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Hawkins Too Strong For Allen

Barry HawkinsBarry Hawkins, who had never won a match at the Dafabet Masters before this year, is now into the semi-finals thanks to a 6-2 victory over Mark Allen.

Northern Ireland’s Allen knocked out defending champion Shaun Murphy on the opening day, but he was well below his best at Alexandra Palace tonight as several unforced errors allowed Hawkins to dominate.

Londoner Hawkins will now meet Judd Trump or Neil Robertson in the last four on Saturday at 1pm – tickets for that match are still available, for details click here.

World number eight Hawkins won the Riga Open at the start of the current season but subsequently suffered a dip in form. He now looks to be producing the all round game which has given him two ranking titles and a World Championship final appearance, and will be a dangerous opponent for whoever he meets next.

Allen started strongly with a break of 109 but his opponent then took control by winning the next four frames with top runs of 81, 68 and 53. Allen made a 58 in winning frame six, but Hawkins got the better of a scrappy seventh then made a 52 in the next as he sealed the result.

Mark Allen“It’s a great feeling to be in the semis of such a big event,” said Hawkins, who lost his opening match in his previous five appearances at the Masters. “Overall I played solid. I kept him out and didn’t give him many chances. My safety was good while he played a few loose ones and left me chances.

Both Hawkins and Allen are coached by Terry Griffiths, and Hawkins said: “It was funny at the interval because we were both sitting having a cup of tea. Terry spoke to Mark for five minutes and then came to sit with me. He probably told us both exactly the same thing.”

Allen said: “I wasn’t expecting that after the way I started in the first frame. I’m not really sure what happened after that. Barry played very well to go 3-1 up. I had chances to win the next frame and that would have put me back in the match. But all credit to Barry because he froze me out and it got to the stage where I didn’t feel as if I was going to take my chances.

“I felt if I could compete in the safety department with Barry then I’d have too much for him, but the problem was he was dominating in that area.”

Both players stayed in the arena for around 20 minutes after the match signing autographs and Hawkins added: “They pay good money for the tickets so it’s the least we can do. It shows you what a nice guy Mark is that he stayed out there until everyone was gone.”