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UK Championship

Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-6 Mark Allen - the final as it happened

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Ronnie O'Sullivan

Image credit: Eurosport

ByDaniel Harris and Alex Chick
09/12/2018 at 22:13 | Updated 09/12/2018 at 22:53

How the action unfolded at the Barbican in York as Ronnie O'Sullivan clinched his seventh UK Championship title with a 10-6 win over Mark Allen.

O'Sullivan hoists the trophy and that's that! And we go again tomorrow as the Scottish Open gets underway live on Eurosport and the Eurosport Player! Make sure you join us live from 10:00!

And he's been particularly good this week. Only Ken Doherty ran him close, and all he did was cajole O'Sullivan into delivering a masterful final-frame clearance.

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Ronnie has 19 majors, and says Allen is an unbelievable player and competitor - he'll be shocked if he doesn't win a world title. He's still chasing his hero Hendry's eight world titles. He's loving the game at the moment, is doing it for the fans, and really it's absolutely wild that he's still going like this at 43. He is the greatest!

O'Sullivan punches the air in delight and pours water all over himself. "Hopefully he pisses off to his breakaway tour!" says Allen. He says he thinks he played ok and loves the challenge against Ronnie because it's the ultimate examination of your skills. He thinks he's still got improving to do and lost 10-6 to Ronnie playing his b-game.

Frame 16: Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-6 Mark Allen

This is it! The balls are spread beautifully and Ronnie O'Sullivan wins his seventh UK Open and 19th major! He now stands alone as the tournament's most successful player and as the game's most successful major player - what a rrrrridiculous man he is! Not just the greatest snooker player the world has ever seen but one of the greatest anythings the world has ever seen! We are privileged to be living in his time; we will never see anything like him again! The greatest!

Frame 16: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-6 Mark Allen (41-0)

Very quickly - though not that quickly by O'Sullivan's standards - four reds and black go down. The next red opens the pack a little, but takes the white to side cushion, so black and black to red is tricky. In it rolls, and there's no a choice between a red to the right middle, or one long to the green pocket. Oh! He shmices in the harder, former, and is on the blue very nicely indeed. He needs 32 more points for the title.

Frame 16: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-6 Mark Allen (8-0)

Allen's pals are getting excitable and rightly so - I've no idea how you cope watching someone you're close to compete at this level. But O'Sullivan coaxes home a peach of a red from centre to left following a reasonable break-off, finishes on the black, and he couldn't could he?!

Frame 15: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-6 Mark Allen

Somehow, Allen forces his way to another frame. If he can nab another, this'll get dicey!

Frame 15: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 Mark Allen (9-78)

Allen is making this look tricky, and a couple of kisses potting a red keep him in position for the black. He gets to 63, but a poor positional shot on the blue leaves him a harder red than ideal, cut from the middle of the table into the corner ... and he misses ... but then Ronnie misses, and that will be the frame! Pressure!

Frame 15: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 Mark Allen (9-12)

Another safety exchange, prompted by Allen's brown covering the top left, goes the way they keep going - Allen eventually leaves a red and O'Sullivan drains it in short order. The balls are gathering towards the left of the table, and a break to win frame and match will take some working out ... and O'Sullivan misses a red into the middle! Now Allen has a chance! And away he goes!

Frame 15: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 Mark Allen (4-4)

Behind the baulk line and inside the yellow, O'Sullivan glides home a red into the top left. It's beautiful! But then after potting yellow and ramming home a red, he winds up on nowt, snookered on everything ... and misses the yellow. Free ball Mark Allen, and the brown looks to go to the top left ... but a kick ruins everything!

Frame 15: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 Mark Allen

Mark Allen isn't going to die wondering, and attempts a long red, nice and gentle ... he misses but leaves nothing, "second prize" as Joe Johnson says.

Frame 14: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 Mark Allen

Allen gets his one more red, then ambles around the table seeing home a few more balls for the fun of it, ending on 68. Five more frames needed ... it's on!

Frame 14: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-4 Mark Allen (0-72)

But he canes a straight red against the middle jaws, and O'Sullivan comes back to the table needing a snooker - that foul at the start of the frame is the difference.

Frame 14: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-4 Mark Allen (0-72)

Now that you ask, the referee is sporting the most immaculate side-parting I've ever seen. Allen is still at it - he's rattled home eight reds and eight blacks without a problem, but then a heavy contact leaves him a toughie ... he could go up the table for one, but he smacks home the harder one to stay on the black, and he's going for it!

