Thursday 19 April 2018

Allen sets up Robertson Masters clash

Mark Allen claimed a comfortable victory on Sunday night
Mark Allen claimed a comfortable victory on Sunday night

Neil Robertson and Mark Allen will meet in the quarter-finals of the Betfair Masters after beginning their bids for glory with highly contrasting wins.

While Allen won four frames in a row to ease past Mark Davis 6-2 on Sunday evening, defending champion Neil Robertson earlier had to overturn a 5-3 deficit and edge out another former winner Ding Junhui by a 6-5 margin.

In the opening match of this year's tournament at London's Alexandra Palace, Australian Robertson looked set for an early exit. But he dug in, saving his best until the late stages with runs of 100, 62 and 90 getting him over the line.

Ding had breaks of 103 and 127, with 100 from Robertson in the ninth frame his highest.

Ding had one foot in the quarter-finals when he got to 50 on a break in frame 10, but his attempt to split a small pack off the blue went wrong and he was left with no clear shot, resorting to safety and then letting Robertson in for a brilliant 62.

With the bit between his teeth Robertson duly finished the job in the decider, a long red the start of a match-winning 90.

It was altogether more comfortable for Northern Irishman Allen, who started his match against Davis with a fantastic 136 clearance.

Englishman Davis took two of the next three frames - his highest break a score of 62 - as the players went in at the interval all square.

Yet Allen found an extra gear and a break of 79 helped him take the lead for a third time and he would not let Davis back in.

Allen went 5-2 ahead before clinching a clash with fellow left-hander Robertson thanks to an 80 break.

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