25.4.09

FULL MARKS TO ALLEN

Ronnie O'Sullivan has many loyal fans and they will be very disappointed by his early Crucible exit but the Betfred.com World Championship goes on and the rest of the field will now be fancying their chances.

I thought Mark Allen was sensational. He took the game to Ronnie and was fearless in attacking at every opportunity.

O'Sullivan seemed to feel the pressure, proving that anyone can crack in the heat of the Crucible.

Can Allen go all the way?

I'd say he can. He was used to winning before he even turned professional. Indeed, he won every conceivable title as an amateur - the Northern Ireland crown at all age levels and the world, European and European under 19 titles.

On his television debut at the 2005 Northern Ireland Trophy he beat Steve Davis 4-0 and then John Higgins 4-1.

He's fiercely determined and will be full of confidence after his defeat of O'Sullivan.

And he clearly has the game to put the fear of God into anyone left in the tournament.

19 comments:

Matt said...

Yeah congratulations to him, delighted for him because he approached the match with entirely the right attitude and reaped the rewards.

Funnily enough I can't help feeling that what you said about Michael Holt actually applied perfectly to Mark in this match. After the first session he could easily have been ahead, but perhaps being level kept the pressure/expectation level down a bit.

Anonymous said...

Well done to Mark but Ronnie simply did'nt turn up. I have been saying this for a few month's now but Ronnie's middle to long distance potting has been terrible, he's ok when he's in the ball's but it was obvious he was never going to win this world championship playing like that.

SupremeSnooker.com said...

I've known how talented Allen is for several years, and am pleased he's finally claimed such a big scalp. Can he go all the way? Of course he can! Every single player left in the tournament has their strong points and is capable of winning it. I'm expecting a very exciting week ahead.

Monique said...

The loyal fan is me is disapointed but not overly surprised.As anon above stated Ronnie's been struggling with his game, and his emotions, for most of the season as he himself stated many times in post-matches. That's not what I would brand as not turning up though. Times and again he's fought very hard to try to win despite playing poorly (in his own eyes certainly).
This does not take anything from Mark Allen who showed not only his skills and talent but above all a strong temperament. So all I can say is congratulations to him and best wishes for the tournament.
As a fan I'd love to see Ronnie going on and playing his marvelous brand of snooker and winning for a long, long time. But I do know he's 33 and that's "old" in snooker. Yes we do have Davis and Hendy showing us older players can still make a huge impact on occasions and I love that. I loved every bit of Hendry's win on Friday. But ultimately the young guns like Mark Allen are what this game I love needs for its survival and further revival (I hope) and so this victoy is maybe the sort of shocks snooker needs and a very good thing for the game. ( ... and jeez ... that was hard to write)

Anonymous said...

im just glad that after the win ronnie, as expected, hinted at what the future in the game holds for him.

justifies what a lot of people on here said about him being repetitive and boring in interviews.

well done allen

Greg said...

Rubbish.

Mark Allen won't even beat Day. I'm sure of it. He slowed down to a crawl when he was playing ROS, you could see how nervous he was, even when Ronnie was playing like Stevie Wonder he was still nervous. I'm so disappointed that Ronnie's defence ended against such an unremarkable little player. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

mark allen has got more chances left of winning the WC in future years than the person who speaks of retirement and questions his future at *every* defeat conference. aka ronnie

boring boring ronnie

Devil's Advocate said...

Well, I thought that it was a great performance by Mark Allen.

Notwithstanding Ronnie's form (or lack of it) in the match, Allen didn't choke when he got towards the winning line and he could be difficult to stop.

His fist-clenching can be overdone at times and might rub people up the wrong way, but I think it's good to see a bit of character in the game and dispels the myth that there are none around.

It'll be interesting to see how he gets on against Ryan Day, as after a match like that against Ronnie, it could feel like an anti-climax. Both men are playing well but I'd make Allen slight favourite.

Greg said...

I think some people need lessons on "when to fist pump and when not to"

For instance, you don't fist pump when you've just beaten a man who plays like a man riddled with athiritis, and you've only beaten him 13-11, when it should have been 13-4.

Christ's sake....

what a horrible tournament. What's next?

johnH said...

well done to Mark
Ronnie, like many others is now past his peak and put in a decent performance given his current ability level and almost pulled off a win. His long game went when he changed to this cue. He did well last year but a bit like the rest of the old big four can now only produce occasionally.

Mal said...

Greg seems bitter-saying ronnie played awful is nonsense. Ronnie played as he has been most of the season-good in the balls and his long potting was actually better than it was in last match or in the masters that he won. Mark started poorly but got better as the match wore. He may well have been nervous inside but this wasn't reflected in his play as he potted the pressure balls! Maybe day will beat him, but for those of you who forgot, mark hammered him in the masters 6-1 in a scintillating performance that willie thorne was the best he had seen from a young player. And he beat day in the ni trophy as well. In the top 16 in 3 seasons which only a few have done in last 20 years. so still thing he is rubbish greg?!

Mal said...

And to say he slowed to a crawl is also nonsense. He shot time was 2 secs slower than ronnie near the end of the match. He was slow than he normally is in the first session when he didn't play well, but after this he was as quick as ronnie-and if you watched his clearances it baffles me how anyone could say it was slow.

Anonymous said...

biased views Mal is how those ronnie fans see it as slow etc..

Monique said...

I pretty agree with both your posts Mal. It's nonsense. Ronnie branded his game very poor but that's the ultra-perfectionist in him. He's always been that way. He wasn't at his very best but he wasn't bad neither. Actually in that form he would have beaten quite a lot of other players in the round so far. But Mark was brilliant fron second session on and strong in his mind and that's why he won. He was the best on the day.
As for being slow ... uh?

Anonymous said...

very well said Monique

you are very rare. a ronnie fan who is rarely biased and is also polite, thanks

Anonymous said...

i thot ronnie was rather poor to be honest but full credit to ronnie

i would have to say my faves now are hendry or higgins

i dun see murphy getting ahead of a gutsy, rapidly-improving hendry who has snapped out of the amnesia that he was king of the jungle about 10 years ago

jamie said...

i think ronnie was close to his best in 2nd session , but shocking in the 1st and not much better in the 2nd. His long potting is just a sign of age, we are seeing slight signs of decline, but he has had a great season, the only player to win more than one event, three actually incuding the Masters with a new cue. He is still the games number one. Must admit a slighly disappointing interview afterwards I think he failed to really acknowledge Allen's brilliance, the best he has ever played I think he will beat Day, but lose in sf.

Anonymous said...

i agree jamie (starting to become a habit this ;))

Anonymous said...

IMHO the 2nd session was incredible from both players. Ronnie polished off 2 frames in perfect fashion, only for Mark to make an incredible (and incredibly fast at that) break in return. Commentators were actually remarking on his speed and that the ref (Terry) hardly had time enough to respot balls.

I think Mark approached it rightly: confident and aggressive.

The fact that he "slowed" down near the end...I disagree personally, but let's (for the sake of arguing) assume he did.

Hmmm, a young and upcoming player, about to possibly beat the best player of the current age in the biggest tournament for the biggest win of his professional career so far. Wouldn't you just take those 2 seconds extra? For sure, I would...if I could manage to even hold my cue properly.

For crying out loud...Mark beat Ronnie on the day and I love him doing so. Does that mean I don't like to see Ronnie play? Of course not since he's brilliant...Mark just proved Ronnie CAN be beaten if you take the game to him.

I've seen Mark do this ever since I met him in 2004 and his style is very much like Ronnie's, perhaps that's why he could beat him.

Cheers,
Jurgen.