Mark Allen and Mark Joyce came to this match with a score to settle. Allen made his feelings about Joyce very clear before the match in the Eurosport interview and in the press recently. Allen said “I just don’t like him” about Joyce. In comments published by newspapers yesterday Allen also went on the attack over Joyce.
It’s unclear what exactly sparked the conflict between these two players but whatever it was, it made the match tonight extremely high pressured and tense.
In the post match interview Allen said “a lot of players don’t like him. I’m just the one vocal about it. He’s just not a nice person”.
It wasn’t just playing Mark Joyce that put Allen under pressure. Mark Allen brought 150 of his family and friends to the match which added some extra pressure to the match.
The match was very tense throughout. In the first frame Mark Allen made a comment to Joyce about chalking his cue while Allen was taking his shot. Because this snooker match was so tense, there was a lack of breaks and any good quality snooker from either player. It was Mark Allen that had the upper hand in the match as Joyce missed too many balls.
Allen took the first frame after Joyce had his chance to clear. In the next frame, Joyce managed to level things up at 1-1. From there on, Mark Joyce had his chances in each frame but failed to capitalize and Mark Allen won comfortably 4-1.
On social media, snooker fans commentated that Mark Allen’s reaction to Joyce has been slightly over the top, despite personal feelings towards him. Some argued those feelings should be left behind the scenes and not made so public.
Mark Allen is known for saying exactly what he thinks and a lot of people respect him for his honesty.
After this high pressure snooker match, Allen can now look forward to the rest of the tournament on his home soil.