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‘Shot of the championship’ – Allen ponders for three-and-a-half minutes before incredible safety

‘Shot of the championship’ – Allen ponders for three-and-a-half minutes before incredible safety

Nigel Chiu

Mark Allen versus Mark Selby over 33 frames at the World Championship semi-finals was always going to be a slug-fest, but needing more than three minutes to take a shot is extraordinary.

In the penultimate frame of their opening session on Thursday night, Allen was in trouble when not left with a clear safety shot back to baulk.

There was no simple shot off a red which he could play thin or thick, so spent three minutes and 38 seconds – even asking referee Leo Scullion what to do.

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Eventually, the shot he played was nothing short of outstanding as he went cushion first with the cue ball to clip a red near the right-hand side of the cushion, got the white around the black and back up the table, without leaving a red on.

“What a shot he thought of there,” said 1986 world champion Joe Johnson on Eurosport commentary.

“Took a long time to think of it but my word what an execution. Great shot. If this doesn’t go in [from Selby], it could have win him the frame that last shot.”

‘That could have won him the frame’ – Allen deliberates, plays brilliant safety

Selby missed his next shot, a long red and left his opponent in, so Allen took full advantage by clearing up to go 4-3 ahead and also won the next frame to take a 5-3 lead.

Eurosport expert Alan McManus analysed the shot, which he thinks is the best at the Crucible so far.

“Such a good shot, even to see the thought of it is just out of this world,” he said.

“One-cushion, lots of pace and he’s going to disturb reds as well so there’s a bit of danger attached to it.

“Selby will be coming out of his chair thinking this guy has got one up on me because that was pure artistry. Shot of the season, definitely shot of this championship.”

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