Frame 14: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-4 Mark Allen (0-20)

A foul and a miss gives Allen four, but then he leaves a tempter ... O'Sullivan is behind the yellow and the red is available to the top right. He misses it thin so cannons the pack ... and somehow leaves nowt! Or is there one ... there's one! Allen uses the rest to cut home, and with everything al; over the show, he couldn't have wished for a better chance. And there's a potential 147 on here...

Frame 14: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-4 Mark Allen (0-20)

A foul and a miss gives Allen four, but then he leaves a tempter ... O'Sullivan is behind the yellow and the red is available to the top right. He misses it thin so cannons the pack ... and somehow leaves nowt! Or is there one ... there's one! Allen uses the rest to cut home, and with everything al; over the show, he couldn't have wished for a better chance. And there's a potential 147 on here...

Frame 14: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-4 Mark Allen

So Allen needs six frames in a row, then.

Frame 13: Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-4 Mark Allen

O'Sullivan plays a black along the top rail then has to likewise from on top of a red ... he caresses it home! He is quite good at snooker! This is a serious piece of clearance, and after the broon, it's the final three colours off their spots. O'Sullivan has really slowed it down this week, and a masterful break of 40 sees the frame away!

Frame 13: Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-4 Mark Allen (20-59)

Another fine red sinks gives O'Sullivan a look at the table, but on nothing, he plays the snooker. Allen leaves him a red, down it goes, and if can't sink the pink he'll need a snooker. Bridging on the side cushion is awkward, but it's there! In the top left it goes! And this is a chance to go one away. 39 behind, 43 left.

Frame 13: Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-4 Mark Allen (5-59)

Allen gets the red second go and this frame is now a fight for the next red because pretty much all of them pot. O'Sullivan does, though, need high-value colours.

Frame 13: Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-4 Mark Allen (1-59)

My computer drops out, but Allen sits down 59 ahead with 75 remaining ... only for O'Sullivan to nail a perfectly-played red. The problem being that so mindful was the safety, he ends up on nothing so slots in behind the green.

Frame 13: Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-4 Mark Allen (0-30)

Allen only manages 14, but he takes on a red into the green pocket from the other end of the table, played dead slow. This gives him a decent shot at making a substantial break.

Frame 13: Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-4 Mark Allen (0-1)

A long safety exchange starts the final mini-session ... how long can Allen hang in there, because he's outmatched in this department. He leaves a red to the top left corner but it's close to the side cushion and O'Sullivan misses it, then leaves one to the green pocket. This is a much easier chance but Allen jaws it, then O'Sullivan leaves an easier one and down it goes!

Right, back come the players and here we go again. Allen needs to win six frames before O'Sullivan wins two frames. Good luck, mate.

Frame 12: Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-4 Mark Allen (87-1)

O'Sullivan refocused after losing two on the spin and dominated this frame. In winning it, he restores the lead he began with this evening and heads into the mid-session needing just two more for match and tournament. He first won this pot 25 years ago! See you shortly.

Frame 12: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-4 Mark Allen (58-1)

A long safety exchange ... Allen does not want this, not one little bit. And eventually an O'Sullivan effort is too good for him, opening an opportunity which is accepted with alacrity. This frame is nearly did.

Frame 12: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-4 Mark Allen (46-1)

Another mistake from O'Sullivan and Allen sends a long red right into the heart of the top left. But the cue ball runs too far so it's a snooker ... which he misjudges, unable to get in tight behind the brown. O'Sullivan swerves out of it easily, and then Allen misses a tight red into the middle.

Frame 12: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-4 Mark Allen (46-0)

O'Sullivan rides a further kick a goes into the pack of a black potted with reverse side. It works out fairly well, and what a shot he plays on the pink, into the middle then taking the cue ball onto the top cushion and around a red which quickly disappears thereafter. But then he misses a black! He winces as he sits down, but he's been lucky, leaving nowt.

Frame 12: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-4 Mark Allen (17-0)

A kick for O'Sullivan makes this a tactical frame, at least for the now. "The now" lasts as long as it takes for O'Sullivan to paste a red into the top right, putting him on the black.

