Mark Allen has accused Ronnie O’Sullivan of trying to “bully” opponents at the table following their fiery Champion of Champions clash.
O’Sullivan and Allen were at the centre of an ill-tempered exchange during their Champion of Champions group final in Milton Keynes on Thursday, which Allen won 6-3.
O’Sullivan had confronted Allen over what he believed to be gamesmanship during the ninth frame of the contest, with referee Marcel Eckardt forced to step in and prevent the frustrations of both players boiling over.
Allen went on to close out frame and match with a break of 66, and insisted afterwards that he was not in the wrong.
“I don’t know what he was on about; he was saying I was moving in his eye line, standing in front of his shots and moving in my seat,” said Allen.
“Marcel [the referee] even said: “Mark I know you’ve not done anything but let it go” but I’m not going to let it go if he’s just going to make up rubbish.
“He was just getting in his own way, he was taking forever over shots in that last frame and it was funny because he was completely gone and I took advantage.
“All I needed to hear was Marcel say I hadn’t done anything, I knew that I was in the right then and I wasn’t letting it go.
“Ronnie just tries to bully people out there and I wasn’t having any of it.
“I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, I just want to play snooker and that’s what I came here to do.
“He kept taking forever on touching balls and straightforward safeties.
“It’s just the worst thing he could have done, it fired me up and I was never missing after he missed that easy red.
“Sometimes he just needs putting back in his place.”
O’Sullivan led the match 3-2 and believes the controversy began in frame six, forcing him to take extra time on shots and leave him with no choice but to confront his opponent directly.
He told ITV Sport: “Maybe I read a bit too much into it but it just seemed a little bit like stuff you do down the snooker club when you’re an amateur and you’re trying to get into your opponent’s head and put him off.
“I just thought, I’m going to pull you up on it, there’s no point letting it go and he carries on doing it so I just thought ‘let’s get it out of the way.’
“It started around about 3-2 with just little things and that’s why I was taking my time on certain shots, I wasn’t going to play the shot until he actually sits down.
“I could have said something there but I thought hopefully he gets the message and he kind of did because he sat down but then he started ripping his logo off, so I just thought I’ve got to have a word with him.
“There’s no hard feelings, Mark played better and deserved his victory but sometimes you’ve just got to say something and get it out of the way.
“At least there was no contact out there!
“I’m 45, I’ve been round the block so many times, I know every move in the book.
“I’m at that stage in my career where I want to enjoy it, I’ve got nothing to prove and if someone’s going to start doing things like that then I’ll take my time until you sit down.
“But if you want to continue doing it then I’m going to have to say look, if you continue doing it then I can’t keep taking a minute and a half on each shot until you get the message.
“He was cool with it and he knew.”
Allen goes through to face world number one Judd Trump in Saturday’s second Semi-Final at the Marshall Arena.
Have you ever seen an exchange quite like this in a snooker match??
— Live Snooker (@Livesnooker) November 5, 2020