Magnificent Mark Allen advances to Championship League final day as Trump crashes out
Mark Allen hit his 500th career century as he progressed to Stage Three of the 2021 Championship League with a 100 per cent record on Thursday.
The Pistol produced an inspired performance at the Morningside Arena, dropping just a single frame on the way to topping Group B with maximum points.
Allen also hit two tons; the second of which to wrap up victory over Ricky Walden saw him become only the 12th different player in history to compile 500 or more in competitive play.
Runner-up to Marco Fu at this event in 2010, the world number 12 came out firing with a wonderful 115 total clearance the highlight of a commanding 3-0 success over Fergal O’Brien.
He then made it two wins from two after seeing off World Seniors champion Peter Lines 3-1.
That put him on six points and level with three-time ranking event winner Walden, who overcame Lines 3-1 before hitting three successive centuries of 125, 101 and 104 as he outscored O’Brien by 352 points to one.
It subsequently set up a winner-takes-all clash on table two, with the victor booking their place on the final day of action.
Allen established early control with runs of 56 and 75 guaranteeing him a point, while a stunning 110 clearance to the pink turned it into three as he prevailed in sublime fashion.
However, three-time champion Judd Trump was denied a crack at a record-extending fourth title by an inspired Tom Ford, who took top spot in Group A.
Although held to a 2-2 draw by Jimmy Robertson in his opening match, world number one Trump eased to a 3-0 success over Stuart Carrington to move onto four points.
Meanwhile, an evidently frustrated Ford recovered from a 3-0 reverse against Carrington, with breaks of 60 and 63 putting Robertson to the sword by the same scoreline.
As a result, a point against the home favourite would have been enough for Trump to secure first place.
But Ford had clearly not read the script; stunning clearances of 124 and 77 from 45-0 down in frame two were followed by a run of 78 as he moved one step closer to a maiden ranking title.
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Championship League Snooker 2021 Results
Thursday August 12
Judd Trump 2-2 Jimmy Robertson (Group A)
Ricky Walden 3-1 Peter Lines (Group B)
Tom Ford 0-3 Stuart Carrington (Group A)
Mark Allen 3-0 Fergal O’Brien (Group B)
Tom Ford 3-0 Jimmy Robertson (Group A)
Mark Allen 3-1 Peter Lines (Group B)
Judd Trump 3-0 Stuart Carrington (Group A)
Ricky Walden 3-0 Fergal O’Brien (Group B)
Stuart Carrington 0-3 Jimmy Robertson (Group A)
Mark Allen 3-0 Ricky Walden (Group B)
Judd Trump 0-3 Tom Ford (Group A)
Peter Lines 2-2 Fergal O’Brien (Group B)