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Neil Robertson v Mark Allen live stream | Northern Ireland Open 2022 preview

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Anthony McGill v Zhou Yuelong live stream | Northern Ireland Open 2022 preview

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Mark Allen roars past Neil Robertson to reach Northern Ireland Open final

Robertson and Allen collide in Belfast

Neil Robertson and Mark Allen collide in a mouth-watering Northern Ireland Open semi-final showdown in Belfast on Saturday.

Zhou awaits the winner of this highly entertaining clash at the Waterfront Hall, where the home favourite takes on the player chasing the Home Nations grand slam.

Robertson has won all four of his previous semi-final encounters with fellow left-hander Allen; most recently enjoying a 10-6 victory at the 2019 Tour Championship.

The Australian also boasts a perfect record in the last four of Home Nations events, advancing to the showpiece in each of his four appearances.

Robertson had never previously advanced beyond the last 32 of this tournament, but he has enjoyed an upturn in fortunes this week with victories over Fraser Patrick, Fan Zhengyi, John Astley and Li Hang.

The Thunder then reeled off four successive frames to record a 12th win in 13 attempts against Mark Selby, and he is now just two matches away from becoming the first player to lift all four Home Nations trophies.

There is also plenty at stake for reigning champion Allen, who is targeting a successful title defence and the last remaining spot at the Champion of Champions later this month.

Fresh from reaching the British Open final, the Pistol has built on that momentum by overcoming a quartet of Asian opponents in Chang Bingyu, Chen Zifan, Andy Lee and Xiao Guodong.

The six-time ranking event winner then demonstrated tenacity and determination as he recovered from 2-0 down, before maintaining his composure after been pegged back from 4-2 up to eventually prevail against Mark Williams in the quarter-finals.

This is Allen’s fifth Home Nations semi-final, and he has gone on to lift the trophy on the two previous occasions that he prevailed.

A showdown with Zhou in Sunday’s final awaits the winner of this eagerly anticipated battle of the left-handers.

Play gets underway at 7pm BST on Saturday with the match contested over the best of 11 frames at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.