Mark Allen described making a 147 at his home tournament as one of the best moments of his career after his fantastic maximum break wrapped up a 4-1 first round win over Si Jiahui at the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.
Allen’s 147 was far from straight-forward as he ran out of position several times and had to play brilliant recovery shots. After potting the 15th black he left himself a tough yellow to a top corner, but slotted it home and cleared the colours. His local supporters raised the roof at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast as the final black went in.
Allen will face Peter Devlin in the last 64
“It’s right up there with the best moments of my career,” said Antrim’s Allen, whose only previous 147 came at the 2016 UK Championship. “To do it here means so much to me, to give fans that buzz. It’s a memory I will hold for long time. I potted a good yellow, then a horrible brown. I couldn’t stop shaking on black, I just had to let arm go though and luckily it went in.
“I have made around eight or nine hundred maximums in practice. But it’s very nerve-racking to do it in a big arena. I wanted to do it for the fans because I have given them nothing to cheer for in the past in this tournament. I don’t think Alex Higgins or Dennis Taylor ever made a 147 here so it’s great to be the only Northern Irish player to do so.
“I was relaxed as ever pre-match. I played well and my safety was good. Even without the 147 I was happy with my performance. I have a target on my back every year here, whoever I play has the chance to knock out the home favourite.”
Allen’s 147 will earn him the £5,000 high break prize if it is not equalled. It’s the 170th maximum in snooker history and sixth of the season.