Frame 11: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-4 Mark Allen (30-105, break 105)

Allen ramps up the pressure, a break of 105, his seventh ton of the tournament, giving us a serous match. Lovely stuff - he knows how compete, that lad.

Frame 11: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-3 Mark Allen (30-51)

Unable to get the white behind the green, O'Sullivan leaves a plant - one ball into two - and Allen rockets it home. Brilliant shot, and well in for taking it on. He quickly reduces his arrears and crafts a frame-winning opportunity, easing in a delicious pink.

Frame 11: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-3 Mark Allen (30-0)

A bastard of a break-off from the most naturally talented player to ever pick up a cue (TMNTPTEPUAC) forces an immediate error from Allen and O'Sullivan is right in to undo all his good work in the previous frame. Without finding perfect position, he quickly racks up 30 ... but then he misses!

Frame 10: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-3 Mark Allen (4-93)

Allen is on the board tonight, his first frame in five and quite some time.

Frame 10: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-2 Mark Allen (4-87)

One foul and miss is enough for Allen to find his range, and when O'Sullivan leaves the white on the top cushion but a red on to the middle, it goes down and so does a red ... just! 60 ahead with 75 left, this is a frame-winning opportunity and then some. Allen deals with it quickly as we recall the Paul Hunter beat O'Sullivan from 2-7 down to win the Masters.

Frame 10: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-2 Mark Allen (0-56)

A run of 56 is all Allen manages - he clears all the easy reds, then takes a pink looking to disturb the cluster but gets nowhere so rolls into the pack. O'Sullivan quickly sticks him on the bottom cushion; of course he does.

Frame 10: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-2 Mark Allen (0-40)

It's 22 years since someone - Stephen Hendry - defended this title and if O'Sullivan wins this next frame, surely this is done. But after Allen breaks he leaves a tricky red, cue ball against the side cushion, but down it goes, in the top-left, and this is a chance. He quickly sees off five reds and five blacks.

Frame 9: Ronnie O'Sullivan 7-2 Mark Allen (74-25)

A poor shot from Allen leaves a red - it's frame ball for the second time - and this time O'Sullivan drains it. He quickly racks up 14 more points before missing a green, but it's enough for 7-2!

Frame 9: Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Mark Allen (60-25)

O'Sullivan is quickly away leaving six more reds on the table. A black follows, then another red, and the way the balls are set, he's never missing this opportunity. Our commentators note that he's playing better now than in his 20s because of the craft he's learnt. and I see their point, but wonder if he can sustain his brilliance in quite the same way. His effort to win the 2004 worlds is the best snooker I've ever seen. But then, after a couple of decent recovery pots, he misses a cut on the red into the green pocket and the lead is 35 with 42 remaining.

Frame 9: Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Mark Allen (23-25)

Both men turn down tempters and then O'Sullivan leaves on, but Allen can't see a route to safety. On the one hand, he can't be losing this frame; on the other he needs to go and win it. So he jams behind a red on the side cushion looking to roll it into the corner ... and he misses, then watches it roll over the other corner! Ouch! That might be the frame!

Frame 9: Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Mark Allen (23-25)

It's O'Sullivan who's next in again, but he manages just a red and a safety - a very fine safety, nonetheless, leaving the white between green and side cushion. Allen "taps the table in appreciation".

Frame 9: Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Mark Allen (22-25)

Ken Doherty tells us that Allen is thinking a couple of shots ahead - great stuff, never gets old. Anyway, Allen rattles in a two-ball plant, but ends up snookered on the black by a red. Gah! He has to go safe off the brown, sticking the white on the top cushion, and let's enjoy some safety.

Frame 9: Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Mark Allen (22-0)

Oh dear. Allen misses a long red and worse, he doesn't get the chwhite up the table Ronnie quickly rolls in a red, then a black, and here we go. Here we don't go! Ronnie gets high on a red and misses it along the rail! Relief for Allen, who can now knock it in.

The boyz are baized. What is snooker going to do without this absolute hero?

Evening session

Hello there and welcome to the denouement of this year's UK Championship. It's hard to see a way for Mark Allen from here, but you never know: he's got implacable confidence in himself, and if he can win the first mini-session, he's in the match. More likely, Ronnie O'Sullivan sorts him out in short order - he's been playing ridiculous this week - but you never know.

