SNOOKER: Mark Allen confident of World title chances at Crucible

Mark Allen during his match against Shaun Murphy at the Masters on Saturday
Mark Allen during his match against Shaun Murphy at the Masters on Saturday

Mark Allen remains confident of winning the World Championship despite losing in the semi final of the Masters, going down 6-2 to Shaun Murphy on Saturday.

The Northern Ireland player went 2-0 up against Murphy, but his opponent mounted a strong comeback to close out a commanding victory.

Undaunted, Murphy said of his World Championship hopes: “I want to win it. I don’t want to go there to finish second.

“I have a few little things to work on but I don’t think I’m far away. I have a busy schedule coming up before that.

“Hopefully I can get a few tournament wins under my belt and go there with confidence,” added Allen, who made it to the semi-finals in Sheffield in 2009.

“I’ll be putting lots of work in on the practice table to give myself the best possible chance.”

Reflecting on his performance in the Masters, Allen added: “Obviously I’m disappointed to lose a semi-final at a big event like the Masters but I’m not too down on myself.

“I missed a blue in the third frame and Shaun played very well after that - my long potting and safety needed to be better.

“I felt good after the interval but never really got a clearcut chance. I fancied my chances of a comeback and even at 5-2 down felt like I could do the job. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”

On Sunday, it was confirmed that the World Championship will remain at its Crucible Theatre home in Sheffield until at least 2017.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn made the announcement during the Masters final between Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson.