Mark Allen’s 4-2 victory over Luca Brecel in the last 16 of the BetVictor Welsh Open set up a crunch match in the quarter-finals with Robert Milkins, with the £150,000 BetVictor Series bonus on the line.
Victory for Allen over Milkins on Friday evening in Llandudno would see him finish the sequence of eight events at the top of the BetVictor Series rankings and earn him the huge pay day. If Milkins wins, then he can still snatch the cash by taking the title, while Ali Carter and Joe O’Connor are also in the equation going into the last three days of the series. For updates on the race, click here.
Northern Ireland’s Allen is enjoying his best ever season and has been clearly the outstanding player of the 2022/23 campaign having won three titles. If he goes all the way to the crown in North Wales then his total earnings for the week would be £230,000, the biggest cheque of his career. Breaks of 90, 79 and 74 tonight helped him to a fine win over Brecel.
Shaun Murphy raised the roof at Venue Cymru with a 147 during a 4-1 victory over Daniel Wells. The Magician, seeking his first ranking title since he won this event three years ago, also made breaks of 66, 145 and 78 in a tremendous display.
“I’m over the moon,” admitted Murphy. “I just wanted to put in a good performance tonight. I wish I knew the secret – if only I could do that more regularly. I saw the opportunity for the 147 early in the break, went for it and got it. It’s up there with my best achievements. I am obviously doing something right. Every time I step out in front of a live audience I try to put on a good show and entertain, and today I think I gave them value for money.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan took just 58 minutes to beat Ben Mertens 4-0 with a top break of 68. The Rocket needs to reach the final to earn a place in next week’s Players Championship. Joe O’Connor’s 4-0 success over Robbie Williams has left him on target for a spot in Wolverhampton – for updates on that race click here.
The quarter-final line-up is completed by a trio of Chinese players. Tian Pengfei scored an impressive 4-1 win over John Higgins with a top break of 80. Yuan Sijun top scored with 100 in a 4-1 defeat of Jack Lisowski, and Pang Junxu ended any hopes of a Welsh winner by beating Jak Jones 4-2.
12pm: Shaun Murphy v Yuan Sijun
Not before 2pm: Ronnie O’Sullivan v Tian Pengfei
7pm: Mark Allen v Robert Milkins
7pm: Joe O’Connor v Pang Junxu