  • Watch the UK Championship final live on Eurosport Player

Frame 8: Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Mark Allen (73-25 - O'Sullivan break 65)

What an onslaught! From 2-1 down to 6-2 up for Ronnie O'Sullivan, who ends the first session within touching distance of his seventh UK Championship title. He does the damage with an assured 65 break, though not before a strange double miss from the finalists. A simple red from Allen appeared to deviate on its way to the pocket and somehow stayed out... then O'Sullivan missed a harder but still makeable red. But as so often this afternoon, Allen fails to make the most of his reprieve and has a mountain to climb this evening. We reconvene at 19:00 UK time tonight, when Daniel Harris will be your guide - the first player to 10 frames becomes champion.

Frame 7: Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-2 Mark Allen (73-12)

Danger here for Mark Allen. Once again, Ronnie opens the balls up with a fine long pot, and takes an age (for him) to put together a 40-odd contribution. There's a strange moment when Ronnie opts to go off two cushions to hit a ball he can see in a safety attempt but misses twice... on the third attempt, and facing losing the frame with another miss, he goes direct. That leaves a red on for Allen, who once again can't capitalise, and with a frame to go in the afternoon it's O'Sullivan well in charge.

Frame 6: Ronnie O'Sullivan 4-2 Mark Allen (76-15 - O'Sullivan break 57)

Just when we think we're set for a classic, we get a bitty frame with lots of safety, a few errors and not much of the stellar potting we have seen so far today. But once again it's O'Sullivan who prevails, staying focused to drop a fine red before going to town with a frame-winning 57. Two frames left in the afternoon session, and the great man is starting to pull clear.

Frame 5: Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-2 Mark Allen (120-15 - O'Sullivan breaks 54, 66)

A knotty safety exchange sees the white manoeuvred softly between tightly-packed reds... thankfully both players quickly agree to a re-rack. Allen is first to profit, getting among the balls, but he misses an easy black, perhaps focusing too much on sending the white into the pack. O'Sullivan takes over brilliantly, using the rest to corral a red into the bottom right pocket. He puts together a 54 break but then overruns the white and has to play safe - livid with himself for that error. Ronnie soon atones with a magical long red and completes the clearance to lead for the first time today.

Frame 4: Ronnie O'Sullivan 2-2 Mark Allen (85-0 - O'Sullivan break 85)

Wonderful cueing from O'Sullivan as he goes the length of the table to pot the frame's first red. He struggles with his cue ball location during what, for him, is a pretty laboured break. But a sensational pink to the bottom left corner opens up the reds and there's no looking back from there. He eventually stalls short of the century, with the final break on the bottom cushion next to the black - but it's more than good enough to level the match as we go to the mid-session interval.

Frame 3: Ronnie O'Sullivan 1-2 Mark Allen (0-70 - Allen break 70)

Exactly the same as frame 2, but with roles reversed. Ronnie breaks carelessly, Allen piles in a long red and makes a frame-winning break. When Allen clangs a red to the middle against the jaws, O'Sullivan briefly considers making a frame of it, but he needs snookers and eventually decides not to bother.

Frame 2: Ronnie O'Sullivan 1-1 Mark Allen (101-0 - O'Sullivan break 101)

Well, how's that for a response? A poor Allen break leaves a red on and Ronnie invites him to keep his seat, ending the frame in one visit and racking up career century break 986. The key shot was a beautiful pink to the middle pocket that allowed him to cannon into the pack and open it up. His century complete, O'Sullivan misses a red along the cushion and cares not a bit.

Frame 1: Ronnie O'Sullivan 0-1 Mark Allen (54-63)

Ronnie looks like he's on his way to a frame-winning break, but overcuts a relatively simple black to let Allen in with the frame score at 50-20. However Allen then misses a straightforward red - albeit with the rest - it's a nervy start by both men. In the ensuing safety battle, Ronnie finds himself snookered and comes off the cushion... but clatters into the black and, worse, leaves the one remaining red on. Allen capitalises and clears up to the pink to take first blood.

Pre-match

Welcome to the Barbican in York, where we have a packed house for the UK Championship final between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Allen. It's a best-of-19 match, to be played over this afternoon's session, and resuming at 19:00 UK time tonight. The intros are made, and unsurprisingly Ronnie gets a huge ovation. Referee Marcel Eckardt, officiating his first major final, does the honours and it's O'Sullivan to break. Game on!

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