Allen set to face O'Sullivan

Ireland's Mark Allen secured a second-round meeting with Ronnie O'Sullivan by coming through his opener at the Betfred.com World Championship.

Left-hander Allen resumed 7-2 ahead against Martin Gould this morning, and survived the scare of dropping the first three frames.

Allen must have been worried at that stage but he gathered his composure, began to pile on the points, and sealed a 10-6 victory with a break of 88.

Gould was potted off the table by Allen yesterday, but the part-time casino croupier from London was determined not to be dealt a humiliation, and came out with a relaxed attitude which helped him to make three rapid frame-winning breaks.

Just minutes before they resumed at 10am, Gould had been outside the Crucible posing for pictures, and once he got into the arena he was potting balls for fun.

Breaks of 87, 90 and 74 secured the first three frames, with Gould capitalising whenever Allen gave him a glimpse of a chance.

However, 23-year-old Allen won the final frame before the mid-session interval to leave himself requiring just two more for victory.

That became one to win when he grabbed the 14th frame, which meant Gould needed five in a row.

Gould pulled one more back but Allen found top form in the next and his fluent 88, which began with a fluke, confirmed his victory.

He will be making a second appearance in the last 16 at Sheffield, having lost at the same stage to Matthew Stevens in 2007.

Allen said: "I was glad to get over the line in the end.

"I thought when I got among the balls I looked pretty good."

His top-16 place is almost secure for next season, so Allen is relishing the clash with O'Sullivan.

"I've never played Ronnie before - so he's never beaten me, has he!

"I'll be treating it like any other match. I know I'll have to step up a gear but, if I play the way I know I can, then I can give anyone a game."

O'Sullivan only gave himself five out of 10 for his first-round performance against Stuart Bingham, despite making three centuries and two more breaks in the 90s.

Allen said: "I think if Ronnie made 10 centuries he'd give himself five out of 10 so don't read too much into that.

"If I go out there and perform, I've got a chance."

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