Ronnie O’Sullivan slams Mark Allen for ‘worst performance ever’ during UK Championship final


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Mark Allen made a poor start to his UK Championship final against Ding Junhui – and his performance was ripped apart by seven-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed he has ‘never seen anyone play so bad’ after Mark Allen was dominated in the opening session of his UK Championship final against Ding Junhui.

Ding closed in on his fourth UK Championship crown after taking a commanding 6-2 lead into Sunday evening’s climax in York.

The Chinese star has remarkably dropped down to 38th in the world rankings and would become the first qualifier to win the Triple Crown event since his maiden title in 2005 if he completes the job at the Barbican Centre.

But while on-song Ding looked at ease firing three century breaks on Sunday afternoon, Northern Irishman Allen was completely out of sorts.

Allen, this season’s most consistent performer, prevailed in a tense decider in his semi-final against Jack Lisowksi late on Friday night, despite being nowhere near his best.

And the 2019 Masters champion looked a shadow of himself as he squandered two huge opportunities to reduce the deficit after trailing 5-1. As Ding piled on the misery with a scintillating 102 break to make the score 6-1, O’Sullivan ripped apart Allen’s performance in a staggering assessment of his first seven frames.

“He just can’t pot a ball can he?” O’Sullivan claimed on Eurosport. “I’ve never seen anyone play so bad. It’s the worst performance I think I’ve seen from anybody in a long long time, let alone in a final.” He added: “A lot of that has to do with Ding. He’s just playing fantastic snooker.”

Fortunately for Allen, a gutsy contribution of 79 in the final frame of the afternoon gave him a glimmer of hope heading into the deciding session.

Image:

Colin Poultney/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock)

Colin Poultney/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock)

O’Sullivan’s scathing verdict had come after Allen fired a cheeky dig at The Rocket following his semi-final triumph on Friday.

Allen joked that O’Sullivan is the only one who doesn’t care about the tournament – which he has won seven times – teasing the world champion over his rhetoric of indifference and ambivalence towards snooker.

O’Sullivan appeared bemused in the Eurosport studio as Allen quipped: “Everyone entered this tournament (wants to win), maybe…

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