When Ronnie O'Sullivan Walked Out On Stephen Hendry | 2006 UK Championship Quarter Final

Allen: I’m Here To Win It

Mark Allen looks in his best ever shape for a crack at the Crucible crown and he reached the quarter-finals of the Cazoo World Championship for only the second time in the last 12 years, completing a 13-4 demolition of Stuart Bingham in the second round.

Match schedule

Allen led 12-4 going into the concluding session, having made breaks of 65, 91, 85, 61, 67, 72, 53, 75, 63, 65, 97 and 51 in the first two. And a run of 68 – his 13th break over 50 in the match – soon wrapped up an emphatic success.

Antrim’s 37-year-old Allen lost six stone in weight last summer in a bid to improve his health, and that has led to his best ever season on the table, winning a trio of ranking titles at the Northern Ireland Open, UK Championship and World Grand Prix.

The world number three’s next challenge will be against Jak Jones or Neil Robertson on Tuesday or Wednesday – victory in that tie would match his best ever Crucible run as his only semi-final appearance came in 2009.

Today’s result means that Bingham drops out of the world’s top 16 and will finish the season in the mid-20s in the rankings.

“It’s hard for me to get my head around how long it has been since I reached the semi-finals,” said Allen. “I have come here with my best chance in a long time, not just to get to the one-table set up but to win the tournament – that’s what I’m here for. I don’t feel as if I will have gained everything if I get to the semis and lose. I have played poorly here in the past, I had to get better.

“That must be my most one-sided second round win. I commentated on Stuart’s first round win and I thought he looked really sharp so I knew I would have to improve on my own scoring. I had 13 breaks over 50 and that will get the job done most times. I still need to cut out a few silly errors but overall my game is in good shape. It’s good to conserve energy, you need to be as ready as possible physically and mentally for your next round.”

Asked for his opinion on the feisty clash between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Hossein Vafaei, Allen added: “I was playing on the other table yesterday afternoon and I heard the commotion when Hossein smashed the pack from the break in frame two, and I don’t really see what he was trying to gain from it. Ronnie has been around for too long and he is very good on the mental side, he’s very crafty. He won’t get caught up with it, he’ll be very composed and relaxed and will show that he means business.”

Bingham said: “It’s got to be one of my worst defeats here. Mark played really well and took his chances, but my own performance was just frustrating. My safety was poor. It has been a bad season. I lost five or six on the trot in ranking tournaments, so that’s why I’m out of the top 16. I’ve obviously got to try and find something. I’ve been working with Chris Henry for the last four months. So looking forward, with my team behind me, I will come back fighting next season.”

Meanwhile, Anthony McGill took a huge step towards the quarter-finals by dominating Jack Lisowski to lead 7-1 after their first session.

The last time the pair met was at the Crucible in 2020 and it was Glasgow’s McGill who prevailed 10-9 on the final pink. Lisowski will require an almighty comeback to make this match go as close.

An arduous opening frame this morning saw two-time ranking event winner McGill move 1-0 up, with a break of 61 doing the bulk of the damage. Lisowski drew level by taking the second, but it would prove to be his last frame of the morning.

McGill took charge for the remainder of the session, making breaks of 124, 63, 54, 112 and 110 on his way to six on the bounce and a commanding 7-1 lead. They return to play the second of three sessions in this best of 25 encounter tomorrow afternoon from 2:30pm.