Sunday, 4 March 2012

Awesome Allen wins first ranking event

It's fair to say Mark Allen hasn't enjoyed his time away from home in China; but now he can return to Northern Ireland a champion.

A sensational 10-1 victory against Stephen Lee today earned him the World Open title and his first ranking event win.

It's a great milestone for Allen and a very sweet win.

Just a year ago he was battling against depression. Today he's playing as well as ever and being tipped for more titles.

It's taken Mark a little while longer than expected to join the circle of ranking event winners. He climbed so quickly up the rankings into the top 16 after turning professional 2005, many people thought this day might have come sooner. Now he's there, it doesn't really matter though. He's young enough to go on and enjoy even greater success.

It's been an excellent week for Allen but we've not learned anything new about the tenacious potter from Antrim.

Twice he was on the ropes this week. He trailed Judd Trump 3-0 and Mark Selby 5-2 but lived to tell the tale and lift the trophy. That shows his incredible fighting attributes once more.

His performance in the final was out of this world but we already know he's capable beating anyone in the game when he's on top form. He was unplayable at times this week; a real crowd pleaser.

His performance at the UK Championship just before Christmas gave me the feeling this big breakthrough wasn't too far away for Allen. That theory was proved correct on Hainan Island and he could now go on to add more trophies to his collection which is already bulging from an excellent amateur career.

Allen is not everyone's cup of tea. He has quickly built a reputation as a bit of a motor-mouth. That hasn't helped him win friends but it does appear to have galvanised him to adopt an approach of 'me against the world'. It appears as if he loves the thrill of controversy. Whether he means to incite or not, I don't know. But it does bring the best out in him.

Love him or hate him, he's a cracking little player; and he's here to stay.

Well played Mark Allen.

No comments:

Post a Comment