Northern Ireland Open 2021: Mark Allen roars back from 3-0 down to knockout defending champion Judd Trump
Allen stunned the three-time defending champion, coming back from a three-frame deficit to secure a popular win on his home tables in Belfast. Trump was left to rue a simple missed red on frame ball in the fourth, failing to register another frame as Allen found his cueing and the Englishman made a series of uncharacteristic errors.
Watch moment Trump has to go to other table to replace wonky spider
Mark Allen roared back from a three-frame deficit to knock out three-time defending Northern Ireland Open Judd Trump in a thrilling encounter.
In a match containing flitters of brilliance and swathes of sloppy play, Allen faced frame ball in the fourth before reeling off five frames on the spin to stun an apparently cruising Trump.
The Englishman was left to rue the simplest of missed reds when on frame-ball in the fourth, failing to register a single frame after a basic error to end his hopes of extending his remarkable record in Belfast.
"I just couldn't get anything going. I was 3-0 down but I got two unbelievable slices of fortune. After that, I played okay.
I felt like I was getting chances. I sat and had a cup of tea [at the interval] but I just hung in there. Once I got to 3-2 I knew it was up to me to try and capitalise and I started creating a lot of opportunities for myself.
Watch the moment Allen sends Trump crashing out in Belfast
An early miss from Allen was the only aberration of the opening frame, the Northern Irishman over-cutting a long red to allow Trump in.
From there, Trump, who has won the last three editions of this tournament, impressively settled into his cueing, making an even 100 to seal the opening frame.
It was more of the same in the second, Trump surviving a wobbly moment with an unsteady extended spider to make a bothersome pot over the bunch in compiling a break of 91 to double his lead.
Allen was finally amongst the balls in the third frame, but ran out of position on 60.
An adventurous cross-double failed to bury itself in the middle and a lovely screw-back starting red allowed Trump to leave only the back on the table and further extend an already commanding lead.
It made the fourth frame a virtual must-win if Allen was to hope to stay in the contest.
Both players missed chances to seal it while amongst the balls, and a stalemate of sorts appeared likely to ensue with the pink covering the corner pocket by which the remaining reds had gathered.
Yet an ill-conceived shot by Allen allowed Trump a comfortable red to the middle and seemingly set up a cruise to a perfect mini-session for the defending champion.
Or so it appeared, before a rare lapse in concentration from Trump, rattling the jaws with a simple red on frame ball, affording Allen the chance to clear the table and get himself on the board before the interval.
'Wow, that is incredible!' - Trump squanders 'frame ball' with sloppy miss
After the players returned, Trump was swiftly back amongst things, putting together a break of 61 in short order, before again running out of position and invited Allen back into the frame.
Sloppy exchanges ensued, with Trump cleverly putting both black and pink safe, but both players unable to capitalise on errors as each found the roll of the baize favourable after ill-judged safeties, leaving no reds on.
Finally the luck fell Allen's way, Trump nudging a red within sniffing distance of the corner and the Northern Irishman duly guiding it home.
From there he seemed likely to seal the frame, particularly after re-generating the pink, but ran awry on the yellow.
A clever snooker nonetheless forced Trump to foul and Allen superbly cleared the table of its colours to steal another frame on the black.
The match was soon level as Allen continued his fightback, securing another scrappy frame after a Trump error saw both a red hovered over a pocket and a blue buried deep within one at the opposite end.
Onwards Allen went, producing his best snooker of the match in the seventh frame to lead for the first time.
Manipulating the cue ball deftly around the table, Allen cleaned up with a magnificent break of 128 to put the three-time defending champion one frame from a quarter-final exit.
'He's got it!' - Watch White emulate Trump wonder shot in Belfast
And the Northern Irishman sealed the deal with his fifth successive frame, securing a popular home win in another nervy series of exchanges.
After each squandered chances to build frame-sealing breaks, a duel on the brown saw Allen snooker Trump behind the black, forcing an error and snatching a remarkable victory.
He will face the winner of the quarter-final between Shaun Murphy and Ricky Walden for a place in the final.
"Normally I crumble here but I felt really good today," Allen continued.
"It is going to be a tough match but I am going to do my best [in the semi-final] and may the best man win."
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