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In-Form Allen Beats Williams

Mark Allen’s bid to win two titles within three weeks gathered pace as he thrashed Mark Williams 5-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Bank of Communications OTO Shanghai Masters.

Allen, who won the Paul Hunter Classic European Tour event in Germany in August, now meets Michael White for a place in the semi-finals.

The Ulsterman went 3-0 up on Williams with top breaks of 67 and 56, then was gifted the fourth frame when Williams missed a red he could see three consecutive times. Frame five went to Williams before Allen settled the result in the sixth with a run of 85.

“I wasn’t at my best but I felt I did enough to win,” said Allen, who has won both of his two ranking titles in China. “I just needed to be patient and make sure I didn’t miss anything silly, and I did that pretty well throughout the match.

“In the fourth frame, unfortunately for Mark the table seemed to roll off a bit because on the third attenpt he said he was trying to make sure he hit the red.

“I’m confident, I’ve won a lot of matches lately and hopefully I can turn that into more titles. My form hasn’t been brilliant so if I can start playing well I could be very dangerous.

“It won’t be an easy match tomorrow because I know what Michael is capable of, he’s very aggressive and scores heavily.”

White saw of fellow Welshman Ryan Day 5-2 to reach the third ranking quarter-final of his career – the other two coming at last year’s World Championship and Indian Open.

The Neath cueman started brilliantly with breaks of 104, 78 and 128 to go 3-0 up. Day pulled one back with a 61 clearance then White made it 4-1 with a 71. The high scoring continued as Day’s 94 gave him frame six, but White secured his progress in the next, helped by a 55.

“That’s probably the best I’ve ever played in a pro event,” said 23-year-old White. “I’m quite shocked by how well I played. If I play like that I’ve got a chance.”

A battle between the 2005 and 2006 World Champions saw Graeme Dott beat Shaun Murphy 5-3. Larkhall’s Dott led 3-1 after breaks of 98 and 66 before Murphy made a 121 in getting back to 3-3. But Dott regained the lead with a 50 then got the better of a scrappy eighth frame.

“I’m very happy to win,” said Dott. “I played really well to go 3-1 up, after that he put me under a lot of pressure.”

Stuart Bingham also produced a fine performance, beating Dominic Dale 5-1 with top breaks of 71, 103, 118 and 79. “I started off really well and at 4-0 the match was more or less done,” said Basildon’s Bingham. “I’ll just take each match as it comes.”