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Mark Allen denies Matthew Stevens to reach International Championship final

Allen plays a shot (credit: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Mark Allen continued his blistering run of form at the 2018 International Championship with a 9-6 victory over Matthew Stevens to reach the final in Daqing.

Allen, who finished runner-up in this event in 2014 and 2017, came through a high quality opening Semi-Final on Friday which featured five centuries.

Stevens was appearing in his first ranking Semi-Final for five years but saw his resurgent run ended despite compiling three tons.

Masters Champion Allen set the tone for a high-scoring contest with a break of 75 to clinch the first frame, before Stevens replied with consectuive breaks of 59, 70 and 86 to take command.

A key turning point in the tie then saw Allen reel off five consecutive frames, powering in breaks of 70 and 120 on the way to a 5-3 lead at the interval before taking frame nine to extend his foothold.

Former UK and Masters Champion Stevens stopped the rot in style with back-to-back centuries - a 110 followed by a mercurial total clearance of 144.

Allen, though, responded in-kind with a clinical break of 110 to restore a two-frame advantage at 7-5.

The supreme standard continued as Stevens rattled in a 115 to make it four consecutive centuries between the pair and remain on Allen's coattails.

Allen remained unfazed and added a break of 85 to move within a frame of victory - which he duly sealed in the following frame to reach his first ranking final since his last visit to Daqing 12 months ago.

He now awaits the winner of the second Semi-Final between Neil Robertson and Jack Lisowski in Sunday's decider.  


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Mark Allen denies Matthew Stevens to reach International Championship final

Mark Allen continued his blistering run of form at the 2018 International Championship with a 9-6 victory over Matthew Stevens to reach the final in Daqing.

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