supporting it so well."

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