UK Championship snooker recap – Mark Allen sets up final with Ding Junhui after edging Jack Lisowski in final-frame epic
Welcome back to Eurosport's live coverage of the 2022 UK Championship – and it is semi-final day. We began with three-time winner Ding Junhui, who whitewashed Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-0 on Friday, and completed a 6-3 win over Tom Ford. Then later on we have 'Jackpot' Jack Lisowski against two-time finalist Mark Allen, who fought back from 5-3 behind to complete an epic 6-5 victory on the final black.
'Where did that come from?' - Four-ball plant from Allen sets up century
What a night of snooker. Have to feel for Jack Lisowski, but what mettle from Mark Allen. It is Allen v Ding tomorrow for the UK title. First man to 10 frames takes the trophy and £250,000 first prize. We will have live updates from 12:45pm on Sunday.
Lisowski 5-6 Allen
'Where did that come from?' - Four-ball plant from Allen sets up century
"I think Jack was the better player," said Allen. "I think he deserved to win it, but I just hung in there and I know I have bottle if it goes close."
Lisowski 5-6 Allen
"I was just rubbish at the end I guess. I didn't play very well today at all," said Lisowski. "I don't know why. It just wasn't good enough today.
"I lost my concentration. Gutted. Just not good enough. I'm learning and will come back again next year and have another pop at this tournament."
Lisowski 5-5 Allen (59-73)
Well, a remarkable finish. Both men with chances to get this won, but Lisowski can't slot a red after Allen left a free ball green over bag. So nervous with chances coming and going. Allen misses mid-range yellow, but Lisowski then butchers his attempt to land on the green from potting yellow to the centre pocket. Can't hole the green and Allen clears the final five colours to seal the deal. A 6-5 victory for Allen. Lisowski should have won the match, but couldn't put it away in the end.
Lisowski 5-5 Allen (57-36)
Lisowski into the lead in this epic battle. A magical break so far this from Jackpot. But he can't nudge the final red off cushion. One red on side cushion is problem ball. And a brilliant safety shot to finish. That 57 break was superb.
Lisowski 5-5 Allen (20-36)
A fabulous red to a centre pocket by Lisowski. Terrific pot and he is right bang in among them now. Has to control his emotions, but this is some chance to win a match that was slipping away from him.
Lisowski 5-5 Allen (0-36)
A run of 36 from Allen before he runs out of position. Opts to knock the black onto the top cushion. Allen would dearly love to spoil this table as much as possible.
Lisowski 5-5 Allen (0-14)
Allen first to the punch in this 11th and final frame. Glorious long red and Jack will wonder what the damage is going to be.
Lisowski 5-4 Allen (17-75)
Breaks of 115 and 74 from Allen as he recovers from 5-3 down to level at 5-5. Momentum firmly with the former Masters champion, but anything can happen in a final-frame decider.
Lisowski 5-4 Allen (17-55)
Looking extremely likely this match is heading for a final frame. Poor shot really by Jackpot presented his opponent with this opportunity and Allen is not a man to reject such gifts.
Lisowski 5-4 Allen (17-25)
But that tight cue ball control isn't there tonight and a long red seconds later misses by a fair bit. Sets up Allen for another obvious chance at close range. Very nervy and both men feeling it.
Lisowski 5-4 Allen (16-1)
Stunning long red by Jack and he holds for the black. What can he conjure up here? Would dearly love to get the job done here and now.
Lisowski 5-3 Allen (6-122)
A fabulous century by Allen to keep alive his hopes in this contest. A wonderful 115 comes along at exactly the right time. A possible two frames remaining. Lisowski needs one, Allen two.
Lisowski 5-3 Allen (0-60)
Allen almost missing a black off spot, but it struggled in as he reaches the half-century. Much more like it from Allen. Going to be a rare one-visit kill by the Northern Irish Open champion in this match. Heading back to 5-4 here.
Lisowski 5-3 Allen (0-18)
A terrific four-ball plant by Allen to get the party started in this ninth frame of a possible 11. Vital that he gets this frame one in one poke.
Lisowski 4-3 Allen (77-23)
Allen can't slot a long red, but no mistake by Lisowski as he drains the object ball before clearing up the remaining balls to see out the frame for a 5-3 lead. Amazing shot on blue to release pink and that shows the class of Jackpot. Mark needing the remaining three frames otherwise Lisowski is through to the final.
