ANOTHER week and another remarkable result for Antrim snooker hotshot Mark Allen!
Just seven days after he fell at the final hurdle to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the UK Championship - pocketing a tidy £75,000 in the process - Allen beat former world champ Shaun Murphy in the decider of the Scottish Open, taking another 70 grand in the process.
Of course the cash is a welcome Christmas bonus for the 32-year-old, but probably more important is the confidence boost it will give him as he prepares to defend his Masters title.
By ending his year as he began it, with emphatic wins against world-class opposition, Mark has finally delivered on the promise he first showed in his teens.
He is now a contender to be respected - and one to be feared.
“I know I’ve got the game to win,” he said on Sun day after lifting his third ranking trophy of 2018.
“I feel great. Every time I go the table now I feel confident.”
This week’s win is all the more significant given that the Antrim ace said he did not deserve to be in the final at all after his 6-5 semi-final win over Daniel Wells.
The world number six felt that he had ‘disrespected’ the event by spending too much time at the bar instead of the practice table.
But actions speak louder than words. He fought from behind to go 6-3 up with breaks of 82, 64 and 70. Murphy kept his cool, however, and took the lead 7-6.
Undeterred, the Antrim man won the last three frames to take the title in impressive style.