Mark Allen admits he “fell over the line” in a nervous finish to a brilliant final of the World Grand Prix, having almost squandered a 7-2 lead to Judd Trump.
he 36-year-old, who won the UK Championship in November, having also triumphed at the Northern Ireland Open, appeared to be coasting to another title after opening up a five-frame advantage.
However, Trump piled on the pressure with seven of the next nine but Allen eventually edged to a 10-9 victory which he admits was unconvincing towards the end.
“I don’t know about nerve as I was shaking like a sh***ing dog there,” the Northern Irishman told ITV4 after taking the £100,000 first prize in Cheltenham.
“I actually said to Judd at the end he had me completely gone. It’s not often I go, I feel like I’m good under pressure.
“He put me under all sorts of pressure and I absolutely fell over the line.
“I’m very proud of myself I got over the line but I’ve felt better.”
Allen opened up an imposing 6-2 first-session lead having won all four post-interval frames thanks to breaks of 88, 63 and 77.
Another 88 on the evening resumption put him three away from victory before his opponent produced back-to-back century breaks, including a tournament-equalling best of 140, to get it back to 7-4.
Allen’s response was to post 141 for a new high-break mark but Trump hit back with the next four frames, including clearances of 87 and 55, to set up a tense finish.
Trump, who won the 2023 Masters last week, forced a final-frame decider with a break of 76 but Allen clung on for a nervy win.