Snooker: Ricky Walden beats Mark Allen to win International Championship
Last Updated: 02/11/14 7:10pm
Ricky Walden's habit of winning in China continued as he clinched the International Championship crown in Chengdu with a 10-7 win over Mark Allen in the final.
The Chester player has now won all three of his ranking titles in China, following up his previous victories in the 2008 Shanghai Masters and 2012 Wuxi Classic.
Walden had the better of the early exchanges and knocked in breaks of 59 and 64 to establish a 3-1 lead at the first session interval, but Allen hit back to level with a flowing 113 in the sixth frame.
The next four frames were shared before Walden won frame 11 and then reclaimed his two-frame lead with a well-crafted break of 85.
The left-hander again responded with runs of 68 and 74 to level the match at 7-7, but Walden made a crucial 85 in frame 15 and followed with a break of 103 to go one frame from victory.
Walden then opened frame 17 with a 54, and a 62 at his next visit wrapped up an impressive victory and a healthy first prize of £125,000.
"I couldn't be happier," he said. "It was a tough first session today, and then I got better in the second session.
"It's a dream come true to win this event. All three of my titles have come in China and I love playing here.
"I've not thought about the money. It was just so important for me to get my hands on the trophy. The money is just a bonus. My wife will find a good place for it."
Allen, who has now suffered defeats in three of his four ranking finals this season, added: "I didn't come here to finish second.
"I'll probably look back in a few months' time and think I've had a great start to the season but I've lost three out of four finals and that's not good enough. It's something I have to work on.
"I need to go back to the practice table and keep working. I'm obviously doing the right things as I have got to four finals. I just need to turn them into victories."