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Mark Allen looks ahead to 'spe...

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Mark Allen looks ahead to 'special' Northern Ireland Open final

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

08:22 16 Oct 2021


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Mark Allen is through to the final of the Northern Ireland Open.

The Antrim native will play in the decider of his home tournament for the very first time on Sunday after he beat England's Ricky Walden 6-3 on Saturday afternoon.

The semi-final success came just 24 hours after his incredible comeback to knock out reigning champion Judd Trump.

Unlike his quarter-final, 35-year-old Allen made a positive start, going 2-0 ahead but Walden then levelled.

Allen then won three in a row after the interval - which included a 133 break - and while Walden snatched frame eight, Allen then closed out the match.

Allen had never made it past the quarter-finals at the Waterfront Hall prior to this week.

Speaking after his last four success, he acknowledged that to win in Belfast would be special but said he has to remain calm.

"I'm trying not to build it up because then you put more pressure on yourself but to win in front of your home fans would be very, very special.

"I knew it was a big occasion but I tried to loosen myself up a bit after the interval by going for a few more shots."

Allen will face the winner of John Higgins and Yan Bingtao in Sunday's final.


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