Magnificent Mark Allen claims International Championship title

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Allen claims the crown in China (credit:Eurosport)

Mark Allen secured his fourth ranking at the 2018 International Championship with a 10-5 victory over Neil Robertson in the final in Daqing.

Allen, the reigning Masters Champion, culminated a sublime run of form throughout the week with a dominant display in the final to clinch the ¬£175,000 winner’s cheque.

The Antrim ace did the damage in the first session, opening up a commanding 7-2 lead with three century breaks to his name and fended off any hopes of a Robertson fightback by sharing the final six frames of the match.

“The first session in particular I didn’t put a foot wrong,” said Allen, who climbs from twelfth to seventh in the world rankings.

“You don’t go 7-1 up against Neil Robertson if you’re not doing things right but it was a bit of a grind to get over the line.

“I think this is very close to the form I showed all week at the Masters so the signs are good going forward.”

Allen picked the Australian’s pocket in the first frame of the match, clearing up with 72 after Robertson had registered a break of 65.

Robertson made no such mistake in frame two, firing in a break of 101 to level before Allen went into overdrive with a run of six consecutive frames to storm clear.

That burst included three centuries in four frames as Allen compiled breaks of 108, 103 and 119 before Robertson eventually stopped the rot with a 93 prior to the interval.

Robertson rallied after the restart with a break of 84 and followed up with a terrific 121 clearance to reduce the deficit to 7-4.

Allen secured frame 12 before moving to the verge of victory courtesy of a clinical break of 101.

There was time for a seventh ton of the match as Robertson blasted in a 113 but Allen ensured there would be no comeback as he sealed the deal in the following frame.