THERE was UK Championship Snooker Final heartache for Antrim’s Mark Allen tonight when he lost out 10-6 to record-breaking Ronnie O’Sullivan but he received a big endorsement from his opponent who said: “If he doesn’t win the World Title I will be so surprised”.
32-year-old Allen, who honed his skills with the Fountain Club in Antrim, said after O’Sullivan made it 19 majors: “I’m a part of history I didn’t really want if I’m honest.
“I didn’t come out here today to lose but you have to appreciate what Ronnie does, to beat Steve Davis’ record of UK titles, to beat Stephen Hendry’s record of triple crown events, he is something special.”
Allen joked: “Hopefully he p*sses off to this breakaway tour”
He added: “I felt like I played alright earlier, it’s extremely fine margins. I really enjoy playing Ronnie because it is the ultimate examination of your game, you need to be super sharp in all aspects.”
Mark said he was “slightly out today” and he lost 10-6.
“I think against many others, including the very best, I wouldn’t have got beat today”.
He was happy to have been a Masters Champion this year and to have reached two triple crown finals this year but added: “I’m doing things right but I still feel like I have a lot of improving to do.
“I’ve got to the UK Final and got beat 10-6 by Ronnie O’Sullivan with my B game so if I can come here and play well then hopefully I will win another triple crown”.
Mark pocketed £75,000 as runner-up.
O’Sullivan (43) made it a history-making night by making it 19 majors to beat Stephen Hendry’s 18 titles.
O’Sullivan paid tribute to Allen describing him as an “unbelievable player, unbelievable competitor”.
He added: “If he doesn’t win the World Title I will be so surprised because it’s not about just talent, it’s about bottle, courage, and he has got that in abundance and you need it to win titles”.