Allen makes up for Riga setback with Paul Hunter Classic glory

Mark Allen. Picture by Monique Limbos

Mark Allen. Picture by Monique Limbos

MARK Allen won his first silverware of the season after dominating a scrappy final against Judd Trump to lift the Paul Hunter Classic trophy.

Despite not playing at his best, the world number nine battled his way to the winning line to get his hands on the season’s second European Tour event against the recent Australian Open winner.

The victory made up for Allen’s disappointment in Riga earlier this month when he fell to an agonising final defeat to world champion Mark Selby after seeing a 3-0 lead slip away.

Allen moves into joint second place having won four European Tour events since their introduction four years ago. Only Mark Selby has won more.

It was fitting that the Furth based tournament, named in memory of Paul Hunter – one of the sport’s most gifted talents who lost his life to cancer eight years ago, had a final between two of the most attacking players on the circuit.

And a classic contest looked to be on the cards from the off when the opening frame had to be decided via a re-spotted black after Trump missed frame ball green when leading 73-51. Allen cleared to force the black to be re-spotted and then made no mistake when Trump left the black over the baulk pocket.

But Trump soon made up for the initial setback as a brilliant break of 92, which proved to be the highest of the match, levelled it up at 1-1.

Allen regained the lead after a scrappy third frame and another edgy frame saw the scores return all square after Allen missed a tough red to the yellow pocket leaving Trump to take the frame.

A fast table which saw plenty of kicks was having a key affect on the players rhythm but a break of 49 Allen helped him move  to one frame away from the title s he led for a third time at 3-2.

And the Ulsterman, who previously beat Alan McManus and Rod Lawler en-route to the final, clinched the title with a break of 88 after Trump’s risky three-ball plant shot failed to come off.

Earlier in the day, world number 116 Tian Pengfei recorded a memorable win when he beat defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last 16 round before losing to Trump in the quarter-finals. World champion Mark Selby lost out in the quarter-finals suffering a 4-3 defeat to Ricky Walden.

On Friday Aditya Mehta became the first Indian player to make a 147 in a professional event during his last 32 encounter against Stephen Maguire.



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