Mark Allen continued snooker’s rich tradition of sportsmanship with a brave call during his UK Championship final with Ding Junhui at the York Barbican.
The Northern Irishman was on the charge in the showpiece event at the York Barbican when he was faced with a highly challenging shot, having seen his opponent accidentally tuck the yellow – the next ball to be played – right next to the green.
Allen, to his credit, asked referee Desislava Bozhilova to stand near the two colours so that she could have a better view of any potential foul. Unfortunately for Allen, he did miss his target ball.
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But despite snicking the green first, and inviting Ding back to the table, Eurosport commentator Alan McManus was quick to shower praise on Allen for his good nature.
“That’s brilliant by Mark Allen. He asked the referee 'please just go and stand there because I might foul here'. Well done,” said McManus.
The karma gods smiled on Allen as he was soon back at the table and belatedly sealing the longest frame of the match – a frame that moved him level at 6-6, having earlier found himself 6-1 down.
It capped an extraordinary turnaround, with Allen unrecognisable from the player who was slated by Eurosport pundit Ronnie O’Sullivan for his performance in the opening session.
O’Sullivan said he had “never seen anyone play so bad” after the seventh frame, coincidentally the time Allen clicked into gear.
The winner of the UK Championship will take home £250,000.
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