Mark Allen still in with big chance of reaching final

Mark Allen in action in the third session of his World Championship semi-final against Mark Selby
Mark Allen in action in the third session of his World Championship semi-final against Mark Selby

MARK Allen will go into the final session of his Cazoo World Championship semi-final against Mark Selby at the Crucible in Sheffield just one frame behind thanks to a break of 92.

The Antrim man produced that break in the final frame of the morning session and it means that four-time champion Selby has just an 11-10 advantage in this epic first-to-17 frame encounter in the £2.4m showpiece.

Allen won three of the final four frames.

Selby had opened up a 10-7 lead thanks to breaks of 63, 112 and 53 after having held a 7-6 overnight advantage.

But, despite the clear water, he still did not look comfortable and some loose play helped Allen pull back to 10-9, with Selby missing a blue in the 19th frame while attempting to force a re-spotted black.

He extended the gap to two in convincing fashion but it is Allen who has momentum after finishing the session with that break of 92.

The 37-year-old World number three has never reached the final before and last played in the semi-finals 14 years ago but is having the season of his life, with the UK Championship, Northern Ireland Open and World Grand Prix already in the bag.

But Allen is finding the 39-year-old World number two a very tough nut to crack, and the pair came in from some stinging criticism from seven-time champion Stephen Hendry after they only managed to play five of the scheduled eight frames in their second session, tournament organisers taking them off to allow the other semi between China's Si Jiahui and Belgium's Luca Brecel to start on time in the one-table set-up.

Before this season, Allen's career highlight had been his triumph in the 2018 Masters, meaning success in the World Championship would complete the set of 'Triple Crown' victories after that UK title triumph.