Mark Allen overcame Kurt Maflin in a tight full-frame decider to head into the last-eight of the UK Championship
The world number seven was then joined by John Higgins who recovered stunningly to record a 6-4 win over Stuart Bingham. Speaking for Bingham, he was on two separate occasions distracted by a phone ringing.
The world number 12 said: “Some idiot left his phone on, and it cost me.” Maflin started on the front foot with a break of 81, helping him win the first frame.
However, Allen soon leveled matters in the second frame. Maflin proved relentless in his performances and was more than ready to show Allen out of the tournament. The world number 42, with a break of 113, took a 3-1 lead into the mini-interval.
Mark Allen, a finalist in last year’s UK Championship, then reduced the deficit by one more frame to make it a 3-2 lead for Maflin. After the interval, Allen showed what a great player he is, as a break of 126 helped him take the lead (4-3) for the first time in the encounter.
With that win, the world number seven is just within two frames of victory. Two frames to victory doesn’t seem like so much work to do. However, considering the complexities of gaining that lead, Allen knew he had no room for error.
Allen then slipped or was it Maflin who put up an impeccable performance, with the latter drawing the game at 4-4. It was all down to the wire.
Mark Allen could see himself in big trouble soon after as Maflin raced to win the ninth frame. It was a thrilling encounter, to say the least, even as both played a little game of hide-and-seek. Mark Allen then took the tenth frame to force a decider against Maflin
Despite falling behind to Kurt Maflin, Allen pulled it out of the bag to win the game at 6-5.
Elsewhere, John Higgins came out tops in his thrilling encounter with Stuart Bingham. Bingham had a lot of distractions to contend with, a disadvantage Higgins was willing and able to capitalize on.
Written by: Roland Arum