Snooker: Allen takes an early lead in clash with Perry

Left-hander from Antrim edges an absorbing first session 5-3 at the World Championship

Mark Allen in action against Joe Perry during the  World Championship at The Crucible.  Photograph: Tim Goode/PA

Mark Allen in action against Joe Perry during the World Championship at The Crucible. Photograph: Tim Goode/PA

 

Mark Allen moved into an early lead in his second-round clash with Joe Perry at the Betfred World Championship. The left-hander from Antrim edged an absorbing first session 5-3 against the man who knocked out defending champion Mark Selby on the opening day of the tournament.

Allen made breaks of 94, 99, 67, 73 and 50 as the best-of-25-frame contest got under way. Both men have reached the semi-final stage at the Crucible before, Allen in 2009 and Perry a year earlier.

The exit of Selby has opened up the top quarter of the draw this time, and Allen and Perry will play to a finish across morning and evening sessions on Friday.

Anthony McGill earned a shot at Ding Junhui in the second round after staging an impressive fightback to oust Ryan Day 10-8. World number 17 Day was on top for large stretches of the match but blew a big lead as he bowed out in round one for the fourth successive year.

McGill looked to be staring at defeat when he lost the first frame of the afternoon to trail 7-3, after making a disappointing start to the contest on Wednesday.

But without making any breaks of 50 or more the Scot scrambled his way back to level up at 8-8 before a run of 60 saw him go in front for the first time. Qualifier Day made breaks of 141 and 145 in the first session but his fluency had deserted him, and the Welshman squandered chances to make it 9-9 before McGill stumbled over the winning line.

McGill told BBC Two: “I can’t believe I won that match because the whole way through I was behind. I really wasn’t playing anywhere near the required level but it just shows what can happen if you dig in and keep fighting to the death. I managed to turn it around somehow and I’m delighted.”

The 27-year-old said he took inspiration from Jamie Jones fighting back from similar arrears to beat Shaun Murphy.

He added: “I knew it was possible. If you never give up, just keep fighting, you might win one match in 50 but it’s worth the fight to win that match.”

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