Snooker: Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy book semi-finals spots at the Masters
Last Updated: 17/01/15 10:23am
Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy will meet in the semi-finals of the Masters after victories at Alexandra Palace on Friday.
Allen booked his final four place with a hard-fought win over Joe Perry.The world No 6 made only one break of more than 50 in a scrappy affair but improved as the game went on, winning the final two frames to claim a 6-4 success.
Perry was struggling for rhythm himself, but came from 3-1 down to tie it with breaks of 50 and 68.
He then levelled it again with a break of 67 in the eighth frame, winning it 104-24, the only time either player reached three figures before Northern Ireland's Allen pulled clear once more to seal his place in the last four.
"It was embarrassing at times," Allen told worldsnooker.com.
"I said after my first match that we are out there to entertain people, but that was nowhere near entertainment. It was as bad as it gets for two professional snooker players, let alone two of the top players.
"But I'm proud of the way I stayed calm, and I fancied the job at 4-4, even though Joe had scored more heavily than me. I made a good break at 4-4 and didn't miss much in the last frame. I showed again that I've got good bottle under pressure."
Allen will play Murphy in Saturday's semi-final. He set up his third Masters semi-final after an entertaining 6-4 victory over Stephen Maguire.
Making two breaks of 103 to advance, the 2005 world champion and 2008 UK champion remains on course to win the career 'triple crown'.
"It was a very high quality match, as I expected playing someone of Stephen's class. We've been playing those kind of matches since we were juniors," Murphy told worldsnooker.com.
"There weren't many unforced errors. I've experienced playing well and losing, that happens a lot in snooker now and it's part of sport.
"Every match here could be a final and it will be tough against Mark Allen. The only player who seems to win easily here is (Ronnie) O'Sullivan, he sails through matches. Everyone else is playing people on a similar level."
Neil Robertson and O'Sullivan will contest the other semi-final after they both impressed on Thursday.