Tour Championship: Mark Allen beats Mark Selby 9-2 to reach final

Mark Selby and Mark Allen
Three-time world champion Selby (left) was never in the running against Allen on Thursday

Mark Allen booked his place in the Tour Championship final by beating three-time world champion Mark Selby 9-2 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Northern Ireland's Allen raced into a 6-0 lead with the help of breaks of 92, 54, 76 and 80 and enjoyed a commanding 7-1 advantage after the first session.

The 34-year-old will reach a new career-high world ranking of four whether he wins in the final or not.

Allen will face Stephen Maguire in Friday's best-of-19-frame decider.

The winner of the tournament will collect a first prize of £150,000.

If he wins the tournament, 39-year-old Maguire has the opportunity to secure a further £100,000 and the Coral Cup which will be awarded to the most successful player over three lucrative tournaments supported by the same sponsor.

If the Scot is defeated in the final, world number one Judd Trump will take that prize as he currently heads the Coral Series mini-rankings list.

Competing in his seventh semi-final of the 2019-20 season, comprising ranking and invitation events, Allen was 4-0 up inside 40 minutes of his last-four contest with Selby, who failed to pot a ball in those first four frames.

The English player, who lies seventh in the world rankings, salvaged one frame in the first session but had no answer to 34-year-old Allen's potting onslaught.

The match was an unusually one-sided one between the two as eight of their previous 11 encounters had been decided in a final frame.

Selby briefly rallied in the evening session with a break of 71 making it 7-2 but Allen struck back to take the next frame before a break of 83 sealed the win.

Former Masters champion Allen is aiming to clinch a first title success since winning the Scottish Open in December 2018 while his good friend Maguire is without a ranking event win since the 2013 Welsh Open.

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