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Pistol Keeps Hot Streak Going

Mark Allen remained on course for back to back titles as he beat Barry Hawkins and Neil Robertson at the ManBetX Champion of Champions to reach the semi-finals.

Playing some of the best snooker of his career, Allen won the International Championship in China last week and looks hard to stop in current form. He’ll face Kyren Wilson in Coventry on Saturday night for a place in the final.

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World number seven Allen beat Hawkins 4-2 in his opening match. A superb break of 140 from Allen set the tone for a high scoring contest, before Hawkins replied with 87 and 94 to lead 2-1. Northern Irishman Allen then fired 102, 86 and 76 to take the last three frames.

Robertson edged out world number one Mark Selby 4-3 despite a 147 from Selby in the second frame.

The group final, a repeat of the last Sunday’s International Championship final, was a one-sided affair as Allen thrashed Robertson 6-1. A 42 clearance gave Allen the opening frame and a 119 made it 2-0. Robertson pulled one back with a 69 but he scored just 11 points in the last four frames as Allen rattled in runs of 102, 123, 98 and 75.

“The first frame was scrappy, but after that I didn’t really put a foot wrong,” said Allen. “I scored well, as I have been doing for a while now. I limited Neil to a few half chances. I had more confidence than Neil going into the match having won the final last Sunday, but he has more than enough experience to know how to deal with that. To beat a player of Neil’s class twice in a row, and the way I have done in, stands me in good stead.

“I’m not getting carried away as I’ve still got two very tough matches to get through if I’m going to win this tournament. But I quietly fancy my chances. I always have good matches with Kyren.”