Mark Allen Aims for Crucible Crown: Reaches Quarter-Finals in Top Form
Mark Allen’s sensational form continued as he secured a quarter-final place in the Cazoo World Championship by defeating Stuart Bingham 13-4 in the second round. It was only the second time in the last 12 years that the 37-year-old Northern Irishman has made it this far in the tournament. Allen had an impressive lead of 12-4 going into the final session after a stunning display of scoring, including 13 breaks over 50 in the match. A run of 68 in the last frame sealed the victory for Allen.
This season, Allen has been in the best form of his career, winning three ranking titles at the Northern Ireland Open, UK Championship and World Grand Prix, after losing six stone in weight last summer to improve his health. His next challenge will be against either Jak Jones or Neil Robertson on Tuesday or Wednesday, and if he wins that tie, it will match his best-ever Crucible run. Allen’s only previous semi-final appearance was back in 2009.
Bingham, on the other hand, drops out of the world’s top 16 and will finish the season in the mid-20s in the rankings following his defeat. Speaking after the match, Allen said, “I have come here with my best chance in a long time, not just to get to the one-table set up but to win the tournament. That’s what I’m here for. I don’t feel as if I will have gained everything if I get to the semis and lose. I had to get better.”
Meanwhile, Anthony McGill took a commanding 7-1 lead against Jack Lisowski in their first session. McGill made breaks of 124, 63, 54, 112, and 110 on his way to winning six consecutive frames. The match will resume tomorrow afternoon for the second of three sessions in the best-of-25 encounter.