Lisowski 4-3 Allen (47-17)
Another wonderful long red by Lisowski to regain access to the table, but can't sort out position on the final three reds and the safety is order of the day.
Lisowski 4-3 Allen (31-0)
Another visit to the table goes off plan for Jack. Forced to settle for a break of only 30. That is poor when you consider how well the balls were sitting. All gone very tense.
Lisowski 4-3 Allen (13-0)
A superb pot on a red from Lisowski, but he misses the black off the spot after careering into pack of reds. Chance for Mark, but tough cueing and he can't roll in a red down side rail. Pressure increasing, but a brilliant pot on a red to middle by Jack and this is a fine chance to piece together a big break.
Lisowski 3-3 Allen (68-0)
No one-visit finish for Jackpot, but the Antrim man misses a red along top cushion in attempting the counter attack. In goes red and black from Lisowski and he will head 4-3 clear in this nervy contest. A break of 54 key to winning that seventh frame.
Lisowski 3-3 Allen (48-0)
Stunning recovery pot on a blue by Lisowski and this is a golden chance to put this frame to bed in one visit for a 4-3 lead.
Lisowski 3-3 Allen (21-0)
Lovely long red by Lisowski and this is a second chance in the frame for the Jackpot. Vital that he starts scoring when these chances come along.
Lisowski 3-3 Allen (6-0)
Four centuries last night, but this has been a completely different match. A lot more tactical and Jack misses blue off the spot.
Lisowski 3-2 Allen (42-75)
Allen plays a telling snooker and Lisowski hits the black off cushion. That means he needs one snooker in this frame, but not over yet as Allen can't trickle in a red near a top pocket. Chance for Jackpot to leave the snooker behind the blue. Which he does. And Allen can't escape from the snooker. So Lisowski can win this frame again. But he then plays an awful shot in trying another snooker and sticks the yellow up. So tense and all happening, but the outcome is 3-3 as Allen pockets yellow, green and brown.
Lisowski 3-2 Allen (30-59)
Stunning pot on a black to a centre pocket by Lisowski. That is a sublime pot to keep break going. Just the safety on final red, but this frame right back in the balance.
Lisowski 3-2 Allen (1-59)
Allen making 52, but another blue eludes him when he seemed certain to crack on. Cries of 'C'mon Jack' but Lisowski goes in off after potting black seconds later. So no damage done to Allen.
Lisowski 3-2 Allen (0-39)
A poor break-off shot by Lisowski gives Allen a chance to get his nose in front as he bids to bring this match level for a second time this evening. What are the odds on a deciding frame?
Lisowski 2-2 Allen (61-25)
In goes the brown and Allen has seen enough of this frame. That black off the spot so damaging. On we go then with the sixth frame of a possible 11.
Lisowski 2-2 Allen (57-25)
Real edge to this match as Mark somehow misses a black off the spot. Groans and sighs in the Barbican with Jack looking to finalise this frame in his favour. The missed black from Allen is going to cost him the fifth frame. And Lisowski moving 3-2 ahead unless there is snookers from his opponent.
Lisowski 2-2 Allen (29-11)
Well, that is so unfortunate as Lisowski slots blue to middle only to see reds open and one of the pack disappear down a burrow. Was looking well placed, but needs to take a seat now.
Lisowski 2-2 Allen (23-0)
Jack looking to immediately reassert himself here. Brilliant long red, but is still toiling slightly with the pace of this cloth. That cue ball moving around more than Jack would like at the mo.
Lisowski 2-1 Allen (28-73)
Allen escapes from another snooker before potting the final red seconds later. That is a relief for Allen, who levels the match at 2-2. All on the line in the second half of this match.
Lisowski 2-1 Allen (28-67)
Allen battling so hard in that break. Makes a fine 63, but Jack coming back to play on for snookers. And he has left white behind pink after slotting two reds. Allen misses the red off two cushions to get one snooker back. Could yet be drama in this frame.
Lisowski 2-1 Allen (8-24)
Allen's highest break of evening is only 29 so far, but he unearths a fine mid-range red to open his latest account. Would dearly love to restore parity at 2-2.
Lisowski 2-1 Allen (8-4)
Allen misses a tricky black, but no real damage done with Lisowki making only eight in response. Both men very wary of not leaving easy openers.
