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Hello, good evening and welcome back to the Dafabet Masters 2017. The
crowds are slowly coming into Alexandra Palace for tonight's match
as Mark Allen takes on Marco Fu, runner-up in 2011, who is playing
some magnificent snooker at the moment. The prize at stake is a
semifinal clash against Ronnie O'Sullivan after another cracking
afternoon here at Ally Pally. Quickly out-of-the-box, the long red
suggested the Aussie was in fine form. Ronnie matched Robertson's
position with a fabulous pot 2-level proceedings. In frame four Robertson
with this effort, surely a contender for shot of the tournament, all
square at the interval. The middle frames were uncharacteristically
erroneous. First Ronnie opened the door for Robertson to take the lead.
Before the world number seven returned the gift in the very next
frame. 3-3 and little to separate them. Lady luck suddenly favouring
the Londoner in his home tournament. Amazingly, not just once, but twice
in two frames the Rocket now two up with three to play.
Another wayward attempt by Robertson opened the door for O'Sullivan to
seal the match and take his place in the last four for the fourth
consecutive year, closing out a 6-3 victory.
Ronnie O'Sullivan, two wins away from his seventh title, he will play
the winner of tonight's clash between world number eight Marco Fu
and Mark Allen, who lost to Marco Fu in the semifinal in 2011 and is
looking for revenge tonight. Good evening to John Parrott. Good
to see you, you were in the commentary box this afternoon for
that match, it resembled a heavyweights slugging contest, and
never really got going but it was compelling to watch. Fascinating
nonetheless, both players have played better but if you said we
would plate nine frames of snooker and not have a century break,
Ronnie's highest break was 68, I would have been surprised.
Fascinating, lots of Luke Somers and great safety and poor safety, but
fascinating to watch. The 2013 Welsh Open which Allen won
but finished 6-4. Interestingly, Marco Fu went on to lose in 2011.
Ding Junhui was in the final. You have to say Marco Fu must start this
match as favourite, given just how poor setting that win over Judd
Trump was earlier in the week. He does, the bookmakers make him
favourite but I think from the four quarterfinal matches I think this is
the hardest one to pick a winner. Mark Allen is in great form. Anyone
who beats John Higgins here is playing well and Marco Fu at the age
of 39th, for him to play the best snooker of his career is a fantastic
achievement and this could be 6-5. You have watched him closely, what
is it about Marco Fu? Ronnie mentioned he has changed his
technique. Has had an impact? I think it is confidence, he has
always been a good player. Generally the top players have that bit of
extra belief in themselves and he has got that. Fascinating game
between Stephen Hendry and Mark Allen and Stephen said to him, when
are you going to start winning majors and what will be the
difference? -- interview. He said, I need to lose weight and it was
refreshing honesty. Do you think somebody like that can have a
massive impact? I think so, is particularly with the standards
being so high. In Sheffield, 17 days, long schedules, long matches,
it takes a lot out of you and you need a good level of fitness and it
would help. The players are standing by. Let's is a good evening to RMC
Rob Walker. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to the climax of Day five of the Dafabet Masters, a meeting
between two players who are both brilliant in their respective
first-round victories and here they are going toe to toe for the right
to take on O'Sullivan in the semis on Saturday. Here we go again at
Alexandra Palace. Please welcome our first overall, a
player bidding for his third Masters semifinal, here after that 6-5 final
frame first round thriller over John Higgins, the winner of three ranking
event titles, including last year's grand final, one of the best
break-builders in the modern game, from Northern Ireland, he's Mark The
Pistol Allen. And his opponent, a player in the
best form we've seen from him in years. He won his third ranking
event last month beating John Higgins in the Scottish open final
from 4-1 down, his form in the first round win over Judd Trump was
sublime on Tuesday. Can he produce it once again? Let's find out, as he
comes from Hong Kong, Marco Fu! Good walk on music for Marco Fu but
who will be the superhero tonight? Good evening to our own super
heroes, John Virgo and Steve Davis. COMMENTATOR: Good evening, thank
you. Interesting matchup, this. The world number eight, which is Marco
Fu, against the world No 10 Mark Allen. Not much between them in the
world rankings. The only thing I would say, Steve, is Marco is on a
confident role at the moment -- confident roll. You can't beat a bit
of confidence. Very impressive performances by both
of these players in their first rounds. They will both come into
this match with optimism. Lovely opening red from Marco.
