Mark Allen won the Champion of Champions tournament with a comprehensive 10-3 win over Judd Trump in Bolton on Sunday night.
Allen opened the match by taking the first frame with a half-century score of 59, with Trump – the season’s in-form player with the Masters, Huangguoshu Open, English Open, Wuhan Open and Northern Ireland Open to his name – then notching a 123 break to claim the second.
Trump has been in much better touch this year compared to recent campaigns, however that century was a rare bright spot for Trump as scores of 63, 137 and 65 took Allen into a 7-2 lead before the evening session.
Allen, meanwhile, was last season’s star performer, and earlier this year he beat Trump 10-0 in the World Grand Prix final.
After last year, when he landed the Northern Ireland Open and the UK Championship, the world No. 4 has been a little out of sorts.
In the open frame of the evening session, a miss on a red from Allen gave Trump a chance to break, and he adroitly and smoothly racked up 77 to go 7-3 behind.
At 58-16 up in the following frame, Trump was back at the table needing two snookers as Allen missed a tough blue to the top-left corner while straining with the rest.
Trump secured the first with Allen touching the pink, leaving Trump 26 behind with 25 left on the table, but Allen potted an excellent long green to leave Trump trailing by snookers once more, and he elected to concede and fall 8-3 behind in the first-to-10 match-up in Bolton, before Allen then moved six clear with a 75-0 win in the 12th frame, just one from victory.
After the mid-match scare, Allen cruised to victory to claim his 10th frame, and the 37-year-old Northern Irish player can look ahead to the rest of the season with confidence.
Speaking after the defeat, Trump said: “It was a good first four frames, but I just missed too many easy balls. I couldn’t get going on my safety, and Mark was potting from there. It’s fine margins, against someone that good you have to get the white on the back cushion.
“A disappointing day at the office, but I think Mark was the best player at the tournament, and usually the best man wins.
“It’s been a great start, it’s been an amazing start to the season, it’s been a dream start to the calendar. Hopefully, there will be plenty more finals.
“It’s good to have someone my age standing up and delivering, it gets a bit easy, otherwise. You can tell he’s been working hard, it’s going to be an exciting season.”
Allen was relieved with his victory and pleased to get back to winning ways. He said: “This is why we play, to play in front of the best crowds against some of the best in the world. It’s nice to get one over him, but he’ll be back.
“I would tell you what I really think about the start of the season if I could swear, but it’s been poor. I’ve been a bit lost, Joe Short’s not with us anymore. Me and my dad have lost one of our closest friends, so that was for Joe.
“To win any tournament like this, to win this event, it means your game is in good shape. I’ve been working so hard to get my game back in shape. To come here and find some form is more important than anything else.”
Stream top snooker action live on discovery+
, the Eurosport app and at eurosport.com