Lisowski 2-0 Allen (60-70)
Superb steal from Allen. Slotted tough red to middle before mopping up to the pink to claim his first frame of the evening. Was staring 3-0 in the face, but right back in this battle at the Barbican. One more frame before the mid-session interval.
Lisowski 2-0 Allen (60-44)
All coming down to a safety joust on this final red. All colours on their spots so whoever sinks red will be a hot favourite for the frame.
Lisowski 2-0 Allen (60-40)
This is delightful from Lisowski. Makes it look simple in full flow. And he is in full flow right here, right now. Makes 60 before leaving a double on red, but can't convert and red hits pink which ends up landing down a pocket. All going on there. One red left up.
Lisowski 2-0 Allen (15-29)
Bad miss on a black by Mark when he had done the hard part in getting reds into play. This could be a key moment early on as Lisowski emerges from his seat attempting to continue his heavy scoring streak.
Lisowski 2-0 Allen (0-21)
What can Allen offer in response? Well, great long pot on red straight off the bat in the third frame. In goes the green and he is quickly into the pack of reds. Allen looking to get his scoring boots on at this visit.
Lisowski 1-0 Allen (77-0)
Jack looking so focused. Determined not to miss any easy balls. Break moves to 70 and chance of a century. Not quite the ton, but 77 is more than enough for a 2-0 lead. Superb scoring from the Cheltenham man so far. Looks right at it with 77 going with that opening 58.
Lisowski 1-0 Allen (38-0)
Superb recovery shot on black by Jackpot before he picks out a red in baulk to land perfectly on the pink in the pack. That is a stunning positional shot. Every chance now to contribute another telling break.
Lisowski 1-0 Allen (8-0)
Error by Allen trying to run safe presents Lisowski with a quickfire return to the table in the second frame.
Lisowski 0-0 Allen (72-13)
Such a smooth player among the balls. A rapid break of 58 from Lisowski and that is a 1-0 lead in York for the Jackpot. Looks very relaxed with coach Peter Ebdon, the 2002 world champion, looking on from the seats.
Lisowski 0-0 Allen (49-13)
Dangerous game to leave Jackpot in among the balls when he is scoring so heavily. Decent chance to win the first frame by his standards.
Lisowski 0-0 Allen (14-13)
Jackpot breaking down early in his visit to the table. Adds only 14 and Allen comes up with a lovely pot on a red to right centre. What a shot that is. The Northern Irishman will be looking to make some progress here, but he misses a blue to the middle pocket at pace. Unforced error.
Lisowski 0-0 Allen (14-0)
Two great potters and scores, but they are also very fine safety players. An eight-minute tactical duel before Jack pots a red after Mark escaped from a snooker but left the left red. First chance for Lisowski.
Lisowski 0-0 Allen (0-0)
Off we go then for the second semi-final of this year's UK Championship. Two players finding some premium form in this event so far.
Lisowski looks to continue form
Four straight centuries last night in his 6-1 win against Shaun Murphy in the last eight on Friday evening. Jackpot will aim for more brilliance this evening.
Lisowski records fourth century in a row in match against Murphy
Welcome back to the Barbican
So we will soon find out who is facing Ding Junhui in this year's UK Championship final on Sunday in York. Ding with a 6-3 win against Tom Ford this afternoon before tonight's second semi-final between Jack Lisowski and Mark Allen. First to six frames tonight will reach the final.
"I thought it was going 5-4, but I had to stay focussed to get back on the table. I'm just lucky here, I like the Barbican" said Ding, who will bid for his fourth UK title against Jack Lisowski or Mark Allen on Sunday. We'll be back with that one before 7pm tonight. Thanks for joining us today.
Ding 5-3 Ford (75-64)
And Ding is through to the final. A composed clearance on the colours and he wins 6-3. A bit of relief in the end for Ding. Ford missing the red on break of 64 and then playing a wretched safety shot on red buried his dreams.
Ding 5-3 Ford (43-64)
Ding with a break of 37 in response, but can't develop red off the side cushion. Ford then throws in a shocking safety shot and leaves red over a centre pocket. Chance for Ding to scramble over the winning line with two reds easy pickings.
Ding 5-3 Ford (15-64)
Ford makes 64, but misses a straight red on the cusp of winning frame and a potential maximum. Just took the pot for granted. Chance then for Ding to launch the counter attack when he thought he was going to ship a fourth straight frame.