That's the type of balls he was knocking in relentlessly against
Judd Trump at the latter stage of their match. He played really well
there. And as Steve said there is nothing like confidence for his
success. Hebe John Higgins in his own backyard. That's how well he has
started to play. One of the best break-builders in the game. Has he's
potted plant? I was going to say for a second he has underhit that but
I'm not certain he played for this planet. It's possible, it's
certainly makeable. He didn't get the pace of the cue
ball right there. Sometimes when you are playing a plant your mind is
distracted from getting the weight of the shot correct.
We have been discussing it, John. Obviously Marco winning in Scotland
recently. But with that, it seems there is a special air of confidence
he has gained from somewhere. He is walking around the table, his chest
poking around a bit more, he has more authority on the table, more
presence. This is a fluke. Marco, you could
see in the background, was getting out of his seat. He hadn't noticed
the red going towards the pocket. He will be getting out of his seat now
that he will find himself snookered behind the green.
There was no way he had seen the planet. The came off two rates
behind the pink and came off another one. It was a fluke. Twice across to
get to the red near the top cushion. Will it slide? No, he hasn't judged
it well. Would you have this replaced and take the red on? You
would have to think Marco would get closer to the red, although it
didn't look like he was guaranteed to be on. This is the shot he has
got to play really. He played to cover up if he missed. He has left a
sniff of this red. I don't know if Marco can play cushion first or go
direct. Direct. It's the type of shot where you can't really turned
that down. As a result of Marco playing a poor escape has led him
hitting back into the balls. There is no rhyme or reason sometimes, is
there? The way Marco scores when he gets in
and around the black spot area, this is an excellent chance.
We may see him play a little cannon on the five reds just below the
pink. He is bound to be on the road to the opposite corner. -- on the
red. That's the only red that's easy to
get on. He wouldn't want to be too wide on it, he would want to be as
straight as possible. There's a few little banana skins here, depending
on what shot he chooses. The stun across for the loose red is the best
option. He played through the gap and that is an excellent shot as
well. The only danger with that was if he missed that cannon he would
have been in no man's land arguably the correct shot. It has opened
things up a bit more. Those three reds above the black, I
would have thought the right-hand one goes to the corner, maybe it
doesn't. But I think the right-hand one goes to the middle. Just
covering one another at the minute. He has such an angle he may have to
play another cannon. This time he's just caught it a fraction too thin.
Has he got the plant? He just wanted to catch that red a little bit
fuller. He would have been better off playing a three quarters for
cannon harder. These reverse plants are not easy.
Yeah. It's hard to judge sometimes. Well, that's two decent chances had
now. And he's not made the most of them. So, here is a chance for Mark
Allen, he comes to the table 32 points behind. He's plenty on.
Didn't hit the centre of the cue ball there.
He'll be very disappointed with that. A little bit of tension in the
arm. Not an ideal position after this.
You would expect him to get this yellow, but still these reds are not
perfectly placed at the top. That's a little awkward. I don't
know if he can cue past the brown for the yellow. It is the yellow he
would have liked to have been on. He seems to be getting down quick.
Maybe he can get to the centre of the cue ball. He's aware that brown
- he's got to keep that cue straight.
And all things considered, he's played this absolutely perfect. Good
shot! Not perfect on this pink, but it
might end up being OK for him if he can split these two reds apart. Lost
the cue ball a bit. A thinner contact on the red than he thought
he was going to get. So, this, all to intents and purpose, a match
frame ball. It is missable. But I expect him to get it. Whichever one
of the two he plays. 45 points, the lead. Still 67
remaining. So he's going to need two reds, two colours to clinch the
frame, this visit. And that was the problem he saw. He
couldn't do much, being tight on the cushion. Knew he would run into the
blue. But it is not bad. So, there you see it, 59 remaining.
52 in front. With just 51 remaining. Three chances.
Mark Allen obviously hasn't settled yet.
He needed three chances. He'll be very pleased with how he's finished
that frame. Mark Allen, well, never settled. So Marco Fu, comfortably
takes the first frame, 1-0. Very neat and tidy from Marco Fu. On
Tuesday Marco gave himself a mountain to climb. Tonight keen to
get out of the blocks quickly? He came through it. But from Mark
Allen's point of view, there was a shot there which was worrying. I
know it was the first frame of a match, but id don't get anywhere
close to this. At the start of a major quarter final you are trying
to stamp your authority on it, to show your opponent you are there to
play, that is not a great start from him. I saw in a couple of times in
the match this afternoon, as soon as Marco missed that red, Mark was
straight out of his seat. I wonder if matches like this, at a
tournament like this, whether you can be too keen? I think and we've
got one of the best men ever in the commentary box, Steve Davis used to
win nearly every time. When you first chance comes it is important
to take it. Marco was nervous there. Took three chances to win the frame.
You have to stamp your authority in a match like this. Mark Allen will
be kicking himself he didn't do it with that red. At the end of that
frame as well, Marco looked so confident. You said he looked
nervous. Looks confident at the end. It was good he cleared all the balls
up as well to make sure he didn't get any more practise. We know the
form Marco Fu is in. Mark Allen has to be less sloppy with the next
frame. We finish here at 7. 30pm. But every ball is live on the BBC.
All you have to do is hit your red butted on the or go via the BBC
Sport app. The Premier League show starts at 7. 30pm. Back to the boys.
The contact that was required, but if it doesn't bounce, does the green
cover the path of this on the left-hand side of the table? If not
there is a pot on here and there is a pot on.
And stroked it in. As easy as you like! Lovely shot!
A good chance to get into the reds. Perhaps not with screw, but with top
spin this time. Played that very well.
Certainly didn't have bundles of top spin, but he controlled the cue ball
to stay in the middle of the table. Wonderfully well, didn't lose it.
Unlucky, to some degree, how it has turned out.
If Marco Fu makes the most of this opportunity I would say he's in a
very strong mental position for the rest of this match.
Giving your opponent a two-frame start, when he's feeling confident,
Mark Allen's perspective is not the best start in the world.
Nothing wrong with a safety shot from Mark Allen. Just left enough
poking out. Nothing wrong with it. He got the
contact. But of course to make the pot more difficult he needed to be
tight to the baulk cushion. The green would have covered the angle.
But not to be. He's got to sit down and watch this take shape. Four
reds, four blacks. And he has made a maximum on four
occasions, has Marco. He's one of the heaviest scorers in the game.
He's fourth on the all-time list of century-makers.
I think the chances of a maximum now may have just gone with that shot. I
don't see how he can play for the black off this red. It was difficult
to get top side of the red there. I think the pink goes. If it
doesn't, that's a pretty poor effort.
He's given it one look already. Walked away in disgust. Now he's
going to play it, I think. Very nicely played. He's got the red
in the left corner. Keeping the cue ball in more open
play, I think, is the right thing to do.
A good chance now. A good idea for you to press red
button if you want to carry on. Mark Selby has the highest break of the
match so far. 139. Marco Fu could beat that in the next couple of
minutes. A 10,000 prize as well on offer for the highest break.
Press red right now. Goodbye for now.
If it ever came to pass that Mr Corbyn were the Prime Minister,
Well, I think we're a basket case now. Have you seen Southern Rail?
Have you seen the National Health Service?