Allen comes from behind to beat Walden and set up UK final showdown with Trump
Mark Allen turned on the style on Saturday night to beat Ricky Walden 9-7 and clinch his place in Sunday”s UK Championship final against Judd Trump in York.
The 25-year-old will now hope to end a week that started so controversially with the most significant victory of his career.
Surveying a shot: Mark Allen won his semi-final against Judd Trump
Allen fell 5-3 behind going into the evening session, but took control from there, winning four successive frames to lead 7-5.
Waldenheld on, but when he narrowly missed an attempted plant in the 16th frame, Allen held his nerve to make a fine 70 and seal victory.
Snooker fans could well be in for a classic, with Allen and Trump two of the game”s most exciting young talents.
Allen is looking for his first ranking title, while world finalist Trump will be hoping to go one step further than he did at the Crucible back in May.
A victory over Trump will bring a successful end to the most dramatic of weeks for Allen. He caused a storm after hitting out at World Snooker chairmanBarry Hearn after the earlier rounds of this event were cut from 17 frames to 11.
He accused Hearn of being in the game “justthere to make money for himself” and suggested he should quit. Hearn hit back, saying he was “far too busy to worry about silly little boys making silly little comments”.
Allen will soon sit in front of the game”s disciplinary panel, after he was charged with using inappropriate language during his outburst.
The prospect of Hearn handing the winner”s cheque to Allen at the Barbican remains a tantalising one.
In the final: Northern Ireland”s Mark Allen is looking good in York
Allen looked decidedly out of sorts in the first session, and even though he took a 3-1 lead, two centuries from Walden helped the 2008 Shanghai Masters winner to move 5-3 ahead.
Allen was clearly full of determination when he returned to the arena for the final session. He soon squared the match at 5-5, before a pivotal 11th frame. Allen initially broke down on 35, and Walden replied with 60 before missing a frame-ball brown. Allen took full advantage, clearing the colours to steal a crucial frame.
A break of 64 in the next frame extended his lead to two going to the mid-session interval, before a break of 52 from Walden saw him finally get off the mark for the evening.
Allen won the next frame to move within one of victory, and even though Walden claimed the next, it wasn”t long before the Ulsterman was celebrating a fine win.