The Players Championship 2024: Mark Allen beats Zhang Anda to lift title in final

Mark Allen had a hard-fought 10-8 win over Zhang Anda to win the Players Championship title at Telford.

The Northern Irishman, who booked Mark Williams, Gary Wilson and Ali Carter to clash with Zhang, was not at his best but dug deep to find a way to victory.

It was the 38-year-old's 11th ranking title and added to his wins at the Champion of Champions and Snooker Shootout this season.

Zhang let an early 3-0 lead slip away and failed to convert several chances in a match that featured just one century, but he could cheer with a run to the final of the third-ranked event that included wins over both John Higgins and Marc. Selfie.

But in the end, he ran out of steam against the world No. 3, who admitted it was one for the purists.

„I don't know that I have any pretty left in me,” Allen said, after a difficult meeting. “It was tough all day and with how well Zhang played all week, I think I actually dragged him down a little bit.

„I gave it everything, my defense was good and that kept me in the match. It wasn't a lot of fun to be involved in, but I'm very happy to be standing here as a winner.

Allen has made 'more adjustments' in style and is 'more consistent', says McManus

Resuming at 4-4, big breaks were few and far between in a cagey evening session as both players struggled to find any kind of rhythm.

That's the whole theme. There was the odd flash of intelligence – a long red here and there – but both seemed more concerned with not losing than taking the match by the throat.

The next two frames were shared. Zhang made the first 50-over break of the evening to take advantage of more Allen errors to go 6-5 up and had a chance to make the next day after nailing the red from distance.

But a subtle attempt to split the pack went awry and he returned to his seat 18 points later. Allen, with one back, scored 46 in reply before breaking but eventually making it 6-6 at the break.

The snooker gods looked favorably on Zhang during the rematch. After a good opener, he was dismissed in the 30s when a canon in blue knocked on red and he was severely punished.

With a break of 64, his second contribution of 50 or more, Allen moved clear 7-6 and then hit Zhang in the next game.

World no. 13 failed to capitalize on several opportunities that allowed Alan Block to steal the frame to come within two of victory.

Zhang, however, stopped the rot to cut his arrears to one, but missed a gilt-edged chance to equalize as Allen edged closer to the winning line at 9-7.

He was made to wait after Zhang captured the 37-minute frame to revive his hopes, but, nearing midnight, spurred by an unexpected plant, he eventually saw off Zhang's challenge for another trophy.

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