Mark Allen loses to Ricky Walden in UK Championship last eight

Mark Allen crashed out of the UK Championship on Thursday when he lost 6-2 to Ricky Walden in the last eight.

Allen struggled to find anything like his best form throughout the match.

The Northern Ireland player edged the opening frame at the Barbican Centre in York, but lost the next three to trail 3-1 at the mid-session interval.

Walden won frame five, Allen reduced his deficit by taking the next, but the world number 12 won the final two frames to secure a comfortable victory.

Allen had beaten Walden at the last four stage of the 2011 event.

English player Walden, who overcame Ding Junhui in the previous round, will play Mark Selby or Barry Hawkins in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Antrim man Allen had reached the quarter-finals by defeating Judd Trump on Wednesday, despite an unconvincing display in a mostly scrappy match.

The 2011 UK finalist had to come from behind to beat Trump 6-4.

The world number nine lost the opening two frames of that match and trailed 3-1 at the interval, then 4-2, but won the last four frames to secure an unlikely victory.

Allen had started his UK challenge with a 6-1 victory over Jak Jones of Wales, followed by a 6-2 success over Dave Harold of Stoke.

He then defeated Michael Holt 6-5 to set up the meeting with Trump.