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Ronnie O’Sullivan defends Mark Allen’s early concession

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Ronnie O’Sullivan interviewed by Rachel Casey of Eurosport (credit: Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan has defended Mark Allen’s premature concession in last week’s World Grand Prix and says he hopes snooker’s governing body do not impose a hefty fine on the Northern Irishman.

Allen conceded the final frame of his Second Round clash with Ali Carter in Cheltenham last Thursday despite trailing by just 24 points to two.

The Antrim cueist came forward to shake Carter’s hand midway through the fifth frame at 3-1 down after missing a yellow and watching the cue ball go in-off.

Allen, who was seeded number one in the prestigious ranking event, is likely to face disciplinary action for a breach of WPBSA rules, but O’Sullivan has urged snooker bosses to go easy on the left-hander.

“I watched it and I thought it was brilliant,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

“Everyone was in shock but you could see he’d just had enough.

“It’s not nice when you’re in that sort of place but he must have had something going on in his head.”

O’Sullivan famously threw the towel in against rival Stephen Hendry in the Quarter-Finals of the 2006 UK Championship at just 4-1 down in their best of 17 contest.

He was fined £20,000 and later apologised to both Hendry and the crowd.

“It just shows you, don’t put yourself on the start line unless you’re mentally prepared because it can look bad I suppose,” added O’Sullivan.

“Sometimes you can play through the pain barrier, whatever it is, but I just hope they don’t come down on him too hard because it was just a rush of blood.

“He has been one of the players of the season and you should focus more on that and just give him a little bit of a squeeze.

“World Snooker do like to hit you hard with fines so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.”