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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Staff reporter

Nervy Mark Allen through in Northern Ireland Open while ex Reanne Evans bows out

Mark Allen kicked off his Northern Ireland Open defence in style last night as he fired his way into the second round with a convincing 4-1 win over Chang Bingyu at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.

The world No.10, who beat John Higgins 9-8 in last year’s famous final, hit breaks of 123, 56, 70 and 108.

And he will face another Chinese cueman in Chen Zifan today.

Read next: Mark Allen opens up on "embarrassing" bankruptcy nightmare

“I was nervous in that first frame,” admitted Allen. “I felt fine all day and then when I got out there I was pretty edgy.

“It’s the first time I’ve set foot in the arena since I won it. Once I settled down I played some good stuff.”

Meanwhile, Reanne Evans - an ex-girlfriend of Allen - was left “gutted” after missing a great chance to take the scalp of Mark Selby.

Reanne Evans (PA)

The 12-times women’s world champion lost 4-2 to the world No.4.

But Dudley’s Evans, 36, had the four-time world champion in real trouble having roared back to 2-2 – and got snookers to be on the brink of taking a 3-2 lead before a bad mistake on the final green.

Judd Trump channelled his inner Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins in Belfast as he cruised into round two with a 4-1 win against Rod Lawler.

After setting up a clash with Ireland’s Aaron Hill, Trump said: “I always get great support here. Maybe it is something to do with my style of play being like Alex Higgins.”


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