Mark Allen beat Jimmy Robertson in the first round of the BetVictor Shoot Out with a 142 total clearance, the highest break made in the ten-year history of the event.
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The Pistol’s tremendous break eclipsed the previous record of 139 set by Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in 2019. Allen goes through to the last 64 of the world ranking event in Milton Keynes.
There was no shortage of drama in the first session of the tournament which has a unique set of rules; all matches lasting a maximum of ten minutes.
Sam Craigie led amateur Phil O’Kane 38-33 with just a few seconds on the clock. Thinking victory was secure, Craigie carelessly tapped the cue ball at a red, but neither ball hit a cushion, which meant his opponent was awarded five penalty points, leaving them tied at 38-38. That meant a sudden death blue ball shoot, and a relieved Craigie came out on top.
Matthew Stevens provided another thrilling finish with a last gasp win over amateur Fergal Quinn. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Quinn led 53-37 when he missed a long pot on the final blue. Stevens was left with a tricky blue to a baulk corner and slotted it home before adding pink and black to book his second round place.
Defending champion Michael Holt got off to a strong start by beating Jamie Jones with a break of 87. That was Holt’s 14th win in his last 15 matches in this event.
Rebecca Kenna, one of two female players in the draw, was beaten by Germany’s Simon Lichtenberg. Kenna was unlucky at a crucial moment in the match as the ‘beeps’ which count down on the shot clock could not be heard in the arena and she committed a time foul.
A WST statement explained: “The players both agreed that they did not hear the ‘beeps’ in this incident, so it would appear that there was a temporary fault in the sound effects in the arena. The lights in the arena were working so the players still had a warning when the time was ticking out. The referee is able to hear the ‘beeps’ in his ear piece. He made the correct decision that there was a time foul. It is an unfortunate incident for the players but the rules were followed.”
The first round continues until the end of Friday, with the random draw for round two to be made live on our Facebook page during Friday evening’s session.