Mark Allen returned to the heights he enjoyed last season as he hammered Judd Trump 10-3 in the final of the Cazoo Champion of Champions to win the event for the second time.
Northern Ireland’s Allen compiled a century and five more breaks over 50 in a sizzling display in Bolton to take the £150,000 top prize at one of snooker’s biggest invitation events. He doubles his tally of Champion of Champions trophies having lifted the silverware in 2020.
Allen was player of the season in 2022/23, winning three ranking events, but had made a slow start to the current campaign, failing to reach a semi-final until this week. He is now back to winning ways having beaten Jimmy White, Ali Carter and John Higgins to reach the final before outplaying Trump. The 37-year-old lost just eight frames in the whole tournament.
“I was very steady all day, I didn’t miss many balls and kept Judd under pressure,” said world number four Allen. “From 7-1 the doubts started coming in, but then in the end I managed to close it out well. This is a big, important event and after a nervy start I played well all week. I’m very happy. You want to play in the biggest events with packed crowds, that’s why I played the game. They were cheering for Judd tonight because they wanted to see a come back but I was prepared for that.
“Judd has been outstanding this season and I am fed up texting him after every tournament to say ‘well done’ so it is nice to get one back on him. I’ve been working so hard to get my game back, so to come here and find some form, I really enjoyed it.”
Allen also paid tribute to his friend Joe Shortt who sadly passed away this year. He added: “That was for Joe.”
Trump missed out on a fourth title of the season having won the English Open, Wuhan Open and Northern Ireland Open in October. He has reached five finals this term as he was also runner-up at the European Masters.
Bristol’s Trump looked sharp when he made a 123 in the second frame to level at 1-1. Allen regained the lead then crucially came from 62-0 down to pinch frame four with a 63 clearance. He reeled off the next four with a top run of 137 to go 7-1 ahead.
Trump rallied to 7-3, but Allen got the better of frame 11 on the colours and that ended his opponent’s resistance. Trump failed to score another point as Allen rounded off the match in frame 13 with a 75.