After a great week of snooker at the players championship, it came down to one player lifting the trophy and the cheque for £100,000, Mark Allen
Northern Irelands Mark Allen struggled during the week to get past some players, but some great play and bottle was seen, even when not playing well to get him to the final. He took on the No.1 seed to win the tournament, Shaun Murphy last night and played a magnificent match to book his place in the players championship final. This was the first final for him in some time.
Quiet man Rick Walden has been consistent all week. We haven’t seen much of him because most of his games have been on table 2. Overcoming players such as Ali Carter. Walden has the ability to sneak to the latter stages of competitions very quietly as he did here.
This is the first time both men were given a chance to win a major tournament on British soil.
The afternoon session of the players championship opened up nicely for Walden taking a 3-1 lead going into the mid-session interval, however, things quickly changed after the break though, with Allen taking 5 frames in a row to lead 6-3 at the end of the first session.
Going into the evening session, Allen looked like continuing his form as he took the opening frame of the evening to lead 7-3. Walden then got a spring in his step and managed to bring the match back to 7-6 with some great snooker played going into the interval. Allen then stepped up his game and took the next two frames to make it 9-7. Allen got his chance quickly in the next frame which he took by making a match winning break. Great scenes as he let a roar of joy.
This is the largest payday for Allen so far in his snooker career and his first major title won on British soil. This will be a great confidence builder going into the world championships next month where he will be hoping to continue his good form.
For world championship qualifiers check out www.worldsnooker.com