Ding 5-3 Ford (0-41)
Ford first to the punch in this ninth frame. Well now, the pressure will really build if he can compile a big break here. First chance and he is right into the pack of reds off black. Ford looks completely transformed. And that is a nice split on reds.
Ding 5-2 Ford (2-69)
Break reaches 50. Brilliant opening red and blue and on he has plodded. A break of 64 from Ford is more than enough to close to 5-3 in the last four. Ding needs to respond and has headed for a comfort break to ease the pressure.
Ding 5-2 Ford (2-34)
Is the mood music in this match starting to alter? Ford finding his feet after struggling with his game for much of the day. Ding tightening up at the wrong time.
Ding 5-2 Ford (2-5)
Break-off shot by Ford leaves a red over middle pocket. Ding slots red, but ends up planting reds into pocket from the blue. Ford can't cash in and he has left another red over a top pocket. All very tense.
Ding 5-1 Ford (21-89)
Ding gets one snooker back, but Ford snuffs out the frame with a brilliant mid-range red. We go to another frame with Ding still chasing one more frame to reach the final.
Ding 5-1 Ford (17-64)
From looking like a procession to the winning line, Ford suddenly looks likelier to win a second straight frame. Another fabulous break from Ford of 64 and that should be enough to trail 5-2. Ding playing on for three snookers, but looks unlikely.
Ding 5-1 Ford (17-17)
Well, would you believe that. Balls over the place and Ding somehow hits a red attempting to pot the pink. Didn't expect that and neither did Ford. Back at the table sooner than he thought.
Ding 5-1 Ford (10-0)
Ding hasn't been at his best today, but has picked up on the Ford errors. Ford attempts a tough old red from distance, missed by some distance, no other red drops and Ding has chance to compile a match-winning break. Reds all over the show. Glorious chance to finish matters off.
Ding 5-0 Ford (0-77)
This is much more like it from Tom. More like the player who reached this final. And is looking good for a frame-winning break. A superb knock of 77 and he wins his first frame of the day. The Barbican crowd gave him a huge roar to celebrate that success on an otherwise brutal afternoon.
Ding 5-0 Ford (0-24)
Ford offering the referee Marcel Eckardt his cue after struggling to land on a red. All a bit frustrating, but he then picks out a blistering red to a yellow pocket. Can he come up with a break here after five frames of frustration?
Ding 4-0 Ford (73-46)
Ding with a clinical clearance of 62 including the black and that is a 5-0 lead for the 2005, 2009 and 2019 UK champion. A bad afternoon continues for Ford as he falls 5-0 adrift. Ding now just one frame short of the final.
Ding 4-0 Ford (11-46)
Ding leaves Ford a long red which he drops in with some conviction. Getting plenty of encouragement from the crowd in York, but breaks down again on 46 when he looked poised to win his first frame of this semi-final. Was some fine pots in the break, but ended up wrong side of pink and couldn't force in the pink. That is gut-wrenching and there is nothing safe out there as Ding returns to table.
Ding 4-0 Ford (11-0)
Ford needing to win six out of the remaining seven frames to reach the final. Not exactly the predicament you would wish to find yourself in. Would dearly love to put one on board. Ford tries a plant on reds, but nothing doing. Ding under little pressure inside the Barbican.
Ding 3-0 Ford (84-0)
An unfortunate kick on white for Ding on 84, but he will be more than content with that. Ford has suffered a nightmare so far today. Time to head for the practice table.
Ding 3-0 Ford (76-0)
Could be a century on the cards for the Chinese icon. Ford forced to sit and digest this. Hasn't potted a ball for 17 minutes and counting.
Ding 3-0 Ford (69-0)
Ding still looks very handy from close range. That short, compact cue action is working for him to perfection in this environment. Break moves quickly to 62 and is on the cusp of a 4-0 interval lead.
Ding 3-0 Ford (38-0)
Ding gets a spot of good fortune with the opening red dropping in off the pack of reds from distance, but another superb red to right middle finds the target. Arguably his best shot of day so far and suddenly he looks poised to drop in a big break. Reds all out in open.
Ding 2-0 Ford (57-27)
Ford fails to find the snooker he needs on colours. Leaves Ding an easy chance on yellow, but has seen enough as the concession comes. A 3-0 lead for the tournament favourite. One more frame before the mid-session break.
