Belfast snooker pro Mark Allen reeled out of the Masters in the first round last night courtesy of debutant David Gilbert.
Allen who won the prestigious event just two years told the media he just wasn’t focused enough to get through saying; “I’m really struggling to focus out there and it’s the same in practice,”
“My mentality is normally one of my strengths but the last little while it hasn’t quite been there,” he added.
“Against a top player like Dave you can’t afford to be mentally weak.”
“I just didn’t play well enough and I’ll have to watch it back, as I always do when I lose, and see if I can see anything.
“Even trailing 4-0 at the interval I was sitting with my mate Kyle and telling him that I felt really good out there. But in the end I just couldn’t get anything going at all.
“It was a very, very poor performance and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. I felt technically good.”
Allen however, has been in good form this season – he has reached six semi-finals in nine tournaments but feels he has been left with much to ponder after an under-par performance against the 38-year-old world number 11.
Gilbert took a 4-0 lead with breaks of 77, 121 and 58 before Allen came back to win a tight fifth frame. But Gilbert regained his mojo with breaks of 95 and 53 to see of his Northern Irish opponent and secure his place in the quarter finals.
Allen isn’t the only talented player to luck out in the Masters this year, Neil Robertson thought he had it in the bag when he was leading 5-1 against Stephen Maguire, however the Scotsman fought back with a break of 105 in the seventh, came from 56-0 and 40-5 behind to win the next two frames and then made a clearance of 81.
Robertson held a 33-point lead in the deciding frame but Maguire’s break of 62 saw him win the game in a very dramatic fashion.
Ronnie O’Sullivan chose to sit out the Masters this year but his replacement Ali Carter beat former world number one Mark Selby and Joe Perry defeating Ding Junhui to book their places in the next round.
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