Mark Allen opened up a commanding 6-2 lead over Judd Trump after the first session of the Duelbits World Grand Prix final in Cheltenham.
The match is a clash between the two winners of snooker’s biggest events so far in the season. Allen landed the UK Championship title after a 10-7 win over Ding Junhui in the final back in November. Trump was crowned Masters champion at Alexandra Palace last Sunday after a 10-8 defeat of Mark Williams.
Number one seed Allen is the runaway leader on the one-year list this season, having also picked up the Northern Ireland Open title and made the British Open final earlier in the campaign.
Trump is guaranteed to move into the top eight of the one-year list regardless of this evening’s result. Crucially that means he is in line to secure his place for the remainder of the Duelbits Series. Only the top 16 progress to Wolverhampton for the Duelbits Players Championship, with the top eight qualifying for the Duelbits Tour Championship in Hull.
A cagey opening to this afternoon’s play saw both players struggle to settle. Eventually the first four frames were shared and they headed in for the mid-session interval locked together at 2-2.
When play resumed it was Allen who took a stranglehold on proceedings. Breaks of 88, 63 and 77 helped him to a clean sweep of the four frames to end four in front at 6-2.
They will return at 7pm to play the best of 19 encounter to a conclusion, with the winner picking up a top prize of £100,000.
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