Snookerbacker

December 9, 2018

The UK Championship Final

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:27 am

It’s the final of the UK Championship today as the defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on the Masters champion Mark Allen, assuring us again of a very familiar name being engraved on the trophy this season, O’Sullivan aiming for a record number of UK titles, while Allen hopes to add his first to his CV.

You would probably say on balance that these have been the best two players in the tournament, but they’ve had very different paths here, with Ronnie coasting to his victories after a scare from Ken Doherty against players, other than world number 16 Jack Lisowski, all outside of the higher ranks. Allen on the other hand has had a much tougher path and has had to take care of Neil Robertson, Stephen Maguire and Stuart Bingham to get here.

The big question is whether Allen will bring his trademark fighting spirit to the table against not just the best, but the most intimidating player in the world. Ronnie seems to have such a hold over some players that he’s more or less got a three frame start before the off, but you’d like to think that Allen is in an elite bunch of players that this doesn’t apply to.

Their head to head confirms this. The most recent meeting between to the two came in Allen’s march to the Masters with a very convincing 6-1 victory over The Rocket and indeed over the years, just one match and two frames seperate them in the seven matches they have played.

I’m going to stick my neck out today and go for Allen. I think the 5/2 available on him to win is decent given their most recent meeting and the fact that the Northern Irishman is in sensational form. I also think if he does win he’ll win with a bit to spare so there are some decent handicap odds around if you agree.

As well as the final, today sees the draw for The Masters, which no doubt will be live on the BBC to varying degrees of ooooo’s and aaaaaahhh’s from the audience when the matches are called out.

The top eight in the seeding list below will be randomly drawn against the players seeded 9-16 in the opening round draw.

  1. Mark Allen (Holder)
  2. Mark Williams (World Champion)
  3. Mark Selby
  4. Ronnie O’Sullivan
  5. John Higgins
  6. Judd Trump
  7. Barry Hawkins
  8. Ding Junhui
  9. Neil Robertson
  10. Kyren Wilson
  11. Shaun Murphy
  12. Stuart Bingham
  13. Ryan Day
  14. Stephen Maguire
  15. Luca Brecel
  16. Jack Lisowski

The Scottish Open starts tomorrow but I’ll not be covering that on here, just all a bit too congested and it’s nearly Christmas.

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