Mark Allen leads 5-3 in World Championship semi-final against Mark Selby

Mark Allen edged ahead of Mark Selby in their semi-final
Martin McGoran

MARK Allen will take a 5-3 lead into Friday’s second session of his Cazoo World Snooker Championship semi-final against Mark Selby at the Crucible.

The Antrim man won the final three frames of Thursday evening’s opening session from 3-2 behind to seize the early initiative against the four-times champion.

Allen, seeking his first world title and playing in his first semi-final for 14 years, lost the first frame to a break of 123, but the world number three recovered with breaks of 63 and 66 to go 2-1 up.

Selby won two in a row himself to edge back in front, but Allen levelled with a 64, went back in front with a 60 and rounded off the evening with his highest break of the session, 78, to leave himself in a great position overnight.

In the other semi-final, surprise packet Si Juahui took a 5-3 lead over Belgium’s Luca Brecel in their best-of-33 last-four clash.