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“Freezing” Mark Allen breezes past Kyren Wilson to reach UK Championship quarter-finals

Jonathan Davies in UK Championship

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Allen denied Wilson at the York Barbican (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Mark Allen overcame the “freezing” conditions to book his UK Championship quarter-final place with a 6-3 win over Kyren Wilson.

The Pistol prevailed in the battle between two of the top three players on this season’s one-year list to reach the last eight of this event for the sixth time.

Despite falling 2-0 behind – like he did against good friend Jordan Brown in the opening round – two-time runner-up Allen recovered by recording six breaks over 50 to set up a quarter-final clash with Sam Craigie.

Although, the Northern Ireland Open champion appeared to be struggling with the conditions inside the York Barbican, as he was frequently seen nursing a warm mug in his hands.

“When I’m out there, I am freezing,” he revealed on Eurosport. “I don’t know whether it’s a bit of nerves or the arena’s cold, but that’s the only way I could get any heat in my hands and feel a bit more comfortable out there.

“I was making breaks early on in the match and I couldn’t actually feel my hands. On a really cold day, your hands are numb, and you can’t really feel much, and that’s the way I felt out there at the start.

“The air con was on, which isn’t great, and was blowing right down on my seat. I spoke to Martin Clark [tournament director] at the interval and he managed to get it turned off, so it did heat up a little bit. But the damage was done, and I was frozen!”

Wilson was targeting a fourth UK quarter-final in five years and made a fine start, with a run of 67 establishing a 2-0 lead.

Allen responded with breaks of 60, 70, 96 and 84 to turn the match on its head, before the Warrior levelled with 72.

However, the season’s form player raised his game, stringing together another three-frame streak with contributions of 80 and 70 helping him over the line.

The world number nine will now face Craigie, who continued his best-ever run at a Triple Crown event with a 6-4 victory over Ryan Day.

The Newcastle cueist, who dethroned reigning champion Zhao Xintong in the opening round, hit three centuries and a further two breaks over 60 to reach his second career ranking quarter-final – and first since the 2019 China Open.

Earlier in the day, Ronnie O’Sullivan cruised to a 6-0 whitewash over Zhou Yuelong, who was unable to rise to the occasion against his idol.

The seven-time World champion, who has won now 20 of the 22 frames he has played against Zhou, hit breaks of 137, 103 and 82 to sail through to his 19th quarter-final at this event.

Elsewhere, 2018 semi-finalist Tom Ford denied 2021 runner-up Luca Brecel, a run of 100 the highlight for the world number 32.


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UK Championship 2022 Day Five Results

Wednesday November 16

Last 16

Luca Brecel 3-6 Tom Ford
Zhou Yuelong 0-6 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Sam Craigie 6-4 Ryan Day
Mark Allen 6-3 Kyren Wilson