Awesome Allen takes Jiangsu Classic

Congratulations to Antrim’s Mark Allen who has completed a great couple of months by today taking his first professional title, the 2009 Jiangsu Classic…

Sunday 7th June

Ding Junhui 0-6 Mark Allen
0-105(40,64), 8-81(71), 19-102(74), 41(37)-63(32), 32(32)-68(43), 14-67(58)


Not only did Mark come through to defeat the local favourite Ding Junhui in front of his home crowd today, but he managed to do it in some style, inflicting a 6-0 whitewash on the defending champion.

In many ways it is a remarkable triumph becuse as he has told World Snooker, after he lost two of his first three matches back on Thursday, he looked set to exit the tournament at the group stage. 2-0 wins over Peter Ebdon and Li Hang however gave him a chance and as Ryan Day slipped to defeat against Ding, he was able to just sneak ahead on frame difference.

From there he never really looked back, seeing off Shaun Murphy comfortably and now getting revenge over Ding for the 2-1 defeat he inflicted on him back on day one. Until this point Ding appears to have been the most impressive player in the tournament but as I said yesterday, he was similar in the Championship League before losing in the latter stages of groups, and so it has proved again.

Mark though has taken another step on his way to the top of the game and going into next season full of confidence, will be in with a great chance of taking his first ranking event title. After a tricky season things have really come together for the new world number 11 and it should be remembered that he has recently completed just his fourth season on the professional tour. To get into the top 64 in one, the top 16 in three and now take his first title in four, shows what a prospect he really is and I only expect him to get better…