SNOOKER: Mark Allen emulates NI legend Higgins by lifting Masters

Mark Allen celebrates winning  the 2018 Dafabet Masters
Mark Allen celebrates winning the 2018 Dafabet Masters

Mark Allen finally got his hands on the Masters on Sunday night after seeing off Kyren Wilson 10-7 in the final - 40 years after fellow Northern Ireland sportsman Alex Higgins lifted the trophy.

Allen had beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins on his way to the final and after defeating Wilson he said it’s great to follow in the footsteps of Higgins.

“Someone told me it was 40 years since Alex Higgins first lifted the trophy, so it is great to bring it back to Northern Ireland. That is what I do it for.

“I have done it but it was a long time coming and hopefully this is a stepping stone to bigger and better things. I was not sure it was ever going to come because I had knocked on the door so many times but now I can say ‘I have won a triple crown.’

“Hopefully this is just the first of many.”

And Allen says he was pleased with the way his championship had gone but he had felt nervous during the final.

“I felt calm all week apart from the first session today. I was really on edge but I felt as the match went on I got stronger.

“I felt a lot more at ease with myself and I played the way I had done earlier in the week.

“I’m just very pleased and to be on the right end of it for a change. I am just over the moon.”

And Allen paid tribute to beaten finalist Wilson.

“What a competitor and he has come on so much. He will be back.”