Ding 2-0 Ford (57-27)
Ding not playing near peak levels, but doing enough to get the job done. Ford with a terrific pot on a long red, but can't slot the black along top cushion. Was a tough ask and that could be 3-0 coming up for the three-time champion.
Ding 2-0 Ford (33-26)
Ding unearths a lovely long red to regain access to table. Have to say, this is the chance of adding another frame to his total. But he also can't convert the scoring opportunity as a red to a centre pocket eludes him via the jaws.
Ding 2-0 Ford (21-26)
Finally a chance for Ford, but he runs out of position on 26 as a positional shot off pink goes all wrong. Just 26, but he looks baffled by his own errors. Decent safety, but not scoring heavily enough.
Ding 2-0 Ford (21-0)
Ford with another long red attempt. Off target and Ding somehow manages to sneak a red down a pocket off another red. Not sure how that dropped, but in it goes. And Ding with first chance to score in the third frame. Out of position on 21 and that is end of break.
Ding 1-0 Ford (72-11)
A fine run of 55 from Ding and that is a 2-0 lead. Ford yet to settle out there. Vital that he wins a frame quickly otherwise this could be a tough assignment.
Ding 1-0 Ford (66-11)
Golden chance for Ding to move 2-0 clear here. Ford yet to settle and looks for all the world like he is going to be playing catch-up in this opening semi-final. Packed Barbican in York all very quiet as they warm to Ding's break-building.
Ding 1-0 Ford (17-11)
Ford misses a green off the spot after a loose opening shot by Ding presented him with a decent chance. Not good signs early on here for the world No. 32 in this second frame, but of course that can quickly change as Ding misses a long pot by a week. Another chance for Ford, but another red stays up. Poor miss there.
Ding 0-0 Ford (66-30)
Ford twice misses his attempt to escape from the snooker. Leaves red the second time and that is surely going to cost him the first frame. In goes the yellow, green and brown. That is that then. Ford with plenty of scope to score, but not taken. A 1-0 lead for Ding.
Ding 0-0 Ford (25-30)
All a bit scrappy, but Ding has chance to make the telling contribution in this opening frame. New cloth and new table is keeping both men on their toes. Just running out of position at the wrong time. Rolls up behind yellow with two reds left.
Ding 0-0 Ford (5-25)
Chances coming and going at the moment. We saw this yesterday with DIng winning two scrappy frames against O'Sullivan before racing away in glorious style with a series of hefty breaks.
Ding 0-0 Ford (5-20)
Ford butchers a long red, but recovers with another strong pot seconds later. The Leicester man making the early running, but he misses a blue and Ding is presented with his first opportunity of the day.
Ding 0-0 Ford (0-11)
Ding 3-1 clear on the career head-to-heads, but they have never met with so much riding on a match. Tom won their first encounter 5-3 at the old Grand Prix in 2005, but Ding has won several low-key encounters since that juncture.
Ding 0-0 Ford (0-3)
So off we go then for the first semi-final. Ding leaves Ford an early tempter from distance and he throttles the bag. Brilliant opening red.
Ding destroys world champion O'Sullivan
Nothing went right for Rocket Ronnie on Friday, but that should not detract from Ding's display in his 6-0 victory over the snooker GOAT.
'You are kidding - wow!' - Ding drains crazy fluke as O'Sullivan watches on
Welcome back to the York Barbican
Hello and welcome to Eurosport's live coverage of semi-final day at the 2022 UK Championship.
'Wondrous talent' – Will spring-heeled Jack finally hit Jackpot at UK Championship?
Good things come to those who wait. And wait. And wait. And wait..
It would not be fraternising with hyperbole to suggest Jack Lisowski's ongoing stay in the tortuous waiting rooms of professional snooker has been one of the great oddities in a sport historically defined by time and chance.
Waiting to win a title in such a cut-throat era can take longer than 'Steady' Eddie Charlton sizing up a safety attempt back in the good old days, but these are the modern rules of engagement.
The learned Lisowski certainly knows the meaning of patience in his single-minded pursuit of happiness.
Read more of Desmond Kane's preview on the late game here.
Ding Junhui v Tom Ford
Mark Allen v Jack Lisowski
Ding Junhui 6-0 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Joe Perry 4-6 Tom Ford
Jack Lisowski 6-1 Shaun Murphy
Sam Craigie 4-6 Mark Allen
Stream the UK Championship and more top snooker action live on Eurosport and discovery+