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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Online editors

In-form Mark Allen continues impressive season by cruising into World Grand Prix final

Mark Allen in action against Barry Hawkins during day three of the Cazoo Masters at Alexandra Palace, London. Picture date: Tuesday January 10, 2023.

Mark Allen reached his fourth ranking final of the season after sweeping aside Noppon Saengkham 6-1 in the last four of the World Grand Prix in Cheltenham.

Allen, the sport’s in-form player, blended gritty matchplay snooker with four breaks of 50, including a 127 in the fifth frame, to cruise home.

The Northern Irishman, who will play either Shaun Murphy or Judd Trump in the final, told ITV4: “I felt like I dominated from start to finish, but I’m just a bit disappointed that I didn’t see it out a bit easier.

“I don’t think I’ve ever won three ranking events in a season. It’s a tough match I’ll have ahead of me, but I’ve given myself a good chance.”

Earlier, Murphy dispatched Anthony McGill 5-4 in their quarter-final clash, while Judd Trump overcame China’s Xiao Guodong 5-3.

Murphy, seeking his first title since the 2020 Welsh Open, believes Trump has had it too easy in the tournament so far, and says he is in the running to cause an upset.

“I think he’s won a lot of matches this week on reputation,” said Murphy. “I think people have collapsed against him. I won’t be collapsing. He will have to beat me.”

Murphy led 3-1 against McGill and nudged back ahead at 4-3 after McGill had levelled matters. The Scot hit a century to force the decider, but it was Murphy who got over the line.

Trump recovered from trailing 1-0 and 2-1 against world number 34 Guodong, before stretching away and completing his victory with a break of 117.

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