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article imageTrump versus Allen in UK Snooker Final

By Tim Sandle     Dec 10, 2011 in Sports
York - Two of snooker's up-and-coming young players (Judd Trump and Mark Allen) will contest the UK snooker championship in York today.
At the UK Snooker championship in York tow of snooker's top young players will contest the 19-frame final. The two contenders are England's Judd Trump, who was runner up to John Higgins in last season's world championship, and Mark Allen from Northern Ireland. Both have come through as more experienced players and bigger 'household' names like Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Williams and John Higgins have fallen.
As reported by the BBC, in the semi-final on Friday 9th December, Trump, aged 22 , beat Australian former world snooker champion Neal Robertson by 9 frames to 7. In the other semi-final, played on Saturday 10th December, Allen overcame Ricky Walden by the same margin.
With both Trump and Allen prodigious talents, the final of the William Hill sponsored tournament is set to be a spectacular showdown of big breaks and long potting. The winner will receive a prize of £100,000 and a set of valuable ranking points.
Of the two, Judd Trump is the favourite to win due to his greater success in tournaments despite being three years younger than Allen. In addition to his impressive run to the world championship final in May 2011, Trump has won a ranking tournament (the China Open in April 2011 when he beat Mark Selby 10--8), whereas Allen has contested six ranking event semi-finals but has failed to secure a major tournament win.
Despite Allen's paucity of tournament wins he is probably as the greatest talent from the Northern Ireland since twice world Champion Alex Higgins. Allen also shares something with Alex Higgins' talent for attracting controversy for, as reported by The Daily Telegraph, he has been involved in a spat throughout the tournament with the events promoter Barry Hearn. The Allen-Barry Hearn rumpus has led to Hearn calling the Northern Irishman a 'silly little boy' and Allen responding by wearing a gag to his post match press conference after his victory in the last-16. The main disagreements has centred on Hearn's decision to reduce the length of the matches prior to the semi-final from the best of 17 frames, which has been the case since 1978, to best of 11 frames. For some players, like Allen, this has devalued the event.
The reduction is match lengths aside, the UK snooker tournament is snooker's second major after the world championship, in terms of prize money, ranking points and prestige. The tournament was first held in 1977 and was won by an Irishman called Patsy Fagan who beat the Welshman Doug Mountjoy 12-9. The record for the most wins lies with England's Steve Davis, the dominant player of the 1980s.
For those unfamiliar with the game, snooker is played on a billiard table with approximate dimensions of 12 foot by six foot. On the table are 22 balls: 15 red balls and six coloured balls (in order of ascending value: yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black), plus a white cue ball. The object for the player on the table is to score points through taking a coloured ball after each red. Snooker was developed from billiards and has a long history with the world championship first being contested in 1927. Snooker not only rests on scoring (or 'break building') it also requires a degree of tactical ('safety') play. For the rules of snooker, check out World Snooker, the official governing body, rules site.
Familiar or unfamiliar, today's final promises to be an exciting contest between two young, fast and impressive players and could be signalling a new era involving new talent for snooker.
The final is broadcast in the UK on the BBC and throughout Europe on Eurosport.
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